John Buck can start planning for nicer weather.
So the Florida Marlins made an early splash (miserable pun, sorry) in the free agency market and picked up All-Star John Buck to be their backstop. Rumors are swirling about length and money, but that's not the focus of this post. What will it mean to his fantasy value?
First, the good: .281/.314/.489 with 20 bombs and 66 RBI in just 118 games.
The bad: 2010 was a career year, across the board, in virtually every relevant offensive statistic. He's a career .243 hitter with a .421 SLG who turns 30 in July. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) was .335 and his career BABIP is .289. Even if he stayed put in Toronto, we could expect a precipitous drop in his batting average and a likely regression on his power numbers. As it stood, he was probably a .250/16/60 kind of guy going into the season (just spitballing here...)
The move to Florida will hurt his value even more. Rogers Centre actually favored right handed batters quite a bit. Taking a look at park impacts on home runs, Toronto was actually a 115, where 100 is considered average, for right handed batters. The stadium in Flordia, however, suppresses home runs for right handed hitters slightly, coming in at a 95 on the same scale.
Thus, Buck can expect to lose a few round trippers simply by playing in Florida.
I'm not sure many fantasy lists had Buck in the top 10, but this move probably puts him well back into the emergency-option-only category. If you're in an NL-only league, he probably cracks the top 10, but just barely.