Fantasy Baseball: Braun’s power, Crawford’s tools make them tops among outfielders

March 26, 2010

By Jeremy Tiermini

As fantasy owners prepare for their drafts they should remember that the outfield position is fairly deep in 2010. The OF is home to big power hitters, high average batters, and stolen base leaders. If you keep a running projection for your team’s offensive stats you can use your OF spots to boost those categories that are weak.

Because the OF position is so deep I am going to breakdown the players by the rounds in which I would target them on Draft Day and I will include my projections for them; this tier strategy is helpful because you have options if your “target” OF is selected before you pick him.

Round 1

Ryan Braun (.310, 105 R, 120 RBI’s, 40 HR, 15 SB) – the best OF on the board and a top-5 fantasy pick
Carl Crawford (.305, 100 R, 85 RBI’s, 18 HR, 65 SB) – I am targeting him in the end of the first round

Round 2

Matt Kemp (.305, 95 R, 90 RBI’s, 27 HR, 35 SB)…some fantasy sources have him as a top-10 fantasy bat; I am not ready to reach for him that early yet.
Justin Upton (.285, 95 R, 100 RBI’s, 31 HR, 22 SB) – he and Kemp are the “sexy” OF picks of 2010
Jacoby Ellsbury (.300, 100 R, 50 RBI’s, 6-8 HR, 65 SB) – get him and you are set for SB for a few rounds
Grady SizemoreI am a believer
Matt Holliday (.305, 95 R, 110 RBI’s, 30 HR, 10 SB) – hits behind some guy named Pujols; he might see some pitches

Round 3

Ichiro Suzuki (.305, 90 R, 45 RBI’s, 6 HR, 28 SB) – losing value as his SB totals drop
Jayson Werth (.270, 90 R, 90 RBI’s, 34 HR, 21 SB) – will make it three straight 20/20 seasons

Round 4

Adam Lind (.298, 95 R, 100 RBI’s, 32 HR, 2 SB) – I expect some regression because of Toronto’s weaker lineup
Andre Ethier (.285, 100 R, 95 RBI’s, 28 HR, 5 SB) – continual improvement in his BABIP and walk rate
Nick MarkakisI expect him to rebound
Jason BayI have no love for him

Round 5

B.J. Upton (.270, 90 R, 70 RBI, 20 HR, 45 SB) – an extra year removed from his shoulder surgery
Shin-Soo Choo (.290, 95 R, 95 RBI’s, 25 HR, 21 SB) – solid bat in the Cleveland lineup
Curtis Granderson (.270, 90 R, 60 RBI’s, 28 HR, 20 SB) – solid pick, but don’t reach just because he is a Yankee
Carlos Lee (.300, 70 R, 70 RBI, 28 HR, 5 SB) – still has a shot at 30 HR
Adam Jones (.285, 88 R, 80 RBI’s, 25 HR, 15 SB) – numbers can go up if he stays healthy for a full season

Round 6

Adam Dunn – I wrote about Dunn in my 1B preview
Hunter Pence (.285, 80 R, 84 RBI’s, 26 HR, 13 SB) – could threaten 30 HR and 20 SB
Shane Victorino (.290, 100 R, 60 RBI’s, 13 HR, 35 SB) – solid SB / Run numbers for roto players
Nelson Cruz (.270, 80 R, 85 RBI’s, 28 HR, 12 SB) – should rebound after injury-filled 2nd half in 2009
Manny Ramirez (.285, 70 R, 85 RBI’s, 23 HR, 1 SB) – numbers are trending downward without PED’s
Josh Hamilton (.280, 65 R, 80 RBI’s, 22 HR, 6 SB) – expect at least 1 DL stint
Bobby Abreu (.275, 75 R, 75 RBI’s, 16 HR, 18 SB) – another older OF whose stats are trending downwards

