Shin Shoo-Choo CIN
Its no secret Shin Shoo Choo was terrible in 2011. But a bounce back 2012 campaign and an off-season trade later, Choo has regained if not improved on his previous value with the Indians. Choo will struggle to return to a .300 if he repeats his 150 strikeouts from a year ago. He still holds 20/20 potential as he figures to bat lead off in a potent Cincinnati offense. The Real issue: Can Choo can handle the grind of playing center field for the Reds?
David DeJesus CHI
This is a situation to avoid even in NL-only leagues. DeJesus hasn’t hit over 25 home runs the last three years. On top of that, the last two years hasn’t hit above .265. Moving on.
Chris Denorfia SD
Strictly a platoon player but has provided the San Diego Padres with a versatile option in the outfield who can crush lefties. The limited work hinders Denorfia from having mixed-league value but makes for a NL-only late game filer for steals and a little pop that hits for a solid average.
Andy Dirks DET
Before the injury Dirks hit .322 and it’s because of that he has the inside track to playing time to start the year for the Tigers. Avoid at all costs even if given the starting job to break camp; the ridiculously high BABIP last season and the career .289 average in the minors makes for an unattractive late AL-only flier.
Jarrod Dyson KC
The speedster for the Kansas City Royals will have a tough time finding at-bats to start the year. Stealing 50 of the last 57 attempts Dyson is just an AL-only one trick pony here in terms of steals.
Lucas Duda NYM
The Mets have one of the weakest outfield rosters in major league baseball. So its no surprise after a dismal year in 2012 sporting a .239 average and being so poor defensively he will need to make huge strides in both departments in order to sustain a big league gig.
Ryan Doumit MIN
The catcher and occasional outfielder for the Minnesota Twins figures to be used in similar fashion this season. Splitting time with Joe Mauer at DH and catcher to keep the two relatively fresh. Doumit provides great value to those who play in two-catcher leagues, with a .275 and/or double-digit home run floor.
Andre Either LAD
In terms of power, Andre Either had a rebound year in 2012, swatting 20 home runs after hit 11 in 2011. He hits for high average but continues to struggle versus left-handed pitching. Mattingly may try to sit him more against them, taking away at-bats. Ultimately, Either remains a middle-tier outfielder in mixed leagues.
Dexter Fowler COL
Dexter Fowler had a breakthrough year, hitting .300 with 13 home runs in 2012. The lack of stolen bases is a bit of a shame, especially after 27 steals in his rookie season. Like many of the Rockies, Fowler also has a gaudy home / road split that’s favorable to playing at home. As long as Fowler hits leadoff for Colorado he deserves a look in the later rounds of mixed-league drafts.
Raul Ibanez SEA
Returning to Seattle, the now 40-year-old Ibanez will be a platoon player in the lineup as DH or Leftfielder versus right-handed pitching. The .240 average in 2012 playing mostly in that role shows you how much he will hurt your roto team. There are better options for cheap power than Ibanez in AL-only formats. The fences moving are in LF so they may not help him much.
Jon Jay STL
Although Jay hasn’t gone over 500 at-bats since being the majors, the semi-regular playing time coupled with his high batting average makes him an attractive middle-round option in mixed leagues. Jay isn’t going to provide much power but a 20-steal season could be on the horizon.
Darin Mastroianni MIN
Winter trades of both Denard Span and Ben Revere, left Mastroianni with a clearer path to the everyday at-bats. He walks at a very high rate but hit for low average. Mastronianni efficiently steals bases, going 21/24 in attempts in 2012. He will need to earn the job in order to fully exercise the strength to his appeal, which for AL-only owners is his speed.
John Mayberry Jr. PHI
Now in a crowded situation, Mayberry will have to earn at-bats this spring and he isn’t the number one option. After a solid 2011 campaign where he 15 home runs in 268 at-bats, he did nothing but disappoint, showing that the year before was a fluke. NL-only owners who are debating drafting him must realize he is on the wrong side of a platoon. Ignore.
Logan Morrison MIA
Battling injuries the last year has really taken a toll on his production. Morrison is now officially a member of the High Risk/Low Reward club if you consider drafting him. Can he regain the flash he broke into the league with in 2010? Huge injury risk with 20 home run upside; “ain’t nobody got time for that”.
David Murphy TEX
David Murphy is another platoon guy hitting mainly right-handed pitching. This actually helps his value, making him a solid, cheap high-average option for double digit steals and home runs. With Josh Hamilton leaving town there is a chance he picks up additional at-bats thus improving his counting numbers.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis NYM
The Mets’ starting centerfielder isn’t really all that glamorous as an option. Hitting .325-2-8 in April before falling off the face of the earth is the key reason to him receiving the at-bats. Nieuwenhuis remains best left for deep NL-only leagues.
