44-Year-Old Designated Hitter – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ken Griffey Jr. in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Ken Griffey Jr. Contract Information:
Agreed to a one-year contract with the Mariners in November of 2009.
Griffey officially announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon, the Seattle Times reports.
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Ken Griffey Jr.: MLB Games Played By Position
Ken Griffey Jr. Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Ken Griffey Jr.: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Ken Griffey Jr..
Griffey returns for another ride on the nostalgia train. By all accounts, it was a rip-roaring trip last season – just ask his tickle partner, Ichiro – and he even had a decent showing in the power department – 19 home runs in 387 at-bats (homering nearly once in every 20 at-bats). His .214 batting average was by far a career low, and his .735 OPS ranked ninth among DHs, but, nostalgia being what it is, no one seemed to mind. The Mariners say he'll have a reduced role this season, which, considering he was mostly limited to a left-handed DH platoon last year, likely means he'll spend most of his time as a pinch-hitter/clubhouse mascot this season.
Junior's huge 2007 season opened up the possibility of a run at 700 home runs. Last year, though, featured the second-lowest SLG and ISO of his career, and coupled with the loss of his speed and most of his defensive value, puts his future in question. The error bars on that projection are very wide; Griffey could pop 25 homers in part-time play, or he could retire.
Since his trade to the Reds before the 2000 season, Griffey hasn't played in more than 145 games in any given season. He came close last year, making it to 144 before an abdominal/groin injury shut him down in the middle of September. Before the injury, Griffey was putting together a nice season, even regaining the walk rate he had lost the previous season. Health will always be an issue, and the likelihood of decline at his age (38) is pretty high. Still, you could do worse if looking for someone to provide you 20-30 homers.
Griffey has only topped 120 games played once in his last five seasons, and ended last year out of commission with a dislocated toe, after missing a significant chunk of games earlier with a quadriceps strain. It's the latter injury that's representative of his recent travails, a nagging muscle strain that's often worse than first diagnosed. Once on the field, Griffey maintained his power, but at the expense of his batting eye such that he posted a career-low .316 OBP. So while he'll have his fantasy uses, he'll also have his significant fantasy flaws: durability, hitting for average, and no more stolen bases. Also watch a broken hand he suffered in the offseason, although he is expected to be ready this spring.
Although Griffey missed most of September with a foot tendon injury, he surprised most observers by not having a recurrence with hamstring injury and others by hitting for power. All this came despite having just one homer in April and two in September. At age 36, the likelihood of both injury and decline are better than average, but our outlook for once is no longer excessively pessimistic.
Another year, another set of devastating injuries for Griffey. Although the severity of Griffey's season-ending hamstring was surprising for such an innocuous play, the mere fact that he hurt his hamstring should come as a surprise to nobody. He's had various hamstring issues ever since arriving in the Queen City, and the smart money is betting he'll have more of the same in 2005.
Griffey has now missed 269 games in his four years with the Reds, with 2003 being his worst in terms of games missed. Sadly enough for the Reds, Griffey was just starting to turn it around before he suffered his season-ending ankle injury, homering in five consecutive games before getting hurt two games later. Overall, his .566 slugging percentage in 166 at-bats was his highest in four years with the Reds. Griffey especially was helped by the new ballpark, slugging .645 in the Great American Ballpark.
While Griffey's health issues are an obvious concern, his declining power numbers are also cause for worry. Griffey's slugging percentage has dropped in five consecutive seasons since his peak year in 1997, when he slugged .646. That trend should be halted in 2003, but only because it dropped so low (.426) due mostly to his assorted injuries. Early reports suggest that the Great American Ballpark will have a short porch in right field, which will help mask his decline, but even an optimistic projection for Griffey shouldn't have him topping 35 homers.