Opportunity Seekers: Logan Forsythe
On Monday, we discussed San Diego’s Padres second/third baseman prospect Jedd Gyorko and what he could bring to the fantasy table if he could earn the full-time starting job at the keystone. Today we’re going to take a look at another kind of opportunity seeker, and perfectly enough for our purposes we’ll stay in San Diego and at second base and look at Gyorko’s primary competition: Logan Forsythe.
Forsythe first appeared in the majors in 2011, but with a 62 OPS+, he deservedly received no attention. 2012 showed signs of life however. He appeared in 91 games, wracking up 350 plate appearances and recording a .273/.343/.390 slash line. That line isn’t going to blow any away, but as a 25-year old with room for a little growth, it’s serviceable in a deep dynasty league.
Before we get to what Forsythe could do if he claims the starting job, it’s fair to wonder exactly why he would even have the chance after Gyorko began Spring Training with a grand slam. I ran through those reasons in my opening post last week:
If Gyorko is better than Logan Forsythe or Alexi Amarista, why wouldn’t the Padres hand him the reins at 2B? The answer is a complicated mess that includes both good and bad decision making. Things like:
- Delaying his free agent status by a year
- Avoiding Super-2 status
- Giving him more seasoning
- Allowing the team to hold onto another player until the prospect is deemed ready
OK, now that we have some good reasons why Forsythe could walk away with this job even if he doesn’t light Peoria on fire, let’s see what he could do if given that opportunity.
Drafted in the supplemental first round in 2008 and ranked as high as the Friars #5 prospect per Baseball America after 2009, Forsythe comes with pedigree. His tools aren’t loud but he’s competent in all areas. His best attribute might be his lack of a fatal weakness. He comes to the plate with a sharp eye, with a BB% in the teens in every minor league season and at every level. That hasn’t translated in his short time in the majors, but he still walked at an acceptable 8% clip in 2012. Forsythe has shown only gap power in the minors but the ball shows some carry off his bat and he was projected to hit for 12-15 home runs as recently as 2010 per BA. His slugging was an anemic .390 in 2012, but he did hit 6 home runs in 350 plate appearances which would get him to double digits (or close) over a full season’s at-bats. Defensively, Forsythe has the range and arm to man the position. For our purposes, it’s important to know that were the Padres to give the starting job to Gyorko, it would be a defensive downgrade from Forsythe.
If the Padres do go forward with Forsythe as their starting second baseman (and it’s my hunch* that they will), I expect him to produce adequately for a second baseman in deep leagues and would gladly carry him as a bench option. He won’t help you in power though he can clearly produce more in that category than he did in 2012, but he should hold down the fort everywhere else. He can even help in speed, as he swiped 8 bags in 2012. Prorated out to a full slate of at-bats you’re looking at potential double digit home runs and stolen bases to go with an average that will actually help you, given MLB’s .254 league average in 2012. We don’t have a ton of MLB data to go on, but given a solid performance last year and his history of strong performances and peripherals in the minors, Forsythe’s floor seems rather safe.
*Emphasis on hunch
The danger involved with Forsythe is that Gyorko likely will get a chance on the major league club at some point in 2013. The upside is that Forsythe has shown the ability to play shortstop and third base in addition to second and could continue to accrue at-bats in a utility role even if that does happen. Forsythe could be a useful piece at the end of a dynasty league bench for the first half of 2013, and if expectations are kept reasonable, I anticipate he’ll meet them quite easily.
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