Don't be shellfish...FacebookTwitterGoogle+

The other day we went over the top 20 third basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball for our 2011 fantasy baseball rankings.  Today, we turn our bejeweled eyeglasses to the top 20 outfielders for 2011 fantasy baseball.  The top twenty outfielders will need to go to a top 40 then a top 60 then a top 80.  Unfortunately, outfield is pretty shallow.  Guess outfielders come in waves… much like sperm whales.  Oofa!  What I found overall from ranking the outfielders is that speed’s back like the 1980s when half the league was on coke.  So, when appropriate, I tried to rank power outfielders ahead of ones whose value came from speed.  More on that in the post.  As always, these top 20 outfielders are broken up into tiers with my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2011 fantasy baseball:

1. Ryan Braun – See the top 10 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Ryan Braun’s 2011 projections.

2. Matt Kemp – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Matt Kemp’s 2011 projections.

3. Matt Holliday – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Matt Holliday’s 2011 projections.

4. Carl Crawford – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball post for Carl Crawford’s 2011 projections.

5. Carlos Gonzalez – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Carlos Gonzalez’s 2011 projections.  There’s also a post coming later today all about CarGo.  You can hardly wait.  No, you!

6. Josh Hamilton – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Josh Hamilton’s 2011 projections.

7. Justin Upton – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here to McCutchen.  I call this tier, “These guys will all be in the top 20 overall next year.”  Yeah, Upton’s washed up at the age of 23.  Good thing you sold that Apple stock a week before the iPod was announced, too.  If you can get Upton at a cheap price because of a sub-par 2010, by all means.  Everything is going to come together at some point and Upton is going to be a top ten draft pick one of these years.  2011 Projections:  85/26/95/.270/20

8. Jason Heyward – He’s going to give you what you used to get from Jayson Werth.  Can the sophomore slump kill him?  Yeah, I suppose, but why do you always have to bring up the negative?  His OBP last year at the age of 21 was .393.  That’s not a guy I think falls flat on his face.  For Heyward, I’d go all in, check raising to the bettor.  This might be the last time he makes it out of the 2nd round of any drafts for ten years.  2011 Projections:  100/25/105/.285/12

9. Andrew McCutchen – I can’t remember the last time I was this caca-cuckoo for so many Pirate hitters.  The Dread Pirate isn’t a poor man’s Carl Crawford.  The Dread Pirate is Carl Crawford.  Wrap your peanut around that and crack it.  2011 Projections:  100/18/60/.290/38

10. Hunter Pence – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Krispie.  I call this tier, “I’m trying to get some power in the outfield but it’s not as easy as it looks.” There’s actually caveats already in this tier, which is scary.  There’s only nine outfielders I feel comfortable about?  And a few of them didn’t even have great 2010 seasons.  Trouble T-Roy reminiscences over a deep outfield.  Pence doesn’t have huge power upside.  That’s his caveat.  The offense surrounding him sucks on the suckhole.  Okay, that’s another caveat.  He feels safer than others though because of his last three years and how consistent they’ve been.  2011 Projections:  90/25/90/.290/15

11. Nelson Cruz – Everyone knows Nelson’s caveat.  Their singing is terrible.  Wait, wrong Nelson.  Cruz’s caveat is he can’t stay healthy.  Cruz could probably hit 40 homers and steal 20 bases if he could stay healthy.  That “if” has its own solar system.  2011 Projections:  70/27/90/.285/15

12. Shin-Soo Choo – I really can’t believe these guys are going to end up as someone’s first outfielder in a five outfielder league.  There’s gonna need to be a lot of shuffling with guys on and off waivers.  So, say, you choo-choo-choose Choo, his caveat is he’s not going to overwhelm you in any category.  Nice solid five category guy without extreme speed or power.  2011 Projections:  95/20/100/.300/20

13. Krispie Young – His caveat is he could hit .230.  Like no foolin’.  Of course he’s one of the few actual 30/30 threats in the major leagues too, so you take the good and take the bad and you know the deal, Tootie.  2011 Projections:  75/25/85/.240/25

14.  Jayson Werth – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Bautista.  I call this tier, “The one tier I’m not going after in the top 20 outfielders.”  Now keep in mind, when I say I’m not going after someone I’ll still draft them.  They just need to fall far in the draft.  Actually, that’s not true of Ichiro.  I would never draft him.  After Werth signed with the Nats, I went over what you should expect.  The link is somewhere in the previous sentence.  See if you can scope it.  2011 Projections:  75/25/85/.270/12

15. Ichiro Suzuki – If you don’t know I don’t like Ichiro, I want to welcome you to Razzball.  Pat yourself on the back for your web surfing abilities.  2011 Projections:  85/5/40/.320/32

16. Alex Rios – It’s not that I don’t like Rios.  I could see him being the one player in this tier that falls far enough where I might end up with him and that’s what worries me cause I know he’s going to screw me over whether I own him or not and this is the world’s longest run-on sentence, yo, comma, holla!  2011 Projections:  85/17/80/.270/20

17. Andre Ethier – Not a fan, homes.  His name value far exceeds his real value.  25 homers is nice and all, but he gives you no speed at all and his runs and RBIs are obviously tied to his team.  If you were to offer me Luke Scott seventeen rounds later, I’d say yes and get virtually the same player.  2011 Projections:  80/25/90/.295/3

18. Jose Bautista – I already went over Bautista’s projections in the top 20 third basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball post.

