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March 2, 2010

Fantasy Focus

Left Fielder Rankings

by Marc Normandin

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Left field is a very deep position-though there are just a few elite options, like any other position, the four- and three-star tiers are overflowing with quality, while the one-star tier has more to do with playing time constraints then a lack of ability. If most of those players had the plate appearances of a two- or three-star outfielder, they would most likely qualify as well. This list goes 57 deep As for the previous rankings in the series, check out first basemen, second basemen, third basemen, shortstops, and catchers. Now, here are the changes to this year's ranking system:

  • Players are no longer ranked by number (the 1-20 system). Instead, I am implementing a tiered system using stars (five stars is the best, one is the lesser of your options). These stars are equal across positions to make comparisons between them easier-for example, there are three five-star first basemen, but there may be more or fewer than that at other positions-if it comes to it, the first player at a position may be a four-star option. You can derive positional scarcity from the number of four- and five-star players available and make decisions from there. Players are loosely ordered within tiers, with my first preference to my last.
  • I am no longer just covering 20 players per position-each list may be a bit different in length, but this list of left fielders is 57 players long. This should let players in AL- or NL-only league be as prepared as those in mixed leagues. There are two things I did to make this happen. First, I used the depth charts as my guide (this is also where the projections listed come from) and picked the starting player for every team at the position, giving me a minimum of 30 guaranteed choices. Second, for players with multiple position eligibility, I included them in the list for each position. It is possible they will have different star ratings at different positions, though, so make sure you reference the correct set of rankings. Victor Martinez is a three-star first baseman-it's a very crowded position, and his numbers are very average for it-but at catcher, where the talent pool is shallower, Martinez is worth more. This allows me to show you at which position a player is most valuable. If there is anyone I missed that you want to know about, please ask me about them via e-mail or in the comments, and I'll get back to you with my thoughts.


Five Stars
Player            PA  AVG/ OBP/ SLG  R  HR RBI SB
Carl Crawford    662 .298/.354/.458  91 14  72 45
Ryan Braun       684 .306/.373/.583 104 38 110 18

Braun is set to lead left fielders in every category except average (though he's close) and stolen bases (though he's still well above the average there as well). Crawford is above or well-above the average in every category, and is a huge source of runs as well as one of the most productive players in the game with those stolen base totals. You can't go wrong with either, but if you can pick up Crawford, at least you won't have to worry about relying on less talented players for your steals.


Four Stars
Player             PA  AVG/ OBP/ SLG  R HR RBI SB
Matt Holliday     667 .303/.391/.506 91 23 102 13
Shin-Soo Choo     646 .279/.388/.452 83 16  78 14
Carlos Lee        608 .307/.362/.512 70 26 106  6
Jacoby Ellsbury   553 .301/.358/.430 78  8  47 45 
Nyjer Morgan      598 .288/.347/.381 73  4  40 34
Adam Lind         556 .279/.345/.494 82 29  97  2
Manny Ramirez     556 .270/.378/.452 65 18  70  1
Travis Snider     553 .251/.333/.457 68 22  64  3
Denard Span       678 .295/.378/.421 92  9  64 24
Jason Bay         630 .258/.372/.471 88 26  89  9
Rajai Davis       551 .284/.341/.415 68  7  51 41

If Holliday had a bit more homer power or could steal 25 or so bases, I would pop him into five-stars, but he just misses on both counts, so here he is atop the four-stars. Choo's power output from his weighted mean strikes me as low, so let's consider him a candidate for hitting his 70th percentile (.290/.397/.473) or his 90th (.303/.410/.505).

Lee is slowly slipping, but he hasn't fallen yet, and he's a reliable source of RBI, power and average. Ellsbury is an average offensive left fielder, but those steals make him a valuable fantasy asset. If he can keep his OBP up he'll bring in more runs than that, so here's hoping he's able to match his forecast and improve on last year's so-so rate.

