32-Year-Old First Baseman – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Justin Huber in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Justin Huber Contract Information:
In December of 2009, Huber signed a one-year contract worth 40 million yen plus performance bonuses with the Hiroshima Carp.
Huber was released by Minnesota.
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Justin Huber: MLB Games Played By Position
Justin Huber Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Justin Huber: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Justin Huber.
Huber was hampered by a hamstring injury in 2007, causing him to play in just 77 Triple-A games before a September callup. He hit for decent power (18 home runs, 68 RBI) at Triple-A while moving to the outfield. Huber hits well, but the fact is that he is too low on the organizational depth chart and first base and in the outfield. He will be given a chance in spring training to earn a spot on the active roster, but it would be a surprise if he's not back in Triple-A or packaged in a deal to another team for middle-infield or relief-pitching help.
Huber was free falling from his lofty status of heir apparent to Mike Sweeney long before the Royals brought in Ryan Shealy, but Shealy's presence basically ended Huber's future in the Royals infield. Huber's defense was never strong at first, but after a call-up in May, manager Buddy Bell wouldn't even play him. Upon his return to Triple-A, Huber began seeing time in the outfield. While Shealy blocks Huber's future at first, guys like Mark Teahen, David DeJesus, Shane Costa, Billy Butler and others are in the mix in the outfield. The fact that Huber is ready now, at least offensively, could help him.
Huber moved comfortably from catcher to first base last season and tore up Double-A with an OPS of .994. Injuries to Mike Sweeney and Ken Harvey and inexplicable hitting from Calvin Pickering forced the Royals to bring up Huber to the majors in late May for a cup of coffee. He also joined the Royals in September. Neither trip showed much, but the Royals are very high on him and expect him to compete for the first base/designated hitter job on the big club. Some have compared Huber to a young Mike Sweeney, which either means he has a potent bat or is prone to debilitating injuries. The Royals hope it is the former.
A top prospect in the Mets organization, Huber was shipped out in a three-way deal involving Kris Benson. Injuries have slowed him, including knee surgery that ended his 2004 season, but Huber should be healthy by Spring Training. He’ll spend 2005 in Triple-A and then fight for a major-league job in 2006. Athletic and gifted behind the plate, Huber need only be patient at the plate to be an above-average catcher, offensively, in the big leagues.
Huber is advancing steadily up the ladder and projects to be the Mets starting catcher in 2005. He recovered from a strained pectoral muscle that bothered him the first month of the 2003 season and was promoted to Double-A midway through the year, holding his own at the plate and in the field. Huber is more advanced offensively at this point as defensively and needs to get more consistent with his footwork and mechanics behind the plate. His arm is borderline-average, especially when he gets out of whack mechanically. Huber could see a challenge from fellow prospect, Mike Jacobs, in the race to replace Mike Piazza as the Mets catcher. With the performance of Jason Phillips last season, the team will be patient with Huber to fully develop him before promoting him to the majors.
When the Mets finally move Piazza to first, Huber will be his heir apparent. He hit .291 with 11 HR and 78 RBI in just 330 at bats at Single-A Capital City, while turning just 20 years old. Toss in advanced defensive ability and you have a true breakthrough prospect. Huber initially struggled with his plate discipline, but turned it around over the second half, walking 29 times as opposed to 41 strikeouts. He'll probably begin the season in high Single-A, but could advance to Double-A quickly and arrive in the majors in 2004.