19. B.J. Upton – This is a new tier.  This tier goes into the top 40 outfielders.  I call this tier, “Back into guys I like, but they’re going to give you more speed than power.”  Upt0n’s one of the few players I could envision being a top five overall fantasy contributor.  Never underestimate someone who can hit 20 homers and steal 40 bases.  2011 Projections:  95/17/75/.250/40

20. Shane Victorino – Victorino hit 18 homers last year and stole 34 bases and he’s falling in drafts.  And I kinda understand it.  The 18 homers broke through his ceiling, spackled over the ceiling hole then broke back through it saying, “18 homers?!”  It was high.  Fortunately, his average of .259 last year was actually a bit low for him.  At some point, age or injuries will catch up to him but until then I’d bet on another 12/30 season.  Could Angel Pagan also do that?  Sure, but he hasn’t done it every year since 2007.  2011 Projections:  90/12/65/.285/32

77 Responses

  1. Steve says:
    (link)

    Shall I go and tell Grandy that he didn’t make the top 20?

    http://tvnz.co.nz/othersports-news/yankee-star-in-nz-preach-baseball-4003779

    Seriously, he was on the news tonight, seems like a real good guy, not that I’m excusing him in any way for last year of course.

    Another great job on the rankings/blurbs, Grey. OF is shallow like the kiddie pool this year. Not for speed necessarily, but there’s not much reliable power production to be had.

  2. Black Beard says:
    (link)

    Hmm, kind of like where you’re positioning Mr. Pence. Good point that he’s been extremely reliable, unlike your Rioses, Krispies, and Ethiers.

  3. Melissa says:
    (link)

    SWEET. In my keeper league where we keep 9, my OF is stacked:
    Kemp, Upton1, Upton2, Cruz, and Heyward, with Stanton in my Util spot!
    Starting 5, all made the list!
    OK, so I’m going to have to scrape the barrel for a 2B and a 3B, but that’s OK.
    Thanks Grey! You’re a good teacher.

  4. Black Beard says:
    (link)

    @Melissa: That’s some outfield…might want to consider leveraging some of that depth.

  5. Penguin says:
    (link)

    Hmm, wonder if the CarGo post will be a Schmohawk since he destroyed all semblance of his expected numbers last season… /s

  6. Melissa says:
    (link)

    @BB: Yes, I’ve thought of that. But I’ve had a hard time finding trading partners. I want to keep J-Upton and Heyward, as they can be the cornerstones of my franchise for a long time. And Kemp and BJ are at pretty low points in their trade value right now, given their 2010 lack of performance. I suppose I could try to move Cruz for the best 2B or 3B I can get for him. Who do you think would be a good target and fair return for Cruz?

  7. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
    (link)

    Possibly one of the reasons that the 2011 outfield class looks below par is that so many projected stars had poor seasons; start with Kemp, then the Upton Boys, Jason Bay, etc. Besides which, many in the top of the 2010 class seem flukish. It would seem that this might be a good year to eschew typical high outfield picks and focus on gifted outfielders who are bouncing back from relatively poor years.

    Some questions: I think that Delmon Young and Grandy should be able to break the top 20. Grandy had injury problems, but was red hot towards the end of the season, and there always is that Yankee Wind tunnell. If you were in an H2H league, Grandy and Tulo almost single-handedly won you a championship. Young seemed to finally get his mojo. Can he continue to progress, or was last season his upside? And do we continue waiting for Jay, “The Natural” Bruce to finally have his career year? I never seem able to get his first month in the Bigs out of my head.

    Grey – I understand your prejudice against picking SAGNOF OF’s; but if you own Pierre, who was a ridiculous #6 in Yahoo last season, does that not give you a clear shot at picking up 8-10 points in one cat? Could this not be a case where a player’s fantasy worth is a distortion of their real worth? Steals may be plentiful, but Pierre is the Barry Bonds of this cat.

    And of course, thanks for your efforts. May Razzball Nation continue to grow.

  8. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
    (link)

    Grey – one more question. Last year, Feb 11th was the date that the RCL leagues were extended their initial invitation. Do you/Rudy have a date in mind for this year?

  9. Denys says:
    (link)

    seems a bit high on Kemp (not too much)… but you’re the Grey, carry on then.

  10. Nate Marcum says:
    (link)

    We are going to have to wait until the top 40 to see Jay Bruuuuce? I think this is the year he finally puts it all together. His peripherals are trending upwards, and the duuude is 24. Something tells me I will have 1 guy from top 20 and rest from 21-40 in my OF. Something also tells me I could regret that, but that something has been telling me that ESPN fantasy guys know what they are talking about. I should quit listening to that something.