Morgan's career year may have been 2009, but that doesn't mean he's going to disappoint in 2010. That forecast is lacking in power, but he makes up for it in stolen bases-remember that R and RBI are down in these projections when looking at someone like Morgan, who is deceptively productive for fantasy purposes. Lind doesn't swipe any bags like the last few guys discussed, but he will bludgeon the ball so he can slowly trot instead. He is set to DH this year, but still has his outfield eligibility, so don't forget he's not relegated only to Utility spots just yet.

PECOTA dislikes Ramirez about as much as the Boston media was told to when he was dealt from the Red Sox, but just like then, I don't understand the hate. Age is the obvious factor, but 2009 is a good sign that he's not done mashing just yet-his 90th percentile of .298/.413/.534 isn't exactly out of reach, and, in fact, looks a good deal like 2009. Snider is expected to produce the kind of season I thought he was in line for last year-he'll be better than that forecast by the midpoint of the season, if not sooner. Span doesn't have a lot of pop, but he hits enough for the runs and steals he will pick up-if you haven't figured it out yet, left field is one of your best chances to pick up steals for your team, without sacrificing production.

PECOTA's fascination with Bay's decline seems a bit premature to me-yes, he's leaving friendly Fenway Park for spacious Citi Field, but he's also leaving behind the American League East's rotations and the AL's superior level of talent. Maybe he won't reach his upper level forecasts, but a .470 slugging percentage seems low. I need to clarify something with Davis' ranking-if he picks up the number of plate appearances PECOTA is projecting for him here, he's worthwhile. That may be a big if though, as Davis will be platooning in right field, and part of his additional playing time may require center fielder Coco Crisp to miss time. That's why you see him below similar hitters who are projected for fewer steals here in the fourth tier, as I'm not entirely sure I trust the playing time.


Three Stars
Player             PA  AVG/ OBP/ SLG  R HR RBI SB
Adam Dunn         630 .246/.384/.487 75 31  90  2
Carlos Gonzalez   428 .280/.340/.475 69 16  69 14
Carlos Quentin    570 .273/.378/.519 84 30  90  4
Josh Hamilton     567 .294/.366/.532 77 27  91  7
Nolan Reimold     528 .273/.350/.492 63 24  65  8
Jason Kubel       501 .282/.357/.488 72 23  88  2
Juan Rivera       492 .280/.328/.465 53 19  68  2
Alfonso Soriano   492 .269/.333/.471 59 19  53  8
Brett Gardner     453 .272/.364/.384 78  6  38 38
Chris Coghlan     638 .288/.374/.436 79 12  71 15
Lastings Milledge 607 .278/.344/.422 66 16  62 18
Juan Pierre       559 .294/.343/.382 69  4  38 34
David DeJesus     662 .282/.356/.423 82 12  68  7
Jack Cust         556 .238/.379/.469 70 27  69  2
Johnny Damon      545 .278/.362/.440 73 15  55 12
Conor Jackson     545 .283/.374/.441 71 14  70  9
Josh Willingham   542 .256/.369/.460 65 20  68  4
Luke Scott        542 .263/.347/.473 62 24  73  1
Daniel Murphy     542 .281/.340/.457 60 15  71  5
Kyle Blanks       542 .258/.346/.443 69 21  79  2
Raul Ibanez       528 .278/.351/.468 61 18  72  1
Seth Smith        438 .278/.370/.469 55 13  56  6
Milton Bradley    438 .275/.395/.454 56 15  52  3
Scott Hairston    422 .255/.314/.453 49 17  51  7

Dunn has the same caveat in left that he has at first-if you could guarantee the higher batting average, he would be worth an earlier look. Gonzalez is a player who I think is capable of launching himself into four-star territory due to very balanced totals, but for now his forecast looks more like that of a three-star guy. Hamilton and Quentin were two players I wanted to stick a tier above, but concerns about how well they bounce back from injury have me holding back a bit. They are capable of much more than this ranking should they prove healthy, I'm just wary of spending a pick on them given how much other talent there is available for this position.

