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Went over the catchers1st basemen2nd basemen and shortstops and top 20 3rd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball. Guess what’s next!  No, not pitchers. Read the title, man.  In 2010, there were only 5 outfielders that hit 30 homers, in 2011 there were 9, this year there were 14.  It isn’t exactly like a bleached Sammy Sosa is sticking players with needles, but at least the rich got a little richer — yay, capitalism!  Steals were still in abundance, and that doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere any time soon.  There were 14 outfielders who stole 30 bases in 2011 and this year there were 14.  Since outfield is a deep position, I’m going to turn this one to 40.  As before, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Mike Trout – If you owned Mike Trout last year and lost your league, you really screwed up.  I finished 6th in my RCL and I would’ve finished no worse than 2nd with Mike Trout on my team.  SAT Question:  Mike Trout is to wonderful as wonderful is to what?  There is no comparison to Mike Trout.  If he shows up on the SATs, walk out and tell the college admissions board your gripe and you want to go to Harvard.  Done.  Tell them I said so, too.  I’ll write your letter of recommendation.  And sign Mike Trout’s name!  I didn’t rank Trout, but I talked about him in preseason sleeper posts and when/if the Angels call him up.  He was in multiple Buys and we dedicated a podcast to him.  So, don’t tell me you weren’t forewarned.  I forewarned you!  Preseason Unranked, 2012 Projections:  55/7/30/.270/20 in 300 ABs, Final Numbers: 129/30/83/.329/49

2. Ryan Braun – We’ve had some laughs at Braun’s expense due to the whole FedEx urine sample being accidentally sent to the MLBB (My Lips But Better lipstick).  But, on the fo’really, if he would’ve bombed this year, people would’ve never shut up about how his suspension should’ve been held up.  After his year, I haven’t heard one thing about his positive drug test.  The morale of this story, boys and four girls:  Do drugs, but don’t get caught.  Preseason Rank #1, 2012 Projections:  105/35/110/.310/15, Final Numbers:  108/41/112/.319/30

3. Josh Hamilton – And due to injury concerns, I would give him exactly the same ranking and projections next year as I did last.  Sure, he could hit 40+ homers like he did this year, but he could also get caught dancing on a bar, and, while ducking away from the TMZ photogs, pull an oblique.  Preseason Rank #10, 2012 Projections:  75/27/85/.295/7, Final Numbers: 103/43/128/.285/7

4. Andrew McCutchen – The Dread Pirate’s season was obviously terrific, so let’s look at the negatives.  His speed was way down and his ranking here is being buoyed a bit by his average.  If he only steals 20 bases and hits .279, as our Expected Batting Average tool says.  Well, then The Dread Pirate might be selling you something he can’t deliver for next year.  Preseason Rank #7, 2012 Projections:  95/25/100/.275/30, Final Numbers: 107/31/96/.327/20

5. Alex Rios – I think my dropping of Rios hurt even more than my dropping of Ryan Zimmerman, because I was one of the few that saw a bounce back coming for Rios and ranked him as high as I did.  I even went and wrote a sleeper post.  I wonder *nudging VinWins* if I kept Rios and Zimmerman where my RCL team would’ve finished.  Preseason Rank #33, 2012 Projections:  75/17/85/.270/22, Final Numbers:  93/25/91/.304/23

6. Curtis Granderson – Since I’ve gone over whether or not he was overrated a bunch already, I decided to just look at Grandy’s career.  This I found shocking.  From active players who have had as many seasons as him (9), the only players with more homers are Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Matt Holliday and Adrian Gonzalez.  Even more shocking, the player with 9 seasons and only one less homer than Grandy?  The player who had 209?  Nick Swisher.  Joe Girardi just scoffed.  Oh, and Grandy should buy the Pesci Pole in right field a nice dinner.  Preseason Rank #13, 2012 Projections:  100/29/90/.255/18, Final Numbers:  102/43/106/.232/10

7. Adam Jones – Why did the O’s get bounced from the playoffs?  Cause their clean up hitter had only 82 RBIs.  Not saying Jones is bad, mind you.  I’m saying the garbage in front of him smells like a piece of Roquefort that you forgot in your refrigerator for three years.  Preseason Rank #20, 2012 Projections:  80/25/90/.285/12, Final Numbers: 103/32/82/.287/16