  11. GopherDay says:
    (link)

    I have a feeling BRUUUUCE will be 21-24…

  12. joe from point pleasant says:
    (link)

    @Grey:

    Pence 10th huh? What about his miserable .325 obp last year, or the fact that his bb rate plummeted, or the fact that he lost all the lineup protection he had, or the fact that his lineup is absolutely horrible. 41 walks in 658 PA doesnt seem like a recipe for success.

    He seems like a guy that could easily regress to (.270 85 r 20 hr 85 rbi and 11 sb) off the top of my head and the scary thing is that at the end of the season, those would not be “surprising” numbers to me at all.

    Aside from his K rate, none of his peripherals seemed to be trending in the right direction, and that goes for his situation in houston as well.

    I acutally like pence, but I can’t see how he could be ranked above Cruz or Choo. Choo’s baseline is essentially Pence’s upside.. Cruz will outproduce him even if he plays 120 games. At least these three were back to back to back in your rankings lol.

    I’d probably place pence somewhere in the teens of my personal OF rankings.

    Otherwise, very nice job with the rankings as always. Hope i don’t seem like a jerk i just like to debate. I appreciate all the hard work. Thanks!

  13. 101 MPH says:
    (link)

    – Andre Ethier’s ADP at Mock Draft Central is 39.1. That seems awfully high considering his overall numbers from 2010. With that said, he never really recovered last season after breaking his finger in mid May. Prior to that, he had a .392 average, 11 homers and 38 RBI, leading the N.L. in those three categories. I’ll do the sensible thing and take a pass on him, but knowing my luck he’ll win the NL triple crown on another owner’s team.

    That’s how I roll.

    – Matt Kemp was my first round draft pick last season (9th overall). Kemp led the National League in home runs and RBIs for April, and then Ned Colletti heralded his star outfielder with the following comment during a radio interview:

    “The baserunning’s below average, the defense is below average, and you know, why is it? ‘Cause he got a new deal? Can’t tell ya’. But you know what? It’s below average. If this was the last day of the season and people were voting for the Gold Glove, his name’s not on the ballot. It’s a shame he’d go from where he was a year ago to revert back to, when the ball’s up in the air, we’re not sure where it’s going. Or if it’s going to get caught. And that’s not right.”

    Kemp responded to Colletti with 3 homers and 10 RBIs in the month of May, and then watched his batting average plummet to .249 for the season (after batting .297 in 2009). While I intend to keep him, and I think it would be reasonable to expect a rebound, I can’t help but think that Kemp won’t realize his full potential until he gets out of that shituation in Los Angeles.

    – I acquired Ichiro in an off-season package deal trade prior to the start of the 2010 season (I’ve never drafted him or bought him at auction). He batted .315, stole 42 bases, and by the end of the season I found myself wishing I hadn’t done the deal. The biggest slap in the face for me was the 74 runs (which, in all fairness to Ichiro, wasn’t his fault). With the resurgence of stolen bases, a guy who gets drafted in the third round (ADP 33.16) and hits 6 homers, 43 RBIs and scores only 74 runs quickly becomes a part of the problem rather than the solution.

    – As a Nelson Cruz owner, I watched him land on the disabled list 3 times last season with hamstring issues. It was probably the most frustrating part of my season, because there wasn’t a single point after April where I wasn’t waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not counting on more than 400 at bats (as 2009 wasn’t a whole lot kinder on the injury front). Cruz and a suitable injury substitute would probably combine for good overall numbers during a full season, but he’d have to fall well below his ADP of 32.78 to get me to bite.

  14. Dingo says:
    (link)

    I’m loving the daily updates of Grey ranking wisdom, but I don’t quite understand the pessimistic projections for Werth’s Rs & RBIs. At Fangraphs, there’s a post on Werth that argues that he’s pretty similar statistically (i.e., total offensive production) to Adam Dunn, and Dunn averaged 83R/103RBI during his two years in Washington. Sure, they lost Josh Willingham, but with improvement from Desmond and the addition of Adam LaRoche, I’d expect the Nationals’ offense to at least be as good as it was last year, so why shouldn’t Werth be able to manage 180+ combined R/RBIs, rather than 160?

  15. John says:
    (link)

    Jay Bruce? Not top 20? Not a fan of his 2010? Don’t think he can improve even more in 2011?

  16. Eddy says:
    (link)

    @Dingo:

    Park and players around him.

    Not much more science to it than that.

  17. Tony says:
    (link)

    @joe from point pleasant: pence has hit 25 HR’s 3 years in a row, he had 91 ribbys last yr on a crap team, and he stole 18 bases which is after stealing 14, 11, and 11 in the previous 3 years. His BB went from 58 to 41? I dont know if that warrants a “plummeted”. His batting average stayed EXACTLY the same as the year before so he obviously just put a few more balls in play rather than walking.

