SGE Fantasy Baseball Preview: Outfield Part Tres
It’s just 3 days away from Opening Day and its time for a final bonus edition concerning the outfield position for those still to have their fantasy baseball draft this weekend. As stated in part one and deux of the outfield rankings this is where you will find players who will gather the most points for you through out the season in five categories. Those categories being hitting for average/home runs/RBI’s/scoring runs and stealing bases. Guys like Boston Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury, Arizona Diamondbacks Justin Upton and Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki are the best at this and will be sure to be taken early so lets go deeper.
Breakout Player: Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
- Jones was a first time All-Star last year and on the brink of MLB stardom when injuries cut short his season. It wasn’t just injuries that put a damper on his second half as pitchers began to figure him out and he hit .237 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI’s. This came after a first half in which he hit .305, 12 home runs, 44 RBI’s and scored 50 runs. He spent a huge chunk of the off season with Orioles hitting coach in better preparing himself to take more walks so he doesn’t become an easy strikeout victim which prolongs hitting slumps.
Sleeper Pick: Garrett Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates
- I toss and turned over on where to put Jones here in the sleeper or the risky spot. In the end I have to trust my gut and believe last year wasn’t a fluke for him. He reminds me of Los Angeles Dodgers Casey Blake who developed into an everyday player at the big leagues late in his career. Jones was a 10 year minor league journeyman before getting his first lengthy legitimate shot with the Pirates. Pittsburgh gave him the opportunity in midseason and he capitalized on it by hitting .310 with 10 home runs in July and finished with more home runs than any other rookie in the major. The longer I allowed myself to second guess myself the worse it got for Jones. Ultimately I had to come back to what my eyes saw last year and it just wasn’t the home runs, it was the confidence he showed at the plate. He belonged and and I believe he will show it again this year too.
Risky Player: Chris Young, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Young had yet another roller coaster season last year, hitting .196 with 6 home runs through the All-Star break. Then in September he hit .278 with 8 home runs and 14 RBI’s. He has a combination of speed and power that give him an attractive allure but he never seems to put it all together at the same time for a long period. Until Young makes more consistent contact I see another year like last, some highs more lows.
Slipping Player: Vernon Wells, Toronto Blue Jays
- Wells had wrist surgery in November to help with pain from a 2008 injury. It’s believed that the lingering pain caused for his power numbers to suffer like they did last season. With his power numbers down again, Wells did impress me by stealing 17 bases last year. It gave him some added value but on the other side what took away from that value was him falling back to hitting .260. I thought he had pulled himself out of the depths that he reached in 2007 when he hit a miserable .240 and only 16 home runs. At the end of 2010 I don’t see him crossing the plate more than 80 times, 16 home runs and back to normal on the bases with 11 steals and another .260 season.
Be sure to come back for a preview of starting pitcher position.