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We’ve looked at top 20 catchers, 1st basemen, 2nd basemen, 3rd basemen and shortstops for 2008 and we’ve seen one recurring theme. Offense was waaay down in 2008 (That’s right, “way” with three A’s!). With the top 20 outfielders for 2008, the theme continues. You get a full-frontal shot of the outfielders’ offensive problems in 2008 when you look at Matt Kemp’s 2008 predictions and final stats. His preseason predictions were 95/20/75/.290/20 and he came in with 93/18/76/.290/35. His steals were a bit higher (another recurring theme), but I’m like Ms. mothereffin’ Cleo with these predictions. Seriously, bow down, non-mustachioed wo/man. Kemp gave you almost exactly what I predicted he would and I ranked him 36th, but he came in 10th. That doesn’t mean I’m a savant with predictions and an idiot with rankings. No, it means offense was waaaay down (Four A’s!). I was pretty close with my predictions for Manny too and he moved from 21st to 2nd.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 Outfielders for 2008 in fantasy baseball and how they compared to where we originally ranked them:

1. Matt Holliday – 25 home runs in Coors? Zoinks! What happens if he’s traded? Does he hit 15 home runs and steal 35? Victorino called, he wants his stats back. Preseason Rank #1, Preseason Predictions:  110/40/125/.310/7, Final Numbers:  107/25/88/.321/28

2. Manny Ramirez – It’s just like Manny to leave a hitter’s park for a pitcher’s park and see his value skyrocket. The touring company of Rainman should consider casting Manny, he’s a natural. Imagine trying to read him for cheating at the blackjack table. It would be impossible. Actually, the one caveat is Manny couldn’t be in on it. If he knew he were cheating, he giggle uncontrollably. Preseason Rank #21, Preseason Predictions:  85/32/105/.315, Final Numbers: 102/37/121/.332

3. Lance Berkman – Already went over Berkman in the top 20 1st basemen for 2008. Preseason Rank #12, Preseason Predictions:  100/30/115/.310/5, Final Numbers:  114/29/106/.312/18

4. Grady Sizemore – The Zagat Guide to Cleveland said, “The twelfth chapter of “The Akron Ladies Spread for Grady’s Baby,” were “happy” with his “numbers.” Calling him a “speed/power combo to make a jackhammer envious” and they’d like to sandwich him like the Rs on the word rawr.” Preseason Rank #2, Preseason Predictions:  120/35/85/.290/30, Final Numbers: 101/33/90/.268/38

5. Carlos Beltran – Beltran was underrated on the Royals, then overrated on the Mets and now he seems to have found his way back to underrated. The only thing that remains the same, he can play a gay teenager with aplomb. Preseason Rank #9, Preseason Predictions:  100/27/110/.270/18, Final Numbers:   116/27/112/.284/25

6. Josh Hamilton – Fantasy baseball shot itself up on Hamilton for the fist half of the year, then, as with any good buzz, there were fewer thrills later on and mostly you were left trying to reclaim some of the past highs. Preseason Rank #38, Preseason Predictions:  70/27/80/.300/5, Final Numbers:  98/32/130/.304/9

7. Ichiro Suzuki – Here’s a monkey serving beer in Japan. With more and more monkeys waiting tables to make ends meet, it makes me wonder… Will more and more monkeys also try to make it as actors? Or will actors start being monkeys? Either way, go watch that monkey again. It’s wonderful! (You gotta love how he sneaks off to eat edamame. Monkeys love edamame — case closed.) Oh, bee-tee-dubya, Ichiro got some hits and some steals. Who saw that coming? Preseason Rank #11, Preseason Predictions:  110/10/65/.330/45, Final Numbers:  103/6/42/.310/43

8. Ryan Ludwick -  Ludwick is the first completely out of nowhere outfielder. Last year, he hit more home runs in the major leagues than he hit at any stop in the minors, which is saying a lot considering he’s 30 years old and, like Gary Glitter, he’s been banging around the minors since 1999. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  104/37/113/.299/4

9. Ryan Braun – Already went over Braun in the top 20 3rd basemen for 2008. (Note: Braun was only ranked for 3rd basemen. In all fairness, I would’ve ranked him above Ryan Ludwick.), Preseason Predictions:  100/27/105/.280/12, Final Numbers:  92/37/106/.285/14

10. Matt Kemp – Kemp’s 2008 was like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. It may have only been one movie, but you just knew more was on the way. Hopefully, in a few years, Kemp doesn’t hit a home run then begin to laugh like a madman while wearing five inch heals on his cleats. Preseason Rank #36, Preseason Predictions:  95/20/75/.290/20, Final Numbers:  93/18/76/.290/35

11. Bobby Abreu – I’m convinced there’s no better way to go under radar in fantasy baseball than to have a 20/20 season as an outfielder. The Witness Protection Agency should reassign people into the major leagues and give them ten years of 20/20 seasons. Preseason Rank #13, Preseason Predictions:  120/15/110/.310/20, Final Numbers:  100/20/100/.296/22