    I think he’s a consistent option since over the past 3 years he’s logged over 585 AB’s each season, hit 25 HR’s, and stole 11, 14, and 18 bases…. he hits for a decent .287 career average.

    I think him and choo are very interchangeable, cruz is the guy that the injury risk drops him. One of these times he’s going to go down with something to where he doesn’t bounce back for the rest of the year.

  18. ethier’s sort of fascinating.

    i think the high MDC ADP needs to be ignored – early on they had him preranked #20 overall, for some reason, and they claim that their ADP results are filtered for human-generated drafts only but i don’t believe them.

    but his arc last year, where early on it looked like he was breaking out to be a top-tier slugger and then he broke his finger and was never the same, makes it hard to know what to do with him. personally right now i have him ranked pretty high but then when push comes to shove i keep ignoring my own ranking and passing on him.

    but something about his recent history of walkoff heroics is triggering something in my unconscious pattern-matching center that makes me think he’s about to enable beast mode and become a top hitter and that the early season stuff last year wasn’t a fluke, so i don’t actually change the ranking.

    gotta resolve this before real drafts start.

    also HOW IS BAUTISTA ONLY #18

  19. Cain Fan says:
    (link)

    Razzers I would love to hear your thoughts:

    10 team league, 8 keepers each (no penalties/cost). Shallow league – 1C, 3OF, 1UT, 1450 IP. 6×6 (R,HR,RBI,SB,OBP,K)x(W,SV,ERA,K,WHIP,H/9) Who should be my last 2 keepers?

    Locks – Teix, Kemp, Phillips, Dunn, Felix, Lester
    Undecided – Jeter, McCann, Cain, Pence

    Thanks!

  20. Dingo says:
    (link)

    @Eddy: Right, but I addressed both of those in my post:

    Park – wOBA, the stat used at fangraphs for overall offensive value, is park-neutral, and Dunn and Werth have similar values over the past four years. Dunn had 186 combined R/RBIs in Washington.

    Players around him – take the players Dunn had, swap in LaRoche for Willingham, and expect some improvement from the young guys. I don’t see why the 2011 Nationals offense should be that much worse than the 2010 offense.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Steve: Yeah, I was just on XM radio talking about that.

    @Black Beard: Yeah

    @Melissa: No problem.

    @Penguin: It’s not much of a limb you’re out on.

    @Paulie Allnuts: Barry Bonds wasn’t a negative in two other categories.

    @Paulie Allnuts: Probably be around the same date.

    @Denys: Will do.

    @Nate Marcum: Hehe

    @joe from point pleasant: What lineup protection did Pence have last year? When did he have a good OBP?

    @101 MPH: Yeah, know about the Colletti thing since I’m in LA too. Hopefully he can put that nonsense behind him.

    @Dingo: He went from the 7th best offense to the 25th.

    @John: He’ll be in the next post. Be nice to actually see him have a good season before putting him in the top 20.

    @wily mo: Sorry if I offend but your logic with Ethier explains your love for Bautista.

    @Cain Fan: McCann, Pence…

  22. Bosshog says:
    (link)

    Opinions welcome by all: I am in a 10 team H2H with 2 keepers. Options are:
    A-Rod
    R. Halladay
    Carlos Gonzalez
    Adrian Gonzalez
    Josh Hamilton

    I bounce around between the top 4, what do you think? Thx

  23. Cain Fan says:
    (link)

    @Grey: Ha paper tiger suggested Jeter and Cain. I figured the decision would be tough lol.

  24. Big Mike says:
    (link)

    Big Grey,

    What happened to your love for Delmon Young? You said at one point that last year was the amuse bouche (damn you francophiles!) and that this year would be the meal. Did the palate-cleansing sorbet turn you off?

    Big Mike

  25. @Bosshog – Cargo & Gonzo

    Grey, I know this isn’t Outfield related, but I wanted to get your opinion on Dustin Ackley. Should we expect a sleeper post on him or something? What type of numbers do you expect from him?

  26. joe from point pleasant says:
    (link)

    @Tony: BB’s dropped from 58 to 41.. which is down 30%! 17 walks may not seem like a lot but it is when u are only taking a base on balls about 50 times a year on average. His career stolen base success rate is awful so the steals cannot be counted on to be much higher than 10. If he is hitting in more of a run producing spot in the lineup rather than 6th, he may also run less. I just cannot fathom it. Choo is a better bet for a higher average, more SB, probably about the same homeruns. I feel much better about him going forward than pence.

  27. joe from point pleasant says:
    (link)

    @Grey:
    He has lost tejada and berkman, and carlos lee is a shell of his former self. I also wouldn’t count on chris johnson repeating.

    He never had a good obp which is my point. You def cannot rely on the runs with an obp that low and such a terrible offense around him.