I caught PECOTA drawing little hearts on the back of its notebook with the words "Nolan Reimold" written inside. His weighted mean is pretty nifty, but if he were to hit his 70th percentile (.291/.369/.523) then I may look a little silly for including him here. Kubel isn't a very exciting option, but at least you know what you're getting: power, R and RBI. Rivera strikes me as very similar to Kubel, so if you miss out on one, go for the other. Soriano is certainly down a peg from where you would expect him in previous seasons, but I have ongoing concerns outside of his injury issues in 2009 that make me less than optimistic about him. Since it's just one year though, riddled with injuries to boot, I'll accept this forecast for now.

As long as he's getting the full season of playing time, Gardner is a good substitute for someone like Ellsbury, though he doesn't have as much power. I would rather have Gardner than some of the speedy options below him. Coghlan came out of nowhere to win the Rookie of the Year Award in the NL last year, and his fairly balanced attack nets him a spot right smack in the middle of the rankings. Milledge is being ranked on his potential more than this forecast, but I won't be drafting him this year, as we're in a fight until he delivers on the promise of that potential.

If someone is going to let Pierre play a full season then that's their demon to wrestle with, but someone in your league can take advantage of all of the stolen bases that creates. DeJesus has all of Ellsbury's hitting ability without any of the base running success, so he's hard to get excited about-a full season of PA and solid counting stats make him decent enough, though. Cust will get you homers, but his batting average will sting. As long as he has runners to drive in, his RBI total should make you happy too.

Damon isn't the fantasy asset he used to be, but he's still more help than hurt. Being out of the Yankees lineup hurts his stock a bit as well, but the Tigers aren't exactly a lineup full of clawless kitties, either. I'm afraid to say anything positive about Jackson, as it seems like every Diamondback I think will do well falls apart. Like many of the three-star guys, he's a balanced option. Willingham and Scott are pretty similar-they won't tank your average as much as Cust, but they won't provide the same level of power either. Murphy has first base eligibility, but I like him better for left despite the depth here. His bat plays here more naturally, given how powerful first base is. If Blanks could keep his rate of homers from last year I would have him much higher than this, but expecting him to hit 40 homers in his second season while playing half of his games at Petco Park may be a bit much.

Don't be the guy who overdrafts Ibanez because you think his first half of 2009 was legitimate while his second-half problems with trying to bounce back from injury than reality. I don't ask for much. Smith would be a better option over 600 plate appearances rather than what he's slated for, but he's still useful in deep leagues. The same goes for Bradley and Hairston-both of these guys would do better in these rankings with more playing time. Hairston is center field-eligible, and his bat plays even better there than in left.


Two Stars
Player             PA  AVG/ OBP/ SLG  R HR RBI SB
Chase Headley     630 .268/.353/.438 67 17  69  7
Rick Ankiel       519 .255/.314/.456 68 22  69  4
Carlos Guillen    513 .270/.367/.450 63 16  63  4
Mark DeRosa       511 .272/.353/.446 70 15  65  2
Ryan Raburn       471 .269/.348/.486 69 20  64  7
Marlon Byrd       578 .288/.355/.441 64 14  71  6
Skip Schumaker    638 .287/.349/.401 76  9  50  4
Drew Stubbs       638 .237/.320/.360 72 10  45 28
Delmon Young      528 .300/.330/.444 63 15  70  7
Melky Cabrera     442 .273/.341/.404 50 10  53  9
Chris Dickerson   433 .251/.355/.420 48 11  38 12
David Murphy      394 .278/.353/.461 47 12  48  5
Jeremy Hermida    373 .271/.356/.456 46 13  41  4
Matt Diaz         433 .288/.353/.424 43  9  47  8

The two-star tier has some solid options. Headley is eligible for left because of 2009, though he will also be third base-eligible. His bat works better for third, and while I don't think it will happen (mostly due to Petco Park) his 70th percentile of .282/.373/.465 would be very nice to see. Ankiel is no help in batting average, but he has a lot of power potential. If he can stick for a full year, I see him contributing more than many people expect. Guillen won't play there this year, at least not much, but he's still eligible in left-PECOTA seems optimistic enough about him continuing with what he's been doing. DeRosa is a better option at one of the 37 other positions he is eligible for, but this is the one the Giants are playing him at, so there's that.