Gerardo Parra ARI
Parra could be the odd man out to start the year in the outfield for the Diamondbacks. He is the team’s best defensive outfielder but until someone gets hurt the at-bats will be few and far between. Nothing really sexy to his game as he doesn’t supply much pop and isn’t a .300 hitter. A NL-only option who could provide double digits steals.
Justin Ruggiano MIA
Finally getting the chance to play everyday Ruggiano seized the opportunity batting .313 in 288 at-bats. His is a very complex case as he had a high BABIP and low contact rate suppresses the fact he hit 13 home runs and stole 14 bases in limited action. Ruggiano has been that type of hitter his whole career and with the chance of everyday playing time in 2013 makes for a nice value option late in mixed leagues drafts even with fear of regression.
Cody Ross ARZ
Ross has seem to found himself racking up some frequent flyer miles the last few years. Now in Arizona, his main asset to fantasy owners is he plays all three outfield positions. So getting at-bats shouldn’t be an issue even in a crowded OF situation like Arizona. The average may hurt as he strikes out against righties way too often. Ross still has the ability to post another solid 20 home run plus season. Nothing more than that to his appeal.
Darin Ruf PHI
Darin Ruf lead the minors with 38 home runs in 2012. The signing of Delmon Young and a healthy Ryan Howard further complicated things for Ruf. But, Delmon Young as since suffered an injury and there is now a chance Ruf could gain playing with a solid spring. Something to watch closely in the month of March. He was 25 at AA when he put up big numbers, so that pretty much says it all about his chance to be a Major League regular.
Travis Snider PIT
Like taking chances? When given the opportunity Travis Snider hasn’t shown the part of a top former prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays. After a trade late last year to Pittsburgh, if Snider can have a solid spring and earn everyday at-bats, he could pay huge dividends as a double digit home runs and steals contributor to your team this spring. Don’t expect anything in terms of average. A quality gamble in NL-only leagues.
Alfonso Soriano CHI Â Â
Soriano as been very durable the last three seasons but hasn’t come near to producing a season to justify his ridiculous contract value. The Chicago Cubs Power-Hitter has struck out at an alarming rate last year with 153, and it would be wise to avoid despite the 32 home runs. The 37-year-old outfielder is on the doorstep of a great regression.
Denard Span WAS
The headache that is Denard Span finds a new home in Washington for 2013. A fresh start could do wonders in a better offensive lineup for his run total after having his best year offensively in 2012. Fantasy owners will be grabbing for the Advil once again this year as the low Home run total and spotty stolen base work makes him a late-round selection in mixed leagues at best.
Angel Pagan SF
The switch hitting Centerfielder for the World Champion Giants had very solid 2012 stealing 29 bases helping propel his team to the title. This is a guy who won’t hurt you drafting late in roto leagues as a solid .285 plus hitter 2 of the last three seasons. Pagan hitting atop the San Francisco order will provide great value late in drafts with a boost to steals and runs categories in 2013.
Colby Rasmus â€“ OF- Toronto Blue Jays
The once highly-touted Cardinalsâ€™ Prospect saw his best year in 2010, when he hit 23 HR with a .276 average. The last two seasons however, have been nightmares, hitting just above the Mendoza Line each year and failing to reach 20 HR in 2011. His playing time may warrant owners to take a flier on this guy late in drafts, but its best you let someone else drink the â€œPost-Hypeâ€ Kool-Aid. The scouts were wrong, and he is not going to be an above-average regular.
Melky Cabrera â€“ OF- Toronto Blue Jays
The 2012 All-Star Game MVP got caught using PEDs shortly after winning the award. The last two seasons saw a rise across the board, but how much of that was him stepping his game up versus PED use? Bet on the latter. Only time will tell but if you look at his 2010 numbers with the Atlanta Braves (PED Free?), he hit for a .255 average and had an OBP of .317. Start with that as a baseline if you are pessimistic.
Yoenis Cespedes â€“ OF- Oakland Aâ€™s
Relatively unknown coming into 2012, the Cuban import had a very solid â€œrookieâ€ season. Being overshadowed by Mike Troutâ€™s Stardom, Cespedes hit 23 HRs and 82 RBIs in 487 ABs. As the Aâ€™s cleanup hitter in 2013 should only bring bigger and better things as the ball club vastly improved over the last two seasons and they look to defend their AL West Crown. The AL OF is barren, so he is close to the top of the heap.
