40-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Darin Erstad in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Darin Erstad Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract extension in August of 2008.
The Astros have said that their offseason priority is to re-sign their own free agents, one of which is Erstad, the Astros' official site reports.
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Darin Erstad: MLB Games Played By Position
Darin Erstad Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Darin Erstad: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Darin Erstad.
The last few years have not been kind to Erstad, but the Astros may re-sign him with hope that his Gold Glove-caliber fielding will offset his weak bat. A series of injuries (hamstring, back, shoulder) limited him to just 195 defensive innings in 2009. Despite all the usual warning signs that the 35-year-old Erstad is beginning to break down, the Astros plan on bringing him back to reprise his role of fourth outfielder and backup first baseman in 2010.
Erstad saw time all across the outfield and at first base in 2008 for the Astros, and took Michael Bourn's starting job in center field for a short time. He's still a reliable defender no matter where he plays, and his offensive production stayed on par with where it's been the last five years. He hit .276 with four homers, 16 doubles and 31 RBI in 322 at-bats last season and should continue to provide value as a backup at all three outfield spots and first base, but he isn't worth fantasy consideration in most formats, unless he somehow ends up in an everyday role.
Ankle injuries limited him to just 87 games but that shouldn't have come as a surprise. When he was in the lineup he limped along to a .248/.310/.335 line with just four homers. The White Sox exercised a $250,000 buyout option and he signed a one-year deal to be a utility option in Houston, although it's hard to imagine him having much of a roto impact. But hey, he stole seven bases. And you didn't think we'd say anything nice about him.
He's done. When he latches on with someone and that signing is trailed by a raft of good press, just remember that he does absolutely nothing for a fantasy team.
Erstad exceeded 600 at-bats for the first time since the 2002 season and appeared to wear down in the second half. While his stolen bases are nice, his lack of power will kill you in fantasy leagues if you use him as one of your corner infielders. The Angels have a dilemma on their hands - clearly Casey Kotchman is a better hitter right now, and Kendry Morales probably will be too. Erstad's contract and reputation in the clubhouse, however, will keep him in the lineup ahead of Kotchman and Morales.
The good news is Erstad posted his highest OPS since his monster year in 2000; the bad news is that OPS was .746. At a playing age of 31, Erstad is looking less and less like an asset and more and more like a liability. Heís got a weak bat at an offensive-critical position. Thatís a bad mix no matter how you slice it.
Coming off a .252/.309/.333, injury-plagued campaign, Erstad may find himself at first base this season. If his hamstring prevents him from stealing bases, there won't be much offensive upside for the soon-to-be 30-year old outfielder who has only hit more than twenty home runs once in his career. If healthy, .270 with 80 runs and 25-30 steals is the ceiling.
Erstad improved slightly last season over his 2001 numbers, but his stats were still down from his 2000 season in which he led the league in hits and had 25 HR and 100 RBI. It's too early to say his career has hit a plateau, but he doesn't seem to be a candidate to get past the 10 homer, 80 RBI, .280 average marks in 2003. Those numbers are still good and he is a nice threat to steal 20-plus bases, score 90-plus runs and have 25-plus doubles. Monitor his recovery from off-season surgery on a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He is expected to be ready for spring training.