Round 7

Carlos Quentin (.270, 70 R, 75 RBI’s, 23 HR, 1 SB) – will spend some time at DH to help keep him healthy
Torii Hunter (.282, 70 R, 73 RBI’s, 22 HR, 12 SB) – is supposedly recovered from off-season hernia surgery
Alfonso Soriano (.260, 72 R, 76 RBI’s, 22 HR, 12 SB) – his stats are going the wrong way

Round 8

Andrew McCutchen (.270, 68 R, 50 RBI’s, 14 HR, 30 SB) – I don’t trust the Pirates offense, though he should have plenty of chances to run
Carlos Gonzalez (.280, 70 R, 70 RBI’s, 16 HR, 11 SB) – stats show he has some help from Coor’s Field

Round 9

Michael Bourn (.260, 70 R, 30 RBI’s, 2 HR, 50 SB) – stolen base specialist
Raul Ibanez (.265, 78 R, 80 RBI’s, 23 HR, 2 SB) – I am not a fan of drafting 37-year old OFers
Nate McLouth (.255, 80 R, 80 RBI’s, 21 HR, 18 SB) – struggles this spring could lead him to a platoon with Melky Cabrera
Brad Hawpe (.280, 70 R, 72 RBI’s, 21 HR, 1 SB) – career numbers show he is better in the first half of the season
Jason Kubel (.270, 75 R, 80 RBI’s, 26 HR, 1 SB) – Twins have solid line-up so these numbers could be higher
Alex Rios (.260, 65 R, 70 RBI’s, 20 HR, 15 SB) – has 25 / 25 potential but I want to see some consistency before I trust him
Jay Bruce (.245, 70 R, 75 RBI’s, 23 HR, 5 SB) – if walk rate and contact rate continue to improve he could hit .275 and 30 HR

Round 10

Michael Cuddyer (.273, 70 R, 73 RBI’s, 20 HR, 4 SB) – has 1B / OF eligibility, but can he stay healthy 2 years in a row?
Denard Span (.300, 90 R, 60 RBI’s, 5 HR, 20 SB) – good BA / R guy for the Twins
Johnny Damon (.280, 90 R, 65 RBI’s, 14 HR, 18 SB) – aging, injury risk now out of Yankee Stadium

Picks in Rounds 11-15

Carlos Beltran (I am letting someone else deal with him), Rajai Davis (40 SB again?), Corey Hart (will he go 20/20 finally or be a perennial disappointment?), Garrett Jones (30 HR potential), Ryan Ludwick (25+ HR hitting after Pujols and Holliday?), Nyjer Morgan (35-40 SB potential), Nolan Reimold (20+ HR, but still bothered by Achilles injury)

Picks in Rounds 16-20

Julio Borbon (has 40 SB potential), Chris Coghlan (10 / 20 guy?), Dexter Fowler (30 SB guy), Brett Gardner (could steal 40 if keeps job all season), Franklin Gutierrez (20 / 20 potential), Chase Headley (20 HR guy at age 25?), Jason Heyward (crushing the ball in Spring Training), Connor Jackson (.300, 20 HR guy?), Cameron Maybin (15 / 15 potential), Magglio Ordonez (my former man-crush has .300, 15 HR potential), Juan Pierre (will he steal 60+ bases playing “Ozzie Ball”?), Colby Rasmus (streaky player that could be 20 / 20 candidate), Juan Rivera (20 HR potential but can’t seem to stay healthy), Travis Snider (similar to Mark Reynolds – big power, big strikeouts), Drew Stubbs (15 / 30 guy if he keeps job for all of 2010?), Vernon Wells (how the mighty have fallen), Josh Willingham (deep sleeper for 25+ HR)

Picks in Rounds 21-24

Kyle Blanks (see my comments on Travis Snider), Mike Cameron (.240 average but 20+ HR, even though he is hitting the ball well this spring), J.D. Drew (value would be higher if he could stay healthy), Matt LaPorta (has 30 HR potential and could play 1B with Russell Branyan’s injury), Luke Scott (as O’s primary DH he could hit 25 HR but his poor 2nd half in 2009 doesn’t give him much room for slumping in 2010), Nick Swisher (1B / OF eligibility and 30 HR potential, but will hit .245)