Torii Hunter â€“ OF- Detroit Tigers
The ageless wonder makes a move to Detroit after several years in LA. He is still considered a defensive genius so he figures to play a great deal. 2012 was a unique year for the veteran hitting over .300 for the first time in his career, but the walks decreased by 30 from the year before and the Ks rose. Then you couple that with a decline in HR from 23 to 16 and its obvious the power isnâ€™t there anymore. Hunter still figures to to be quite the fantasy asset hitting possibly 2nd in front of Miggy and Prince which could make him a 100 Run producer in 2013.
Austin Jackson â€“ OF- Detroit Tigers
For the first time, the one-time highly-touted New York Yankeesâ€™ prospect made Tigers fans forget all about Curtis Granderson.
After a poor 2011 following a solid 2010. In 2012, Jackson broke out atop the Tigers Lineup hitting .300 and cutting down on the strikeouts 5% off his regular rate. The numbers rose across the board and figures to warrant being a solid mid-round selection. One negative here: 12 for 21 on stolen base attempts so donâ€™t trust him to steal 3o for your team this season.
Josh Hamilton â€“ OF- Los Angeles Angels
The superstar hitter is taking his talents to Anaheim. Last year he wa DL Free and he may have not duplicated his MVP numbers from
2010 but 43 HR and 128 RBIs is not mincemeat. Sure, he may need to adjust to his new park and teammates, and he could very well end up on the DL given the track record but the power and production when healthy is elite. Having Trout lead off and protecting Albert Pujols cannot hurt.
Curtis Granderson â€“ OF- New York Yankees
Back-to-back Seasons of 40 HR is nice, but other than the glove that is all he has brought to the party. The numbers scream avoid unless you can surround him with lots of high average guys. He hit .232 in 2012 and since 2009 has a .247 AVG. The sharp rise in strikeouts and lack of stolen bases doesnâ€™t bode well, so unless you need power avoid him as an early-round selection. 100 Runs and
RBIs buoys his mid-round value, but he carries a lot of downside, and the party wonâ€™t last forever.
Alex Gordon â€“ OF- Kansas City Royals
After a breakout year in 2011, many thought it was a fluke. What Gordon did in 2012 was squash all doubt that the once over-hyped prospect had arrived. The HR numbers took a dip but that was mainly due to the ineffectiveness of Hosmer and overall health of the ball club forcing him to bat lead off. The high average and solid counting stats production the last two years should only see an increase for the 2013 campaign.
Brett Gardner â€“ OF- New York Yankees
Elbow issues shelved Gardner early in the 2012 campaign. Drafted as a one-trick pony for steals (averaging 48 from 2010 to 2011) he was just possibly scratching the surface of a career year before the injury. If he can finally move Derek Jeter out of the lead off spot his value skyrockets.
Adam Jones â€“ OF- Baltimore Orioles
The Man not named PacMan arrived last year and it was no surprise the Orioles competed. The past three seasons has seen consistency with a BA of .285 average over that span. The increase in home runs each year adds more weight to the fact 2013 could be a
very huge year; he could hit for 40+ HRs and 100 RBIs for the first time in his career. A 1st Round Talent at a 4th round/ $20
auction discount. Yes, Please!
Jose Bautista â€“ OF- Toronto Blue Jays
A wrist injury put a bow on a very disappointing start to 2012 that was cut short after 332 ABs. But he still hit 27 home runs, which if
the wrist is fully healed coming into 2013 means he should return to the 40+ HR Club. Expect the average to sit somewhere between his 2010 (.260) & 2011 (.302). Coming off the injury presents a great opportunity to get him at a huge discount for the first time in 3
Michael Brantley â€“ OF- Cleveland Indians
Clevelandâ€™s 2012 CF was a consistent, solid contributor across the board for the Tribe. Drew Stubbs figures to push him to one of the corner OF positions. A very cheap but solid option for average and a peppering of counting stats.
Michael Morse â€“ OF â€“ Seattle Mariners
After spending the last few seasons with The Washington Nationals, Morse returns to the Mariners via trade. He is a very solid player, maintaining a .290 + BA in DC. The return to Seattle will drain his power numbers but those drafting should feel comfortable. When 100% healthy he can produce nicely in every Roto category except SB.
Drew Stubbs CLE
The Indiansâ€™ Outfielder sure wishes it was 2010 again. Since then he has been less than spectacular; hopefully the change in scenery will do wonders for him. He still possesses mixed league value, has stolen 30 or more bases the last three seasons and getting out from under Dustyâ€™s thumb cannot hurt. A prime sleeper who may end up as a top 20 OF.
