Is Chris Carter A Keeper?

By Jim Higgins / February 10, 2017

Along with fellow DH/1B Mike Napoli, Chris Carter finally brought his free agency to an end this week by agreeing to a contract with the New York Yankees.

I imagine the wait this winter had to be longer than expected given that Carter is in his power prime and just hit 41 HR last season but his history of low averages and high K% probably had a negative effect on his value.

In any case, Carter is an intriguing addition for the Yankees and one of those “do I or don’t I” decisions for fantasy owners.

In an effort to give my write up some context, I’m including last year’s relevant stats and skills profile, along with Carter’s career averages in those categories*. The idea here is to see how last year’s results compare to a typical season from Carter.

As always, please leave any comments, questions or player requests in the comment section. It’s great to be back.

PA R HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG BB% K% SB% BABIP HR/FB%
2016 644 84 41 94 3 .222 .321 .499 11.8% 32.0% 75% .260 18.8%
162Game Avg. 623 74 35 88 3 .218 .314 .463 11.6% 33.1% 75% .256 17.9%


Age:
30

Player Grade: C**

Case for Carter: No one can deny that Carter has power – and plenty of it. Carter took advantage of a career-high in PT to hit 41 HR last season and he should be able to repeat the power display with his move to New York, as long as he gets the PT. Power is a more plentiful commodity than it has been in the past but few players are hitting 40+ HR in a season.

Case against Carter: The power is nice but there are plenty of other options out there that won’t do the damage to your team’s BA that Carter can do. Even though he appears to be taking more walks and cutting down on K’s, Carter has never crossed the .230 mark while accruing a full season’s worth of PAs. Carter is OK to have on a squad that’s built to absorb the low BA but he’s not a guy you want to build with if you can avoid it.

Final thought: Carter is the type of player a rebuilder wants to flip and a contender wants to acquire midseason, as long as the results are there. He’s not worth tying up long term and he’s not worth using a ton of valuable resources on. Definitely make sure your team has a BA cushion before bringing him on board.

*All stats can be found online at baseball-reference.com.
**Player grades relate as follows:
A – Keeper in almost all formats
B – Keeper in most formats
C – Only a keeper for rebuilding teams or in dynasty leagues
D – Only keep if you are related to him
F – DANGER!! Do not keep under any circumstances

About the author

Jim Higgins

By day, Jim is a career and personal coach for teens and millennials. Also by day, Jim writes about fantasy baseball here at Keeper Experts. When not writing or coaching, Jim can be found working as a Swim Taxi for his four children.

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