I would like this Raburn forecast much more if it wasn't based on his playing somewhere different on the diamond every single day. If the Tigers use him like their own DeRosa, then that's doable, but if he sits on the bench for a few days at the time, you won't see these kinds of totals. I wish Byrd stole bases, because it would complement his line much better. Since he doesn't, here he is. Schumacher is good for runs and batting average, but that's about all. He's better suited to second. Stubbs is intriguing because of his speed, but he'll need to hit better than forecasted if he wants to be anywhere besides the two-star tier.

Young is taking his sweet time improving, but PECOTA sees signs of life this year. Cabrera rated well in fantasy leagues last year, but this year's forecast doesn't inspire much confidence-he's also leaving that lineup in NY, which hurts his value. The rest of these players would be more intriguing with more playing time-I don't think all of them are going to hit their projected PA given the other players manning the position (or positions, given they are outfielders).


One Star
Player             PA  AVG/OBP/SLG    R HR RBI SB
Jose Bautista     598 .250/.352/.435 72 20  63  5
Felix Pie         333 .270/.326/.445 46 10  42  5
Gerardo Parra     338 .281/.337/.413 37  5  35  6
Ryan Spilborghs   292 .273/.359/.430 41  6  34  5
Michael Brantley  308 .277/.347/.367 46  4  33 18
Scott Podsednik   479 .275/.337/.381 54  5  36 14

There's nothing wrong with any of these players, honestly. This is the strongest group of one-star players I've ranked thus far, but they all have playing time concerns that keep them from sitting anywhere else. Pie's forecast seems a little much, but he can't prove PECOTA right if he's not playing all of the time. Bautista's projected season would be his best in years-I have an easier time believing some of his lower percentile forecasts than that weighted mean, which is why he's down here. Podsednik is the other playing time exception, but no one wants a sub-.400 SLG outfielder that isn't stealing 30-40 bases-I have a hard enough time convincing myself to spend a pick on the ones that do.

51 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

batts40

How much higher would Dunn rank in a league that uses OPS instead of BA?

Mar 02, 2010 08:56 AM
rating: 1
 
Marc Normandin

Taking out his biggest negative and replacing it with a positive would put him not quite elite, but definitely four-star. That goes for first base as well.

Mar 02, 2010 09:03 AM
rating: 0
 
oskinner

Adam Dunn also rocks in most 6X6 leagues, whether you add OBP, SLG or OPS....

Mar 02, 2010 13:46 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Dunn's projections, relative to left fielders on this list:
AVG: 38th
HR: 2nd
RBI: 6th
R: 15th
OBP: 4th
SLG: 8th (the SLG projection seems a bit low, he hasn't had a SLG that low since 2003, and broke .500 in every year from 2004 to 2009 except for 2006)

Mar 02, 2010 15:51 PM
rating: 1
 
BelongstotheReds

Copy that, Richard. I don't understand the low SLG for Dunn?

Mar 02, 2010 20:28 PM
rating: 0
 
hessshaun

29 doubles and no triples last year. He is build for the dingo, not stretching things out on the base paths. I agree that it's low, but maybe with his height, weight, and age it projects a regress? Just a thought.

Mar 03, 2010 08:40 AM
rating: 0
 
fawcettb

That's exactly my question. Roto ain't the only game in town.

Mar 03, 2010 09:24 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

You are overrating OF stolen bases and underrating OF home runs. There is no way Nyjer Morgan's a four star, complicated by the variety of OF options the NL has. He also has never stolen more than 24 bases in his career. Ditto with Span.

Also, if one of those speed player pulls a hammy, you would've lost all his value since they contribute nothing in home runs/RBIs and very little in runs and average. By this methodology, Brian Hunter and Tony Womack were four star players in the 90s. You either need a _ton_ of stolen bases, or be a consistent performer in another category like a high average or double digit home runs (Crawford, Suzuki, etc) to go with someone projected for 30 SB. Ellsbury makes the four star cut because he has shown that high level SB production and solid batting average for a few years.

