The fantasy baseball season is underway and so now is the perfect time to take a look at our first Trend Or Mirage feature of the season and as always, we look at a player off to a hot start and examine whether this start is a legit or a mirage. Today we look at Baltimore Orioles 2B Brian Roberts who received very little love from the fantasy baseball community heading into 2010 and rightfully so. For one Roberts was turning 34 years old and his stats, in particular his stolen bases, had been on a four-year decline. His 2010 season was also a complete bust as injuries and stupidity ruined his value. So it was not a surprise to see him go very late in spring fantasy baseball drafts and in some cases not even being picked. Roberts however has put himself back on the radar with a very hot start to the 2011 season as he has hit two home runs with 6 RBI while batting .294. He has looked smooth in the field as well and has run the bases with no sign of discomfort. So without further delay, lets see if Roberts’ hot start can continue or is he will letdown fantasy baseball owners again.
Looking on the surface of things, I stated before the season began that I felt Brian Roberts had another very good season in his body if he could stay on the field. Looking at the disaster of 2010 was actually the reason why I came to this conclusion. Even though he hardly played, Roberts’ counting stats were right at the level that they had been throughout his career almost across the board. He even upped the stolen base rate in his limited time on the field last season which was reason enough for me to predict Roberts could be effective one again this season. Now things didn’t get off to a good start in spring training when nagging injuries kept him on the bench, but Roberts was fully ready to go when the season started and we are seeing some nice results so far.
One big positive that surely is helping Roberts is the improvement of the Orioles lineup. Adding bats such as Mark Reynolds, JJ Hardy, Derrek Lee, and Vladimir Guerrero have given him better pitches to hit and also will allow him to score more runs due to the thumpers behind him in the order. And as far as the power is concerned, we all know that Roberts is not a 20 home run guy. That is asking way too much. However reaching the 15 home run mark is very likely with good health and when you factor in the runs, steals, and solid average that he annually produces, its clear to see how Roberts can continue being a solid fantasy baseball stock for the 2011 season.
So in conclusion, I say Brian Roberts’ start to the season is a TREND and if he still available on your waiver wire, pick him up. A nice rebound season is in the offing.