Lance Berkman
Lance Berkman
43-Year-Old First Baseman1B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Lance Berkman in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Rangers in January 2013.
Lance Berkman: Retiring From Baseball
1BFree Agent  
January 29, 2014
Berkman has decided to retire from baseball, MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Injuries limited Berkman to just 105 games over his last two seasons, and though he considered playing in 2014, he ultimately decided he was no longer in physical condition to do so. When he was healthy, however, Berkman was one of the top hitters in baseball. He will finish his 15-year big league career with a .293/.406/.537 slash line, 366 home runs, and 1,234 RBI in 1,879 career games.
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2003
Texas' investment in Berkman failed to pay off, as the veteran struggled with injuries all year after a productive April (.319/.449/.486) and logged just 12 second-half at-bats. He's a free agent as a result of the Rangers declining to pick up the option on his contract, and there's a pretty good chance that he'll retire with a highly-productive career already in the books.
It looked like the end of the road was near for The Big Puma, but then Texas threw him a $10 million life-line in January, so he's back for at least one more major league season. After a nice comeback year in 2011, the bottom fell out in 2012, as one injury after another (knee, calf) limited Berkman to just 81 at-bats. He's struggled against lefties for years, and he'll be an old 37 on Opening Day. But Berkman will be almost exclusively a DH in 2013, so it's possible the lack of defensive duties helps him stay healthy and turn in a nice statistical season.
Berkman looked just about done this time last year, but it's safe to say that reports of his demise were exaggerated. While he couldn't keep up his red-hot start, it's important to note that he surpassed an .850 OPS in each month of the season. Of course his OBP was driving the OPS late in the season, as he hit just seven of his 31 home runs after the All-Star break. He had an .804 OPS against southpaws last year (after posting an abysmal .517 figure in 2010), which indicates he doesn't need to platoon. He might still wear down in 2012, but he should still be good for 130-140 games of above-average hitting, and a move back to first base should help his chances of remaining healthy.
Berkman returns to the NL Central this season after spending the latter half of 2010 with the Yankees. His stint in the Bronx was largely a disappointment, as both his OBP (.358) and SLG (.349) were lower marks than he had posted in any of his previous 10 seasons as a full-time big leaguer. The evaporation of his home-run power was particularly troubling, as just 2.7 percent of his flyballs cleared the fence, a remarkable decline from his 14.7 percent career average. Considering his age and health issues, that is a legitimate cause for concern. Now in St. Louis, Berkman is penciled in to serve as the Cards' everyday left fielder.
Berkman slumped miserably through the first two months of the season, hitting just .162 at the end of April and .230 on the last day of May. Just as he began to find his stroke, a calf injury knocked him out for a month. By season's end, he showed he was the same old Berkman we've come to know and love -- solid OPS, nearly 100 walks, a handful of steals from the corner-infield slot. He'll begin the 2010 season at age 34, which is officially "over the hill" in baseball years. When healthy, he'll continue to rake -- but with the Astros rebuilding, expect run and RBI totals more like 2009 than 2008.
Berkman got off to the hottest start of his career in 2008 and although he slowed down as the year went on, he was the Astros’ most consistent offensive threat and ended up with great overall production. He hit .312/.420/.567 with 29 homers, 106 RBI and career highs in runs (114) and steals (18). Don’t expect him to repeat the steals, but if you draft Berkman, you can put 30 homers and 100 RBI in the bank. He remains in the top tier of first basemen, just behind the elite options.
Berkman had a down year by his standards, posting his worst batting average (.278), OBP (.386), SLG (.510) and doubles (24) since becoming a regular starter, while striking out a career-high 125 times. Still, he hit 34 homers and drove in 102 runs, and finished strong after hitting just .244 in April and May. Despite last season's struggles, he still projects as one of the top fantasy first basemen for 2008, especially when you take into account the number of upgrades that the Houston front office has made to the lineup in front of him during the offseason.
Berkman had a career-year in 2006, hitting .315/.420/.621 with 45 homers and 136 RBI. The only flaw in his game is his significant platoon split - his OPS was 350 points higher from the left-hand side last year, a split consistent with his career numbers. He'll likely only play first base this year, and is a top-20 fantasy player.
He started slow, coming back too quickly from offseason knee surgery. He hit .291/.419/.575 after the break, which is about his level. Steals are a thing of the past, and he'll be a first baseman by 2007. Top 15 NL guy.
Berkman tore his right ACL playing a flag football game in November. He's optimistic that he'll be able to return by Opening Day, but team doctors are suggesting mid-May is a more likely return date. Berkman sharpened his batting eye in 2004, with the result being more walks and a better batting average. He won't likely replicate his 42-homer season in 2002, but he's a steady source of production in four categories.
Berkman carries a pretty big platoon split, slugging 90 points lower as a right-handed batter (.444) than as a lefty (.534) in 2003, and 190 points lower for his career. Elbow and wrist injuries severely curtailed his power last season, and injuries in general for Berkman are a cause for concern going forward.
Berkman avoided the late season collapse that plagued him in 2001, and turned some of his doubles into homers. Health willing, 2003 should be another season of growth for him.
More Fantasy News
1BFree Agent  
November 21, 2013
Berkman is leaning towards retirement, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
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1BFree Agent  
October 31, 2013
The Rangers will not exercise Berkman's option for 2014, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
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1BTexas Rangers  
September 16, 2013
Berkman is in the lineup Monday at designated hitter against the Rays, FOX Sports Southwest reports.
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1BTexas Rangers  
September 15, 2013
Berkman has been scratched from Sunday's lineup.
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1BTexas Rangers  
September 15, 2013
Berkman will serve as the designated hitter Sunday against the A's, FOX Sports Southwest's Anthony Andro reports.
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