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Fantasy Platoons - Blackmon, Dickerson, Stubbs


Platoon Power

Platoons can be an excellent source of cheap, high quality production. Last season, the Colorado Rockies featured a useful outfield platoon with Charlie Blackmon, Drew Stubbs, and Corey Dickerson. All three compiled great seasons individually, and I expect the same from them this season. With Carlos Gonzalez a permanent injury risk, there should be plenty of playing time for this trio.

 

Charlie Blackmon

Starting with one of last year’s All Stars, Blackmon is the most likely to receive regular playing time. What’s not to like about Blackmon? He has good power, speed, and contact skills. Last season, he hit 19 HR with 28 SB, a .288 AVG, and a .152 Isolated Power (ISO) in 648 PA.

Blackmon has room for improvement too. He has a below average BB/K ratio of .32 and inflated GB/FB ratio of 1.12. Blackmon’s speed helps him to beat out infield grounders, so a high ground ball rate isn't too damaging.

 

Corey Dickerson

By contribution, Dickerson and his 478 PA is next in line. He has the most power with 24 HR and a .255 ISO last season. Dickerson also had a 140 wRC+, meaning he was 40 percent above league average at the plate. This measure adjusts for context like Coors Field, so his raw numbers look even better.

Contributing to his fantasy value last year was a .312 AVG. While it looks pretty on the outside, his inflated .356 BABIP contributed to his success at the plate. Expect Dickerson’s AVG to decline.

 

Drew Stubbs

Next up is the veteran of the group, Stubbs. Stubbs had quite a comeback season. He posted a career high with a .289 AVG and also blasted 15 HR in just 424 PA. He flashed the speed fantasy owners have come to expect from him with 20 stolen bases. He finished the season with a 113 wRC+.

Stubbs did find himself with the least amount of PA of the platoon last year. If Dickerson shows any improvement in his third year in the majors, Stubbs might find himself with the short straw. There is also his concerning .404 BABIP from last year. Yes, Stubbs has speed and can beat out more ground balls that way. And yes, Stubbs obviously benefited from favorable pitching matchups. A .404 BABIP is still alarmingly high. It is likely Stubbs’ AVG regresses back towards his .246 career AVG.

Summary

Choosing between these three is similar to car shopping. You can buy an expensive, luxury vehicle, a more affordable sports car, or a cheaper sedan with proven reliability.

Blackmon is the luxury vehicle and will most likely be drafted in the first five rounds of most leagues. He’s expensive and flashy. Dickerson is the sports car that will be drafted but at a more affordable price later in the draft. While more affordable than the super car, he’ll be expensive to fix if something goes awry. Stubbs is the sedan. If drafted, Stubbs will come at a bargain. He has the most experience of the three and has never finished a full season with less than 10 HR or 17 SB (both happened in 2013).

All have value and all are skilled enough to step in if they get a chance at significant playing time. Monitor Colorado’s injuries closely. A shakeup at any OF position could catapult the next guy into must start status.