July 20, 2012
Outfielders for 7/20/12
Readers, I have the pleasure of introducing you today to yet another new member of the Baseball Prospectus Fantasy team. Former Outfield VP author Rob McQuown will now be devoting his efforts to keeping things running smoothly on the tech side of the site, so we welcome Paul Singman to replace him. Paul used to write with me at The Hardball Times and, in fact, was the first writer I ever recruited at THT. He holds an impressive mixed league track record over the past few seasons, routinely finishing near the top of the Yahoo! Friends & Family league and currently running third in Tout Wars. Welcome aboard, Paul! —Derek Carty, Fantasy Manager
Welcome! It’s my first edition of outfielders Value Picks so there are no departures and nobody is sticking around. It’s arrivals only, so let’s begin.
The Mariners don’t have much going for them hitting wise, so they can try fun things like playing Casper Wells (Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 6%, CBS 4%) every day and batting him third. It’s not my idea of fun either, but for what it’s worth, Wells has responded by batting .360 with two homers and a steal over the past week. This is not an endorsement of Wells’ long-term ability—he simply strikes out too much to ever post a sustainable batting average above .250—but he’s hot, and sometimes it makes sense to simply add the hot hitter.
Although technically an infielder, I won’t hesitate mentioning Alexi Amarista (Yahoo! 14%, ESPN 37%, CBS 19%) here as long as Josh Shepardson keeps writing about Wil Myers in the catchers VP. At 150 pounds, he may be the only major leaguer I outweigh. Don’t let size fool you though; Amarista packs a little pop in his bat, rarely strikes out, and steals bases (even if he might be best stopping given his awful success rates). With his play of late, Amarista looks like he could overtake Everth Cabrera as the Padres starting shortstop and be the new leadoff or number-two hitter in San Diego. In 12-plus team mixed leagues, he seems a worthy middle infield option.
Andres Torres (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 1%, CBS 6%) hasn’t done much for the Mets this year with a .226 average and nine steals on the season. In July though, he’s found his singles stroke, batting .366 with 11 hits (10 singles) in 30 at bats. Torres is a known streaky hitter who appears to be heating up. If this is the case, Torres can offer plenty of runs and steals and his ownership rates should start to rise. Just watch his playing time, as the return of Jason Bay could cut into it if he doesn’t start performing immediately.