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February 8, 2013 posted by Patrick DiCaprio

NL OF Individual Player Commentary Blurbs Part 3

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Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

Done by our friend the mysterious “T” from FantasyTrade411 @Whudey on twitter.

Scott Hairston CHI
The newly-acquired outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, if given the at-bats, can hit 20 home runs. Hairston’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, “That’s a clown question, bro.” 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 Twins’ “Outfielder of the Future” 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 Ludwick’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 Pirates’ 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 Hamilton’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 that’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 game’s premier five-tool players. The .327 batting average from 2012 may not duplicate itself as it was a product of a .375 BABIP. McCutchen’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 Pence’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.

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