Fantasy Baseball Fix : 2011 Torii Hunter Projections


If you missed the previous entries of the Fantasy Fix click below.

We’ve reached the Final Four in our Fantasy Fix Countdown with none other than Angels right fielder ( that still sounds weird) Torii Hunter. Torii will be embarking on his first full season as a non center fielder and I think that fact is what will allow him to potentially have an even better 2011 season. Lets take a look at what Fantasy owners can expect from Hunter.

2010 proved to be another solid year in what has been a consistent career for Torii Hunter. He finished the season hitting .281 with 23 Home Runs , 90 RBI , 76 Runs and 9 stolen bases. His On Base Percentage was also solid at .354 and when you take into account that Hunter posted those totals within a depleted lineup for most of the year  his stats  are even more impressive. While Torii’s slugging percentage did drop from 2009 he has gone on record this spring saying that the move to right field will help him stay at his ideal playing weight rather then dropping 10 -12 pounds as a result of tracking fly balls in center field. Hunter believes that extra weight will allow him to hit for more power and have better endurance as the season wears on. Whether or not his statement becomes a reality will be interesting to watch as 2011 pans out. Another area that also impacts Hunters’ value in 2011 is  the lineup around him. With the injury to Kendrys Morales and down years by virtually everyone else in the lineup Hunter was forced to attempt to carry most of the load in 2010. That added pressure didn’t seem to have the same negative impact on Hunter’s  stats that it did for other guys like Bobby Abreu and Mike Napoli.

In 2011 provided they stay healthy the Angels offense figures to be a bit better. The addition of Vernon Wells , the eventual return of  Kendrys Morales, bounce back seasons from Aybar / Izturis and potential “break out”  years from Kendrick, Bourjos and Trumbo leave  reason for optimism that the Halos could  score a lot more runs in 2011. Torii Hunter figures to be right in the middle of all that action and should again provide owners with good totals in RBI’s , Runs , Home Runs and Average. The one area of Hunters offensive game that appears to be in decline is his base stealing. Angels fans know all too well that Hunter was horrendous on the base paths in 2010 often running the team out of innings and rallies in route to a whopping 12 caught stealing attempts in 21 tries (9 Stolen bases). Owners should no longer expect the 20 -20  type seasons they have gotten from Hunter in the past. It could happen if the move to right keeps his legs fresh as Torii predicts but I wouldn’t count on it.

The Hangout View: Look for Hunter to keep plugging away in 2011. At 34 , Hunter still has some left in the tank. The move to right field should help ease some of the injury and fatigue concerns from the last few years and what should be at least a slightly improved Angels lineup will help Torii in the run production counting stats ( R, RBI). While there have been whispers that Torii has not been driving the ball with  the same authority this spring ,  both his line drive and fly ball rates were consistent  if not better than his career averages last year. With age a drop in power should be expected at some point but I don’t think Hunter is there just yet. Accordingly, Hunter should be drafted  in the middle rounds and employed as a solid # 2 outfielder in most fantasy formats. Look for Hunter to post the following line:

  • .295/.358/.484/ 24 home runs, 95 Rbi’s , 88 Runs, 12 stolen bases