Why 30th-Rounder Justin Bour Will Return 15th Round Value

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There’s a scene in the third season of Entourage where Eric travels to meet Bob Ryan, an enthusiastic old Man of the Movies who proposes to Eric and Vinny great idea after great idea and follows each proposal with: “Is that something you might be interested in?”

Well, what if I told you that you could have a player with nearly the same production as Adrian Gonzalez (ADP around 150) with the 300th pick in your draft? Is that something you might be interested in?

Lucky for you, there isn’t nearly as big a letdown for you as there was for Eric and Vinny in Entourage, as you merely need to select Mr. Justin Bour of the Miami Marlins before another late-round hawk takes Bour for his/her team.

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Justin Bour - ADP Draft Value

Bour currently has an ADP of 303 in NFBC, 311 in CBS, 382 in Yahoo and well after 300 in ESPN. Bour isn’t just an option for those drafting in NL-Only leagues or 20-team mixed leagues, though – he should be on everyone’s radar.

In 2016, Bour hit 15 home runs in just 91 games, finishing with a slash line of .264/.349/.475 – all very respectable numbers outside of the games played. This was no fluke, as the season before Bour hit 23 home runs with 73 RBI and a .262 BA in 129 games. With a career HR/FB rate of 19.3 percent and hard hit rate of 34.5 percent, this is clearly a powerful man.

What makes Bour even more tempting in 2017 is that he should be seeing even more time at the dish. Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly has said this spring that Bour will see time against left-handed pitchers, something the 6’ 3” lefty hasn’t done much in his career to date.

That comment alone should be enough to see Bour well over the 120 games played mark in 2017, but there’s also the fact of the matter that there simply aren’t many left-handed pitchers in the National League East. The Nationals (Gio Gonzalez), Mets (Steven Matz), and Braves (Jaime Garcia) all have just one lefty in the rotation as of now, and the Phillies don’t have any. That’s 76 games on the calendar in which Bour and the Marlins will be going against a left-handed pitcher approximately 85 percent of the time.

 

2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Justin Bour is also 100 percent healthy to start 2017, and if he stays healthy the whole season (hold that thought), there’s good reason to think he can out produce fellow first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

If we simply look at the Steamer Projected slash lines for Gonzalez (.262/.332/.433) and Bour (.265/.337/.454) they look quite similar, with Bour actually holding a slight edge in power. The only separation between the two in terms of rank is the counting stats because Gonzalez is expected to play far more games.

However, we already know that Mattingly is willing to play Bour against lefties, and we also know how few lefties are in the NL East should Mattingly change his mind. In regards to Bour’s “injury history,” the only injury Bour has had was his ankle injury that cost him a good chunk of the 2016 season. Before that, Bour played over 100 games in all but one of the past six seasons, and several of those were minor league seasons where near-perfect health is needed to reach the 100-game plateau.

There’s not a lot of reason to think that Bour will spend time on the DL again in 2017, and, if he can stay healthy, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him come close to the Fan Projections on FanGraphs right now: 81 runs, 26 home runs, 89 RBI, with a .274 BA. Is that something you might be interested in?

 

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