Friday, February 04, 2011

NL King - Analyzing NL Only Outfielders Part 2

Part 2 focuses on NL Only Outfielders who are $20+, wildcards, the rookie watch and what is down on the farm. Let's break it down.
$20+ OF's:
Andrew McCutchen - PIT - On the cusp of being a $30 player and should get there by the end of 2011. How many speed / power guys are there? Seriously.

Jason Werth - WSH - Has been one of the best NL hitters the last two years. A red flag to me is Jason Werth is coming off signing a monster contract this winter and other players in this position in the past try to prove they are worth the contract. Almost always the result in those situations is the player gets off to a very very slow start.

Jason Heyward - ATL - Despite being a rookie at the age of 20 for most of the season Heyward showed everyone that great things are to come, it's just a matter of when. Keep in mind he missed 20 games due to injury. Last year I wrote an article just on Jason Heyward saying he will be a solid player in 2010 but if you can get him at a reasonable price jump on him because 2011 could be the year he emerges. My opinion hasn't changed.

Andre Ethier - LA - If he didn't get injured in June and miss 23 games could have duplicated his 2009 season. If he goes a few dollars less on draft day because of that POUNCE!

Hunter Pence - HOU - Not the prettiest swing but gets the job done. Very solid roto player has hit 25HR's each of the last 3 seasons, has double digit SB's years all four years in the majors and instead of being in the 70's last year in R's and RBI's was in the 90's. Has hit . 282 the last two seasons. Quite simply a $25 NL fantasy player.

Jay Bruce - CIN - All signs point for the former #1 overall prospect in baseball for 2011 to be his break out year. Have to love his improvement in average last year from .223 to .281. If Bruce can make some strides with his K's in that ballpark he will be a $30+ player this season.

Shane Victorino - PHI - Average went from his usual .290's to .259 last year which also effected his runs but HR's & SB's were up. I expect him to hit at least .280 this year with 30 SB's & 15 HR's.

Solid Picks:
Jason Bay - NYM - Saying 2010 was a disaster is putting it mildly and that was before the concussion. I do expect Jason Bay to bounce back this year but Citi Field will bring down his power numbers by fifteen percent.

Corey Hart - MIL - After a rough 2009 Corey Hart bounced back in a huge way. I don't know if Hart will duplicate last years numbers because for a two month stretch he was ridiculous but Hart will still be good for 20+HR's and R's and RBI's in the 80's. Please note his SB's have come way down the last couple of years.

Michael Bourn - HOU - Probably the only guy in the NL you can count on for 50 plus steals and quite frankly I don't know other than Bourn is you can count in anyone reaching 40 SB's for sure. Bourn had 52 steals last year and if he didn't miss 21 games maybe he would have broken 60 steals like he did in 09 (61). No power, really good runs and the man in the NL when it comes to steals.

Drew Stubbs - CIN - If Stubbs hit .285 last year instead of .255 and if Stubbs was not a strikeout machine (168K's in 514 AB's) he would be a sure fire bet to be a $30+ player for 2011. Other than average Stubbs numbers are very impressive but all those K's do scare me and a huge red flag. Mark Reynolds was like that in 2009 and remember how his 2010 turned out.

Angel Pagan - NYM - Carlos Beltran injuries have opened the door for Angel Pagan to be an everyday player and going back to the summer of 09 he has been a force. Was number two in the NL last year with 37 steals and unlike other speed guys who give you hardly any power production, Pagan gave you 11HR's with 69RBI's. If Pagan was on a better team would have scored more than 80 runs last year as he did hit .290. The question with Pagan is this a short term wonder? I don't know if Pagan can duplicate what he did last year but like I said Pagan has played at this level the last season and a half. I would say Pagan's fair value considering everything in an NL only league is $20 or so.

Chris Young - ARZ - If there is a guy who had a huge year last year that I am the most wary of for 2011 is Chris Young of the D-Backs. I know I have said about fifteen times in my articles that the ball flies in Arizona but Young over his career has been such a poor average hitter and a strikeout machine. Even his career year last year he hit just .257 with 145 K's. If in your draft his price on draft day is anywhere near based on his production last year stay away. I know he has potential to be 30 - 30 but I don't trust him.

Colby Rasmus - STL - For the last few years Rasmus has been either a top prospect or a rookie to break out. All his numbers improved from his rookie year with the exception that Rasmus struck out 95 times in 09 and 148 times last year in 10 less AB's in 2010. I think you are saying a trend in the game with all these K's. But Rasmus last year had 23HR's, 85R's, 66RBI's, 12SB's, .276 Avg in 464 AB's and at the age of 23 - 24. Early word is Rasmus will bat second in the lineup in front of Pujols not a bad spot to be in the lineup. As long as he stops fighting with La Russa (has been rumored for quite some time) 2011 will be Rasmus break out year.