Dunn has the second most projected home runs on this list. He may have a horrid batting average, but it doesn't affect a team as much thanks to his high walk rate (which decreases the plate appearances counted for his batting average). Meanwhile, as a kicker (though I don't draft for R/RBI), he has scored at least 80 runs a year and driven in 100, even in a lineup as weak as the Nationals. I'd also happily take flyers on Quentin and, until his recent shoulder injury, Hamilton. Power is rare these days, and consistent power threats often help in R and RBI.

Mar 02, 2010 09:57 AM
rating: -3
 
Marc Normandin

"Never stolen more than 24 bases"--he stole 42 last year in his first full season--one which was cut short by a broken hand--and has a history of base stealing in the minors. There's nothing outlandish in his stat line to suggest he can't put up the same kind of season, either. Considering he was a top 10 LF last year in an unfinished season, one I'm not expecting him to have to improve upon in 2010 in order to remain valuable, I don't think I'm far off in making him a four-star guy. Also, Span was around the same area as Morgan in LF, and I *do* expect him to improve offensively.

I would definitely take fliers on Quentin and Hamilton as well, I'm just not going to pick them up far too early (or for too much at auction) when there are plenty of other options available.

Mar 02, 2010 11:29 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

My bad, I just eyeballed the DT cards instead of looking at the seasons. Either way, maybe it's a matter of taste, but I've never drafted solely for speed. I prefer a rounded roster of 25 HR 15 SB type players. That way, an injury has less of a chance of devastating my team in a category. As I also said, HR have a way of contributing to R and RBI. At best, SB contribute to R.

If you draft Morgan, you'd have to make up that HR and RBI deficit somewhere. In addition, PECOTA expects a downgrade in his OBP which will also reduce his stolen base opportunities and there is the chance he has reduced playing time. The Depth Charts project Morgan getting 75% of the CF at bats (20% for Taveras, 5% for Harris) and none at the corners. Morgan also had a broken metacarpal bone, which is not a major injury but anything with the hand can hamper production. If Morgan would steal 60+, he'd be special, capable of placing a team into the middle of the SB pack by himself, but all the arrows point to last year being his career year.

Span is a bit more defensible in that he's younger than Morgan, has more home runs than Morgan, and has a better career major league OBP than Morgan in more at-bats.. yet he still hasn't broken 30 steals, even in the minors. Span can surge up by 10-15 steals, especially if he reduces his CS% rate and matures, but you're still left with the HR/RBI deficit.

Also, OF has a high threshhold for offensive performance. Rating Morgan and Span at four stars are two big gambles for an offensive position, and everything has to break right just for them to produce at an average OF offensive level. If I need steals that badly, there are tons of two star 2B and SS to grab with upside potential (Andrus, Cabrera, Escobar, Getz, etc) where the threshold for an average performer at that position is lower.

Now, if the tier system was based on an AL-only format, then those steals become infinitely more valuable... but 10 or even 12 team 5x5 and you'd be hurting. As a comparison, using ESPN's player rater, Dunn is #8, Quentin #11, Span #13 and Morgan as #14 in LF. For auction purposes in 5x5 from CBSSports.com, Dunn is $14, Spann is $12, Morgan is $10. I just think your Morgan outlook is a bit too "chipper", and again, I think you're overvaluing stolen bases.

On another note, this is the kind of article where the "average performer at this position" numbers would be useful.

Mar 02, 2010 15:25 PM
rating: -1
 
chuckmotl

Hey, if you don't like Span & Morgan you don't have to draft them. Pick who you do like.

Mar 02, 2010 17:00 PM
rating: -3
 
oskinner

Morgan's 24 bags was just in his less than half season with Washington, having already swiped another 18 with P'burgh!

Mar 02, 2010 13:42 PM
rating: 0
 
GoTribe06

My favorite part of the whole fantasy baseball experience is the player valuation. Taking a list of stats and coming up with values for players. I always start the process by treating each stat equally, and my results always have stolen base guys higher than most other lists (although closer to BP lists than other sites).

