Nick Punto
Nick Punto
41-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Nick Punto in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Agreed to a one-year contract with the A's in November of 2013. The deal includes a vesting option for 2015.
2BFree Agent  
February 18, 2016
Punto has decided to retire, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
The 38-year-old Punto didn't play in 2015 and it was essentially assumed that he'd retired. He was infamously punchless in the batter's box, but few have played a better second base in recent memory.
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Punto was signed by the A's in the offseason to provide some infield depth, but unfortunately, he also gave them his worst offensive season in many years. He only hit .207 on the year with a .589 OPS, providing very little power or speed. Punto has never had any pop, but his meager average combined with an OBP under .300 was definitely disappointing. He missed a month of the season with a hamstring injury, which contributed to his limited workload, as he received just 198 at-bats. Punto announced in February that he will not play in 2015, but he has not officially retired.
Punto performed as expected for the Dodgers, batting .255/.328/.327 while seeing at least 33 games at three different infield positions (save first base). With no power and little speed, Punto's fantasy value is regulated to the very deepest of leagues. He'll take his solid glove to Oakland this year to fill a similar role with the A's, where a part-time platoon arrangement is likely on tap, although the A's may be able to afford him a brief run as a regular at second base given their lack of an established option at the keystone.
Punto was 10-for-35 with the Dodgers after coming over in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, but overall it was a dismal year for the utility player - .219/.321/.281. Punto can steal a base now and then, but he offers zero power and in three of the past four seasons he's hit .238 or less. He's signed through 2013, so he'll likely return to the Dodgers as a utility man, but he shouldn't be on your fantasy roster.
Punto was a good soldier in his first year with the Cardinals, playing at three infield positions and pinch-hitting 15 times. His 63 games and 133 at-bats were his fewest since 2004, but that could be because of three different stints on the DL, all for different ailments, and that doesn't even include the elbow injury that was miraculously cured when Punto purposely threw the ball as hard as he could. He's in the twilight of his career, but his lack of power and speed didn't stop the Red Sox from signing him to a two-year deal in December after Jed Lowrie was shipped to Houston. He's still seen as a plus fielder at three different infield positions.
Punto began last season as Minnesota's starting third baseman, but moved to a utility role as he struggled at the plate and spent significant time on the DL with hip and hamstring injuries. He's actually improved his walk rate the past two seasons, but it hasn't helped him increase his batting average and his lack of power hurts his chances to win a starting job. He's best suited for a utility role since he's seen as a premium defender at three positions. He offers steals for fantasy purposes, but carries batting average risk if he's given significant at-bats. He'll likely have a utility role with the Cardinals, but could win a starting role at some point given that no one in the infield - other than Albert Pujols of course - has a lock on an everyday job.
Punto began last season as Minnesota's starting shortstop, but lost the job amid a regression at the plate - only later to emerge as the team's starting second baseman. Although his batting average was an ugly .228, there are some reasons to think he can turn things around. His batting average on balls in play was just .281. A similar low BABIP plagued him in 2007 and he bounced back in 2008 at the plate when he got more luck. Punto also took a career-high 67 walks last year and significantly improved his eye at the plate. He'll enter 2010 as either the starter or in a platoon at third base, but may be best suited for a utility role since he's seen as a premium defender at three positions. However he's used, he offers steals for fantasy purposes, but carries batting average risk if he's given significant at bats.
Punto rebounded from one of the worst seasons at the plate in major league history in 2007 to take over the starting shortstop job and nearly duplicate his 2006 breakout season at the plate. Punto barely avoided becoming just the fifth player in 32 years to qualify for the batting title and hit below .200 in 2007, but last year cut down on his strikeouts and showed a lot more power. In retrospect, his poor 2007 season may have had as much to do with bad luck on balls in play (a .257 average on balls in play, almost 50 points below his career average). He started the year in a utility role, but ended the season as the starting shortstop. He may be best suited for a utility role, however, since he's seen as a premium defender at three positions and would be less of a potential liability at the plate. He'll offer steals as Minnesota's starting shortstop, but carries significant batting average risk.
Punto will move back to a utility role with the Twins this season after he showed his 2006 breakout season as a starter at third base was likely a fluke. He barely avoided becoming just the fifth player in 32 years to qualify for the batting title and hit below .200 as the Twins somehow kept giving him playing time despite his troubles at the plate. While he played with a slightly strained oblique muscle after June, Punto fell back into old habits at the plate by failing to take pitches and swinging too often (a career-high 90 strikeouts). Punto's real value is with his glove, as he's seen as a premium defender at three infield positions. His speed does give him fantasy value in a reserve role, but beware of his batting average risk if he lands regular playing time.
Punto had a breakout season and enters 2007 as the everyday third baseman for the Twins. He changed his approach at the plate in spring training after working with Rod Carew, focusing on taking more pitches and making better contact. It paid off with a career-high OBP and drop in strikeouts. He also played solid defense at third base, a position that had been a problem for Minnesota since Corey Koskie left town. However, there are some reasons to think he may not be able to duplicate his numbers. His OBP declined in the second half (.383 before the break, .332 after) and he hit lefties (.797 OPS) better than righties (.685 OPS). He could be platooned at third base if he has any setbacks at the plate. However, his fantasy value is boosted by his speed on the basepaths and that he'll qualify at shortstop, third base and possibly second base in many leagues.
Punto can't shake off his injury-prone label as he missed 50 games with hamstring, thumb and calf injuries. With the trade for Luis Castillo, Punto should be used in utility role after he was used at times last season as the everyday starter at second base. While his playing time will decrease, the Twins did show more confidence in his base-stealing abilities late last season as he stole eight bases the final two months once he was fully healthy. He could provide cheap steals in a utility role as a result.
Punto will be Minnesota's primary utility infielder with an outside chance to contend for a starting job at second base or shortstop this spring. Punto missed the final two months of the season with a broken collarbone, but is expected to be ready this spring. He could be a source of cheap steals if he wins significant playing time.
Punto got a chance to start with the injuries to Placido Polanco, David Bell and Tomas Perez. Traded to the Twins in the Eric Milton deal, he likely has a shorter path to playing time, backing up Cristian Guzman and Luis Rivas.
Punto, 25, saw most of his action at Class AAA Scranton in 2002, hitting .271 in 443 AB while stealing 42 bases. Punto has had a couple of stints with the big league club, but never sees enough time to make his speed work for him. He may hang with the Phillies as a pinch-hitter and runner.
More Fantasy News
2BArizona Diamondbacks  
February 20, 2015
Punto will not be at Diamondbacks camp and won't play this season, Jody Jackson of Fox Sports Arizona reports.
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2BArizona Diamondbacks  
January 7, 2015
Punto agreed to terms on a contract with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.
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2BFree Agent  
December 19, 2014
Punto was released by the A's on Friday, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
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2BOakland Athletics  
September 27, 2014
Punto was removed from the lineup for Saturday's game against the Rangers, according to MLB.com's Jane Lee.
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2BOakland Athletics  
September 11, 2014
Punto could be a candidate to start at second base Friday, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports.
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