  28. @Grey: hey, i didn’t say it was logic. i said it was deep-brain pattern matching. sometimes it works. i haven’t decided whether or not to roll with it yet. not taking a firm stand on ethier either way the way i am on bautista. …that last sentence hurt to write.

    you never make a gut call?

    also, as far as i’ve noticed, you haven’t really explained what YOU think caused bautista to hit 54 home runs last year, specifically. this isn’t meant as any kind of snark. i’m just curious exactly what you think actually happened. maybe you’re right! i’m convinceable. but saying he hit .224 in september, without mentioning the 11 home runs, immediately after you pointed out that he hit .240-something for 5 months in the same season he was hitting the 50 home runs, so the low batting average was actually pretty normal, isn’t telling me anything.

  29. Eddy says:
    (link)

    @Dingo:

    I see where you’re coming from with the wOBA (big fan of the stat myself), but you almost HAVE to use park-adjusted wOBA in this scenario when you’re going from two extremes. Dunn’s wOBA (adjusted) was .377. Werth’s was .396. Yet Dunn outproduced Werth, and that’s mainly because Dunn is the embodiment of the word “slugger”. He’s going to create more runs with his bat thanks to his ridiculous .270-ish ISO every year.

    Werth just won’t have the luxury of hitting “just enoughs” in the Nationals’ stadium as he did in Philly.

    And LaRoche and Zimmerman are a lot less potent than Howard and Utley. This means that in clutch situations they’ll probably tend to walk Werth, whereas in Philly it was the opposite and they pitched to him after walking Howard.

    Grey’s projection is pretty spot-on, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with less than 25 HR when it’s all set and done.

  30. Jim says:
    (link)

    Doesn’t have anything to do with this, but I am joining a high stake 2 catcher league. Never done a 2 catcher league before, what is the strategy i should use?

    All opinions welcomed, thanks in advance.

  31. carlos marmLOL says:
    (link)

    @Grey: love the Trouble T Roy reference [cues saxophone loop]

  32. carlos marmLOL says:
    (link)

    this is mad nerdy but this is the only chance I’ll get of ever confessing: last summer after pulling off a particularly complicated trade I cabbage patched in my seat and said “I Tulowitz I Tulowitz”

  33. Tom says:
    (link)

    Grey when do you think you will have the Top 300? I created a pretty awesome spreadsheet all colored and stylized based on your sheet last year i would love to share once i get your info.

  34. Dingo says:
    (link)

    @Eddy: Thanks for the response. I think you raise several good points, but I’m not sure we’re necessarily talking about the same thing. I totally agree that Werth’s HR production is likely to fall, and that he’s likely to get pitched around more in Washington, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that his combined R/RBIs are going to go down — just that he’s more likely to score runs than drive them in.

    Also, in what sense did Dunn outperform Werth last year? In the stats that I’m focusing on, Werth did better — 191 combined R/RBIs vs. 188 for Dunn. And Dunn may be more likely to drive in runs than Werth due to his higher ISO (though the difference between the two isn’t that great), but Werth is more likely to get on base, due to his higher OBP (at least he was last year).

    I’m not quibbling with Grey’s projection of AVG/HR/SB — just the other two stats. In that 25th-ranked offense, Dunn managed 188 combined R/RBIs, and Zimmerman managed 170 (in only 142 games). I agree that a dropoff from 191 R/RBIs is practically guaranteed, but I don’t think it’ll be that large.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Bosshog: A-Rod, A-Gone.

    @Cain Fan: Yeah, could take any of them.

    @bigwormsherm: He hit 3 homers and stole 2 bases in Triple-A last year. Not sure where he’s playing this year. He’s not getting a post about him as of right now.

    @joe from point pleasant: Don’t think Tejada and Berkman were ever protection in his lineup. Not more than Chris Johnson and Lee at least.

    @wily mo: Explain Brady Anderson’s 50 homer season. Explain Matthew McConaughey’s career.

    @Jim: Take one decent catcher and punt the 2nd one.

    @carlos marmLOL: Nice!

    @Tom: Probably two weeks away.

  36. Tom says:
    (link)

    Grey how can i send you over my spreadsheet if your interested?

  37. Tony says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: are you still hung up on bautista! HAHA

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Tom: info at razzball dot com

  39. Rick says:
    (link)

    I think I want the steroid era back :(

  40. @Grey: but if you can’t explain it, how can you be so sure it’s a fluke.

    bautista and brady anderson are different people. anderson had already been a full-time player for 4 years. he didn’t get pulled out of the high minors starting when he was 23 and bounce around the majors for years as a part-timer. he didn’t modify his swing timing and then hit 10 homers in the september before his crazy season. (i looked up his splits on b-ref to be sure.)

    what makes bautista more like brady anderson than, say, carlos pena?

    i -can’t- explain brady anderson’s season, but i feel like i -can- explain bautista’s. that’s actually kind of the big thing here. i’m not saying there’s no such thing as a fluke. i’m just talking about this guy.

    every scout i’ve seen talk about it has said that bautista was a different hitter last year and they believe the changes are real and will persist, with some slowdown as the league catches up on the news and he gets pelted with changeups. are there other scouts i haven’t seen who think it was fluky? don’t know. come to think of it, what did eyeball evaluators say about brady anderson? i’m gonna go google that.

    mcconaughey was stealing signs.

