We will be posting our yearly player blurbs. Here we have OF. I will be updating this as we do more, but wanted to get you all the information as quickly as we can. Authored by the mysterious “T” who is a FSWA Member,Â FantasyBaseball & FantasyFootball Writer and Podcaster of “Perusing the Perimeter” forÂ FantasyTrade411.com,Â follow him on twitter @Whudey.
Colby Rasmus – OF-Â Toronto Blue Jays
The once highly-touted Cardinals’ Prospect sawÂ his best year in 2010, when he hit 23 HR with a .276 average.Â The last two seasons however, have been nightmares,Â hitting just above the Mendoza Line each year and failing to reach 20 HR inÂ 2011. His playing time may warrant owners to take a flierÂ on this guy late in drafts, but its best you let someone else drinkÂ the “Post-Hype” Kool-Aid. The scouts were wrong, and he is not going to be an above-average regular.
Melky Cabrera – OF- Toronto Blue Jays
The 2012 All-Star Game MVP got caught using PEDs shortly after winningÂ the award. The last two seasons saw a rise across the board, butÂ how much of that was him stepping his game up versus PEDÂ use? Bet on the latter. Only time will tell but if you look at his 2010 numbers with theÂ Atlanta Braves (PED Free?), he hit for a .255 average and had an OBPÂ of .317. Start with that as a baseline if you are pessimistic.
Yoenis Cespedes – OF- Oakland A’s
Relatively unknown coming into 2012, the Cuban importÂ had a veryÂ solid “rookie” season. Being overshadowed by Mike Trout’s Stardom,Â Cespedes hit 23 HRs and 82 RBIs in 487 ABs. As the A’s cleanup hitterÂ in 2013 should only bring bigger and better things as the ball clubÂ vastly improved over the last two seasons and they look to defendÂ their AL West Crown. The AL OF is barren, so he is close to the top of the heap.
Torii Hunter – 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 wasÂ a unique year for the veteran hitting over .300 for the first timeÂ in his career, but the walks decreased by 30 from the year before andÂ the Ks rose. Then you couple that with a decline in HR from 23Â to 16 and its obvious the power isn’t there anymore. Hunter stillÂ figures to to be quite the fantasy asset hitting possibly 2nd in frontÂ of Miggy and Prince which could make him a 100 Run producer in 2013.
Austin Jackson – OF- Detroit Tigers
For the first time, the one-time highly-touted New YorkÂ Yankees’ prospect made Tigers fans forget all about Curtis Granderson.
After a poor 2011 following a solid 2010. In 2012, Jackson broke outÂ atop the Tigers Lineup hitting .300 and cutting down on the strikeoutsÂ 5% off his regular rate. The numbers rose across the board and figuresÂ to warrant being a solid mid-round selection. One negative here: 12Â for 21 on stolen base attempts so don’t trust him to steal 3o forÂ your team this season.
Josh Hamilton – OF- Los Angeles Angels
The superstar hitter is taking his talents to Anaheim. Last year he waÂ DL Free and he may have not duplicated his MVP numbers from
2010 but Â 43 HR and 128 RBIs is not mincemeat. Â Sure, he mayÂ need to adjust to his newÂ park and teammates, and he could very well endÂ up on the DL given the track record but the power and production whenÂ healthy is elite. Having Trout Â lead offÂ and protecting Albert Pujols cannot hurt.
Curtis Granderson – OF- New York Yankees
Back-to-back Seasons of 40 HR is nice, but other than the glove that isÂ all he has brought to the party. The numbers scream avoid unless youÂ can surround him with lots of high average guys. He hit .232 in 2012Â and since 2009 has a .247 AVG. The sharp rise in strikeouts and lack ofÂ stolen bases doesn’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 won’t last forever.
Alex Gordon – OF- Kansas City Royals
After a breakout year in 2011, Â many thought it was a fluke. WhatÂ Gordon did in 2012 was squash all doubt that the once over-hyped prospectÂ had arrived. The HR numbers took a dip but that was mainly due toÂ the ineffectiveness of Hosmer and overall health of the ball clubÂ forcing him to bat lead off. The high average and solid counting statsÂ production the last two years should only see an increase for the 2013Â campaign.
Brett Gardner – OF- New York Yankees
Elbow issues shelved Gardner early in the 2012 campaign. Drafted as aÂ one-trick pony for steals (averaging 48 from 2010 to 2011) he was justÂ possibly scratching the surface of a career year before the injury. IfÂ he can finally move Derek Jeter out of the lead off spot his valueÂ skyrockets.
Adam Jones – OF- Baltimore Orioles
The Man not named PacMan arrived last year and it was no surprise theÂ Orioles competed. The past three seasons has seen consistencyÂ with a BA of .285 average over that span. The increaseÂ 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 theÂ first time in his career. A 1st Round Talent at a 4th round/ $20
auction discount. Yes, Please!
