Byrd a long shot, but take the gamble

In 2007, Marlon Byrd hit .307 with 10 HRs and 70 RBIs
in just 109 games after a late-May call up.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Marlon Byrd hasn't really done anything of value for fantasy owners since being selected in the 10th round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, but 2009 just might be the year.

Byrd is batting .364 this spring and has 10 hits in his last 20 at bats. He is playing so well that the Texas Rangers may be forced to start him in center field and at the same time send Andruw Jones packing.

Byrd did nothing with Philadelphia or Washington, but in 2007, his first year with the Rangers, he did hit .307 with 10 HRs and 70 RBIs in just 109 games after a late-May call up.

Last year Byrd hit .298 with 10 HRs and 53 RBIs in 122 games. Not a great performance, but he did hit .393 in August with 4 HRs and 20 RBIs.

And the Texas offensive, with Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Hank Blalock and Chris Davis will be solid again this year, so being in the middle of it is always worth a gamble with a late-round pick.

If he stays hot, he might be useful at the beginning of the season. If not, you can hold onto him, as a fourth or fifth outfielder, for a hot streak later on. In any case, he won't cost you much.

Remember, not every player on your roster can be Albert Pujols.

Byrd Projection for 2009

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