***For clarification, from what I’ve gathered, “Bour” is pronounced the same as “bore” or “boar.” Not pronounced the same as “Bauer.”
So maybe Marlins first baseman Justin Bour is portly shaped like a boar at 6’4″/250 lbs., but he is proving to be far from a bore as he began to see some regular playing time even before Mike Morse landed on the DL. But now that Morse is on the DL, the first base job would appear to be Bour’s to runaway with, and so far so good for the 27-year old left-handed slugger.
Consider this: Bour now has 4 HR on the season and the pitchers he has taken deep are Jordan Zimmermann, Brad Brach, Gerrit Cole, and now Matt Harvey after Friday’s bomb that proved to be the game winner for the Marlins. That’s 3 of the top starting pitchers in the National League and also pitchers that do not allow a whole lot of home runs. He is now hitting .361 with 4 HR, and 9 RBI in 61 AB.
I’ve been talking about Bour and his power potential for a few days now, and he really needs to be owned in more leagues. Yes, he’s not going to hit in the high .300’s, and chances are that he won’t even hit anywhere above .300, but Bour is a hitter who has never shown any significant propensity to striking out. His Minor League career strikeout rate is a respectable 17.5% and he never once struck out at a 20% clip at any stop in the Minors. In limited action last year with the Marlins, he did strikeout 22.9% of the time, but this season in 14 games at AAA he struck out just 9.7% of the time. And in his time in the Majors so far this season, he is at a very nice 15.2% mark. So he does appear to have a greater feel for the strike zone than most hitters that carry his type of power potential, which is a big plus when mining for up and coming power hitters.
About that power potential, Bour’s yearly best total in his professional career was 23 HR at high-A ball in 2011. But in 2013 and 2014 at AA and AAA, Bour’s HR per AB rate was 1 HR every 19.5 AB. And now at 27 years old, Bour should be entering his prime where his power potential could achieve new levels. Bour may not see regular playing time against left-handed pitching in his first extended go-round in the Majors, but he is looking like a very nice play against righties at the very least, as he is being inserted into the cleanup role right behind Giancarlo Stanton.
So if you are in the need of some power then it wouldn’t hurt to give Bour a go, as he likely won’t kill your team in AVG either. I would think of him along the same lines of Adam Lind.
Now let’s see what else happened on Friday’s slate!