“Foster Your Roster” – 2012 OF Rankings
Sorry for the delay, I’ve been pretty busy with work and a couple of other things. These are all written in my spare time, so I’m trying to get them out as quickly as possible for drafts. Feel free to comment on the posts or reach me on twitter (@FOSTERurROSTER) if you have questions about guys I haven’t covered.
Outfield has some quality players, but given the amount you need to start, it tends to get shallow a lot quicker than most people realize:
- Ryan Braun
- Matt Kemp
They are the two top options, but given the choice I’d select Braun, since he’s the safer choice. Remember, in 2010 Kemp hit .249, so he’s not a lock for .300 despite his success last year.
- Jacoby Ellsbury
He likely won’t hit 30HR’s again, but if he hits 20+ to go along with 40 SB’s and an AVG near .300, he’s a top level talent.
- Jose Bautista
He had a great season and the power is legit, but he walked 20% of the time in 2011, so pitchers are limiting his ability to damage. On top of that, his AVG was way above anything he’s done previously, and I can’t suggest paying for that production until you see it’s not a fluke.
- Justin Upton
- Carlos Gonzalez
Both are great hitters and well-rounded talents, with very hitter friendly home parks. The deciding factors are Gonzalez’s risk of injury and Upton having his lowest career BABIP in 2011, which could lead to a higher AVG if it returns to prior levels.
- Curtis Granderson
I knew the move to Yankee Stadium would be good for him, but 2011 exceeded everyone’s expectations. I’d be surprised if that wasn’t his career year, but that doesn’t mean a sharp drop in production is around the corner.
- Giancarlo Stanton
He is one of the few true 40HR threats in the league, and with an improved lineup he’s likely to have more RBI’s, but his 27.6% strikeout rate is cause for concern.
- Andrew McCutchen
He’s a 20/20 player who got a bit unlucky last year and should continue to improve. The only downside is the lack of support in his lineup.
- Matt Holliday
The Pujols departure may actually help Holliday by leaving more RBI opportunities out there for him. At this stage of his career he doesn’t run as much, but he’s a solid contributor.
- Jay Bruce
He’s already hit 32HR’s, and plays in a hitter friendly stadium. His K and BB% were the same the past 2 seasons, but if he can improve them, then more good will follow.
- Josh Hamilton
- Nelson Cruz
Both Rangers OF’s are incredibly skilled, but have trouble staying on the field. I’d plan for a DL trip at some point during the year, but enjoy the production while they’re in the lineup.
- Michael Bourn
I typically don’t like pure speed guys, but runs count too. 50-60 SB’s is a rarity that gives you freedom to seek power from guys that don’t run.
- Hunter Pencee
- Shane Victorino
- Shin Soo-Choo
- Michael Morse
He was the talk of spring training last year and followed it with a good season. It is possible that pitchers may have better scouting to work with, but the power seems legit and the Nationals lineup is improving.
- Lance Berkman
Even without Pujols, the Cardinals have a decent lineup and Berkman will be in the middle of it. I don’t think he’ll match last year’s totals, but he should still be a solid performer.
- Adam Jones
- Ben Zobrist
2011’s .269 AVG seems about right, and it splits the difference between his great .297 AVG of 2009 and terrible .238 AVG of 2010. He fills every counting category well and is a solid option with position flexibility.
- Howie Kendrick
He very quietly put together a solid year in 2011. 15/15 with a good AVG is certainly attainable, but he’s young enough that he could still make strides beyond that.
- Michael Cuddyer
Cuddyer has always been worth having on your roster, and now he gets the Coors field bump. He’ll give you multi position eligibility and should produce 20 HR’s, 80 RBI’s, and a .275 AVG on the low end with better numbers as a possibility.
- Ichiro Suzuki
- Alex Gordon
He put together a great 2011, but had a BABIP of .358, which was well above any previous season in the majors or minors, so I’m not sold on him having the same success again.
- Carlos Beltran
- Carl Crawford
If he can get/stay healthy there is no way he has another year as bad as last season. At a certain point the risk is low enough to justify the potential reward.
- Corey Hart
- Brennan Boesch
He put up good numbers hitting in the top of lineup in 2011 and I think that will carry over into 2012.
- BJ Upton
- Desmond Jennings
A lot of hype surrounded him coming up, I think his peak will be similar to Victorino’s prime years. However, I don’t think his peak will be the 2012 season.
- Jayson Werth
- Brett Gardner
- Lucas Duda
- Chris Young
- Drew Stubbs
- Melky Cabrera
- Angel Pagan
- Coco Crisp
- Jason Heyward
Last season didn’t’ look anything like his impressive rookie year. He needs he prove he can do it again before considering him more than middle of the pack.
- Nick Markakis
- Andre Ethier
- Cameron Maybin
- Jeff Francoeur
- Josh Willingham
Often forgetten about, he’ll have playing time in MIN and should for power.
- Nick Swisher
- Logan Morrison
- Torii Hunter
- Alex Rios
Later in the draft he’s worth a shot to see if he bounces back.
- Jason Kubel
He can hit and ARI is a good park to do it in, but I wonder how often they’ll rotate between their 4 solid OF options, which may limit his playing time.
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