With the top 40 outfielders, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps. We meaning me, but I’ll include you. No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand. Why are you now patting my butt? (Here’s all the final 2011 fantasy baseball rankings. They’re also to your left… your other left. And down.) The pitching recap will begin next. To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on ESPN’s Player Rater. I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this course. This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason it carries more weight. Does this mean I think ESPN’s Player Rater is perfect? No. It’s just an objective third party to see how well my preseason rankings did. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2011 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:
21. Brett Gardner – Truth be told, I was raised a Yankee fan. Don’t think it affects me for fantasy because the Yankees are usually one of the last teams I watch when there’s a full slate of games. I just don’t like their announcers. And I could really care less about their players unless I have one of them on my fantasy teams. I mention this because Gardner is about the only Yankee I tend to like for fantasy more than other ‘perts. He just seems so underappreciated. No, he’s not going to hit 20 homers any time soon, but he gives you SAGNOF without totally killing you elsewhere. Preseason Rank #22, 2011 Projections: 105/7/55/.270/45, Final Numbers: 87/7/36/.259/49
22. Jay Bruce – I talk about how accurate my projections are in blurbs below, so I won’t say it here besides saying I’m not saying it while saying it. You can go ahead and put Bruce, McCutchen and Stanton in a pile of players that I’m crazy sexy excited about for next year. Preseason Rank #25, 2011 Projections: 85/32/100/.270/7, Final Numbers: 84/32/97/.256/8
23. Adam Jones – In the preseason, I said something like I’m being optimistic with my Adam Jones projections, but I like him and I think he’s about to break out in the non-acne way. And that’s me paraphrasing me! Preseason Rank #44, 2011 Projections: 85/25/95/.295/12, Final Numbers: 68/25/83/.280/12
24. Carlos Beltran – Is it me or do my projections seem really accurate this year? I’m like butter with the ER. Preseason Rank #36, 2011 Projections: 75/20/85/.270/10, Final Numbers: 78/22/84/.300/4
25. Shane Victorino – It’s always sad for me to see a player I’ve liked for a while hit the point where I think his value is going to start declining. 2011 might be the last season of a valuable Flying Hawaiian, poi. Preseason Rank #20, 2011 Projections: 90/12/65/.285/32, Final Numbers: 95/17/61/.279/19
26. Ichiro Suzuki – Now this schmohawk is definitely on the decline. Take a half second off a guy’s legs who beats the ball into the ground and you get Ichiro’s 2011. Preseason Rank #15, 2011 Projections: 85/5/40/.320/32, Final Numbers: 80/5/47/.272/40
27. Mike Stanton – As said in a previous recap, I really don’t want to talk too much about 2012 in these recaps. Feel it defeats the purpose of what I’m trying to do, but can 2012 happen already just so I can see Stanton take the next step? We’re talking 40+ homers and 10+ steals. I love Mike Stanton. Preseason Rank #26, 2011 Projections: 70/32/80/.250/7, Final Numbers: 79/34/87/.262/5
28. Drew Stubbs – As I said the other day with B.J. Upton about low average biases, Stubbs seems to fall into that grouping. Can hit 15 to 20 homers and steal 30 to 40 bases, but that seems to go out the metaphorical window when he hits .240. Preseason Rank #30, 2011 Projections: 95/18/65/.260/32, Final Numbers: 92/15/44/.243/40
29. Cameron Maybin – This guy scares me. Not in the “Holy crapballs, why is there a cat jumping out a closet with creepy music playing?” way. He scares me because I touted Maybin for a few years and he kept disappointing, then when I finally ignored him, he did well. Maybe I should pretend to ignore Dexter Fowler next year. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 82/9/40/.264/40
30. Howie Kendrick – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball.
31. Corey Hart – I ranked him 31st overall in the preseason and he came in 31st at the end of the year. How about a boo-ya with a side order of boo-ya? And to drink I’d like a shot of boo-ya with a boo-ya back! Yeah, that’s kinda boo-ya B.S. because I told you in the preseason to not draft Hart. Though I wasn’t completely off because he was overrated coming off a career year. So maybe a small boo-ya. Preseason Rank #31, 2011 Projections: 70/21/80/.260/10, Final Numbers: 80/26/63/.285/7
32. Matt Holliday – Didn’t see it coming in the preseason, but I think we’ve seen the last of Holliday’s huge production years. He gets these niggling injuries and just doesn’t have big-time power or speed. Preseason Rank #3, 2011 Projections: 95/27/105/.310/10, Final Numbers: 83/22/75/.296/2
33. Nelson Cruz – I’ll contest (as I’m about to do) that Cruz is actually way more valuable than 33rd overall because when he gets injured he goes down for extended periods of time and you can fill him in while getting more stats from someone else. Preseason Rank #11, 2011 Projections: 70/27/90/.285/15, Final Numbers: 64/29/87/.263/9
34. Michael Cuddyer – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball.
35. Nick Markakis – He’s become a guy that gives nothing special but a little bit of everything. Versatile but boring. Kinda like brown slacks. I will now call him Markhakis. Preseason Rank #45, 2011 Projections: 85/17/80/.305/10, Final Numbers: 72/15/73/.284/12
36. Matt Joyce – As valuable as Joyce was, and he was valuable when you consider where he was drafted, he was really just a 1st half player. You kinda could’ve done better elsewhere in the 2nd half…. Okay, I wrote that then looked at his month-to-month stats and Joyce wasn’t exactly a 1st half guy as much as he was a Mr. May. Sounds like he was swinging Dave Winfield’s shtick. Preseason Rank #82, 2011 Projections: 40/17/55/.250/4, Final Numbers: 69/19/75/.277/13
37. Johnny Damon – On one hand, it’s weird that I didn’t rank Damon in the preseason. On the other hand, I ranked Joyce and hoped Damon would get pushed to the bench with Sean-Rod and/or Brignac pushing Zobrist to the outfield. On the third lesser known hand that is actually a glove on a soda can, it’s Johnny Damon so maybe I didn’t rank him because I just figured he’d be rank. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 79/16/73/.261/19
38. Mark Trumbo – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball.
39. Krispie Young – I think January Grey might’ve been sniffing glue when he ranked Krispie 13th overall for outfielders last preseason. January Grey, “It was a dark time.” Preseason Rank #13, 2011 Projections: 75/25/85/.240/25, Final Numbers: 89/20/71/.236/22
40. Juan Pierre – Ha! He was a top 40 outfielder? Oh, c’mon. Sure, he doubled his projected home run total, but he could’ve quadrupled it and it would still be miserable. He was unownable for huge stretches of the season. 2 homers and 27 steals? Seriously, c’mon. I mean, c’mon c’mon. C’mon! I would’ve preferred healthy stretches of Shin-Soo and a waiver wire add to Juan “2 homer” Pierre. Preseason Rank #40 1/8, 2011 Projections: 85/1/35/.300/50, Final Numbers: 80/2/50/.279/27