Jose Bautista – OF- Toronto Blue Jays
A wrist injury put a bow on a very disappointing start to 2012 thatÂ 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 toÂ the 40+ HR Club. Expect the average to sit somewhere between his 2010Â (.260) & 2011 (.302). Coming off the injury presents a greatÂ opportunity to get him at a huge discount for the first time in 3
Michael Brantley – OF- Cleveland Indians
Cleveland’s 2012 CF was a consistent, solid contributor across the board for the Tribe. Drew Stubbs figures to push him to one ofÂ the corner OF positions. A very cheap but solid option for average andÂ a peppering of counting stats.
Michael Morse – OF – Seattle Mariners
After spending the last few seasons with The Washington Nationals,Â Morse returns to the Mariners via trade. He is a very solid player, maintaining aÂ .290 + BA in DC. The return to Seattle will drainÂ his power numbers but those drafting should feel comfortable. WhenÂ 100% healthy he can produce nicely in every Roto category except SB.
Drew Stubbs CLE
The Indians’ Outfielder sure wishes it was 2010 again. Since then heÂ has been less than spectacular; hopefully the change in scenery will doÂ wonders for him. He still possesses mixed league value, hasÂ stolen 30 or more bases the last three seasons and getting out from under Dusty’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 lastÂ 3 years. There is no reason to think the trend doesn’t continue as he hasÂ provided owners with 80 Runs, 25 Home Runs, 90 RBIs, and a .270Â Batting Average over that span.
Lorenzo Cain KC
The Royals’ Outfielder cannot seem to stay healthy. He figures to getÂ another shot at proving that his talent on the field is worth waiting for. With the Royals removing Wil MeyersÂ from the equation, a 500 At-Bat season could produce 20 Home Runs andÂ 30 Steals.
Nolan Reimold BAL
His power numbers in the minors hold AL-Only appeal.Â Before a neck injury in April Reimold was gaining mixed leagueÂ attention by hitting five home runs with 10 RBIs, and .313 average in 67Â At-Bats. A late round gamble due to health who could vastly outplayÂ his Draft Day auction value.
Josh Reddick OAK
After being set free from Boston in the Andrew Bailey deal last Â 0ffseason, Reddick received everyday at-bats for the first time in his
career. Looking at his 2012 season, those 32 Home Runs instantly grabÂ 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 playingÂ time right away. His minor league numbers at Triple-A and Double-A inÂ 2012 – .314-37- 104 warranted a call-up but the Royals never pulledÂ the trigger. Rookies are a gamble but with the void he fills andÂ 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 inÂ 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 21Â 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 noÂ fluke. His rookie season he hit 29 Home Runs only to follow that upÂ with 32 in 2012. The Strikeouts rose a bit, but all other numbers areÂ trending up and batting in that lineup expect much of the same inÂ 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 Â hadÂ owners enjoying a “Up” year in 2012, with a solid campaign ofÂ .304-25-91, Does he follow his career trend by havingÂ a “Down” 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 eachÂ 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. EvenÂ 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 venueÂ could provide a chance for the “Flying Hawaiian” 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 theÂ A’s Fourth/Fifth Outfielder. Â 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 SoxÂ the power-hittingÂ 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 Sox’ 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 Angels’Â 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? Don’tÂ expect a rebound of any kind in Safeco as his numbers have beenÂ steadily declining for years now.
Coco Crisp OAK
Provides excellent value as one of the more elite base-stealingÂ Outfielders in the game, having stolen 32 or more bases in last three yearsÂ with the A’s. As long as he remains healthy, Crisp remains veryÂ 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 WhiteÂ Sox, de Aza came through with an excellent season. He proved his minor league numbers and cups of coffee with theÂ 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% successÂ rate that should be higher in 2013, show his value if he continues to hit atop the White SoxÂ lineup.
Nelson Cruz TEX
Nelson finally had a fairly healthy year in 2012 with 585 At-BatsÂ hitting .260-24-90. Who knew he wasn’t the 40-HR power source we all expected? With Josh Hamilton and Michael Young gone heÂ figures to be the focal point of the offense so there is a chance he
could improve on those numbers. Injuries for CruzÂ are still very muchÂ 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, consistentÂ stolen base generator, averaging 43 per year. No reason to think he doesn’t
notch another 40 under his belt in 2013 if he gets theÂ At-Bats.
Jacoby Ellsbury BOS
2012 was no where near the production everyone hoped for after a veryÂ impressive 2011. The 2011 season saw him hit 32 Home Runs with 105Â RBIs and a .321 Average. 2012 he managed only 303 at-bats and neverÂ came close to his 2011 production. With as much upside asÂ Jacoby possesses the downside averaging 83 games a year is too greatÂ 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 won’t be disappointed.
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