Lance Niekro
39-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Lance Niekro in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Niekro signed a minor league contract with Atlanta in December of 2008.
PAtlanta Braves  
December 19, 2008
Niekro signed a minor league contract with Atlanta and will become a pitcher next season, the team's official web site reports.
ANALYSIS
The former first baseman throws a knuckleball like his former major league father, Joe, and Hall of Fame uncle, Phil. He's a long shot to reach the majors as a pitcher, but knuckleball pitchers usually have strange paths to the majors and he does have a strong pedigree to be successful with the difficult pitch.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
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.
More Fantasy News
PHouston Astros  
March 7, 2008
Niekro is "good to go" after fouling a ball off his left foot Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reports.
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PHouston Astros  
March 5, 2008
Niekro left Wednesday's game with a bruised left foot, the Astros' official site reports.
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Lance Niekro: Gets a Shot With Astros
PHouston Astros  
January 10, 2008
Niekro signed a minor league deal with an invite to spring training with the Astros on Wednesday, the team's official site reports.
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PSan Francisco Giants  
August 21, 2007
Niekro made his pro debut as a pitcher for Triple-A Fresno on Sunday, the Oakland Tribune reports.
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PSan Francisco Giants  
May 9, 2007
Niekro has been outrighted to Triple-A Fresno.
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