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September 28, 2012

Value Picks

Outfielders Review

by Paul Singman

After five years of sharing my fantasy baseball thoughts elsewhere on the internet, I was fortunate enough to move my virtual office to BPro in late July. For our purposes today, that leaves us with exactly 10 VP: Outfielder articles to work with. Hopefully in those articles you’ve gotten to know me a little bit, and hopefully I was able to help your rosters. In accordance with fellow mid-season acquisition Josh Shepardson’s format, I’ll categorize my picks into “Duds,” “Contributors,” and “Studs.”

Duds
The first player whose bandwagon I tried to get others to jump aboard was that of Jordany Valdespin, an intriguing Mets prospect who had posted a .286 average and with five homers in limited July playing time. I foresaw a player with both power and speed (17 HR, 37 SB in 2011 minors) who was likely to see an uptick in at-bats in the near future. It turns out that July 27—the date of recommendation—was very near the apex of Valdespin’s season. Just a week later his batting average was down to .260, and his slash line in August was a paltry .163/.241/.286. Not the timeliest of recommendations on my part.

The following week saw the promotion of prodigious Texas prospect Mike Olt. While I didn’t write a glowing review, my write-up was certainly produced through glasses a bit too rosy, mostly on the playing time front. Not that Olt has produced in his skimpy portion of at-bats anyway, but it should be noted that the supposedly fragile Rangers have been surprisingly healthy lately, leaving Olt without much of a role in this lineup. Hopefully you didn’t waste too many FAAB dollars on him like I did in Tout Wars.

Contributors
Make no mistake, my inclusion of Nate McLouth in the “Contributors” section is more a knock on myself than Mr. McLouth. I considered making him a VP on August 17 but felt one strong week shouldn’t overcome the atrocity that was his first-half (not to mention his 2011 and 2010). I watched him produce agnostically, not believing that a player could go from nearly out of baseball to part-timer to fantasy stud in a matter of weeks. That is exactly what McLouth did though, and on the last day of August I finally caved in and put him in the VP ranks. Surprisingly, his ownership rates were all still sub-five percent at this time (even with the usually quick-fingered CBS crowd), but I knew that his VP debut came after he was added in the most competitive leagues. Usually I try to give recommendations ahead of the curve, not just reactive ones for whoever has been hot lately, so as to be of use to people in such deep leagues.

Andy Dirks, Dewayne Wise, and Chris Parmelee aren’t major reasons behind anyone’s success this year, but all three offered solid production for a few weeks as VPs. As I’ve harped about all year, Dirks has been quietly productive all season long (minus the Achilles injury) and is ending the season with one of his most productive weeks.

Studs
By the time July of 2012 rolled around, people knew the Carlos Gomez act well. In his previous 1,679 career major league at-bats, we all witnessed the streaks of fantasy-stat excess Gomez was prone to—one- or two-week spans over which he’d be the top fantasy contributor. With that, however, also came the lows—stretches where his production and playing time were spotty enough that his seasonal line averaged out to something near mediocrity.

The 2012 season started out in this fashion for Gomez until the last 10 games in July. Over those 10 games, he batted .364 with four homers and five steals. Yes, it was another Gomez hot streak, but it was one that was hard not to buy into at least a little, and time has shown that it was one worth buying into, for the most part.

MONTH

AB

AVG

HR

SB

July

73

0.274

5

11

August

100

0.260

5

9

September

80

0.250

2

7

 

While July was still Gomez’ best month of the season, the speedy Brewer has kept up an impressive pace throughout August and September, making him one of the most valuable hitters since the All-Star Break. With his second half, are you willing to believe in him next year? How much would you bid in an auction?

In early August, David Murphy joined the VP ranks after word came from manager Ron Washington that Murphy would start to see everyday at-bats in left field. With the increase in role came an increase in production; Murphy proceeded to collect 37 hits in August (.366 average). The average was a bit on the empty side, since only two homers and a steal came along with it, but Murphy also enjoyed a productive September, making him one of the better pickups of the last two months.

That’s all I got. Congratulations to all who enjoyed success this season. Even though I held first place in both my leagues at one point, my teams have both faded to the fourth-to-sixth place area in both the Tout Wars Mixed and Yahoo Friends & Family leagues. I look forward preparing for the 2013 season with you in a couple of months!

Related Content:  Fourth Of July

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<< Previous Article
Collateral Damage Dail... (09/28)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Th... (09/25)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Relievers... (10/01)
Next Article >>
Transaction Analysis: ... (09/28)

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