Nick Swisher CLE
The former Yankee has been a solid consistent fantasy option the last 3 years. There is no reason to think the trend doesnâ€™t continue as he has provided owners with 80 Runs, 25 Home Runs, 90 RBIs, and a .270 Batting Average over that span.
Lorenzo Cain KC
The Royalsâ€™ Outfielder cannot seem to stay healthy. He figures to get another shot at proving that his talent on the field is worth waiting for. With the Royals removing Wil Meyers from the equation, a 500 At-Bat season could produce 20 Home Runs and 30 Steals.
Nolan Reimold BAL
His power numbers in the minors hold AL-Only appeal. Before a neck injury in April Reimold was gaining mixed league attention by hitting five home runs with 10 RBIs, and .313 average in 67 At-Bats. A late round gamble due to health who could vastly outplay his Draft Day auction value.
Josh Reddick OAK
After being set free from Boston in the Andrew Bailey deal last 0ffseason, Reddick received everyday at-bats for the first time in his
career. Looking at his 2012 season, those 32 Home Runs instantly grab your attention. A second half Batting Average of .164 also grabs your attention. Owners should proceed with great caution in 2013.
Wil Myers TAM
The offseason trade finds Myers with playing time right away. His minor league numbers at Triple-A and Double-A in 2012 â€“ .314-37- 104 warranted a call-up but the Royals never pulled the trigger. Rookies are a gamble but with the void he fills and Maddon as manager he figures to be in a position to succeed.
Michael Saunders SEA
At 26 years old he has barely lived up to the hype he received in years past for having a high average to go with his power. In 2012 he
finally received 500 At-bats hitting 19 home runs and stealing 21 bases. If the supporting cast improves with him, there could be a
positive bump in all his roto stats.
Mark Trumbo LAA
The power-hitting Outfielder for the Angels proved that 2011 was no fluke. His rookie season he hit 29 Home Runs only to follow that up with 32 in 2012. The Strikeouts rose a bit, but all other numbers are trending up and batting in that lineup expect much of the same in 2013. He had better BA skills in the minors so we expect him to surge.
Alex Rios CHW
The roller coaster ride that is Alex Rios had owners enjoying a â€œUpâ€ year in 2012, with a solid campaign of .304-25-91, Does he follow his career trend by having a â€œDownâ€ year in 2013? Our rankings call for a repeat, but we have been down that road before. Your guess is as good as ours, and maybe better.
Emilio Bonifacio TOR
When healthy, he is an elite base thief, having stolen 30 bases each of the last two seasons. The change of scenery could make him a quality late-round flier.
Shane Victorino BOS
The 32-year-old is taking his base-stealing talents to Boston. Even through a rough year in which he spent time in Philadelphia and Los
Angeles he managed to steal a career high 39 bases. The new venue could provide a chance for the â€œFlying Hawaiianâ€ to bounce back.
Seth Smith OAK
A solid AL-Only option, Smith is a good bet for 15 Home Runs and 50 RBI and Runs as the Aâ€™s Fourth/Fifth Outfielder. Smith will be half of a platoon in Oakland, and this is a perfect set up for him. He has always had some pop as an end-game flier, and this year is no different.
Dayan Viciedo CHW
In his first full season with the White Sox the power-hitting 24-year-old hit 25 Home Runs but the low OBP left a lot to be desired
in terms of counting stats. He will be a big cog in the Soxâ€™ plans, and given the lack of power options in the AL, feel free to go an extra buck.
Vernon Wells LAA
Vernon Wells barely presents AL-Only Value in a crowded Angelsâ€™ Outfield. It would take a trade to a favorable spot to make him a
waiver addition. The end is near.
Jason Bay SEA
After a year in which he hit .165 in 194 At-Bats for the Mets, do you really have to read any more? Donâ€™t expect a rebound of any kind in Safeco as his numbers have been steadily declining for years now.
Coco Crisp OAK
Provides excellent value as one of the more elite base-stealing Outfielders in the game, having stolen 32 or more bases in last three years with the Aâ€™s. As long as he remains healthy, Crisp remains very valuable to any fantasy squad that embraces him in 2013. the hair is an added bonus.
Alejandro de Aza CHW
Finally given an abundance of at-bats in 2012 with the Chicago White Sox, de Aza came through with an excellent season. He proved his minor league numbers and cups of coffee with the major league ballclub in 2010 and 2011 were no fluke. The average of
.281 and OBP of .349 earned him 25 stolen bases with a 68% success rate that should be higher in 2013, show his value if he continues to hit atop the White Sox lineup.
