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Already went over the top 20 outfielders for 2008 (and the top 20 catchers, 1st basemen, 2nd basemen, 3rd basemen and shortstops for 2008), but outfielders (and starters) will need to go 40 deep to get the full picture. The lack of offense continues into the top forty outfielders (and will be seen in the reverse for top forty pitchers as it works in their favor). BTW, there was some slight confusion as to the rankings, I’m basing them on ESPN’s Player Rater. That’s why I can say I’d prefer Carlos Lee to Vlad, even though Lee is ranked by ESPN after him. I use the ESPN Player Rater so I have a neutral base, because I don’t think it’s fair for me to say I ranked B.J. Upton 10th in the preseason and now I conveniently rank him 10th again. No, I shouldn’t rank him again. Upton was ranked 10th in the preseason by me and ranked 21st by ESPN at the end of the year. Now whether you trust or agree with ESPN is a whole different matter. To further the discussion, Rudy will shortly be bringing his Point Shares to a computer screen near you for our final say on 2008 performances. Anyway, here’s the top 21 – 40 Outfielders for 2008 in fantasy baseball and how they compared to where we originally ranked them:

21. B.J. Upton – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Rank #10, Preseason Predictions:  100/30/85/.280/27, Final Numbers: 85/9/67/.273/40

22. Randy Winn – I’m pretty sure Winn was on waivers in some of my leagues and I ignored him. To my detriment? Perhaps, but a 10/25 season is nice from your 2nd basemen, not your 2nd outfielder. (This is what I mean by not agreeing with ESPN rankings.) Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers:  84/10/64/.306/25

23. Vladimir Guerrero – Vlad’s numbers are a pale imitation of his former glory and getting paler. Giving the nickname, “Vlad the Impaler,” a whole new meaning. Preseason Rank #7, Preseason Predictions:  105/32/125/.315/3, Final Numbers:  85/27/91/.303/5

24. Alfonso Soriano – When you consider he only played in 109 games, these are great numbers and right in line with his predictions. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (right here, in fact). A player that gets injured isn’t the worst thing for your fantasy team. If you were to have Soriano for all of his healthy games then, say, Elijah Dukes for all of Soriano’s injured games, you had great numbers at that position. Preseason Rank #4, Preseason Predictions:  115/35/75/.280/20, Final Numbers:  76/29/75/.280/19

25. Magglio Ordonez – …Whereas someone like Mags who gives you 561 at-bats and only 21 homers isn’t ideal. Maybe Vlad or Al-So can teach Mags how to give these stats in 150 less at-bats and then get injured. Preseason Rank #18, Preseason Predictions:  100/30/110/.300, Final Numbers:  72/21/103/.317

26. Carlos Lee – Another guy that would rank much higher if I were ranking them. Chuck Lee fought the power a bit less this year because of a fractured pinkie, but if you grabbed someone like, say, Ethier for the final month-plus while Lee was out, you had a very productive outfielder. Preseason Rank #5, Preseason Predictions:  90/35/120/.295/7, Final Numbers:  61/28/100/.314/4

27. Xavier Nady – Let’s look at what I said on April 7th, “…he’s starting the season on fire. Could he keep it going? …history tells us no. This won’t continue. Know what you can’t do? Let him sit on the waiver wire. Don’t drop Carlos Lee for him, but every year some players come out of nowhere.” And that’s me quoting me! You gotta also like how I told you not to drop Carlos Lee for him, cause I knew Lee would come in just above him in the year end rankings.  Natch! Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers:  76/25/97/.305/2

28. Raul IbanezThe following is a story of you and Raul Ibanez — You grabbed Ibanez early on when he hit five home runs in April, then dropped him in May when he hit 2 HRs, then briefly considered grabbing him in July when he hit 6 HRs then kicked yourself for not picking him up in August when he hit 7 HRs, then finally grabbed in September when he hit .233 with 1 HR. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers:  85/23/110/.293/2

29. Willy Taveras – Sixty-eight steals and sixty-four runs. One more time for those who think a hyphen is a minus sign. Taveras had 68 steals and only 64 runs. In-cred-ible or incredible. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers: 64/1/26/.251/68

