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January 5, 2011

Fantasy Beat

Hot Spots: Outfield

by Rob McQuown

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It's going to be a very short writeup this time, with so few outfielders signing in the past couple weeks, balancing the abundance before the Holidays. Brad Hawpe is one of the most curious signings of recent years, with the Padres' extreme park effects and the team's supposed focus on defensive range. As with Garrett Atkins (reviewed Monday), Hawpe posted some great surface stats while playing for Colorado. But his last three seasons have amounted to a total of 3.2 WARP (in just over 1500 PA). The Padres are obviously banking on the powerful lefty's ability to clear the deep reaches of Petco Park, and for a return to his “natural” position (first base, which Todd Helton blocked in Colorado) to reduce the negative defensive impact. At the very least, he should hit some in Colorado, Arizona, and Los Angeles road games. Even playing for Colorado, he hasn't been an offensive force against lefties, but a .245/.322/.438 career line isn't a sure out, either. That might be good enough to keep him in the lineup full time, giving him value in NL-only leagues, where playing time is king. But just barely good enough.

Jeremy Hermida and Travis Buck are shown here just because there weren't many options, but they are longshots at best. Hermida was good a long time ago, and will provide another left-handed option in the outfield for the Reds. His power might provide something to an NL-only team. Travis Buck has likewise worn out his prospect status, and both Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley would have to flop in Cleveland to make him relevant.

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

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Future Shock: Los Ange... (01/04)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (01/04)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (01/06)
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Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (01/05)

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