Why should I pick him? Hartlett was taken at pick 4 by Port in the 2008 draft, since then he has struggled to stay on the ground with only 31 games over 3 years. However, 16 of them came last year. He finished the season early to get surgery on his busted shoulder. Word is that this has been successful and he is looking the goods in pre-season.
Across his 16 games last season he had 3 tons and 6 scores in the 90’s. He had two failures in the 50’s and a 64 in his first game of the year, but all of his trends were up until he hurt himself and scored 83 and 87 in his last two games before heading off for surgery.
In a team that has been poor, if he can stay healthy, Hartlett is a massive chance to rack up 90’s+ on a regular basis. He is a damaging kick and his Kick to Handball ratio is about 2:1 which is certainly a positive.
Whilst he doesn’t score many goals, a bonus for him is that he doesn’t give away many frees either, averaging only 0.5 given away per game last year.
If he has a fit Dom Cassisi in the team who can get in and under to get the ball out, Hartlett is likely to be there to receive it and pump it forward. We have only really seen glimpses from him but from what I saw this year he will only get better and better. Whilst he didn’t have a 3rd year breakout, given his number of games I predict that this will be his breakout year (since his first two seasons really only equalled one year worth of games). Other factors that will help here are that Boak is now grabbing more opposition attention and Robbie Gray managed to play a full season in fair form in the latter half and should also draw a lot of attention which may leave Hartlett out on his own to pick up the stats that DT coaches love.
Why shouldn’t I pick him? Injuries. That is pretty much all that limits this guy from being the number one clearance player at Port Adelaide. He has had shocking issues with soft tissue in his hammys and now has a troublesome shoulder that required season ending surgery last year after round 20. Having said that he is reportedly over these problems now.
His other problem is being in an underperforming team like Port. This will hurt him through lack of his team having the ball! If the team starts to turn this around, his scores will rise.
Port also don’t have the best draw in the world only getting to play GC and GWS once each, both away from home! So this is a factor that could hurt all Power players. He shares his bye with GAJ and the Hawthorn players of which most sides will have at least one mid-fielder.
Deck of DT Rating: Jack. When this guy is on, he has a lot of skill and flair, he just needs to do it more often and being injury free will be a massive part of that. Now that he has cemented his spot in the team and should get a bit more help with Dom Cassisi being back from injury and Brad Ebert to help out in the midfield, Hamish may not get as much attention from the other teams which will leave him loose across the wings where he likes to run and penetrate into the forward line.
I think this will be the break out year for Hartlett and also Boak who showed us more of what he can do last year. If the team starts to have some success then I think Hartlett could be a bit of a diamond in the rough and start to rip out some good scores as your last Mid.