8. Matt Holliday – Holliday has become that girl that you can call up at 3 AM drunk. You ain’t telling your friends about her, you’re not stopping yourself from talking to other girls before 3 AM because of her, you’re not exactly thrilled in the morning, but when all else fails, at least she’s reliable.  Preseason Rank #14, 2012 Projections:  85/24/90/.305/5, Final Numbers: 95/27/102/.295/4

9. Carlos Gonzalez – One of these years Tulo and CarGo are both gonna be healthy and the Rockies are gonna have a terrific year.  Unfortch, there’s just as good a chance that neither is healthy and the Rockies are talking about seeing what Jonathan Herrera can do with 400 at-bats.  Preseason Rank #6, 2012 Projections:  100/25/100/.300/18, Final Numbers: 89/22/85/.303/22

10. Josh Willingham – 110 RBIs from the Twins clean up hitter but only 82 RBIs from the Orioles clean up hitter.  I bought the Rosetta Stone Common Sense Edition and it can’t even unwrap that riddle.  In the BCS rankings, Willingham is number one for outfielders.  That’s the Best Case Scenario rankings, btw.  Preseason Rank #76, 2012 Projections:  65/22/80/.250/3, Final Numbers: 85/35/110/.260/3

11. Carlos Beltran – Then Beltran’s number two in the BCS with Willingham and him fighting it out in The Fiesta Bowl.  Don’t ask me how they’re gonna pack 50,000 people into a tostada.  I have no idea.  Preseason Rank #41, 2012 Projections:  65/18/80/.275/7, Final Numbers: 83/32/97/.269/13

12. Jason Heyward – I find Heyward to be an interesting case.  He’s sorta like his compadre that is right below him.  When Heyward came up there was all kinds of hype around him.  Call it Hype-a-polooza.  Then he struggled last year.  Call it the “This Shizz Is Warped” tour.   So, now people don’t seem that excited by him even after a solid season.  Heyward’s 23 years old and just had a top 12 season for outfielders.  Guys (four girls), the numbers may not be Big Head Bonds-like, but for this era, they’re pretty damn good.  Preseason Rank #23, 2012 Projections:  80/22/90/.280/10, Final Numbers: 93/27/82/.269/21

13. Jay Bruce – Damn, he was about seven hits, one run and one RBI away from winning my “You Don’t Really Get An Award” Award for landing directly on my projections.  Oh, well, he’ll have to settle for this imaginary horseshoe.  Note to self:  Remind people in January that Bruce is death for H2H leagues.  Preseason Rank #9, 2012 Projections:  90/34/100/.270/10, Final Numbers: 89/34/99/.252/9

14. Giancarlo Stanton – 37 homers at 22 years old.  Once again with feeling:  37 homers at 22 years old.  Once again with specifics:  37 homers at 22 years old as he struggled with a knee injury and missed a month-plus of the season.  37 homers in only 123 games!  A’la Denzel in Training Day, “Ralph Kiner ain’t got shizz on me!”  Preseason Rank #8, 2012 Projections:  100/37/115/.260/7, Final Numbers: 75/37/86/.290/6

15. B.J. Upton – Not a bad send-off if this is his final year with the Rays.  Hope you’re wearing your extra-loose fitting sweat pants because I bet he’s going to the Yankees.  (Or maybe Justin Upton goes there.  There’s gonna be an Upton in pinstripes by January.  Sorry, my psychic was vague.)  Preseason Rank #19, 2012 Projections:  80/20/85/.250/40, Final Numbers: 79/28/78/.246/31

16. Mark Trumbo – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.

17. Alfonso Soriano – Unless you were in a deep league where dropping Soriano was out of the question, I’d say that in reality Soriano probably gave you around the 30th best outfielder season.  I doubt there were many people that kept him all year.  I was gonna say that maybe you kept him all year if you were a Cubs fan, but the opposite is probably true, and you lived through your fantasy team vicariously by trading him.  Preseason Rank #80 1/2, 2012 Projections:  45/18/60/.240/3, Final Numbers: 68/32/108/.262/6

18. Corey Hart – Seems to have settled into that tier of outfielders that no one is excited about drafting or owning, but does fairly respectable when he’s healthy.  Also, with that beard and no mustache, he looks like he just settled in Massachusetts in the 1500’s.  Preseason Rank #35, 2012 Projections:  75/24/70/.265/8, Final Numbers: 91/30/83/.270/5

