34-Year-Old Shortstop – Minnesota Twins
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Bartlett will try to win a spot on the big league roster as a utility player after taking the 2013 season off due to a knee injury....
Jason Bartlett Contract Information:
Signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training with the Twins in November of 2013.
Bartlett played second base, going 0-for-2 in Saturday's spring training game, and also got in some work in the outfield as he attempts to make the Twins as a utility player, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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Jason Bartlett: MLB Games Played By Position
Jason Bartlett Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Minnesota Twins Roster
MajorsArcia, Oswaldo (OF)
AAADean, Pat (P)
AABaxendale, D.J. (P)
A+Buxton, Byron (OF)
ABerrios, Jose (P)
RookieBard, Luke (P)
Career Batter vs. Pitcher Stats (View All Matchup Data)
Best Matchups for Jason Bartlett (by OPS, min 8 AB)
Worst Matchups for Jason Bartlett (by OPS, min 8 AB)
Jason Bartlett: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
While Bartlett showed a slight resurgence in speed, posting 23 steals in 2011, his overall production took a hit during his first year in San Diego. He continued to make decent contact at the plate, but it certainly wasn't solid contact as evidenced by his 51.2 percent groundball rate and woeful .308 OBP. He's shown decent plate discipline in the past, but with a steadily declining contact rate and decreasing walk rate, there doesn't seem to be much improvement on the horizon. It seems that 2009 was the peak and it's been downhill since.
After posting a career year in 2009 by hitting .320 with 14 home runs and 30 steals, Bartlett came back to reality in 2010. He showed what he really is: a solid defender with above average speed and below average power. Bartlett hit only four home runs and swiped 11 bags, a considerable dropoff from the previous season. The Padres acquired him from the Rays in December to become their everyday shortstop. The move to Petco Park will sap the aforementioned limited power, but he should continue to receive the green light on the basepaths with his new club.
After Ben Zobrist, Bartlett was the biggest surprise for the Rays, posting a career year across the board. He finished seventh in the AL for batting average (.320) and stolen bases (30) while flashing some surprising power with 14 home runs. A career-high .368 BABIP suggests that he probably won't be hitting .320 again this year. He could possibly lead off (a career-high .383 OBA in 2009) after seeing 218 at-bats there for an ineffective B.J. Upton last season. Bartlett should be considered a top second-tier shortstop who should be drafted for his speed; take any power numbers as a bonus.
While Bartlett gained 21 points in batting average from 2007, he actually lost 10 points of OPS (all in on-base average) in the bargain, so that increase in BA is probably a bit of a fluke. Bartlett had a huge lefty-righty split in 2008 (.379 with a .919 OPS versus lefties, .248 with a .597 OPS against righties), so we'll see if the Rays consider him as a leadoff option against lefties in 2009.
Bartlett will be the starting shortstop for Tampa Bay after he was included in the Matt Garza-Delmon Young deal this offseason. Bartlett took a step back at the plate in his second full season in the majors as both his OBA and SLG declined. However, Bartlett struggled with a shoulder injury during much of the year and it was especially troublesome early in the season. A cortisone shot in July made the injury less of a problem and he hit .277/.343/.405 after the All-Star break, which is more in line with his 2006 breakout season. He had a major-league high 26 errors at shortstop last season, but has outstanding range (his plus/minus factor from the Fielding Bible is second best in the majors the last three seasons). His primary fantasy value is with his speed as he stole 23 bases last season and that should continue with the run-happy Rays. The only worry with his move to Tampa Bay is the looming presence of top shortstop prospect Reid Brignac at Triple-A.
The Twins inexplicably chose weak-hitting Juan Castro to open the season as the starting shortstop and sent Bartlett to the minors despite talk all winter he would be given the job. Bartlett kept raking in the minors and made the most of his opportunity when given a second chance at the majors in June. He has a strong eye at the plate and speed on the base paths. His defense, which was a concern in 2005, was seen as an asset last season, so he should have strong job security even if his batting average dips from last year's heights.
Barlett won the starting shortstop job out of spring training last season but struggled initially and was sent down in May. In August after the Twins had faded from the playoff race, Bartlett was recalled and settled into the starting job but his numbers at the plate didn't take off. He hit well in Triple-A (.332/.405/.459) in the interim and has shown good plate discipline with decent power in the minors. He should emerge with the starting shortstop job one again this year and could produce solid numbers with more confidence in the role. His fantasy value is also boosted by decent speed on the basepaths.
Bartlett will get a chance this spring to win the starting shortstop job for Minnesota. It's unclear if he's ready to play everyday, as Minnesota coaches are worried about his fielding. He made two errors in his first two major league games last season when called up and lost a chance to stick as a backup infielder. However, his bat proved potent again in the minors by hitting .332/.415/.468 at Triple-A Rochester. He'll likely open the season at Triple-A again, but it may not be long before he's the everyday starter with the Twins. He's a sleeper to grab as a result.
Bartlett is best middle infield prospect in the Twins system after hitting .296/.363/.425 at Double-A New Britain. He could get a look if injuries strike the Twins infield. He is recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot this offseason.