Fantasy Baseball 2018: Why all the hate for Justin Bour?

Despite all of the roster moves, the Marlins still have some hitters worth drafting. Yet, first baseman Justin Bour doesn’t seem to get any love.

The Miami Marlins are clearly undergoing a salary dump this offseason by trading away some of their top players. Though, there are still some quality hitters in the lineup that have some fantasy value. Guys like JT Realmuto, Christian Yelich and Starlin Castro will get their fair share of ownership, regardless of the team they’re on. However, Justin Bour isn’t getting the same love.

Bour had his best hitting season in his four-year career. Although he played in just 109 games, Bour hit 25 home runs, 83 RBI, 52 runs scored and a .289 average. As someone who had a 231.2 ADP in ESPN leagues and was drafted as the No. 24th first baseman, he finished as the No. 23 first baseman on the Player Rater.

Bour also improved his strikeout and walk totals and improved his walk rate by four percent from 2015 to 2017. He also improved his ground ball and line drive rates. Bour hit roughly the same amount of fly balls but he was able to turn more of them into home runs last season.

Despite finishing with a .289 average, Bour had close to career worst in his plate discipline numbers. He swung at 11.5 percent of pitches, made contact on 74.0 percent of pitches, saw first-pitch strikes on 55.2 percent of counts and swung at almost 45 percent of total pitches.

In the final weeks of the season, I wrote about Bour not being owned in more leagues. While he did miss 43 games stretching from the end of July to the beginning of September.

From his return until Sept. 26, 16 games, Bour hit .322 with four homers and 15 RBI. He did struggle in his final five games, .176 and five RBI, it didn’t affect his overall season value.

The Marlins lineup will not have the same structure as it did in 2017. Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna are no longer on the team. As I mentioned, there are rumors of Realmuto and Yelich being on the trade block.

Bour will not score on the same rate due to the bottom of the order being weak. He does not have the same lineup protection either, with Castro and Martin Prado hitting in between him according to Roster Resource. If Bour wants to be productive again, he will need to be more patient at the plate and wait for his pitch to come to him. That’s, unfortunately, something we haven’t seen from Bour.

Bour ranks outside my top-20 first basemen, but I don’t know why. While I’m not expecting another .289 season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bour hits .265 with 28 home runs and 80 RBI. That’s more than enough to be worth drafting as a corner infielder or backup in all leagues.