19. Justin Upton – This is the most surprising ranking I’ve done in the postseason.  Not because I thought he would be better, though I did.  I’m surprised he ranked this high in what everyone has to consider an off year.  I mean, his club wants to get rid of him, his fantasy owners kept talking about how terrible he was in the comments, yet, a top 20 season.  107 runs are definitely buoying him, but they’re still there to, uh, buoy, ya know?  Preseason Rank #4, 2012 Projections:  100/30/100/.300/20, Final Numbers: 107/17/67/.280/18

20. Michael Bourn – I really have no clue how he didn’t have 100 runs and Upton did.  Just one of those weird things.  I really have no idea how he got 9 homers.  Again…*shrugs shoulders*  His season also had a huge split.  In the 2nd half, he hit only .225.  Maybe all that 1st half power got into his head and he starting going for the fences, which is like a dwarf applying for a job at a Big & Tall store.  Casey Kasem doesn’t say just “reach for the stars.”  He says, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”  Or as I said in my yearbook quote, “It’s not how far you shoot, it’s where you aim.”  Though, I wasn’t talking about baseball.  Preseason Rank #40 1/16, 2012 Projections:  90/2/40/.280/50, Final Numbers: 96/9/57/.274/42

  1. Steve says:
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    Tell January Grey not to worry – I’ll be telling anyone that cares to listen about Bruce and H2H from now all the way to NEXT postseason.

    • ThE sHiT says:
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      @Steve, Oh Bruuuuuuce, how you helped sink my H2H team. I officially hate H2H now. I had CarGo, Stanton, Bruce AND Trout, and still didn’t win my league. Injuries (Votto), hitting great in bunches when i didn’t need it, sucking balls when i desperately needed production, really showed me that winning in H2H is more timely luck than anything. I had a much worse team in the RCL and finished 3rd in my league, 100th overall. Go figure…

      • ThE sHiT says:
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        @ThE sHiT, Check that, 101st overall.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha… Thanks!

  2. ThE sHiT says:
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    Oh yeah, almost forgot, IN TROUT WE TRUST!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Better than Pizza Buona!

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        Walk in with an appetite, walk out with a Buona.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You know that place too?

      • tHe sHiT says:
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        @Grey, I gather you finally tried it and werent impressed.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nah, Trout’s just that awesome… I did try it, and I liked it… It was a big enough hike for me (about 20 minutes) that I probably wouldn’t go there just for it, but if I were in the neighborhood I’d go again…

  3. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    Hey Grey. I consulted with Rudy, and he said you would have finished second if he was managing your team. Hope that helps.

    • VinWins

      VinWins says:
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      @Grey, Rios hit .314 with 82 Runs, 24 HR, 76 RBI, and 19 SB after you dropped him. Tougher to figure what stats you got though. You dropped him for Heisey, who you dropped for Avery, then Blanco, Martinez, Smith, Reynolds, Lind, Moss, Frazier, Garrett Jones, Brett Jackson, Brown, Brett Jackson again, Ruggiano, Jay, Viciendo, Maxwell, Podsednik, and Canzler.

      • VinWins

        VinWins says:
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        RZ hit .318 with 64 Runs, 22 HR, 73 RBI, and 2 SB after you dropped him. You replaced him with Moss, who you dropped for Parnell, then Marshall, Cashner, Garrett jones, Gose, Aoki, Marte, DeJesus, Parmelee, Mayberry, and Dirks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I bet all of those guys were hot immediately prior or immediately following those picks ups…

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I hear ya… It was a carrousel of crap… A crapoussel, if you will…

    • @VinWins, Ha. I didn’t say that. Grey finished with 76 points. On quick look, he might’ve picked up about 8-10 points, mainly in R/HR/AVG. So best guess is 4th place with best case being 3rd place.

      • VinWins

        VinWins says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Sorry, I must have misunderstood.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Over IM, you told me 2nd place…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

  4. Nate says:
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    Kemp?

      • @VinWins, kemp’s injury dinged his value on counting stats (74 runs, 69 RBI). if he played 155 games, he’d have been top 10 with the only real disappointment being SBs (he only had 9 in 106 games.). But the low SB totals are probably tied to his health issues as well.

