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February 17, 2014

Fantasy Players to Target

Outfielders

by BP Fantasy Staff


For the earlier articles in this series, follow the links below:

There are nearly 90 starting MLB outfielders, dozens more platoon/fourth-outfielder types, and a plethora of outfield prospects who provide fantasy owners with a large pool of players from which to choose when filling out their rosters. That being said, the talent in the outfield is shallower than you think, and selecting the wrong outfielder too early can significantly hamper owners in leagues that roster five OFs per team.

Let the BP Fantasy Staff be your guide through the crowded world of the outfield. We will lead you to a better place.

Oswaldo Arcia, Twins
There are some obvious negatives to Arcia, including a 31 percent strikeout rate paired with a below-average walk rate. The good news is that Arcia never showed that type of whiff rate in the minors and was still able to produce despite all those times he came up empty, knocking 14 home runs in only 378 at-bats. That means given a full slate of plate appearances, Arcia should easily clear 20 home runs, and that’s without additional contactm which should generate more home runs (and runs and RBI). With an ADP of 265 (per fantasypros.com), Arcia isn’t being drafted based on potential production just yet, leaving him with room to generate additional value. He could turn into a 25-home-run corner outfielder in short order, and while he won’t add to your stolen-base totals, he shouldn’t sink you in average either. The power production is likely to be steady, and has a chance to be above average in a good season. —Craig Goldstein

Jay Bruce, Reds
From 2011-2013, only three major-league players have hit 30 home runs in each season: Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, and Jay Bruce. No, Bruce is not Miggy or Beltre. He plays in the outfield and, from personal experience, he’s a headache in head-to-head formats. He won’t hit .300. He probably won’t hit .270. But he’ll provide solid contributions in the remaining four categories, including steals. Over the past three years, Bruce has averaged 32 home runs, 87 runs, and 101 RBI. He’s only missed 14 games since 2011, while Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who is likely to be drafted ahead of Bruce, has missed 97. Stanton trails Bruce by 70 RBI and 46 runs over that time, but the latter isn’t regarded in the same light. Additionally, only five players collected more doubles than Bruce last season. He’s a near-lock for 30 home runs and 90 RBI. At age 26, he’s poised for a career year. —Alex Kantecki

Jason Heyward, Braves
Appendicitis and a fractured jaw from a HBP robbed Heyward of around 200 PA last season, and he finished 2013 with just 14 homers, two steals, and a .254/.349/.427 triple-slash line. That disappointing performance has many once again doubting whether Heyward can be a cornerstone fantasy player, as evidenced by his ADP of 72 in Mock Draft Central leagues this preseason. Heyward has been in the majors for so long that it's easy to forgot how young he is, but he'll spend most of 2014 at age 24, and there's no reason to think his 2013 line represents the beginning of any serious regression. Instead, look to Heyward's 2012 season, where he finished with 27 homers and 21 steals, as a more likely harbinger of what's to come. I'm no longer a big believer in Heyward's hit tool—I think .270 sounds about right—but I do believe in the pop, and I do think he'll run enough to swipe 15-plus bases once again. He's being drafted after Wil Myers and Josh Hamilton, and I think that's a mistake. —Ben Carsley

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Freestyle: BP'... (02/17)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Tar... (02/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Tar... (02/24)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Fe... (02/17)

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