Ask Nash: Is Charlie Blackmon for Real?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Blackmon has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners this season—and that may be an understatement.  Blackmon has given fantasy owners down right elite production. To date he is raking at a triple slash of: .333/.366/.582, that combined with his counting stat production has him as a Top-3 OF in any type of league.

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So this question has hit my inbox time and time again: Is Blackmon the real deal? Or is he a sell high candidate?

First we need to examine what he is on pace for, then we need to assess if that is achievable given what we know we know about Blackmon’s normal output.

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Charlie B. is on pace to put up MVP type numbers in his fourth season, after three years of struggling gain consistent at-bats.

So there are some concerns with Blackmon, mostly his lack of proven track record, which also points to the concern can he produce for a whole season. So far he has never eclipsed 260 at bats in a season, as we saw last season with Yasiel Puig, sometimes guys just fizzle over the course of a year despite their talent level. So the chances that Blackmon can make good on these numbers seem a little lower than a fantasy owner would hope.

However there is a little hope that Blackmon is more than just an over performing flash in the pan. Other numbers we can look at suggest that Blackmon had made progress as a hitter.

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When we look at his K rate we can see that he is well below his past two seasons, but some might suggest that he is just getting lucky and making more contact.  However when you observe that his walk rate is up from his past three seasons then you begin to see a hitter that is showing more patience at the plate.

Blackmon is being more selective and making good on every hit.  So then we look at his BABIP and realize that he isn’t just getting lucky.  His BABIP is under his career average. Therefore we can stake a little hope that Blackmon is growing as a hitter.  He is only 27 after all, and now getting consistent at bats, playing in a hitters park, and in a very good lineup.

Perhaps Blackmon’s current pace is a little too high to reasonably hope for.  However that certainly doesn’t mean that Blackmon isn’t a solid bet to be a valuable fantasy asset all season. So long as he gets the at bats, he is worth holding onto, unless someone offers you a legit top 15-20 OF.

The real perk with Blackmon is his balance, he will get you good HR and Steals production, and there aren’t many bankable 20/20 guys who are on pace for 30/30. So if you are the happy owner of Charlie Blackmon, do not be in a hurry to sell on him.  Like Charlie this season, show a little patience, be selective and make good on your opportunities.


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