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May 19, 2010

Fantasy Beat

Hot Spots: Outfield

by Rob McQuown

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Value Picks 2010 PECOTA Games '10 Scoresheet
Tyler Colvin CHN 69 4 15 10 1 .300 .368 .583 .246 .297 .412 20 5 7 +20 –71 2.12
Jeremy Hermida BOS 97 4 10 22 1 .227 .299 .432 .258 .332 .443 23 0 2 +24 –73 2.09
Fred Lewis TOR 129 2 20 13 3 .298 .333 .471 .271 .349 .427 24 2 4 +28 –90 2.09
Nate Schierholtz SF 113 1 17 7 4 .307 .375 .436 .273 .326 .437 0 0 32 +5 –15 2.07
Mike Stanton FLA 161 15 29 36 1 .310 .453 .738 .238 .307 .482 0 0 32 –16 +40 2.10
Ryan Sweeney OAK 155 1 18 19 0 .317 .361 .401 .290 .355 .424 0 0 36 +29 –88 2.14
Marcus Thames NYA 68 2 7 10 0 .352 .456 .537 .249 .315 .495 13 0 3 –23 +48 2.06
Delmon Young MIN 121 4 15 15 2 .257 .314 .450 .280 .324 .425 31 0 0 –25 +57 2.04
Subscribe to Heater: Avg for Left Field .274 .342 .440   vRH = OPS v RH
Heater Magazine Avg for Center Field .269 .338 .424   vLH = OPS v LH
  Avg for Right Field .275 .348 .449   Rng = Range
  Avg for All Outfield .273 .343 .438  


Living in the Past: Cameron Maybin has been 6-for-19 since getting his Value Pick “yellow card” (or font) last week - responding better than his teammate to a benching.  He tallied a startling total of 9 RBI, hitting his 2nd home run of the season yesterday. And, since the Austin Jackson comparison was used last week, it will be noted that Austin has been 4-for-25 (with 0 HR or SB). These are all tiny sample sizes, of course, but at least keep Cameron Maybin on your scope for a future pickup. The team from Miami may not get much publicity other than when Hanley Ramirez is feuding with Fredi Gonzalez, but both Mike Stanton (for whom the Value Pick list will be expanded by an extra slot for the time being) and Cam Maybin have very good fantasy upside. Another ex-VP placeholder in the news is Carlos Guillen. The announced move to second base sounds like the Tigers want to see him on the DL again soon, but as soon as he qualifies for second base, he becomes one of the 2nd-tier players at a position which doesn't have many (and which lost one to Asdrubal Cabrera's injury)... as long as he's healthy.

Recap: The Cubs outfielders haven't cooled off, so Tyler Colvin only got 10 plate appearances last week, but he used them well - collecting 3 runs, an RBI, his first steal, and raising his batting average to .300 on the season. It was a rough week for Nate Schierholtz, as his team was pwn'd by the Padres (as usual) until yesterday, when he was removed as part of a double switch which helped his team come back for their first win against the Friars this season. Fortunately for both the Giants and Schierholtz, they won't see the Padres again until August.

Departures: In what may turn out to be a badly timed piece of advice, Jeremy Hermida will be dropped from the Value Pick list this week. Fortunately for fantasy owners who read the fine print, it will be noted that said departure is contingent upon J.D. Drew's injury being of the sort which doesn't land him on the DL. If Drew is healthy, the lineup could very quickly revert to that of the pre-season plans, as Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron are both playing live baseball in rehab stints, and David Ortiz seems to have remembered which end of the bat to hold. Hermida's window to stake out a larger role has probably already closed.

Arrivals: Unable to work out a trade with Mike Street to acquire Luke Scott for the “Outfielders” segment of Hot Spots, and a step slow getting on the Brennan Boesch Bandwagon, more relatively obscure outfielders were needed this week. Even before the injury to Travis Snider, Fred Lewis was looking like a good pickup. Clearly, he's not MVP material, but he's also not 30 years old yet, and has enough power to allow a fantasy owner to play him for his speed without cringing. His .405 BABIP will come down, but his career mark is an outstanding .362, consistent with the type of hitter he is (a lefty slasher with good speed and “doubles power” - often triples in Lewis' case, obviously). He's shown a sizable platoon differential for his career (.288/.355/.442 vs righty pitching), and his fantasy owners may wish for him to get rested against some of the tough lefties in the AL East (e.g. Lester, Sabathia, Price, Pettitte, Matusz). But there are mostly righty pitchers in the division, and 3 of the teams regularly start catchers who can be stolen against, which is a nice bonus (Martinez, Posada, Jaso). Having noted that Lewis is a player worth having, it would be remiss to not take note of some of the upcoming series, and the expected great starting pitching he'll see:

  • May 19/20 - Seattle
  • May 31-June 2 and June 8-10 – Tampa Bay (leads the AL in run prevention by almost a full run)
  • June 4-6 – New York Yankees
  • June 14-16 – at San Diego
  • June 18-20 – San Francisco
  • June 22-24 – St. Louis
  • June 25-27 – Philadelphia

TB, SD, SF, STL, PHI, NYY are (respectively) the six best run-prevention teams in the majors so far in 2010. So, overspending on Lewis is not indicated, but he may end up being a much better “value” after the Jays are done with this upcoming gauntlet of suppressive starting pitching, as his stats are likely to look much worse at that time.