        Similar to Longoria, his value was higher in leagues with more than 1 DL slot as there is almost no cost to stashing him on the bench (and you can accrue replacement stats while on DL)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not sure what you’re asking…

  5. Randy BoBandy says:
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    If Rios was #5, seems like OF’s were just a hurting breed this season. Or I’m still bitter about how terrible he was in Toronto pre-trade.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, you might be a bit bitter, more bitter than sweet… He had a solid year…

  6. TheNewGuy says:
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    Redbirds and Tigers to make the WS.

    Detroit to win it all, it’s their (and Miggy’s) year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I don’t know, feels like the NL has two teams that refuse to lose… Verlander will be tough though…

  7. Matthew Thieroff says:
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    Dont see how you can tell us you warned us on Mike Trout. You predicted 7 HR and 20 SB. He blew those numbers out of the water. Everyone knew Mike Trout was going to be solid, but noone, not even you, expected this.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I meant I warned to pick him up… Said many times in April that he’d be better than Harper this year… And if you could only get one, Trout was the one… Of course no one knew he’d be the number one baseball player in the entire major leagues his rookie year…

  8. Jon says:
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    Do you do a “Players To Avoid In H2H” post? That would be extremely helpful IMO.

    More generally, does a #1 SP gain or lose value in H2H leagues versus Roto?

    • @Jon, Grey did an H2H strategy post in the pre-season: http://razzball.com/fantasy-baseball-draft-strategy-h2h/

      For 2013, I’m thinking through a methodology for adjusting player values for H2H. Right now, I’m thinking that consistent hitters (week in week out) are better than streaky hitters. This is one reason why I avoid SB-only guys in H2H (since SBs are notoriously streaky).

      For SPs, I’d say they lose value in H2H leagues since their impact is diluted by the extra # of starts used in the format. For H2H, I like having a large group of pitchers that I can mix/match based on matchups and whether they have 2 starts. I’d also say that H2H makes for tougher streaming since there are more rostered SPs.

      • Jon says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, thanks for the link and your thoughts. I agree that balance is important for H2H guys and consistency. If there was an option for H2H leagues in the Player Rater that would be pretty big, I think.

        And yeah, in my H2H league the best teams all roster 10+ SPs so it’s tough to find guys off the waivers, but I still started using the SoN with success at the end of the season as 2-start pitchers are gold week-to-week. It can work.

        One other suggestion for the Player Rater, if I may. Since Grey’s projections were pretty spot on in a lot of cases, could you incorporate those into a “projected ROS” sort of thing just by subtracting a player’s real stats? Could be a good indication – at least early on – of players who start slow (Pujols, Rios, Zimmerman this year) who are likely to still finish with good seasons, or players who start above their heads and may slow down. Or it might not be helpful at all. It for sure probably wouldn’t by mid-season. Anyway, just an idea.

        This is the best fantasy baseball site around hands down and it’s awesome how you and Grey are always looking to improve.

        • @Jon, Glad it’s a good idea. Will also have to test how predictable ‘streakiness’ really is. No idea if this is a fluke (varies year to year) vs a trait.

          Looking to update SoN so it’s 7 days so it’s more useful for 2-start pitchers. Also looking into how to provide more guidance on rest of season. How I do it is still TBD :)

          Thanks for the praise! Hoping to be even better next season!

  9. TheNewGuy says:
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    Gotta feel good for Mad (not maddening anymore) Max, after what happened to his brother. He must be thinking about him every time he goes out there, he really has performed great the 2nd half and postseason under those circumstances. Must have fired him up even more to go out there and perform.

    That said, the Yankees couldnt hit a barn door with a banjo.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha! Nice analogy… To further it, …if they were playing in the deep south.

  10. TheNewGuy says:
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    Wow barring the AVG that was a crazy good call on Bruce. Nice job Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks, friend!

  11. Steve says:
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    *Sings* “And so, the end is near… “

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Which means we can get cracking on 2013…yay!

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey, Man, what a rogering. The Giants/Cards will be tough to beat, no doubt, but if that ‘pen keeps doing it’s thing the Tigers look awfully well balanced.

        • Steve says:
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          @Steve, From someone on Twitter:

          Postseason numbers: Cano 3-for-40 (.075); Granderson 3-for-30 (.100); Swisher 5-for-30 (.166); A-Rod 3-for-25 (.120).