  41. 101 MPH says:
    (link)

    I can explain Matthew McConaughey’s career:

    In 1993, movie critics lauded McConaughey’s performance in Dazed and Confused as David Wooderson, an aging, former high school jock who couldn’t reconcile himself to the fact that his best years were behind him. What they failed to realize is that the David Wooderson character was not an act, but rather the true persona of McConaughey brought to film. McConaughey’s quirky personality, boyish good looks and romantic liaisons with high profile leading ladies have allowed him to gain roles in major motion pictures, while studio executives continue to either ignore, or willfully blind themselves, to the fact that the man is completely devoid of acting talent.

    As for Andre Ethier, in at least one of the past three seasons he’s managed to produce:

    1) a .300 + batting average;
    2) 30 + home runs; and
    3) 100 + RBIS

    none of which were completely out of alignment with his BPIs.

    Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that he’s overvalued at drafts and auctions, and it would be foolhearty to jump in too early. It’s just that every year there’s a guy who I turn my back on, knowing that he’ll defy conventional wisdom and have a great season.

    My gut’s telling me that Ethier is that guy.

    And I still won’t draft him.

  42. Tony says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: hey man you love him, if you believe then draft away…. but brady andersons year was an outlier, and bautistas is one as well, we’re not talking the guy hit like 35 or 40 HR’s here, we’re talking 54! That doesn’t seem odd after years of 12-16 HR’s? I understand a full time job and playing time = more AB’s which = more HR’s, but come on, 54??? For where he’s going in drafts it’s a risk. You’re paying for a career year.

    And carlos pena is different because he’s had MULTIPLE years of hitting for power, 46, 39, 31, 28…..

  43. RMM says:
    (link)

    Where is stubbs, in the next 5? or even further out?

  44. philosofool says:
    (link)

    Heyward gets 623 PA last season with 83 R and 72 RBI and he’s projected to be a 100/100 guy next year? Am I the only person who’s noticed that he struck out 25% of the time last year? We have every reason to believe that he’s going to be great, but there’s no real reason to think he’s going to improve by some huge amount next year.

  45. @101 MPH: i know, right? but if we do pop him in the 4th, he’ll tweak his ring finger and go some kind of .283-25-89 again.

    @Tony: sure, it’s unusual. but sometimes unusual things happen for real reasons. some players are mediocre because they’re untalented. others are talented but the talent is being blocked somehow. if something suddenly removes the block, the talent can appear. it’s on the rare side, especially at bautista’s age, and you can’t really predict it, but you can try to recognize it once it’s happening. the world’s full of variables.

    people who think bautista’s a fluke – just to be clear – your position is that his well-documented change in weight transfer, to load and start his swing earller, couldn’t possibly have anything to do with him killing fastballs last year after getting owned by them for his entire previous career. that explanation is pure bunk and couldn’t possibly be what’s going on here. he’s the same guy he always was and just randomly got thrown 54 meatballs or something, plus 10 more the previous september. that’s your position?

    and yes, carlos pena’s different. that’s exactly my point. what would you say about him after that first 46?

  46. Jay says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: I’m with wily mo. You can’t call a guy’s season an outlier until he puts up several more seasons’ worth of numbers that actually *make* it an outlier. (Unless you see something highly unusual, like wily mo’s proverbial “54 meatballs.”)

    So I’m willing to take the plunge on Bautista. I’m not going to pay $40 in my auction and expect 54 HRs again. But I’ll drop $15-20 on him , because he obviously has power.

  47. Cole says:
    (link)

    I assume then that M. Stanton falls into some sort of power upside tier in the Top 40 OFs? I would have thought he’d be higher on here, but I can’t really argue with any of the guys you included.

  48. Stephen says:
    (link)

    @Wily Mo: I hate to join this flame war, but I have a few things to say too.

    The difference between Carlos Pena’s first 46 and Bautista’s 54? Pena was a highly regarded prospect (#5 overall pre-2002 according to Baseball America) and showed multiple years in the minors of hitting mid 20 home runs in full minor league seasons (about a full month less than the majors). Also, Bautisita had on minor league season of 20 home runs, but shows ability to hit 25 home runs with poor average.

    I’m not buying Bautista’s 2010 season, the same way Nelson Cruz was not the same player last year as in his breakout year. Blame injuries, blame anything you want, Cruz still showed more power in the minors than Bautista ever had.

    You know what is great about the Brady Anderson comparisons? Anderson had very similar peripherals in his 50 home run season that he had in nearly ever other season. So before his 50 home runs, he was hitting anywhere between 13 to 21 home runs. After his 50 home run season he hit anywhere between 18 to 24 home runs. He did have a better strikeout to walk ratio than Bautista, but the main argument here is the number of home runs.

