Don’t Trust Charlie Blackmon


ClickHandler-1Charlie Blackmon has gotten off to a roaring start in 2014, batting .323 for the 3rd place Rockies, including one particular 6 for 6 hitting performance in early April. His power numbers, his speed numbers, and even his defensive numbers have climbed up the MLB ranks, putting him in a good position to be an NL All-Star. Because of his position in the Rockies’ batting order, Blackmon should score a boatload of runs and have a plenty of protection. However, it’s still early to be putting his name in the same category as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Blackmon is a guy who never hit more than 11 home runs at any level in the minor leagues, but was more of a gap to gap kind of hitter, posting at least 4 triples at every level in the minors. This year, Blackmon’s line drive rate has dropped 8%, increasing his fly ball rate by 7%. That might be all fine and dandy, but his home run pace appears to be unsustainable. Here’s why: Blackmon is currently homering on nearly 1/6 of his fly balls, while he’s only averaging a batted ball distance of about 270 feet. Of course, Coors Field aside, the simple law of averages won’t allow Blackmon’s power surge to continue. 20 home runs is very manageable, but if you’re expecting Blackmon to crank 30 homers, you’re going to be disappointed.

Blackmon’s batting average is currently at .323, a far cry from the .40o mark he had going through April. Granted, Blackmon was not going to finish the year at .400, but he is only batting .260 in May so far with only 6 extra base hits. And given the strength of the Rockies outfield, Blackmon can’t afford any prolonged slumps. Drew Stubbs and Corey Dickerson are both hitting for higher averages and higher on-base percentages, not to mention that Stubbs is batting .404 in May, Dickerson .357. Unless he gets hot quickly, Blackmon could quickly go from being a potential All-Star to a bench warmer.

Blackmon has a lot of strengths: an above average batting eye; good speed; good defense; and he should score plenty of runs, but he might be a great sell-high candidate for fantasy owners.

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