If you bought Mark Trumbo this spring, stand up and give yourself a big round of applause.
Unless your auction was really late, it's likely you got him on the cheap. His average expert league salary was $2. He went for $5 in my home league. This makes us sound like relative geniuses, but since we had inflation to deal with, we're not.
Trumbo is also on pace to earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $24 this season. He was on pace for a 29/86/11/.254 entering last night’s action. If you own Trumbo, you're probably thinking stud keep.
If you're in an on-base percentage league, though, Trumbo's on pace to earn less than $24. His .254 batting average is neutral or slightly negative; his .293 OBP is something of a drain on your team.
This OBP, though, might be cause for concern next year as well.
Since 2002, only six players have posted an OBP under .300 and earned more than $20 in Roto:
2007 Chris Young $24
2004 Tony Batista $24
Rollins, Gomez and Young needed a good amount of speed to get there. But as you can see, a sub-300 OBP and a $20+ season do not often go hand in hand.
Nearly all of these players fall into the category of one big year or last hurrah. Barmes fell of the map after his '09 campaign, as did Jacobs after '08. Gomez has never lived up to his potential, and Batista earned a grand total of $3 in 2006-2007.
What often gets lost in the year end accounting is that while on-base percentage might not impact current earnings, it is something you should most definitely look at when analyzing what a player will do next year. Trumbo is either going to develop more selectivity or he's going to slip in earnings. It is nearly impossible for a hitter to produce the way that Trumbo has without better control of the zone.
This doesn't mean that Trumbo can't improve. He's 25 years old, not 30 or 35. There might be more development in him as a player, though at 25 that development will probably be minimal if it comes at all.
If you have Trumbo at a low salary, he's obviously a keep for next year. I would just be extremely wary of building your 2012 championship hopes around him. There is an excellent chance he will regress if he continues his free-swinging ways.