34-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2013 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Lance Niekro in 2013. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Lance Niekro Contract Information:
Niekro signed a minor league contract with Atlanta in December of 2008.
Niekro signed a minor league contract with Atlanta and will become a pitcher next season, the team's official web site reports.
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Lance Niekro: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Lance Niekro.
Niekro was given every opportunity to take over as the Giants' full-time first basemen last year but failed miserably, hitting a weak .246/.286/.387. He also ceased being useful even in a platoon role, as his OPS against southpaws fell from 1.019 in 2005 to .696 last season. He did respond in the minors, blasting 14 homers in just 36 games at Triple-A Fresno. Still, San Francisco is unlikely to hand him a starting job anytime soon, so he may need a trade to get full playing time again. At this point, he best projects as a reserve.
He has legitimate power, but it's his only tool, and it's not enough. He'll be a decent fantasy player and a lousy one in real life. Niekro looks like he has a job at this writing, and could hit 25 home runs while being a replacement-level first baseman.
Niekro had an injury-plagued Triple-A season in 2004, but managed a .299/.339/.568 performance. The corner infield positions are murky in San Francisco in 2005 and he could follow the path of Pedro Feliz to assume a bench role this season.
Niekro hasn't hit for power since beating up a short-season league as a college draftee in 2000, the pro equivalent to letting Danny Almonte play in a tee-ball league. He's a marginal third baseman defensively, and would be completely worthless as a first baseman. He makes up for all that by missing at least 50 games a year to injury. No fantasy value until at least 2005.
Niekro went .310-4-34 at Double-A in 2002, then went .313-0-16 in 24 games in the Arizona Fall League, all at first base. Turned 23 last season, so he should be showing power by now if he's ever going to. Only 12 walks, combined, in almost 400 AB's last year. This is almost passable production as a third baseman, but it appears the Giants are now projecting him as a first baseman; with that low power profile, he'll need a plus-.400 OBP to be even close to adequate at first. Never say never, but we're not sure we can recommend him to you right now.