FanPost

Chris Carter: Stud or Dud?

Chris Carter was drafted in the 15th round of the 2005 MLB amateur draft, by the Chicago White Sox. In December of 2007, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and then less than 2 weeks later he was traded to the Oakland A's. He has been watched closely by prospect buffs ever since he hit 39 HR, at Stockton, in 2008. Ever since his MLB debut on August 9, 2010, many have been waiting for his "breakout" in the majors. With his trade to the Houston Astros on Feb. 4, 2013, many (including myself), thought that the breakout was imminent. After all, the Astros were going to give him a full season of At Bats, and Minute Maid Park is a good park for right handed power hitters, with it's 315 foot left field porch. I had him on my dynasty fantasy team, and I was salivating with anticipation of the big things to come. But things didn't quite work out as I expected. Chris hit .223, with 29 HRs and an OPS of .770. Not exactly what I was hoping for! I was seriously considering dropping him from my fantasy roster, but then I noticed something. On the road he hit .279, with 19 HRs and an OPS of .925; but at home he hit .164, with 10 HRs and an OPS of .605. WOW!!!!! That is an EXTREME home/away split!!! He is a DUD at home, but a STUD on the road! Why? He had 285 Plate Appearances at home, and 300 on the road. To me that is just too many plate appearances for the home/away gap to be credited to pure chance. I've thought a lot about this, and the only explanation that seems reasonable to me is Carter's mental approach, while batting in Minute Maid Park. When he sees that left field wall sitting there at a mere 315 feet away, he must be unable to resist swinging for the fence, and MLB pitchers exploit that. This mental approach is something that is correctable, and I'm sure that the Astros are aware of it, and are probably working with him on it. Regardless, I am no longer considering dropping Chris, because I think he can overcome this problem. The worst case scenario is that I can use his home /away schedule to play him when he's on the road. After all, he's a STUD on the road! Plus, I'll get another season of watching that short, compact swing, hit mammoth shots. A true thing of beauty!



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