The bottom line is that it depends on your competition. You don't want to be valuing stolen bases (or for an even more basic debate, hitters vs. pitchers) out of line with the rest of your league. It doesn't necessarily sound correct to "follow the crowd", but you want to avoid creating your own market inefficiencies by valuing certain types of players out of line with your competition.

Enjoying this years articles more than ever, Marc!

Mar 03, 2010 06:17 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

Which is part of the reason I liked tiers without ordering the players, because it's all very contextual, but I understand why people want that, and I don't mind doing it.

Glad you're liking the rankings though. I much prefer this system to the old one.

Mar 03, 2010 07:18 AM
rating: 0
 
WoodyS

I agree completely. This gives far too much weight to stolen bases.

Mar 04, 2010 11:55 AM
rating: -1
 
Bill N

That Travis Snider ranking is based on him exceeding his listed projection by a fair deal? Otherwise he seems to have moderate power with subpar average and speed.

Mar 02, 2010 10:52 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

Yes, I like Snider a lot. I'm probably a bit higher on him than most (PECOTA's weighted mean projection included).

Mar 02, 2010 11:31 AM
rating: 0
 
oPlaiD

Just curious, but what kind of line are you expecting him to put up?

Mar 02, 2010 14:22 PM
rating: 2
 
jenstad

Really confused by the commentary on Rajai platooning in RF. He is slated to start in Left Field i the season were to start today...and fill in in CF when Coco cant play or is hurt. RF is Ryan Sweeney.

Mar 02, 2010 11:43 AM
rating: 1
 
Marc Normandin

Whoops, that was just a typo by me. He's set to platoon in left with Gabe Gross, not right. Thanks for catching that.

Mar 02, 2010 17:23 PM
rating: 0
 
hyattff2003

I'm more confused about the top spot than anything. Braun outperforms crawford in the projection in 4 out of the 5 normal fantasy categories. I don't see how Carl is ranked higher. Especially with later round options for speed like Morgan and Bourn in the OF.

Mar 02, 2010 12:56 PM
rating: 1
 
Cromulent

The intro to the piece says "Players are loosely ordered within tiers."

Mar 02, 2010 14:30 PM
rating: 0
 
pbconnection

I really hate these individual position rankings in the outfield. I realize that 10% of the people who do fantasy will find this helpful, but it's annoying.

Mar 02, 2010 13:13 PM
rating: 4
 
Drew Miller

There was a suggestion at one point of putting all the outfielders together, instead of demarcating by LF-CF-RF.

Mar 02, 2010 13:44 PM
rating: 0
 
LouisArighi

I just try to be calm, as I realize that Marc is trying to do one rankings article even though there are a wide variety of leagues out there. I play in a league that uses OBP instead of BA, and has huge rosters along with a significant keeper limit which means that I basically have to ignore the top tier(s) of most of these lists, and go dumpster diving on the bottom. But I appreciate his little comments on the players, so I plow through anyway.

Mar 02, 2010 13:45 PM
rating: 6
 
Marc Normandin

That's why I'm trying to do so many more players per position now. All I did last year was 20, so I've had 20-40 more players per position than I did in the past this time out.

Mar 02, 2010 17:16 PM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

I am going to do one list after of all of the outfielders. It was easier to put together this way, given the number of outfielders involved. It's not like you're going to have to wait weeks to get it, either. I've been releasing the rankings at a pretty consistent rate this year.

Mar 02, 2010 17:08 PM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

To be more clear, you have RF coming tomorrow and CF the day after that, then I will post a list of all of them on the fantasy blog, which will be live by the time I finish the next two pieces.

Mar 02, 2010 17:18 PM
rating: 0
 
matthewthill7

Manny's line looks really low. This is a guy with a career .313/.411/.591 batting line, who still had a .290/.418/.531 (.949 OPS) line as recently as one season ago. Yes, he's 37 or 38, but age alone isn't really enough to support such a dropoff. And if anybody wants to cite the PEDs as reasoning for expecting a "decline" from Manny, shouldn't we also be applying that criteria to Alex Rodriguez? Manny will miss games, and seems bound to get only 500 AB, but if we use his career 162-game (584 AB) career line of 111 runs, 40 HR and 131 RBI over 500 AB, it comes out to 95 runs, 34 HR and 112 RBI. Even hacking that to 90/30/100 with a ~.300 average is still fantastic.