    Bautista has the potential for a similar path. He hit anywhere between 13 to 16 home runs (24 being a high in the minors) and then hit 54 last year. What he does after is the basis for this debate. Will he regress to 13 to 16 home run range, or increase that range slightly as Anderson did. If that would be the case, he has the ability to hit anywhere between 18 to 27 home runs.

    I know this isn’t a scientific inquiry that FanGraphs would perform, but I do believe, that being conservative in predictions is better than being a Bill James and saying Chris Davis is going to hit .275 and 45 home runs.

  49. @Jay: yeah – to be clear, i’m not advocating drafting bautista’s 2010 stat line, like taking him third overall or anything crazy like that. he’s gonna decline. nobody in baseball history has been able to hit 50+ consistently. i’m not nutty for him. i’m just nutty for him relative to the room. i think there’s reasons he did what he did, that the player changed and he’s a solid power hitter now. like i was saying yesterday – adam dunn at third base, more or less, is what i’m going with.

    he does have substantial downside risk. i’m not saying he doesn’t! with only one year of track record you can’t be positive he won’t lose the handle again or some flaw won’t be found. he had surprise factor going for him last year. pitchers are likely to gradually wear him down. how much is hard to say. could be a lot, could be a little.

    plus he was streaky. the good streaks lasted a long time last year. if next year he has a two-month slump instead of a one-month slump, i’m sure i’m going to hear some remarks. which is fine. i mean, maybe i’m completely wrong. it’s possible.

    all i’m saying is, i do think he changed.

  50. Stephen says:
    (link)

    @Stephen: EDIT: I know the number of home runs in Bautista’s seasons, aren’t always based on a full season. The after projection on home runs, actually assume a full season.

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: There will be an overrated post on Bautista talking more about all of this.

    @101 MPH: Nice breakdown of Matthew I’m Kinda Gay.

    @philosofool: Heyward missed time with an injury in 2010 and he batted all around the lineup for a bit.

    @RMM: He’s in the next set.

    @Cole: He’s in the next list.

  52. Tony says:
    (link)

    @Jay: ya thats true, but from his previous years, its an outlier, if he does it again or even hits 40, then i’d say he’s an “alright guy”

    still not going to be on any of my fantasy teams!

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    ******THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS.******

  54. Dingo says:
    (link)

    @bigwormsherm: I don’t think that even hard-core Mariners fans (like me!) would be that excited about Ackley for fantasy purposes. Even in his prime, he’s expected to be a guy who plays great defense and hits for strong average with lots of doubles. Sort of like Brian Roberts but without the SBs.

  55. @Stephen: hey, ain’t no flame war. i love all you guys. grey has a smart, funny, beautiful moustache. i just actually think bautista’s better than people are saying.

    as for your post, i can’t really figure out what to say about it. i realize that bautista’s power production last year is completely nonlinear with his minor league record and prior performance. but that’s not really inconsistent with what i’m saying.

    i’m not sure what you’re saying about cruz. that he was bad last year? i thought he was awesome last year. when he played.

    …just ran across this BP article on bautista, which i think is a pretty fair rundown of the good & the bad.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11886

    key points:

    * changes do exist

    * freakishly good home numbers

    * opponents likely to study him harder in the offseason

    * somewhat susceptible to outside pitches – did have 9 homers out there (& this was before the season ended) but also a lot of pulled grounders

    this is basically what i’m saying. as pitchers contine re-booking him, picking him apart like a real slugger and painting the corners his numbers should become mortal. but that’s different from just turning back into the guy he was before. i guess that could happen, but i would find it strange after he already carried the changes across one offseason.

    @Tony: if he hits 54 again, then you’ll think he’s “alright”? tough crowd.

  56. Tony says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: if he hits 54 again i will eat my underpants….

  57. BKK says:
    (link)

    @Tony: I pay money to see that!!!

  58. BKK says:
    (link)

    @BKK:

    edit I’d pay…

  59. Stephen says:
    (link)

    @Wily Mo: The Cruz comment was intended to say that a player with great minor league numbers can post good major league numbers too, but isn’t destined to repeat the numbers again. There are a lot of variables. I am still not sure where I was trying to go with it.

    As for the link, “He has good power and can turn on a ball while also hitting for average” Good power is 20 to 30 home run power. Plus-Raw power would be the 30 to 40 home run power. Plus-Plus would be 40 to 50 home run power (like Mike Stanton is currently graded for). The article also states a large Home/Road split, but that is neither here nor there as Rockies get the same grip.

    As for overall. I think Grey’s projections are closer to reality (70/25/80/.240/5) than a line of 85/40/100/.260/5 or you know, Adam Dunn (who has put up the same numbers over and over again. Personally, I would rather draft conservatively on a high performance year, especially one that warrants red flags. Flags such as Brady Anderson’s season, the lack of plus-power pedigree, all the power was pull-power (something I often read in Baseball America is a hitter being pull conscious and struggling), and it a short time of success. (~700 PA over a career, including minors, or ~5000 PA). Nevertheless, I like him more than Casey McGehee and would draft Bautista if he feel to a reasonable round.

