Key Stats: The rumors of Garrett Atkins leaving Coors Field have been prevalent throughout the offseason. Fantasy baseball players are the quickest to object to their home team acquiring Atkins. In 2007 the gap between home and road OPS was .163 and last year it increased to .243.
Skeptics Say: Even if he does stay in Coors Field, Atkins might not be a top option at the corners. For three straight seasons he has regressed in HR, RBI, and AVG.
Peer Comparison: MLB.com had Atkins ranked slightly worse than CBS. One reason for this is that CBS doesn’t list Miguel Cabrera at third base, but the other key difference is that MLB.com has listed Atkins below Ryan Zimmerman.
Zimmerman (24) is younger than Atkins (29), so a drop off can’t be happening as a result of age. Atkins plays in a hitter’s park and Zimmerman doesn’t. The main difference between the two players is that Atkins has hit his ceiling and Zimmerman probably hasn’t. Still, even if you take away last season when Atkins was clearly a better option the 2006 and 2007 seasons are evidence that Atkins is better for now.
Atkins: 54 HR 231 RBI .909 OPS
Zimmerman: 44 HR 201 RBI .804 OPS
Team Outlook: With Matt Holliday gone, Atkins could be moved to the number three spot in the order, but the two moves won’t just cancel out. Holliday will be missed by Atkins and the rest of the Rockies lineup. If Troy Tulowitzki is capable of putting together a bounce back season, it will ease the transition.
What They’re Saying: MLB.com: #14 First Baseman and #10 Third Baseman; CBS Sportsline: #13 First Baseman, #8 Third Baseman and #75 overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #69 Overall; Fox Sports: #6 Third Baseman; ESPN: #9 Third Baseman and #15 First Baseman; Yahoo: #11 First Baseman, #8 Third Baseman and #64 Overall
Projection: Atkins slowed down in the second half, but with a contract year he will stay consistent in 2009.
94R 25 HR 100 RBI 3 SB .290 AVG .845 OPS
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