Mar 02, 2010 14:51 PM
rating: 1
 
Bill N

You seem overly optimistic about his power, but in general I would agree with your assessment.

Mar 02, 2010 14:53 PM
rating: 0
 
krissbeth

The computer doesn't know WHY he missed time last year, only that he's an old slow outfielder who missed a period of time that looks like a major injury.

Mar 02, 2010 20:08 PM
rating: 1
 
bheikoop

I don't get why Dunn is projected for 31 home runs and who you seemingly legitimize that by ranking him in the 3rd tier - albeit at the top of the tier. This is a player who hasn't hit fewer than 38 in 7 seasons. We're looking at one of the more sure bets to launch 500 home runs without any gray.

Because Dunn walks so much his batting average is probably equally as harmful as Travis Snider, who will give an extra 50-60 at bats of weak average. Why not take the same weighted batting average and an extra 12-20 home runs?

Mar 02, 2010 15:22 PM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

I thought first base had a higher bar for offensive production than left field, so I'd think if "Dunn is closer to four stars than three if you could guarantee his batting average would stay up, but I wouldn't put money on that." as a first baseman, he'd make the four star threshhold as a left fielder.

Mar 02, 2010 15:37 PM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

That's a good point, Richard. I have much less of an issue with that than your other statement regarding this. Let me see how the other outfield positions shake out, and when I do the overall list I might bump him up to four.

Mar 02, 2010 17:22 PM
rating: 0
 
FeVeR22

I know Jason Bay is due for a drop-off, but I'm astounded that he's ranked that low. I know he's a four-star, but to have someone like Nyjer Morgan and even Travis Snider (albeit two spots ahead) ahead of him seems a bit harsh. He still will have the potential to bat in a lineup with Jose Reyes (if he stays healthy), David Wright and Carlos Beltran (when he returns). Who exactly bats in Toronto's lineup? Morgan will beat Bay in steals and average, but I'd bet he doesn't come close to him anywhere else, except maybe runs.

Mar 02, 2010 15:35 PM
rating: 0
 
FeVeR22

let me just alter this by saying: I know guys like Hill/Lind are in Toronto's lineup, but for someone who is still unproven at the major league level to be ahead of Bay who is pretty much at his peak seems a bit much.

Mar 02, 2010 15:41 PM
rating: 1
 
Marc Normandin

"Players are loosely ordered within tiers". I don't think Bay and Morgan have significantly different value, which is why they are both in the four-star tier. That's the point. But I was asked to please rank them in some kind of order of preference, so I did. They are so close that if Morgan was gone and I was "forced" to pick Bay, I wouldn't have any problem with that. Don't think of this as a straight number ranking.

Mar 02, 2010 17:21 PM
rating: 0
 
FeVeR22

I understand, Marc. I enjoy your work, I'm just giving you a hard time. Definitely great stuff. And I love the idea of the RF,LF,CF separate rankings, then combining them to have a master OF list. Can't wait to see what's in store for BP when these blogs are live.

Mar 02, 2010 17:26 PM
rating: 1
 
Marc Normandin

I'm excited as well. It'll be nice to have a bit more freedom for content so neither of us has to wait anymore, and I'm very happy we were able to add as much help as we did.

Mar 02, 2010 17:58 PM
rating: 0
 
BurrRutledge

"I was asked to please rank them in some kind of order of preference, so I did."

And I adore you for it. May I say again, thank you!!!

Mar 02, 2010 21:02 PM
rating: 0
 
krissbeth

"Morgan will beat Bay in steals and average, but I'd bet he doesn't come close to him anywhere else, except maybe runs."

Soooo... each has an advantage in two categories, with one category a toss-up... sounds like same tier to me.

Mar 02, 2010 20:10 PM
rating: 2
 
Marc Normandin

I like when you guys do my work for me in the comments.

