Moreland, Dunn poised to rebound from disappointing 2011 seasons
Last week we looked at the breakout and/or bounce back candidates on
Moreland plays in one of the league's best parks for hitters. In addition, the Rangers feature a potent lineup from one through nine. No matter where he hits, he'll have ample RBI opportunities. The team's pursuit of Prince Fielder seems to have lit a fire under Moreland, who is just entering his age-26 season. Finally, Moreland dealt with a right wrist issue the entire second half of the season, during which he hit .241/.300/.367 in 199 at-bats after hitting .272/.334/.449 before the All-Star break. Moreland is completely under the radar, offering a super-cheap option in drafts.
As for Paulino, injuries kept him from fulfilling his promise in Houston. But last year he stayed mostly healthy, making 20 starts and 39 appearances. He posted 8.59 K/9 across 139.1 innings with a respectable 3.69 FIP. In addition, he gave up the fewest fly balls as a percentage of total balls put in play last year, while also inducing his highest proportion of pop-ups. He should spot start in Kansas City's rotation, especially given his strong spring, and has a better defense behind him than he has had at any point in his career. He has always been able to miss bats, but last year's numbers give fantasy owners reason to expect him to force more weak contact from hitters.
Having said that, Johnson was incredibly unlucky last year. He posted a .277 BABIP, which contributed to a .222/.304/.413 line. However, his line-drive rate remained flat at 20.4 percent from the previous year, while he hit fewer ground balls and had a negligible increase in pop-ups. Yet in 2010, Johnson hit .284/.370/.496. So what happened in '11? Simply put, Johnson was unlucky. He still hit 21 homers and swiped 16 bags from the second base position, giving owners above-average production in both those categories. Don't be fooled by Johnson's seemingly poor numbers last year. He's still a quality fantasy starter.