30. Torii Hunter – While talking about Abreu, I mentioned the other day how an outfielder going 20/20 is the best way to go unnoticed by fantasy teams. Well, here’s another guy that is in MLB’s Witness Protection Program with season after season of 20/20. Too bad Ambiorix Burgos is a pitcher; he could use this sort of anonymity right about now. Preseason Rank #17, Preseason Predictions:  85/25/100/.275/20, Final Numbers:  85/21/78/.278/19

31. Corey HartCorey Hart took a dump on teams in September with zero home runs and a .173 average. Either the pennant race got the best of him or all his bad ball swinging. Probably a bit of both. Preseason Rank #19, Preseason Predictions:  95/22/75/.280/25, Final Numbers:  76/20/91/.268/23

32. Milton Bradley – He reached 400 at-bats for the first time since 2004 and, even more impressively, he had zero meltdowns (unless you count the time the Royal announcer had to lock himself in the booth to avoid Bradley attacking him, but since Bradley never got to him, we’ll give Bradley a pass). His healthy season showed that A) he is no longer a threat for 15 steals and B) he still misses close to 40 games even when healthy. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers: 78/22/77/.321/5

33. Curtis Granderson – I didn’t like him at all coming into this season. I felt like expectations were unreal. He turned out to prove me right and wrong. Right, because his final numbers were a letdown. Wrong, because he did take a step forward in walks and average against lefties. Preseason Rank #14, Preseason Predictions:  115/27/85/.280/25, Final Numbers:  112/22/66/.280/12

34. Andre Ethier – In the beginning of the year, The Pierre Situation™ infected the Dodgers’ outfield water supply to make it undrinkable. Luckily, Torre filtered Jones and Pierre so Ethier could run hot until his wife’s water broke in late September. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers: 90/20/77/.305/6

35. Mark DeRosa – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 103/21/87/.285/6

36. Jayson Werth – Did the Dogers give up too early on Werth or did they realize they had exactly the same player in Ethier? Both probably. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers: 73/24/67/.273/20

37. Alexei Ramirez – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 65/21/77/.290/13

38. Conor Jackson – Already went over Jackson in the top 20 1st basemen for 2008. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers:  87/12/75/.300/10

39. David DeJesus – I know your first inclination is to see DeJesus and think he was underrated, but “Blink,” you’re wrong. Sorry, Malcolm Gladwell. You were better off running hot waiver wire pickups out there every week than this schomhawk. A 12/11 in over 500 at-bats is not productive. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers:  70/12/73/.307/11

40. Hunter Pence – If he can get his steals up a bit, he might be able to snitch on the mafia and sneak his way into the MLB Witness Protection 20/20 Program. Preseason Rank #22, Preseason Predictions:  95/22/75/.290/17, Final Numbers:  78/25/83/.269/11

From Around The Web

  1. BaronVonVulturewins says:
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    I don’t want to live in a universe where Randy Winn is the 22nd best OF. I just don’t.

    I’m also going to float a theory, which I may expound upon later: That the ESPN Player-Rater (and the Yahoo one as well) vastly over-value SBs. Look at Winn, then look at Vlad: Same runs, same average, but Vlad’s got 50% more RBIs and almost 200% more HRs. (170% more, actually, if I’m doing my math right, which is improbable.) The only edge for Winn? You guessed it.

    But I have to imagine these player-raters use some sort of algorithm that values something based on scarcity — e.g. 20 extra SBs is rarer, and ergo more valuable, than 17 extra HRs. And that’s true.

    But what Mr. Player-Rater can’t, or isn’t, accounting for, is that not all categories are created equal. SBs is only one category, so there’s an obvious ceiling on how many more points extra SBs will net you. But more HRs mean more of R and RBIs too, which is why Willy Taveras doesn’t get drafted in the first or second round.

    Also, I’m sure I’ve read breakdowns elsewhere of how carrying a guy who only gives you steals — and Winn is, I’m sure, below league average for an OF in every category except SBs and AVG, and probably at league avg for Rs — actually hurts you more than it helps you. Simply put, it’s better to have a lot of guys who mash and steal 10-15 bases, and to finish middle-of-the-pack in steals and near the top of everything else, than to carry one blackhole who steals 60, wins you that category, but does nothing else.

    I’m just blue-skying here (yeah, that’s right — blue-skying! I said it!) but if there’s a single person out there who won his or her league with Randy Winn as one of their top 3 OFs, raise your hand. Then post a message here, because I can’t see your hand, because it’s the Internet.