Michael Stanton - FLA - I know at times Mike Stanton looked real raw and he struck out 123 times in 359 AB's but 22HR's last year as a rookie who is 20 years old and you have to be extremely impressed. The sky is the limit for this kid and will be their cleanup hitter.

Carlos Beltran - NYM - One of the guys you have to watch very closely this spring is Carlos Beltran. Is his knees healthy enough that Beltran can put up 75% of his usual numbers? If so he can still be a really good player for you. However even if that happens, the Mets are looking towards the future and with Beltran on the last year of his contract the Mets will move him for prospects come July. Odds are given his age and his prior knee problems Beltran will be traded to an AL team and in an NL only league that will kill you. At the end of the day way too much risk. Unless you can get Beltran for $12 or $13 pass on him.

Andres Torres - SF - The career minor leaguer emerged as a roto stud last year at the age of 32. Torres in a big ballpark had 16HR's with 26 SB's. The fact that Torres came out of nowhere you have to ask the question is he a one hit wonder? The problem with a lot of players like Torres is you wonder if he can do it again but his draft day price will be based solely on last years numbers for the most part. You don't get the discount you should of the Andres Torres's of the world at the end of the day you pay a good price for this kind of player and you have to keep your fingers crossed his not a flash in the pan.

Dexter Fowler - COL - When I first started reading about Dexter Fowler a few years ago when he was a prospect in the Rockies system it stated that Fowler is a sick looking athlete, he has scary skills but Fowler is very raw and it will most likely take him a little bit longer to put it all together. But when he does watch out. Fowler had a rough first half last year which included a return trip to AAA but he bounced back with a real good second half even though he only finished with 13 steals. About two weeks ago I saw Larry Bowa on the MLB Network (new analyst for the network) and they were talking about the NL West. Bowa said the guy who is going to break out this year from the NL West is Dexter Fowler. Bowa said 2011 will be the year of Dexter Fowler. From Larry's lips to God's ears as I have Fowler in my league for this season for $6.

Cameron Maybin - SD - A lot of what I just said about Fowler can apply to Maybin. Maybin has shown flashes of brilliance but I did have an eyebrow raised when it looked like Florida gave up on Maybin by trading him to San Diego. Maybe the Marlins are in love with Ryan Webb and that was the reason. Maybin is another scary athletic guy but is a bit raw. However he has some pop and potential for great speed. Maybin is a guy I would totally gamble on if he went for $10 in your league. Anything below $10 POUNCE !!!

Nate McLouth - ATL - Before getting traded from Pittsburgh Nate McLouth was a $30 player. Since coming to Atlanta McLouth has been a disaster. Watch his spring as Freddi Gonzalez the Braves manager has said center field is McLouth job to lose and considering McLouth makes 5 million a year and no top prospect on his heals he would have to have an awful spring not to be the everyday center fielder. Not sure what to tell you about McLouth as it's a head scratching situation. I would think the first month or so to take pressure off him the Braves might considering hitting him down in the lineup.

Rookie Watch:
Dominic Brown - PHI - With the departure of Jason Werth unless he shows he is not ready for the show Dominic Brown should get 400 AB's this year. Brown has power and speed and again Citizens bank is a great ballpark to hit in. I would imagine to start the year Brown will hit 7th to take some of the pressure off and also there are plenty of proven players ahead of him. Brown has a bright future, in a $260 draft day budget (standard league) the average player amounts to $11. If you can get Brown for around that price he can give you that production this season and then in a keeper league he could be a steal at that price for next season.

Minor League Prospects:
Kirk Nieuwenhuis & Fernando Martinez - NYM - Nieuwenhuis is an athletic player who can give you low to mid teens HR's & SB's. Martinez has talent but something always goes wrong with him especially injuries. With the likely departure of Beltran come sometime this July one of these guys will probably be called up to take his place and to show the Mets if they can be an every day player.

Brett Jackson - CHC - Open in AAA, poor man's 5 tool player. Could be up in the summer if he has a strong first 3 months and there is an opening due to an injury.

JD Martinez - HOU - Will start in AA, could move quickly and be a 20 HR solid player. Strong first half and he can be in Houston come 4th of July.

Craig Allen - STL - Solid bat, AAA or 4th OF, if Lance Berkman fails, Allen will be the first player to get a chance at being the every day right fielder. Solid bat with 20HR potential.

Jerry Sands - LAD - Power Bat starts in AA, needs a big first half in the minors to show the Dodgers he is ready. But have you seen the Dodgers LF depth chart?
NL King - C.Lizza

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