12. Nate McLouth – We didn’t rank him, but Rudy did say on Opening Day, “(McLouth has) SB and Run potential. Enough pop for 15 HR. Enough speed for 30 SB. AVG won’t be great.” And that’s me quoting Rudy! Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  113/26/94/.276/23

13. Johnny Damon – Is it me or are Yankees suddenly being underrated and forgotten? Some sort of anti-Big Business/anti-ESPN thing going on here. Damon’s numbers were eerily similar to Alexis Rios and think about how many teams Rios clogged up. Seriously, think about it. I don’t see you thinking. There ya go. Preseason Rank #33, Preseason Predictions:  105/15/70/.280/15, Final Numbers:  95/17/71/.303/29

14. Shane Victorino – Hamilton-Burrishly, Victorino and Rios dueled during the regular season to see who would hit more home runs, so it’s fitting that they should come in 14th and 15th respectively. However, The Flying Hawaiian provided a lot more value than Rios considering their ADP. (BTW, how about “Hamilton-Burrishly?” All the kids are gonna be saying that. As soon as they figure out what it means.) Preseason Rank #35, Preseason Predictions:  115/15/60/.280/40, Final Numbers:  102/14/58/.293/36

15. Alexis Rios – At 15th overall for outfielders, Rios wasn’t as bad as, say, Carl Crawford, but still the power never came. Rios’s power numbers look like Jason Kendall having a Brady Anderson-type ‘roids season. (Minus the sideburns, of course. Speaking of sideburns, am I the only one not watching the new Beverly Hills, 90210? Actually, I should rephrase that, am I the only one not watching Beverly Hills, 90210 who thought they would definitely watch? I just have no desire at all. Now this is either because I’ve outgrown that demographic, which seems unlikely, since I Tivo three hour chunks of MTV and will watch a RR/RW Challenge rerun three times without getting tired of it. Or, and this seems more likely, the show is just lame. The new Brenda reminds me of a girl I would date and breakup with, and I never breakup with anyone. I leave a relationship kicking and screaming. The black kid is no longer running drugs for Marlo — where’s Snoop? The mom is hot. Mrs. Walsh wasn’t hot. WTF? Finally, their stories of kids doing drugs are trying so hard to be salacious. The original 90210 worked because the stories were cheesy with a goofy Steve Sanders runner. Where’s my goofy Steve Sanders runner?!) Preseason Rank #6, Preseason Predictions:  120/32/110/.300/25, Final Numbers:  91/15/79/.291/32

16. Jacoby Ellsbury – In the beginning of the season, if I would’ve told you a Red Sox player would have 50 steals and not get to 100 runs, would you have believed me? What is going on with offense around the Major Leagues? When I’m putting together the ’09 predictions, I’m going to have to put on the sweater that not only makes me look smart, but makes me think smart too. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  98/9/47/.280/50

17. Jason Bay – I pushed Rios like those dudes on Las Vegas Boulevard handing out stripper flyers, while I warned you against touching Bay like the bouncers at those same strip clubs. Okay, so I made a few missteps in the predictions. Preseason Rank #34, Preseason Predictions:  crap/crap/and more crap, Final Numbers:  111/31/101/.286/10 or better than crap, as it were.

18. Carlos Quentin – I told you to watch him in February when he first reported to camp. Not sure why I didn’t rank him or make predictions for him. Maybe it was that one week frozen custard bender where I blacked out and woke up in the lap of some large woman wearing a skirted bathing suit. If it wasn’t for Quentin misplacing blame on his equipment, he prolly would’ve ranked higher and might’ve won the MVP. Nothing good will ever come of that temper of yours, Mr. Quentin. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  96/36/100/.288/7

19. Nick Markakis – The Greek God of Roto didn’t take the power to the next level like I hoped and stopped running completely in the 2nd half. He’s only 24 and you haven’t heard me say “I am Sparkakis” for the last time yet. Preseason Rank #8, Preseason Predictions:  100/27/115/.300/20, Final Numbers:  106/20/87/.306/10

20. Jermaine Dye – His lack of speed lands him at the 20th spot, but I’d prefer him to some of his schmohawk contemporaries… *cough* Rios *cough* Preseason Rank #31, Preseason Predictions:  90/25/105/.280, Final Numbers:  96/34/96/.292/3

  1. BaronVonVulturewins says:
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    Oh, no you didn’t — you did not just rate Matt Holliday as the #1 OF.

    Did you happen to notice his 88 RBIs? No, not 188 — Eight-Eight! You know who had more RBIs than that? Here’s a partial list, edited for shock value:

    Jose Lopez
    Ryan Garko
    Raul Ibanez (a lot more! Like, 18 more! That’s a whole crappy MI!)
    Jose Guillen
    Benjie Molina
    Troy Glaus
    Jhonny Peralta
    James Loney
    Did I mention BENJIE MO-PUCKY MOLINA!!?!

    Oh, but he stole 29 bases! And his average is so high! Yeah, because THAT’s why I drafted him eighth overall — for his sparkling small-ball game. Hey Matt, we’re going to bat you lead-off this year! Feel free to work on your hit-and-run skills.