Nelson Cruz TEX
Nelson finally had a fairly healthy year in 2012 with 585 At-Bats hitting .260-24-90. Who knew he wasnâ€™t the 40-HR power source we all expected? With Josh Hamilton and Michael Young gone he figures to be the focal point of the offense so there is a chance he
could improve on those numbers. Injuries for Cruz are still very much an issue. There is a good chance he is vastly overrated this year, so caveat emptor.
Rajai Davis TOR
Over the last four years he has become a top, consistent stolen base generator, averaging 43 per year. No reason to think he doesnâ€™t
notch another 40 under his belt in 2013 if he gets the At-Bats.
Jacoby Ellsbury BOS
2012 was no where near the production everyone hoped for after a very impressive 2011. The 2011 season saw him hit 32 Home Runs with 105 RBIs and a .321 Average. 2012 he managed only 303 at-bats and never came close to his 2011 production. With as much upside as Jacoby possesses the downside averaging 83 games a year is too great at this point to ignore. It seems perfectly clear that 2011 is a fluke, and it is not happening again. Take note, Mike Trout lovers. Bid as if 2011 did not happen and you wonâ€™t be disappointed.
Norichika Aoki MIL
,Batting .288-10-50 in 2012 as the Brewersâ€™ Leadoff hitter surprised many fantasy owners as well as Milwaukee brass. As long as Aoki
remains the leadoff hitter he presents solid value, stealing 19 bases and hitting for a respectable average of .278 in the second half of
the season. There is a very good chance he puts on an encore performance in 2013.
Carlos Beltran STL
Finally putting together a full season for the Mets and Giants in 2011, he hit .300 with 22 Home Runs. The Outfielder and his
troublesome knees signed with St.Louis the following offseason. While he didnâ€™t hit .300, Beltranâ€™s .267-32-97 pleased owners who took a gamble on him. Avoiding the DL has always been an issue, but after two years in a row in which he got at least 520 at-bats, Beltran can provide solid value as a power-hitting mid-round selection.
Roger Bernadina WAS
He will struggle to get playing time but in limited usage he stole 15 bases and hit .291. An injury to any Outfielder on the Nationals could give Roger a chance to expand on progress made in 2012. However, his expected batting average was a lot lower than his actual batting average, so we expect him to regress in that department, potentially taking steals with it.
Gregor Blanco SF
A NL-only Outfield option for cheap speed. In 453 plate appearances Gregor stole 26 bags. You can do worse in the endgame, but you probably can do better as well.
Mike Carp SEA
The Power-hitting from 2011 never reached 2012 expectations. After a DL stint to start the year for a shoulder injury, he never was the
same. An AL-only flier at best for power, and playing time is up in the air after the teamâ€™s offseason additions.
Ryan Braun MIL
A strong candidate for the Top overall pick come Draft Day this spring. Braun followed up his MVP year in 2011 (.332-33-111) with a
very similar year in 2012 (.319-41-112). Since 2007 no one in baseball has displayed the type of elite consistency he possesses.
Peter Bourjos LAA
A very solid defensive Outfielder for the Angels, Bourjos will need a trade/injury in order to see the field; with Trumbo, Hamilton, Trout, Morales and the expensive Wells around the at-bats will be at a premium. His defense may give him the edge, forcing the others to DH, but with Mike Scioscia anything is possible; this is the manager who played Jeff Mathis, after all.
Jay Bruce CIN
The last two seasons The Redsâ€™ Outfielder has averaged .253-33-98. While his Batting Average may be worrisome, Bruce is still very young at 25-years-old and can make the adjustments necessary to improve this area which could mean a spike in his roto numbers across the board. Potential first-round value from a non-first-round pick? Who doesnâ€™t like that?
Domonic Brown PHI
The signing of Delmon Young this offseason and playing behind Juan Pierre a year ago doesnâ€™t bode well for the young Outfielder to get a chance to show his true potential. The .245 Batting Average in 2011 and .235 the following year with about 180 at-bats each year tells you all you need to know.
Tony Campana CHI
The Cubsâ€™ Outfielder makes for an excellent NL-only cheap source of speed. Campana has yet to receive more than 175 at-bats but averages a stolen base every six at-bats the last two seasons.
Chris Davis BAL
Texas Rangers gave up on the Power-Hitter in 2011 and shipped him to Baltimore. Given full playing time Davis hit 33 Home Runs with 85 RBIs. The Oriolesâ€™ Slugger may never hit for high average but his power makes him mixed league worthy. But not as a number one 1B
Tyler Colvin COL
In 2010 before having a broken bat lodged into his chest, Colvin hit 20 Home Runs. The following year while recovering he struggled
mightily. The change in venue and the semi-regular playing time for the Colorado Rockies resulted in a solid .290-18-72 in 420 at-bats. A crowded Outfield may complicate playing time but 31 games at first base should be promising that he could receive more plate appearances in 2013.
