The San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has been a solid fantasy option for years. He is quietly moving up the ranks and will be top 10 in 2016.
The San Francisco Giants lineup does not have many holes, which is why they are a constant threat in the National League West and the league. With a veteran catcher, solid outfielders and rising infield, the Giants are set for years to come. One of those rising stars in first baseman Brandon Belt. He’s been consistent over the last couple of years and will be a top-10 option in 2016.
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Belt impressed during his time in the minors that he was invited up and joined the Opening Day roster in 2011. He went back and forth to the minors and majors and missed on some with a fracture after being hit by a pitch. In 63 games, he hit nine home runs, 18 RBI and .225 average.
It wasn’t until 2013 that Belt had his breakout season. He played in 150 games with 147 hits, 17 home runs, 67 RBI and .289 average. He did have 125 strikeouts, but walked 52 times for a .360 on-base percentage. The following season was a down year after having three separate stints on the DL with a broken thumb and a concussion. He was able to hit 12 home runs in 61 games.
This past season was a great bounceback season for Brandon Belt. He played in 137 games and had career highs in home runs (18) and RBI (68) with a .280 average. He also had a career-high 147, but still maintained a .356 OBP. Belt finished 11th among first baseman and 117th overall on the Player Rater. He was drafted as the 20th first baseman in the 22nd round in ESPN leagues.
His strikeout rate dropped 0.8 percent and his walk rate rose over two percent from 2014 to 2015. His ground ball and fly ball rates dropped and his line drive rate rose over 10 percent to 28.7 percent. It was 24.3 percent in 2013. He also made better contact with the ball, 39.5 hard hit rate compared to 29.8 in 2014 and 37.1 in 2013.
Brandon Belt currently ranks within the top-15 among first baseman across multiple sites. With question marks surrounding some of the players ahead of him, there is a high probability of him moving up to the top 10. Belt has the ability to hit 20/70/.280, but that an outlier to what he likely will do in 2016. The pitching in the NL West is tough compared to some other divisions, but with the hitters in front of him, Belt should be able to get his fair share at favorable pitches.
Projections: 135 hits, 18 home runs, 65 RBI, six steals, .275 average
Draft: Round 13