30-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Wladimir Balentien in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Wladimir Balentien Contract Information:
In December of 2012, Balentien signed a four-year, $7.5 million contract extension with the Yakult Swallows.
Balentien finished 2014 with 31 home runs, failing to lead his league in home runs for the first time in his four-year NPB career. Despite missing 32 games with injuries he still slashed .301/.419/.587.
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|2009 (Multiple Teams)||24||MAJ||SEA/CIN||96||295||265||30||62||25||17||1||7||24||2||1||28||70||0||2||0||.234||.305||.385||.690|
|Career (View All)||170||559||511||54||113||47||31||1||15||52||2||2||44||149||0||4||0||.221||.281||.374||.655|
Wladimir Balentien: MLB Games Played By Position
Wladimir Balentien Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|2009 (Multiple Teams)||24||MAJ||SEA/CIN||295||265||9.5%||23.7%||0.40||74%||.293||.151|
Wladimir Balentien: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Wladimir Balentien.
Balentien was looked at as a failed prospect in Seattle, and certainly his numbers there were awful. But arguably his irregular use there, a cumulative low sample size and a sprained ring finger that he played through while there in 2009 serve to mitigate his disappointing performance. Of course, his playing time in Cincinnati was also sporadic, as the Reds were sorting (and still are) through numerous left-field candidates. Nonetheless, his walk rate spiked back up to his minor league levels while with the Reds. He'll have to start fast to hold off prospect Chris Heisey. The Reds re-signing Jonny Gomes really hurt his chances of starting.
Balentien's promotion to the big league club last season proved what most feared: he can crush a fastball but is easily fooled by breaking pitches. Balentien struck out 79 times in 71 games in two stints in Seattle, drawing just 16 walks. He had 20 extra-base hits in that time, but his plate discipline continues to be an issue, and where he fits in the plans of the new front-office regime remains to be seen. Left field is open with Raul Ibanez out of the picture, but Balentien needs to hit to stay in the lineup, assuming the Mariners don't go another route altogether in the offseason.
Seattle's best prospect outside of Adam Jones, Balentien was named the Pacific Coast League rookie of the year last season after hitting .291 with 24 homers, 24 doubles and 84 RBI. He cut his strikeout rate from one in every 3.1 at-bats the previous two years to one every 4.5 at-bats last year. In his last three minor league seasons, Balentien averaged 28 doubles and 24 homers. Although a late-season callup netted him just three pinch-hit at-bats, he homered and doubled, driving in four runs. With Jones already slated for right field in 2008, general manager Bill Bavasi said he doesn't want to start the season with two youngsters in the outfield, which means Balentien is headed for Triple-A again. That's even if he's in the organization come April. The Mariners are in serious need of starting pitching, and Balentien is a prime trade chip.
No one doubts Balentien's muscle. He has some of the best raw power in the minors, hitting 22 homers and 23 doubles in 2006 to give him 47 homers and 61 doubles in the last two years. But he still has a problem with contact. After one strikeout every 3.0 AB at high-A Inland Empire in 2005, he whiffed once every 3.1 AB at Double-A San Antonio in 2006. Balentien shortened his swing to improve his contact rate, but it didn't seem to help as his average dropped to .230 last season. His batting eye improved, though, which is an encouraging sign. Balentien is only 22, so he still has time to figure it out as one of the organization's top 10 prospects.
Balentien has exceptional raw power (25 HR, .553 SLG at High-A Inland Empire), but his "swing from the heels" approach to hitting still worries scouts. His K-rate remains very high (160 strikeouts in 123 games last season), and doubts remain about his ability to handle breaking pitches and changeups against better pitchers. He kills fastballs, but still struggles against other stuff. Double-A will be the true test of his prospect status in 2006.
Balentien is the top power prospect in the Mariners system. He needs to cut down on his strikeouts, though, since he averages a strikeout every 3.3 at-bats. He's a player to keep an eye on as he works his way up the organizational ladder, but don't expect him in Seattle anytime soon.