Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fantasy Preview - Outfielders

Here's a look at the deepest position in baseball.

Player Value
Carl Crawford 66.49
Juan Pierre 52.50
Bobby Abreu 50.74
Scott Podsednik 47.49

Ichiro Suzuki 46.05
Vlad Guerrero 44.99
Carlos Beltran 44.10
Manny Ramirez 39.51
Grady Sizemore 39.38

Willy Taveras 38.38
Coco Crisp 38.10
Rocco Baldelli 37.67
Gary Sheffield 36.39
Jason Bay 36.17
Carlos Lee 35.41
Matt Holiday 35.39
Johnny Damon 34.36
Vernon Wells 34.27
Andruw Jones 33.46
Randy Winn 32.62
Hideki Matsui 31.09
Cliff Floyd 30.72
Aaron Rowand 30.60

Jacque Jones 28.99
Jim Edmonds 28.64
Brad Wilkerson 28.41
Jeff Francouer 28.27
Torrii Hunter 27.74
Jermaine Dye 26.48
Pat Burrell 26.30
Jeremy Hermida 26.16
Craig Monroe 25.71
Shawn Green 25.43
Brian Giles 25.15
Kevin Mench 24.22
Jeromy Burnitz 23.56
Geoff Jenkins 23.02
Jason Lane 22.91
Milton Bradley 22.43
Corey Patterson 22.06
Preston Wilson 21.90
Mike Cameron 21.88
Brady Clark 21.77
Raul Ibanez 21.76
Mark Kotsay 21.54
David Dellucci 21.08
Ken Griffey 20.75
Austin Kearns 20.12

David DeJesus 19.91
J.D. Drew 19.36
Willymo Pena 19.32
Brad Hawpe 19.19
Luis Gonzalez 18.99
Casey Blake 18.70
Eric Byrnes 18.55
Moises Alou 18.48
Barry Bonds 18.26
Garrett Anderson 17.02
Jay Gibbons 16.90
Trot Nixon 15.26
Jose Guillen 14.71
Rondell White 14.33
Jason Michaels 11.48
Magglio Ordonez 10.34

This is a tough field to sort through because of the sheer amount of players. On top of that, there are a certain couple of guys here that are highly rated that probably don't merit your full attention. I'm looking at you Scott Podsednik.

Look, Podsednik is almost completely worthless in every category, but he'll steal fifty bases (thus the disproportionately high rating), so if you are thin there, it's not a terrible pickup. But steals alone are not worth burning an early draft pick or spending 20 fantasy bucks on a guy who ZERO homeruns last year. The most completely overrated ballplayer among moronic ESPN commentators like John Kruk tends to be overrated by fantasy owners. You can accumulate steals elsewhere in this category, so it's not like you're in a situation as you are with middle infielders. There are plenty of guyss who can steal bases . . . and also produce in other categories. And the same is basically true for Juan Pierre, and even more so for Willy Taveras.

Carl Crawford, on the other hand, is worth the inflated value. He will have a monster year this year - I guarantee it. He's valuable in every category - over .300 average, over 100 runs scored, 15+ homers. His power numbers are not as striking as some of the other outfielders, but he's a complete fantasy player. I think he's worth the high value.

Coco Crisp is in a similar position to have a breakout season. He'll hit around .300, he'll pop over 15 homers, steal over 20 bases, and in that lineup he should easily pass one hundred runs scored. In fact I am fairly confident he will have a better season than Johnny Damon, so the Sox actually upgraded in that position.

Almost all the other guys in the top three tiers are players who are good in almost every category. If you do not have at least one of these guys on your team, then don't even bother playing fantasy baseball. Don't overstock - but grab one of these guys because they'll give you a boost in every fantasy categroy. That will allow you to get a couple of cheap players and give you a balanced team.

Think about it this way. Yesterday we covered catchers. You have to go down to the 38th outfielder (Kevin Mench) before you get one worth less than the top catcher. That should put things in perpspective for you.

And you're probably wondering about Barry Bonds. If he's available in the middle rounds, he's worth a look. It's doubtful that he'll put up the monster batting average that he has recently, but he should still be in the .300 neighborhood. It depends a lot on how the lack of playing time will affect his timing. But I fully expect him challenege Aaron's recrod if he plays a full year - which means around 40 dingers. But will he play a full year? Your guess is as good as mine. I do think that the controversy will not affect him, and in fact it might motivate him. But he's over 40, and he missed most of the previous season. You cannot expect him to be the Barry Bonds of 2002 or even 2004.


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