Carl Crawford LAD
In the two years removed from Tampa Bay, Crawford has yet to show any kind of a return on seven-year $142 million contract the Red Sox for his services. Boston cut their losses and shipped him to the Dodgers. The injury concerns and poor performance recently makes him a huge gamble, having failed to reach 20 stolen bases the last two seasons.
Allen Craig STL
Somewhat still under the radar Craig had a very impressive 2012. A solid bet to repeat the 22 Home Runs and 90 RBIs and stay around a .300 Batting Average in 2013. He will have a much higher profile, and cost, this year so be warned.
Michael Cuddyer COL
The Ex-Twin from 2010-2011 was very consistent averaging .278-17-76. The move to Colorado was supposed to have provided a boost to his overall numbers but an oblique injury derailed his high expectations. In 2013 he should return to his Minnesota Form with a clean bill of health, and that form in Colorado should equal 30 HR.Giancarlo Stanton MIA
Giancarlo Stanton improved his 2011 home run total from 34 to 37 in 2012. This was also in 100 fewer plate appearances. The young Miami Marlins Outfielderâ€™s power potential has him creeping up draft boards into the late first round. Considering he offers not much else, and the expected lack of RBI opportunities, we do not endorse him as a first-round pick. Caveat emptor.
Ichiro Suzuki NYY
Before the trade to the Yankees last year, Suzukiâ€™s skills were on a steep decline. The change of scenery seemed to have rejuvenated him, as he hit .322-5-27 with 14 steals in 67 games as a New York Yankee. There is a lot to like in Ichiro in terms of value for 2013 but it is a coin flip as to whether his performance can be repeated in Coors Field East.
Jose Tabata PIT
What happened to the 2010 version of Jose Tabata, when he hit .299 while stealing 19 bases, is a mystery. In the last two seasons he has averaged .255-3-18 and 12 stolen bases. The reality of full time at-bats is fading fast in a Pittsburgh uniform.
Eric Thames SEA
Eric Thames will have a tough time making the Seattle Marinersâ€™ Opening Day Roster as a 4th Outfielder, let alone AL-only rosters as a cheap power flier. Ignore.
Will Venable SD
Will Venable is a consistent fantasy contributor, chipping in 23 or more stolen bases in each of the last three years. His batting average climbed 20 points in 2012 and the second half .810 OPS may be a sign of things to come. This will be a make-or-break season for him. When in doubt, bet on gravity, or in his case, â€œbreak.â€
B.J. Upton ATL
Coming into 2013, B.J. Upton has serious 30/30 potential. But what else is new? After hitting 28 Home Runs in 2012 and stealing 31 or more bases every year since 2008 the wishful thinking is that playing with his brother returns the batting average to his .300 days as a 23-year-old. Your guess is as good as ours.
Justin Upton ATL
A trade from Arizona to Atlanta finds him in the same outfield as his older brother. J-Upton, whom many consider the better hitter of the brothers, was a major disappointment in 2012. This disappointment could net you a first-round talent two to three rounds later as he looks to bounce back in 2013. He has huge home-road splits, and the park is not exactly inviting more HR, so you may also get a tenth-round talent.
Jayson Werth WAS
Jayson Werth broke his wrist in Early May and was robbed of his power, hitting five Home Runs after averaging 23 the prior two seasons. Werthâ€™s 2012 batting average of .300 will make it tough to gauge his projected output in 2013 but still holds substantial mixed-league value. He may be overrated in real baseball because of his contract, but for our purposes that means nada.
Josh Willingham MIN
After career highs in Home Runs (35) and RBIs (110) in 2012, and hitting one HR every 11.8 at-bats at Target Field, Willingham comes into 2013 with some fantasy expectations. As long as Josh Willingham is on the field, he remains a reliable fantasy asset. But the park and history say to bet against a repeat.
Chris Young OAK
Chris Young may never hit for high average but if he can return from injury and gets playing time, the power makes for a nice AL-only flier. In real baseball, his platoon with Seth Smith may end up as a top-ten outfielder. If you can make that work for you in a daily transaction league you are a winner and have our big thumbs-up.