          I’m not saying I could do any better, but that’s not very good.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yeah, that’s egregious… I will say that there were probably more weeks of Grandy and A-Rod stats like that than one would be left to believe… Cano has no excuse though… Except in April when he looks lost every year…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          They just need to trust Valverde one time and it will leave a wedge for the Giants or Cards to get through…

  12. royce! says:
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    The way Prince called that last out was adorable.

    Also, poor Ichiro. Sorta.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      What happened with Prince? I missed it, was at the eye doctor… California is such a BS state with needing an eye exam every year if you want contacts… This is what they’re concerned with? You’re an attorney, can’t you repeal this or something? Shizz just cost me $350…

      • royce! says:
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        @Grey, Damns, $350? I’m in the wrong business…

        Anyhoo, Prince was jumping and violently swinging his arms, but very much like an excited child. Which is kind of like everything he does.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          If only he would’ve had a proper father figure in his life…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I gotta say my favorite part to that video is the background music that was playing at the stadium… You’re Motown, Detroit, and that’s what you play? Did they only have the rights to music from pre-1930?

            • Steve says:
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              @royce!, What is the song? I get a “you’ve reached this page in error”, uh, error when I hit your link…

              • royce! says:
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                @Steve, Huh, weird. The song is called “Go Get ‘Em Tigers”. Here’s an excerpt of the article, which was published last time the Tigers made the WS:

                Artie Fields, now 85, was creating advertising music in Detroit for many clients back in 1967 when an ad exec approached him about writing a catchy tune for a local bank promotion. The city was giddy then over a team that wound up falling one game shy of a World Series appearance and wound up winning it all the next year.

                “Go Get ‘Em Tigers” has survived the test of time, now in a brand-new medium. Fields himself authorized the popular ditty to be made available as a ringtone in this way, staying at the vanguard of Tigers rally music.

                “I used the line ‘Go Get ‘Em Tigers’ — that’s all they gave me,” Fields explained in a recent interview with a Rochester, Mich., audio-production company called LifeTalk that records personal histories. “In two hours, I wrote the lyrics and the song and produced a spot for them. The bank gave away thousands of records.

                “I had no idea that it would catch on like it did. Every radio station in town was playing it when they neared the pennant.”

                The song became a hot radio play when the Tigers last appeared in the postseason in 1987, and now here it comes again. As ringtones go, it’s not exactly 50 Cent or Jibbs. But that’s what so many Tigers fans love about it. It has that old-time feel, and Fields — who wrote some 9,000 pieces of music (many of which were syndicated nationally) during his career at Artie Fields Productions — always has an answer for those who ask why he hasn’t arranged a contemporary version.

                • Steve says:
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                  @royce!, Righto then.

                  Like Grey said, you have a musical history like Detroit has, of course you go to a jingle writer…

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Get me the Tidy-Bowl man, stat!

                    • Steve says:
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                      @Grey, I may be doing ol’ Artie a disservice, but it’s Detroit for crying out loud!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Nah, I’m with you… Bring out Gordy’s rolodex!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  “Old time feel”… Ha! You don’t say? I wonder if the Great Artie Fields was the even better Bert Fields’ brother…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Oh, wow… Sounds like it should be played on the ol’ Victorola, but yeah looks to be appropriate (sorta).

              • Lorenzo says:
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                @Grey, To those of us long-time Tigers fans, “Go Get ‘Em Tigers!!” is a fond throw-back song, circa 1968. The fact that it’s irritatating and sounds like it should be played on an ol’ Victorola is even sweeter!!! Sort of like our answer to “New York, New York” to rub in a four-game sweep.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ha! It’s like you’re beating the Yankees Ferrari with a Detroit-made Fairlane…

      • royce! says:
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        @Steve, That’s the exact image it called to mind. Well played

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Those Zubaz pants would fit me…

        • Steve says:
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          @Grey, I could fit in one leg, I reckon.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Ha! I could use it as a bed spread…

        • Steve says:
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          @Grey, In the story I got that version of the photo from, it says that Prince hit a ball into the upper deck of old Tiger Stadium when he was 12…

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            But Reggie did it in an All-Star Game!

  13. Wake Up says:
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    Who knew Miggy’s triple crown came with three funnels on top to catch and chug all the champagne flying around in there…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha… Would’ve liked to see one of those champagne glass towers balanced on his head…

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