CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Checking the Numbers: ... (09/08)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Stephen ... (09/08)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (09/09)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Org Watc... (09/08)

September 8, 2010

Fantasy Beat

Hot Spots: Outfield

by Rob McQuown

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Keep on Keepin' On:

In case you missed the Monday and Tuesday editions, this week's theme is NL Keeper picks, and Mikes Street and Jong covered their positions like Gold Glovers already. Okay, that's about as much discussion of defense as is needed in a fantasy column, so which NL outfielders are going to hit? And which are good to get now, with an eye on saving a draft pick next year, when they are presumably the Next Big Thing in spring training

With keepers, there's a balance to be found. How good a player will eventually become is important, but so is how quickly he'll get there and how highly he'll be regarded on Draft Day 2011 is another. In 2009, yours truly passed on Starlin Castro in the August Scoresheet draft, taking highly regarded catching prospect Derek Norris instead. Norris broke his leg and was limited to 399 PA in high-A ball this year, splitting time between catcher and DH and hitting .235, though his OBP still makes him a very good prospect. Starlin, of course, hit about .400 in the AFL, created a buzz in spring training, and was drafted in the first round of the 2010 preseason draft (14th round for Scoresheet players). While it's easy to look back at the folly of this move, none of the other 11 owners in the NL-only league picked him up in August, either. It was just a case of a guy doing things between the end of the minor-league season and the start of the next MLB season to skyrocket his stock.

With that in mind, things such as AFL invites will be considered. That's one more avenue for a player to improve his 2011 outlook. While most AFL players are tagged for another year in the minors, if you're playing in a keeper league, these are some guys to keep an eye on.

Click graphic for more stats

Domonic Brown was mentioned at mid-season and did indeed get the predicted promotion after proving to be too much for minor-league pitchers. In short, he's stunk in the majors. If he's already owned, leverage that bad smell to try to trade for him at sub-retail prices. He's going to be a force, both in real life and in fantasy scoring, and this is the chance to buy low (or pick him up if he's available).

Click graphic for more stats

Logan Morrison is the other candidate for best NL outfield keeper available in many leagues. When he was called up, it was noted that his assets don't mesh with the usual fantasy categories very well, as walking is a core skill and most of his extra-base hits are doubles at this juncture. Now, despite his .318 batting average, he may still be someone who could be grabbed or acquired cheaply in a trade due to his total of one (1) home run to date. And it might be worth considering. The Marlins, leveraging his already-mature on-base skills, are batting him second in the order, and he's scoring about a run per game. He hit 55 extra-base hits between AA and AAA in the 516 AB he had at those levels between 2009-2010 (or one every 9.4 AB, compared to corner players in MLB, who average an extra-base hit every 10.3 AB in 2010). Before the season, Kevin Goldstein tabbed him as a 5-Star Prospect. He addressed the question of whether his power will develop with, “There is plenty of debate over Morrision's ultimate power ceiling, as while he's massive physically, his swing mechanics generate little loft or backspin.” Sounds a lot like the concerns surrounding Kevin Youkilis years ago, and he has slugged .548 or higher three years running now.

Click graphic for more stats

Readers of this column will find many words already on Tyler Colvin, and all the things that made him a good play in 2010 make him an even better keeper. He has great power potential, playing in a park which magnifies it. While he's a better defender than Alfonso Soriano, he's more likely to end up at first base if an outfielder shifts in 2011, which would quickly give him multi-position eligibility. His .249 ISO in 2010 trails only 15 qualifying hitters. Sure, comparing him to Albert Pujols or even Josh Hamilton is ridiculous, but suggesting he might – aided by Wrigley - hit like a left-handed Corey Hart might not be, as Hart also got his first full season in the majors at age 25 and has a .208 career ISO.

Click graphic for more stats

Lorenzo Cain was recently discussed. His loss of playing time to the other CF options in Milwaukee shouldn't scare off owners considering keeping him in 2011. He still has the speed skills to be a good keeper, though it obviously has to be weighed against where he might go in a draft next year. He should be a better 2011 fantasy player than, for example, Jon Jay, however - despite Jay's obviously better stat line which will undoubtedly make him a higher draft pick in 2011.

Click graphic for more stats

Second Half Help: Not that it's impossible for Brett Jackson to win a spot on the Cubs out of spring training, but that outfield is already full of good players and big contracts, so it would take some breaks. But if Jackson plays half of 2011, he could still be worth the roster spot. He was compared to J.D. Drew on draft day, and may actually have more speed than the 5-tool Drew. His seasonal age was 21 (he turned 22 in August), and after mashing in high-A, he played the second half in AA ball, hitting .276/.366/.461. It's key to remember that he was just drafted in 2009, and received only 440 PA of full-season ball (plus 121 PA of short-season ball in 2009) before making it to AA – so he has very limited pro experience in addition to being young. Between high-A and AA this year, he rapped out 57 extra-base hits and stole 30 bases. And while his 126 strikeouts suggest limitations on his batting average, that total is lower than was expected entering 2010, and – as with Drew – he draws a goodly number of walks (73 in 2010) to temper batting-average limitations with good on-base skills. Those walks may not help most fantasy owners, but the power and speed are definitely real. Especially in longer-term keeper contexts, this is a guy to watch closely. He's been sent to the AFL, so he's in the high-risk category for getting hyped this offseason.

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

2 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Checking the Numbers: ... (09/08)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Stephen ... (09/08)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (09/09)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Org Watc... (09/08)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: A Three-Act Tragedy, A T...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Pa...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of October 17-18,...
The Week in Quotes: October 13-19, 2014
Pebble Hunting: The Best Teams Should Make T...
Transaction Analysis: Silverman's Kohn Job
Playoff Prospectus: World Series Preview: Gi...

MORE FROM SEPTEMBER 8, 2010
Premium Article Prospectus Perspective: Not Dead Yet
Premium Article Future Shock: Org Watch: Red Sox, Angels, Do...
Premium Article Manufactured Runs: Solving the Mays Problem
Premium Article Checking the Numbers: Triple Crown Update
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run: Cooperstown Bound
The Unappreciated Slugger
Premium Article Under The Knife: Before there was Tommy John

MORE BY ROB MCQUOWN
2010-09-29 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-09-22 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-09-15 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-09-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-09-01 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-08-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-08-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
More...

MORE FANTASY BEAT
2010-09-10 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: The Recent Happenings of J.A. ...
2010-09-10 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Weekly Planner #24
2010-09-09 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Relief Pitchers
2010-09-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-09-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Stephen Drew's August Yardwork
2010-09-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Question Marks in the Padres R...
2010-09-07 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Catcher, Second Bas...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2011-01-19 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: First Base, Third B...