Colorado outfielder Charlie Blackmon had another productive season in 2019, as he swatted 32 home runs, scored 112 times, drove in 86 runs, and slashed a respectable .314/.364/.576. It marked the fourth straight season that he at least 29 home runs, scored 111 runs and hit .291. He’s also played in at least 140 games each of the past six seasons, and while his speed is declining the bat is still producing at a high rate. The decline is inevitable, as Blackmon is 33 years old, but his home park helps enhance some of the declining production. Blackmon is currently the 13th outfielder off the board per NFBC, and depending on where games are played this season, Blackmon either is a fair value, or overpriced. We’ll get into this later.

Let’s start with his speed, because this is the aspect of his game declining the most, and rapidly. Last year, his mark of 26.7 ft/s, per Baseball Savant, was the lowest of his career and came in at the 48th percentile. Take a look at the last few years, and outside of that 2017 season, it’s been a steady trend from an above average speedster to slightly below average.


Sprint Speed



27.9 ft/s



27.7 ft/s



28.2 ft/s



27.6 ft/s



26.7 ft/s


Courtesy of Baseball Savant

He swiped just two bags last year, and was caught five times. In last three years, he’s just 26-for-45 on the base paths. Blackmon was a big time fantasy asset because he was solid at the plate and had nice speed numbers to tack onto it. However, now Blackmon is just a productive bat with no speed, taking him out of a prolific tier of fantasy players.

Let’s talk about Blackmon at the plate. The first thing that’s worth shining light on is the fact that is average exit velocity is trending up, and has increased every season since 2015. His barrel rate was the second highest mark he posted in the past five seasons, and it was nice to see it rebound following a down 2018 season in terms of this metric.

These metrics are good, especially when half of his games are played in the game’s best park for hitters, but overall the numbers simply league average or slightly better. Just keep that in mind.

Also, Blackmon isn’t a guy to strike out a ton, but I think he could be in line for a slight increase in strikeout rate this year. I’ll let a graph explain it better than I can, but when you mix in chasing a bit more, making less contact, and whiffing more, it’s not exactly a recipe for success. We already saw his walk rate tumble last year down to 6.3 percent after it was north of eight percent the two prior seasons. Sure, his 6.3 percent walk rate is right near his career mark, but it’s the lowest number he’s posted since his 4.8 percent walk rate all the way back in 2014.

I’m not trying to be pessimistic here #FAmily, but whiffing more and making less contact typically doesn’t lead to a reduced strikeout rate from previous seasons, let alone his second-lowest mark in the past five seasons.

Okay, it’s time. Let’s talk splits. I’m worried about Blackmon’s production if Major League Baseball adopts the Florida/Arizona experiment for the 2020 season due to the Coronavirus. Hitting in Arizona would be okay, and less of a downgrade than Florida. However, Blackmon isn’t the same fantasy asset if you separate Blackmon’s home numbers from his road numbers. He hit .379 at home last year, and just .256 on the road. Yikes.

Now, it’s time for the fun part. I did this experiment with his teammate David Dahl , and it’s quite revealing. See for yourself below, if you take Blackmon’s numbers in some key metrics at home versus the road, and how they compare to other players in the league from the 2019 season.




Home wRC+


Alex Bregman (168)

Away wRC+


Adam Jones (87)

Home wOBA


Christian Yelich (.442)

Away wOBA


Adam Jones (87)

Home SLG%


Christian Yelich (.671)

Road SLG%


Amed Rosario (.432)

Blackmon is Christian Yelich at home, minus the steals, but Adam Jones on the road. Wow. That’s a pretty stark comparison. If Major League Baseball moves these teams around, Blackmon has a lot lose, and not really much to gain. Until we hear from the league what the plan is, there’s a lot of concern for Blackmon. At the simplest of mathematical calculations, if you double his numbers in road contest years from recent years, you get the following:

















Blackmon might hit third this year, which helps his RBI numbers. His runs scored should be fine, but steals will remain the same. He won’t run more hitting there. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Blackmon is going to run in 2020. Even if he does, he hasn’t had much success in recent seasons, so, if his success rate remains low, it’s not particularly encouraging.

To offset the losses from potentially not playing in Coors in 2020, he will need to keep that barrel rate around the eight percent mark and stay in the zone. The batting average will come down a bit, but he’s chasing more, and his zone contact rate is declining each year. That’s not particularly encouraging.

I’m worried about Blackmon being able to return adequate value on his current draft status as the 13th outfielder off the board. Again, he’s not running anymore, and his production away from Coors is significantly less than his numbers at home. If you want good offensive numbers with no steals, why take Blackmon when you can wait a round and grab Kris Bryant , Eloy Jiménez , or Giancarlo Stanton ? If you need speed, why not take a slight hit in power numbers, and grab Tommy Pham or Ramón Laureano ?

If Blackmon and the Colorado Rockies still play games at their home stadium in 2020, you have a better chance of selling me on Blackmon at his current price. With all of the uncertainty amidst the league today, (time of writing is 4/18/2020), I’ll avoid the additional risk.

Statistical Credits: