35-Year-Old Third Baseman – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Garrett Atkins in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Garrett Atkins Contract Information:
Received a non-roster invite to Pirates spring training in December 2010.
The Pirates have released Atkins, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
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Garrett Atkins: MLB Games Played By Position
Garrett Atkins Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Garrett Atkins: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Garrett Atkins.
Atkins' stock continued on the downward slide it's been on since the 2006 season, when he was considered by some to be one of the most well-rounded hitters in the National League. He took a back seat to Ian Stewart early in the season, and although Stewart's batting average was a mere two points higher than Atkins', the Rockies were eager to give Stewart enough at-bats to continue developing. Atkins was in line to spell Todd Helton at first base as Helton continued to recover from back surgery in the offseason, but Helton played more games than anyone anticipated, and at-bat opportunities became scarce. His price tag prevented the Rockies from being able to move him in a trade, resulting in the decision to non-tender him in December. He then signed with Baltimore where he'll likely win the third-base job and also get time at first base and DH. He'll add a needed right-handed power source to the Orioles' lineup, but his numbers will take a hit from leaving Coors Field, where he's hit .327/.385/.507 in his career compared to .252/.324/.411 on the road.
Atkins has been going backwards since his big 2006 season, a phenomenon hidden by his durability and the good runs totals and RBI counts his lineup position and ballpark generate. There's nothing about his offensive game to like except his home park, and a trade away from it would turn him into an afterthought considering his road OPS of .661 last year and .773 in 2007.
Atkins' 2007 season was a tale of two halves. He was one of the biggest disappointments during the first two months of the season - hitting .223 with only three home runs in 197 at-bats. However, he jumped into high gear when summer came around. After June 1, he batted .338 with 23 home runs and 91 RBI. His average at Coors Field continues to transcend his road average (.349 to .254). There have been whispers the Rockies could trade Atkins this winter to make room for third base prospect Ian Stewart. This is unlikely considering Atkins' reasonable salary, however a move away from the thin Colorado air would hurt his offensive production as the splits would indicate.
Despite an excellent rookie year in 2005, Atkins faced questions about his performance on the road, having hit .238/.301/.347 away from Coors. His 2006 was a different story. Atkins exceeded everyone's expectations, bashing 29 home runs while hitting a solid .313/.402/.531 on the road. At this time last year it was thought that Atkins was merely keeping a spot warm for hot prospect Ian Stewart, but now Atkins is one of the team's best hitters and Stewart will likely shift to the outfield. David Wright's stolen base ability keeps him atop NL fantasy third base lists, but Atkins isn't that far behind.
In 2005, Atkins led all rookies in RBI and OBP while placing in the top five in batting average, hits, doubles, slugging, and OPS. Thank you, Coors Field: he batted .339/.395/.508 with nine home runs at home and .238/.301/.347 with four homers on the road. With super-prospects Jeff Baker and Ian Stewart arriving down the stretch, Atkins must improve his road play to prevent losing at-bats.
At 25, Atkins is no longer a pup, and he's proven himself in the minors, hitting .368/.582/1.017 in 2004, albeit in the thin air of Colorado Springs. Unless he puts up similar numbers in Denver in 2005, his defense and power are limited enough that he could be forced out by super-prospects Jeff Baker and Ian Stewart as soon as 2006. He's worth a mid-round pick in deeper leagues since he plays half his games at Coors Field, but he's one of those tentative starters who can do more to hurt his cause for playing time than to help it.
After struggling with the glove following an early-August call-up, Atkins finished the season with a 2-for-22 slump, putting the finishing touches on a less than impressive cup of coffee in Colorado. Despite the struggles, Atkins still projects to be a more than adequate third baseman in the majors. He has shown the ability to sufficiently handle minor league pitching, hitting plenty of doubles and compiling a .297 avg. in 1226 minor league ABs. Atkins' future in the majors was pushed back following the signing of Vinny Castilla by the Rockies.
Atkins might get a shot to start at third this year. He still has some work to do to get to the major league level, but the Rockies are hurting on the corner. Atkins will be competing for a job this spring, and could put up decent numbers if he wins the job. Still, it's a pretty good stretch to think that Atkins will be a major fantasy force this year.