One may wonder why Jack Cust isn't making this list, as a full-time hitter who has reached 25 homers each of the past three seasons would seem like a great pickup. And he really isn't bad, if a team has a slot in which to use him. But the A's have 9 inter-league games at NL parks coming up in June, in which he's unlikely to start. Besides, there's little mystery with Cust – if his average stat line from the past three years helps a fantasy team, he should be added.

At least in terms of striking out and homering, Marcus Thames has some resemblance to Jack Cust. And with Nick Johnson coming off his season-plus-long stint on the active roster (returning to his customary DL slot), lots of playing time has opened up for Thames. He'll vie for DH at-bats with Jorge Posada, and while his career batting line of .235/.294/.473 against righties isn't thrilling, he hits lefties hard and has clouted 103 homers overall in 1777 career plate appearances. That sort of power behind the OBP-heavy core of the Yankees lineup could result in some fantastic RBI totals for a part-time player.


Rob McQuown is an author of Baseball Prospectus Fantasy Beat, Baseball Daily Digest, and the team expert for both Chicago teams in Heater. You can click here to see Previous Fantasy Beat articles or click here to see his entries at BDD (including daily fantasy advice).


Rob McQuown is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Rob's other articles. You can contact Rob by clicking here

Related Content:  Nate Schierholtz

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

BP Comment Quick Links

BP staff member Michael Street
BP staff

"Unable to work out a trade with Mike Street to acquire Luke Scott for the “Outfielders” segment of Hot Spots"

Here's how the trade negotiations went down:

Rob asked what it would take to get Luke Scott for his column, and I told him a mint-condition T-206 Honus Wagner.

I offered to set up a platoon, and Rob said OK, I could have Scott at DH during away games of interleague play.

We're currently at work on a multi-player swap involving Scott, Marcus Thames, Jack Cust, and Tim Lincecum, who isn't on either of our beats, but would be really cool to have anyway.

We'll keep the BP community posted :D

May 19, 2010 11:45 AM

Your explanation of this "trade" has left me even more confused.

What exactly is it you are trying to do? Write about Luke Scott or have him on a fantasy team?

Two people can't write about the same guy?

May 19, 2010 12:10 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Michael Street
BP staff


Sorry; we were being a little silly here. (or, really, Rob made a joke and I took it over the edge to absurdity).

Two writers can definitely write about the same player, but we try not to, since we're trying to spread the Value love as much as possible. And really there are other concerns in play.

Because Scott's played 22 games at DH this year, and just 8 in the OF, he's better used in my 1B/3B/DH column. By the same token, Thames has played 16 games in the OF and 4 as DH, so he's better here.

Jack Cust, on the other hand, has played all 4 games this year in the OF. Whether he slides ahead of Chavez/Fox in the DH role remains to be seen, but he's an OF for now.

Again, sorry for the confusion. Just a couple of friends having a little fun.

May 19, 2010 16:24 PM
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

It's all fun and games until Mike tries to write about Omar Vizquel, the DH. Then things get ugly. :>

May 20, 2010 06:20 AM

Ahhhh, ok.

Even baseball articles are kicking my a$$ this year. I'm in dead last in my league by a mile after winning it all last year and have been in the money each year of its existence.

Who and when is going to write about when it's time to fold up shop?


May 20, 2010 07:38 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Michael Street
BP staff

Personally, I don't ever fold up shop.

I managed a worst-to-in-the-money rise in one of my leagues after an awful first month, and had similar success in the other leagues when I'd also gotten off to a slow start.

Even if my team completely sucks and has no chance of winning, I still consider it my duty to keep playing for competitive balance. You can still influence races by playing the spoiler in certain categories, so you can find interest by trying to hose the guy who never answers your trade emails, or who wrote all those nasty things about your sister on the bathroom wall :D Dump all your resources into one or two categories and see if you can rock the world of the guys at the top.

If you need inspiration, watch Bluto's "Nothing is over until we decide it is!" speech from Animal House. Always gets me going :)

May 20, 2010 09:34 AM

Thanks. I totally agree.

In my league though, folding up shop means trading viable pieces for draft picks for next year. For example, without going into too much league detail, I'm in a 12 team mixed league with 5 keepers and 25 players per team. I've had a guy hounding me for Juan Piere. He's offered me multiple trades with the best being a 9th round pick (drafted him in the 10th). I think he'll be even more valuable closer to the deadline when someone is hot to pick up those valuable steals points.

He later offered a 2nd round pick for Kershaw (drafted in 3rd)& Pierre - very tasty.

My bottom line is if I can't finish in the money without trading away all of my picks, I need to start accumulating as many picks for next year while holding onto 5 solid keepers.

Can BP create a forum for conversations like this? It would be very helpful and widely used, in my opinion.

If there were a forum, one could post things like: I can keep any 4 of the following in their respective rounds:
Austin Jackson-21
Andruw Jones-22
Jorge DeLaRosa-9

May 20, 2010 10:01 AM
rating: 0
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