Delmon Young PHI
Delmon Young hasnâ€™t come close to the.298-21-112 line he posted in 2010, averaging .267-15-69 the last two seasons. 10 years after being selected number one overall in the 2003 draft, the hope is the move to a hittersâ€™ park in Philadelphia improves his home run production. Pity the Philliesâ€™ pitchers, however, with their projected outfield â€œdefense.â€
Ben Zobrist TAM
Ben Zobristâ€™s â€œSwiss Army Knifeâ€ appeal is his greatest fantasy asset, as Zorilla is eligible for Second Base, Shortstop, and Outfielder. The Raysâ€™ utility man is a solid bet for another near 20/20 year in 2013.
Scott Hairston CHI
The newly-acquired outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, if given the at-bats, can hit 20 home runs. Hairstonâ€™s strikeout rate makes it impossible for him to be a huge help in the average department.
Bryce Harper WAS
The young star for the Washington Nationals has very strong 20/20 potential. Many will question whether he will meet expectations or if a sophomore slump is on the horizon. Bryce Harper thinks, â€œThatâ€™s a clown question, bro.â€ We are optimistic that he will avoid the sophomore slump, but for the price you will pay, you better hope we are right.
Corey Hart MIL
The right-fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers suffered an injury that has him slated to miss 3-5 months to start 2013, leaving the power-hitter on the shelf until at least June. Hart makes for a nice stash on Draft Day for 20 home runs in limited playing time.
Chris Heisey CIN
Chris Heisey was given the chance to finally play everyday in 2012. He struggled early and lost the job to Ryan Ludwick. An injury to a starter is the only way Heisey sees more than 280 plate appearances. Nothing to see here; where once there was optimism that this multi-skilled player could be a nice starter; he will battle for at-bats this year.
Jason Heyward ATL
Putting 2011 behind him, Jason Heyward took huge strides improving his overall game. The Braves Outfielder has 25/25 upside and lowering his strikeout rate makes a .280 batting average realistic. Or higher. J-Hey is slowly moving up draft boards into the earlier rounds. Our Editor-in-Chief thinks he could be a surprise MVP candidate this year.
Aaron Hicks MIN
The Minnesota Twinsâ€™ â€œOutfielder of the Futureâ€ will start the year in Triple-A. After The Twins traded Denard Span and Ben Revere this offseason the path to full-time at-bats is much clearer when Hicks is deemed ready. We expect that to be sooner rather than later, and a starting job from Opening Day is a realistic possibility. The 23-year-old has double-digit home run and 20-steal upside, but rookies are generally bad bets, especially those on bad teams.
Matt Holliday STL
Holliday owners have enjoyed great value and consistency the last few years when healthy. The skills are declining just a bit, but his .295-27-102 line from 2012 is repeatable. He is a stable early-round fantasy pick come spring, and has a smaller performance trading range than many others who will be drafted higher.
Matt Kemp LAD
Despite spending months on the DL a year ago, Kemp still hit 23 home runs. The attempts at gaining membership into the 40/40 club are over, and his statement last year that he wanted to go 50/50 seems like a bad joke, but 30/25 with a .300 average still makes him first-round material.
Jason Kubel ARI
The move to Arizona certainly helped, as 18 of his 30 home runs came at home in 2012. Kubel will never hit for more than .270 average but owners will welcome the 20 home run floor to his potential in 2013.
Ryan Ludwick CIN
Ryan Ludwick had a bounce back year to rejuvenate his career in Cincinnati , hitting 26 home runs and ousting Chris Heisey. The roller coaster nature to Ludwickâ€™s career so far makes it hard to believe he will duplicate the solid production from 2012.
Starling Marte PIT
Marte will have the starting left-field job his coming into 2013, and will be the Piratesâ€™ leadoff hitter. Improvements in plate discipline could see Marte hit near his Triple-A average of .286 making him a 30-steal candidate. Guys like him are bad bets, as we mentioned a few times, but there is a lot to like if he can just get on base at a reasonable clip.
Leonys Martin TEX
Josh Hamiltonâ€™s leaving for LA gives Martin the opportunity he needs to challenge for an everyday role for the Rangers. He is going to start the year platooning with Craig Gentry, but he has the skills to win it outright, if he is handled correctly. The Triple-A numbers he posted at Round Rock are inflated, but he holds some speculative mixed-league value if you believe he has 20/20 potential with at-bats. We doubt it but anything is possible.
Justin Maxwell HOU
The Astros moving to the American League leaves at-bats available via DH duties and Justin Maxwell figures to see an increase in plate appearances. The anemic average makes him an AL-only filler source of power. In very deep leagues he may be worth a $1, but thatâ€™s it.
