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Fantasy baseball sleeper: No respect for Chris Carter?

Fantasy baseball sleeper: No respect for Chris Carter?

by Jamie Shoemaker | Posted on Saturday, February 16th, 2013
| 3718 baseball fanatics read this article
Image of Chris Carter carrying a bat at Houston Astros spring training camp.

Fantasy owners can expect Chris Carter to carry a big stick for the Astros in 2013. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle)

On February 4, the Houston Astros sent shortstop Jed Lowrie to the Oakland Athletics. Most fans knew Lowrie’s time was limited in Houston, but what they might not know is they received a potential star in return.  Chris Carter (AKA Vernon Christopher Carter) came along with a few prospects back to Houston. I’m not going to lie, like most, I saw the trade and thought “eh.” We all moved on with our lives and probably never realized the impact this trade could have this season in fantasy baseball. (Speaking of fantasy baseball, sign up for TTFB’s free fanstasy contest — the winner gets $20! But, I digress.)

In case you’re up for MLB betting (click here) at Top Bet, they have a few unique things going where you can bet on the first five innings, but they aren’t limited to just Baseball for those that want to pursue other sports.

So, who is this Chris Carter you speak of? I’m glad you asked.

Carter was drafted in 2005 by the Chicago White Sox in the 15th round. In 2007, he was traded to the Arizona Diamonbacks for Carlos Quentin. Eleven days later, the Diamondbacks sent him to Oakland in a massive eight-player deal that featured Dan Haren and Carlos Gonzalez (CarGo). And just recently, he shipped to the Astros. He’s obviously thought highly of, as he’s been a part of big trades featuring star players. He’s a former top MLB prospect that Baseball America placed at #76 in 2009, #28 in 2010 and #91 in 2011. Let’s examine his minor league stats:

Year Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
2005 Bristol APPY Rk CHW 65 262 233 33 66 17 0 10 37 2 17 64 .283 .350 .485
2006 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A CHW 82 346 297 41 81 24 1 16 64 4 39 87 .273 .373 .522
2007 Kannapolis SALL A CHW 126 545 467 84 136 27 3 25 93 3 67 112 .291 .383 .522
2008 Stockton CALL A+ OAK 137 596 506 101 131 32 4 39 104 4 77 156 .259 .361 .569
2009 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA OAK 138 651 544 115 179 43 2 28 115 13 85 133 .329 .422 .570
2010 Sacramento PCL AAA OAK 125 551 465 92 120 29 2 31 94 1 73 138 .258 .365 .529
2011 2 Teams 2 Lgs AAA-A+ OAK 81 372 320 58 89 18 2 21 79 5 46 93 .278 .371 .544
2012 Sacramento PCL AAA OAK 72 324 276 48 77 19 1 12 53 5 38 74 .279 .367 .486
8 Seasons 826 3647 3108 572 879 209 15 182 639 37 442 857 .283 .378 .535
AAA (4 seasons) AAA 285 1277 1091 202 292 68 5 65 233 11 156 311 .268 .363 .518

Why wasn’t this guy up sooner? In 2009, between double-A and triple-A, he clubbed 43 doubles, 28 home runs, 115 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and batted .329. What am I missing here? He’s at least better than someone on that Oakland team …

He played in 24 games in 2010, 15 games in 2011, and finally got in 67 games in 2012. That’s it, 67 games. But in those 67 games, he batted .239/.350/.514 with 16 home runs and 39 runs batted in. Not too shabby for only 67 games. Carter is a classic power hitter; he’ll swing for the fences or die trying. He plays first base, and from what I hear, he’ll play some outfield and DH for the new American League team. Three-position versatility makes him that much better for fantasy baseball. My prediction for a full season:

High: .265/.360/.533 with 40 home runs, 94 runs batted in, 35 doubles, 185 strikeouts.
Low: .240/.352/.524 with 35 home runs, 75 runs batted in, 35 doubles, 220 strikeouts.

Those are full-season predictions. I believe the Astros will give him the shot he deserves. He very well may hit 40 home runs, even in a down season. He has tremendous power, and expect him to hit in the middle of the order. If your league doesn’t count strikeouts against you, he’s a great pickup that you’ll find low on the draft boards.

Post By Jamie Shoemaker (119 Posts)

Jamie founded Through The Fence Baseball and is the President & CEO of Through The Fence Sports Corp. He also covers the Atlanta Braves with his column, Braves' March. In addition, Jamie also covers fantasy baseball and baseball rumors. Any questions, email him at throughthefencebaseball@gmail.com

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