38-Year-Old First Baseman – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Texas' investment in Berkman failed to pay off, as the veteran struggled with injuries all year after a productive April (.319/.449/.486) and logged just 12 second-half at-bats. He's a free agent as a...
Lance Berkman Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Rangers in January 2013.
Berkman has decided to retire from baseball, MLB.com reports.
To instantly reveal our fantasy analysis of every player – including Lance Berkman – simply subscribe now.
|2010 (Multiple Teams)||34||MAJ||HOU/NYY||122||481||404||48||100||38||23||1||14||58||3||2||77||85||0||0||0||.248||.368||.413||.781|
|Career (View All)||1879||7,813||6,491||1,146||1,905||818||422||30||366||1,234||86||48||1,201||1,300||1||54||66||.293||.406||.537||.943|
Lance Berkman: MLB Games Played By Position
Lance Berkman Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|2010 (Multiple Teams)||34||MAJ||HOU/NYY||481||404||16%||17.7%||0.91||79%||.282||.165|
Lance Berkman: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
It looked like the end of the road was near for The Big Puma, but then Texas threw him a $10 million life-line in January, so he's back for at least one more major league season. After a nice comeback year in 2011, the bottom fell out in 2012, as one injury after another (knee, calf) limited Berkman to just 81 at-bats. He's struggled against lefties for years, and he'll be an old 37 on Opening Day. But Berkman will be almost exclusively a DH in 2013, so it's possible the lack of defensive duties helps him stay healthy and turn in a nice statistical season.
Berkman looked just about done this time last year, but it's safe to say that reports of his demise were exaggerated. While he couldn't keep up his red-hot start, it's important to note that he surpassed an .850 OPS in each month of the season. Of course his OBP was driving the OPS late in the season, as he hit just seven of his 31 home runs after the All-Star break. He had an .804 OPS against southpaws last year (after posting an abysmal .517 figure in 2010), which indicates he doesn't need to platoon. He might still wear down in 2012, but he should still be good for 130-140 games of above-average hitting, and a move back to first base should help his chances of remaining healthy.
Berkman returns to the NL Central this season after spending the latter half of 2010 with the Yankees. His stint in the Bronx was largely a disappointment, as both his OBP (.358) and SLG (.349) were lower marks than he had posted in any of his previous 10 seasons as a full-time big leaguer. The evaporation of his home-run power was particularly troubling, as just 2.7 percent of his flyballs cleared the fence, a remarkable decline from his 14.7 percent career average. Considering his age and health issues, that is a legitimate cause for concern. Now in St. Louis, Berkman is penciled in to serve as the Cards' everyday left fielder.
Berkman slumped miserably through the first two months of the season, hitting just .162 at the end of April and .230 on the last day of May. Just as he began to find his stroke, a calf injury knocked him out for a month. By season's end, he showed he was the same old Berkman we've come to know and love -- solid OPS, nearly 100 walks, a handful of steals from the corner-infield slot. He'll begin the 2010 season at age 34, which is officially "over the hill" in baseball years. When healthy, he'll continue to rake -- but with the Astros rebuilding, expect run and RBI totals more like 2009 than 2008.
Berkman got off to the hottest start of his career in 2008 and although he slowed down as the year went on, he was the Astrosí most consistent offensive threat and ended up with great overall production. He hit .312/.420/.567 with 29 homers, 106 RBI and career highs in runs (114) and steals (18). Donít expect him to repeat the steals, but if you draft Berkman, you can put 30 homers and 100 RBI in the bank. He remains in the top tier of first basemen, just behind the elite options.
Berkman had a down year by his standards, posting his worst batting average (.278), OBP (.386), SLG (.510) and doubles (24) since becoming a regular starter, while striking out a career-high 125 times. Still, he hit 34 homers and drove in 102 runs, and finished strong after hitting just .244 in April and May. Despite last season's struggles, he still projects as one of the top fantasy first basemen for 2008, especially when you take into account the number of upgrades that the Houston front office has made to the lineup in front of him during the offseason.
Berkman had a career-year in 2006, hitting .315/.420/.621 with 45 homers and 136 RBI. The only flaw in his game is his significant platoon split - his OPS was 350 points higher from the left-hand side last year, a split consistent with his career numbers. He'll likely only play first base this year, and is a top-20 fantasy player.
He started slow, coming back too quickly from offseason knee surgery. He hit .291/.419/.575 after the break, which is about his level. Steals are a thing of the past, and he'll be a first baseman by 2007. Top 15 NL guy.
Berkman tore his right ACL playing a flag football game in November. He's optimistic that he'll be able to return by Opening Day, but team doctors are suggesting mid-May is a more likely return date. Berkman sharpened his batting eye in 2004, with the result being more walks and a better batting average. He won't likely replicate his 42-homer season in 2002, but he's a steady source of production in four categories.
Berkman carries a pretty big platoon split, slugging 90 points lower as a right-handed batter (.444) than as a lefty (.534) in 2003, and 190 points lower for his career. Elbow and wrist injuries severely curtailed his power last season, and injuries in general for Berkman are a cause for concern going forward.
Berkman avoided the late season collapse that plagued him in 2001, and turned some of his doubles into homers. Health willing, 2003 should be another season of growth for him.