  60. Rob Rock says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Surprised no love for Bruce in the top 20. I know his 2010 wasn’t GREAT by any means, but he came on in the second half and was hampered by a wrist injury in the first portion of the season. Plus, hes got outstanding pedigree and he has three 20 HR seasons under his belt before the age of 24. Sure, hes streaky like no other, but he has showed the skills, albeit in small doses, that made him Jason Heyward before Jason Heyward was Jason heyward (say that three times fast).

  61. @BKK: i’ll pay money not to see it.

    @Stephen: i get the risk-aversion. i’m not even criticizing it. that’s a strategy choice. i’m mostly just objecting to the idea that no good can come of drafting bautista (where he’s going) under any plan. i’m more of a pure upside whore. i just figure i can always patch over the craters. it usually works pretty well. last year, for example, i drafted chris davis as my starting 3B, but it worked out ok after i picked up bautista.

    also maybe it should be noted that i’m writing all of this on nyquil with a 102-degree fever.

  62. Swagger Jackers says:
    (link)

    So should I just keep Latos for $1 and forget Ethier at $10?

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Rob Rock: His 2009 wasn’t great either.

    ******THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS.******

  64. skeezy says:
    (link)

    You said “caveat” 7 times between rankings 10-13 including 3 times for Hunter Pence. Thesaurus….use it.

  65. Dingo says:
    (link)

    @skeezy: No one likes a nitpicker, skeezy. Also, I believe it’s called parallel structure when you use the same term several times to illustrate a common theme.

  66. Kevin says:
    (link)

    Well, it’s settled. After your short little blurb on Heyward I have finally determined my 5 Keepers going into the season:

    Votto, Tulo, Lincecum, Holliday, Heyward

    I had considered Josh Johnson, Martin Prado, Jayson Werth & Adam Dunn throughout the offseason instead of Heyward/Holliday.

    Can’t wait for the season to get started!

  67. Arrec Bardwin says:
    (link)

    Wand Wagon/McCutchen or Choo or Phil Hughes and Clay Buchholz in a 16 team h2h points league. Most of the top 100 pitchers are owned so streaming isn’t a strategy. Current Keepers are Votto/Tulo/Zimmerman/Brett Anderson/Neftali Feliz/Shaun Marcum/Mat Latos/Phil Hughes/Buchholz.

  68. Grey, you’re the cool band I’ve been listening to for years that my

    friends haven’t heard. (“Interpol” never got me Jose Reyes on the

    cheap) I keep waiting for your writing to run dry but it

    never does so how long before someone buys you up and you

    become passe?

  69. Oscar says:
    (link)

    Grey, question, I have Car-go and Matt Holliday in my outfield, and Phillips and Gonzo in the infield. Who should I target in the first round with my seventh pick? Should I target another outfielder to complete the outfield with a pick in the bottom 10 of top 20 or do I go for pitching. The elite 3rd and SS are keepers and I traded Joe Mauer for Holliday, but I gave up my second round.

  70. cubfever7 says:
    (link)

    @ 101MPH and Grey:

    That Coletti thing was fascinating. It seemed SO out of character for him to go off like that. He was in the Cub org. for many years before heading West and was known for being a good egg (Like Danny Noonan). I came to the conclusion that the two paisanos (Torre and Ned) orchestrated a good cop bad cop deal so that Joe could stay clean in the clubhouse with the team. Kemp’s work in the OF was abysmal and he did seem to have a little BJ/Hanley-itis in the hustle department. Something needed to be said. Who else would have done it? Blake DeWitt?

  71. Lenny says:
    (link)

    So in the top 20 overall, Kemp and Holliday are before Crawford, but in the top OF’s, you put Crawford ahead of them. I love your rankings, but I’m a little confused. Can you explain Grey? Thanks.

  72. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Lenny: Typo, thanks for catching it.

  73. Andrew says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey – having a hard time separating A. Rios, Stubbs and BJ Upton in a keeper league and I need to keep only 1 of them! Leaning toward Upton but all 3 provide the same package. Splitting hairs or does one stand out?

  74. Adam says:
    (link)

    Grey, any chance you can do a rankings for OF’s into RF, CF, LF? That’s the way my league is setup, but I’m sure how common that is.

    If you can, Thanks, if you can’t, I guess Thanks anyways…

  75. robert says:
    (link)

    ey kinda confused, how is bautista the twelfth best third baseman at a very thin position (veryyyyy thin), but hes the 18th best of? In my mind that tells me that you think michael young is considerably better than a guy like victorino, because you have young 3 spots ahead of bautista and flying hawain 2 spots behind bautista. Are you really that down on outfield this year?

  76. Johnson says:
    (link)

    J. Upton or H. Pence over the rest of the season? (I’m struggling in batting average, but lead all other offensive categories.) Thanks.

Comments are closed.