    Holliday was a Supercalifragilisticexpidisappointment. There are about ten players on the list above that I wish I’d had instead of Holliday, starting with Ryan “Brawny” Braun.

    Worst thing is, he won’t even be discounted next year.

    Also: Grey — I think you should inscribe that Alex Rios* projection on your mirror, so you can see it everyday when you wake up, and think about what it is that you did.

    *Will be discounted. And I’ll be back. Oh yes, I’ll be back.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BaronVonVulturewins: These rankings are simply the ESPN Player Rater http://games.espn.go.com/flb/playerrater. I don’t necessarily agree with their order, but it’s about as neutral of a ranking as I can use for my recaps. Sorry, that should’ve probably been made more clear.

    Re: Rios – I can’t get near my mirror because I have 30,000 Gregg Jefferies rookie cards stacked in front of it.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: I thought Boston.com might give a slanted prediction. Instead they gave a fully endorsed xBox prediction. Nice.

    BTW, there’s baseball tonight.

  4. @Grey: Good idea. Once I figure out all the player Point Shares, I’ll assign each draft position a Point Share Value. Then you can take their Actual Value – ADP Value to determine whether they over/under/met expectations.

    Baron’s probably right that Matt Holliday underperformed based on his draft position but most 1st rounders will. If you look at the final top 10 on ESPN Player Rater, only 5 were 1st round picks. So 5 are automatic disappointments…

  5. BSA says:
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    @Grey: “Oh yeah that other league is on,” says the obnoxious Red Sox fan.
    What was nice about the XBox Virtual was they represented the way the Rays have been all year. Early bump in the road and then a late inning rally from the offense. What will make the series fun is that has historically been Boston’s style of play.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: “What was nice about the XBox Virtual was they represented the way the Rays have been all year. ”

    Dooode, your crackers, ya know that, right? Somebody get this guy a Sawx game.

  7. BSA says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, can’t wait for Friday night. I already bite my nails and now I have to live through 100 pitches in 5 innings from DiceK.

    Did ya read Tom Hoffarth’s piece on McCarver/Manny comments?
    Interesting to see how Manuel will have his pitches manage Manny’s at bats and considers Furcal the Ace up the sleeve.
    http://www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth/archives/2008/10/karros-on-manny.html

  8. and1mcgee says:
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    <== very curious about how low Guerrero will be ranked for ’09. Also curious about the ’09 rankings of: Jay Bruce, Chris Dickerson, Ryan Church, Juan Pierre, Milledge, Dukes-types. I know none of these are top-20 dudes, but still curious… Carlos Quentin for Fantasy MVP ’09 baby!

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: I hadn’t. Thanks for the link.

    @and1mcgee: Guerrero has the bonus of being a known — you know you’re going to get 90/25/95/.300 — what those numbers mean to your team is what you need to ask yourself. As we see from above, he would come in outside the top 20. Probably in the 30 to 35 range.

    re: Wildcards — They’re all in pretty different situations, so I would need to break them down.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Okay, got a chance to read it all. You know what I find despicable? Announcers who find the need to become a part of the story. Why am I watching Fox pregame show and I’m hearing about McCarver? How is this schmohawk the story? The story should be how McCarver isn’t a good color man and he’s on Fox A team.

  11. BigFatHippo says:
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    @BSA: I do like the first prediction but keep in mind these are just simulated games. No way to measure the human element. Such as choking, I’m talkin to you Cubs……..

    Simulated games? Who would take the time to watch one of these things? Next thing you know people will be drafting a bunch of baseball players, assembling a team, acting like they’re the manager and actually playing for money. Could you imagine anybody being that stupid?

    Grey? Anybody?

  12. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Has there ever been a better voice than Harry Kalas?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: It’s velvety, for sure. But Scully’s pure lovely.

  14. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, Scully was hot. Duchovny probably hit that 5 times a day.

    Jack Buck’s was poetry in diction.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Scooter was nonsensical banter punctuated with the occasional “Holy Cow.”

  16. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: “Nonsensical banter” I like that!

    Word of the day, I’m gonna use it tomorrow. When my C tech starts his daily bitching I’ll say, “Don’t start that nonsensical banter with me, I’ll make you clean the toilets.”

    That oughta confuse him enough to keep him quiet for hours. Got any more, what’s another word for “thesaurus”?

  17. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Ha, good one.

    Typical Phillies game, no runs for Hamels. They’ll probably go off as soon as he leaves the game.

    Gotta love that E-Trade baby, did you upchuck on your keyboard like that when you drank my Pina Coladas? I hope so.

  18. BaronVonVulturewins says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: The irony of Holliday is that he helped in ways you didn’t expect (steals) and not in ways you counted on (HRs/RBIs). So if you’re a good manager, you’d already compensated for the areas you didn’t expect him to help.

    In other words, pity the schmoes who got stuck with Holliday and Juan Pierre, won steals by 40, and finished 6th.

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