Mar 02, 2010 21:38 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Except Bay has been producing in those two categories for about ten years now and Morgan hasn't, nor is he at an age where he's expected to get better. Do you really draft on a 30 year old's career year?

I look at it like this. Chances are, your tier 5 players are first and second rounders. your tier 4 players are 3rd through 8th round. Would I really be drafting Nyjer Morgan before the 8th round? Before the closer battles are settled or with only four or so offensive players so far?

Mar 03, 2010 08:31 AM
rating: 0
 
BurrRutledge

Richard, it's a counterproductive to slot Marc's tier-ranking into rounds of the draft. The whole idea is to find players who are going to outperform their draft slot.

For instance: if Chipper Jones is getting drafted in the 13th round in most leagues, and he's ranked as a low-four-star 3B, that doesn't mean I should draft him in the seventh round when most of the other four star 3Bmen are coming off the boards. I should slot him to draft in the eleventh rnd if I don't have a 3B at that point.

However, if you disagree with Marc on a particular player's tier, you are empowered to drop him down a tier (or more) on your own draft board.

And, thanks for sharing your disagreement and reasoning on the message board for the rest of us to consider.

Mar 03, 2010 09:42 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

I definitely agree that the idea is to draft for value that will outperform the slot you drafted them at. The implication with the lists and tiers, though, is that a Nyjer Morgan will outperform an Adam Dunn. Based on consistency and across-the-board performance, I could see taking Dunn as my second or third outfielder in a 10 team or 12 team 4x4 or 5x5 league where Morgan and even Span would be a fourth outfielder.

The knock against Dunn is his weak batting average. I argue that Morgan's coming off a peak season, an older player than Dunn (so more likely to regress), and Morgan's weak runs, home runs and rbis. So why is one person a three star and the other a four star?

Maybe my main beef isn't as much with Morgan and Span in the four star tier but the exclusion of Dunn in the four star tier, which seems symptomatic of overvaluing steals and/or undervaluing power.

Either way, I happily come up with my own lists and rankings. Harsh as I might be at times, though, I think my feedback can help the process in generating lists for future years.

Mar 03, 2010 10:40 AM
rating: 0
 
pruela

First post, and first year using this site. Love the rankings, but agree with what was posted above by some - would prefer entire OF versus LF/RF/CF. Glad to hear there will be both and eagerly awaiting the rest.

Really enjoying your input Marc, keep it up

Mar 02, 2010 21:06 PM
rating: 2
 
Marc Normandin

Glad to hear you're enjoying it!

Mar 02, 2010 21:39 PM
rating: 0
 
krissbeth

I think a later combined ranking and the tier system generally helps meet the needs of both groups. And, frankly, I'd rather break up the reading required for covering all the outfielders. That's one looooong article.

Incidentally, you might think of breaking up the SP columns into one article on the top two tiers then another one on the bottom three tiers.

Mar 03, 2010 07:42 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

There are going to be either 2 or 3 depending on how the tiers shake out.

Mar 03, 2010 08:52 AM
rating: 0
 
JAChurnin

Hey Marc, firstly, thanks for all your work so far. I have a question pertaining to the placement of Rajai Davis (or even Nyjer Morgan for that matter) among the 4th tier outfielders. You explained the caveat with Davis about him needing the necessary ABs to warrant such a ranking. Even so, with the likelihood that Ozzie Guillen plays Pierre until his wheels fall off, don't these players essentially bring the same thing to the table?

Rajai Davis 551 .284/.341/.415 68 7 51 41
Juan Pierre 559 .294/.343/.382 69 4 38 34

Even though Davis' projected numbers are slightly better here, does the difference warrant a designation in a separate tier? On the other hand, it could just be a matter of your preference, in which case that's about all there is to say.

Mar 05, 2010 18:16 PM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

Pierre's a known quantity, and I don't even necessarily agree with his forecast. I like Davis' upside a bit more, as long as he's playing. That being said, I put him down at the bottom of the tier he's in, because he's on the border as it is.

Mar 08, 2010 05:52 AM
rating: 0
 
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