Cameron Maybin SD
Lenny Melnick favorite Cameron Maybin stunk before the All-Star break a year ago, hitting .206 and stealing 16 bases. Owners gave up on him and lost. After the break he hit .283. He may never hit .300 but should return to his 40-steal upside he displayed in 2011.
Andrew McCutchen PIT
The centerfielder is entering his prime and has established himself as one of the gameâ€™s premier five-tool players. The .327 batting average from 2012 may not duplicate itself as it was a product of a .375 BABIP. McCutchenâ€™s increase in home runs and at least 20 steals in the last three seasons has his ADP in the first round. He is a great player, but he is a good example of why fantasy players are so bad at picking the first round; his BA regression is likely to knock him out of the top 12-15 in terms of production. If it happens, of course.
Nate McLouth BAL
Nothing about his game circa the start of his days in Atlanta has anyone salivating over his consistently hyped 20/20 potential. McLouth needs regular playing time to merit being on AL-only leagues rosters, but after having only 775 at-bats in the last three years, and the fact that he stinks, you can forget it.
Hunter Pence SF
Hunter Pence is dependable, having only missed 16 games from 2010-2012. He is a solid hitter for average, and he should make adjustments to his new digs in San Francisco . After Penceâ€™s arrival to the Giants he hit a mere .219 with only seven home runs, which may be an issue. And he was on a slow decline to start, so there is bigger flame-out potential here than you might think.
Jeff Francoeur KC
After 2011 everyone was ready to proclaim Frenchy a â€œreboundâ€ in 2012, hitting .285 with 20 Home Runs and 22 steals in 2011. Well, 2012 Jeff
Francoeur looked a lot more like the 2010 version only hitting .235
with 16 Home runs and only four steals. Still a favorite of the Royals
Front Office, Francouer is only a AL-only filer for a source of power.
Johnny Gomes BOS
A Pure platoon player who has a thirst for left handed pitching will be the leading candidate for the Red Sox Left Field Job. Fenway Park suits to his pull power with am .894 Career OPS versus southpaws. He could serve as a mixed-league fill in on days Gomes faces lefties but as a AL-only power play he figures to hit at least .260 having done this three of the last four years.
Carlos Gonzalez COL
The Colorado Rockies Outfielder continues to be an elite fantasy option going 20/20 each of the last three seasons while batting .295 or above during that span. Scary part is he is just now entering his prime. The home/road splits continue to show him to be better hitter playing at home. â€œCarGoâ€ is a Top tier Outfield fantasy option.
Franklin Gutierrez SEA The Seattle Mariners and Gutierrez chalked 2012 up to bad luck, as major injuries left and right derailed any chance of positive progress. He has a chance to start the year as the everyday Center fielder. In 2010 Gutierrez posted 14 home runs and 25 steals and in drafting him late in AL-only leagues you will gladly take that production.
Garret Jones PIT
At 31-years-old Jones looks to improve on a solid 2012 campaign. Last
season, in a platoon role, Jones had his best season since his 2009 breakout. Posting highs in Home runs (27) and runs (68) scored to go with a healthy average of .274. Expect some regression back to his 2010-2011 years where in that span, he averaged 18 home runs and a .245 batting average. NL-Only Power play.
Matt Joyce TAM
Will the real Matt Joyce please stand up? The 2011 All Star had started the last two seasons hot only to fall off the earth after two months. Last year, Joyce hit the DL and was never the same hitting .241. Could be a smart move to draft him and when he gets hot, sell high.
Juan Pierre MIA
Back in Miami where it began years all those years ago, Juan Pierre is
a slap hitter who will steal 30 or more bases this season. The .300 average from a year ago may not duplicate but he still should bat for a respectable high average.
Martin Prado ARI
The new third baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks remains an under-the-radar, versatile option in fantasy baseball. Prado stole 17 bases in 2012 being caught only four times. If he keeps the .300 average and maintains the same SB conversion rate, a 20 steal season with double-digit home run total is a strong possibility.
Carlos Quentin SD
The move to Petco hurt Quentinâ€™s power a bit, as expected. If healthy in 2013 the added 175 At-bats could push his home run total to 30. Carlos Quentin is never going to help in the average department as last yearâ€™s .261 figures to be once in a lifetime thing.
Ben Revere PHI
The former Minnesota Twins Outfielder has no power to bring to the table. However,Revere hits for a solid average hitting .294 in 2012. The better but aging lineup of the Phillies should boost his runs scored.Revere, already one of the gameâ€™s prime basestealers, averaging 37 steals the last two seasons, figures to hit atop the Philliesâ€™ Lineup starting Opening Day.