    In the meantime, I will think this over/actually do some research.

  2. @BaronVonVulturewins: You’re completely right. We’ll be posting our Point Shares calculations tonight and it’s clear that ESPN overvalues SBs and doesn’t do enough to represent the negative impact of low HR/RBI contributions. With Point Shares, we have Randy Winn as the #31 OF and that’s counting Braun as a 3B and Upton as a 2B (so, really, ESPN has him at #20).

    Stay tuned…

  3. Freak says:
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    I had Winn on a team that I won a league with.

    But I did also have Abreu, McClouth, Damon, Vlad, DeRosa and Victorino.

    If I remember correctly, Winn had one hot month where I played him at utility and the rest of the time he had spot duty.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Freak: Yeah, there’s plenty of people who probably won with Winn, but you need to have the right complimentary players.

  5. BSA says:
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    Pigheaded Sawx fan in me is still pretty confident down 4 in the 8th. What I don’t get watchin this is why was Garza so unhittable

  6. BigFatHippo says:
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    @BaronVonVulturewins: Well said my man.

    I haven’t paid attention to Yahoo rankings for 5 years for that purpose alone. The only time I do pay attention is when proposing trades (Me: but Crawford’s #15 overall this year. Him: Ok, I’ll throw in Webb along with Dye but you gotta give me Izzy.)

    Done deal, good trade dude.

  7. BigFatHippo says:
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    @BSA: I feel your pain friend. Thank goodness Adam Kennedy got to hit the golf course early.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: It’s awfully quiet in Boston’s Back Bay.

  9. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: What was Andy Sonanstine doing biting his nails through batting gloves? Did you see him, I think he has Tourette’s.

  10. BSA says:
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    D’ya see the crowd file out before the Rocco’s homer went over Youk’s head? The Sox seemed flat tonight. That’s why i asked about Garza’s stuff, he wasn’t electric but was either unhittable or the sox were lulled to sleep.
    Maybe they were boycotting for Tito putting Timlin in?

    Off baseball question, is Craig Sager a joke or trying to make a joke of baseball with those outfits? C’mon!

  11. BSA says:
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    @BigFatHippo: He was realizing that his Rays were shootin their load tonight, wasting homeruns on a slaughter. ya know what that means?! Low score tomorrow night!

    As to Lester’s night you had to figure coming in to tonight that he had to come back to average.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Definitely looked nervous.

    @BSA: Bunch of fairweather fans.

  13. BSA says:
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    @Grey: True fans kindly call them pink hats. That is why my girls at two and four years old already have adult hats so there is no doubt they have been true fans all along. Nothing like a comfortable baseball hat.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: BTW, I’m convinced Sager is trying to get picked for Dancing With the Stars.

  15. BSA says:
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    @Grey: @Grey: HA!

  16. Steve says:
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    NZ branch reporting in. Out of interest, where (if anywhere) did Pat the Bat rank? Looked like he was going to have a big season at the midway point, but that was, like, his season over and done with right there.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yo, Steve! Where the hell ya been? Check in tomorrow for Pat the Bat. Then you can look at the top 482 players on the Razzball Point Shares. (Actually, I’ll be posting it around 10pm my time.)

  18. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I’ve been around. been visiting – just not posting. Been school holidays here so have had some days at home with the kids and away a few days. So I haven’t had any time to sit around on my ass surfing the web.

    But now that I am back at work, I have that time ;-)

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Gotcha. Hope you’re enjoying your Columbus Day, or as they call it in New Zealand, “Who’s Day?”

  20. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Why does a city in Ohio get its own day?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Cause Ohio discovered America, or some shizz. All I know is the banks are closed. Or maybe that’s because the goverment closed them. Hmm… Now you’ve confused me.

  22. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – just because a bank is closed doesn’t make it a day out of the ordinary just at the moment.

  23. Steve says:
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    Dodgers, Dodgers, Dodgers – what are you doing?

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: When you need to strikeout on a wild pitch to get to first, you’re the problem, Russell Martin.

  25. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I guess that will teach them to throw at the Flyin’ Hawaiian.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Nobody… And I mean nobody, throws at The Flying Hawaiian.

  27. Steve says:
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    @Grey: The Dodgers better get Nobody warmed up, then.

    Boom-tish!

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Nobody is about the only one to get the Phillies out so far.

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