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February 18, 2014

State of the Position

Outfielders

by Paul Sporer


For the earlier articles in this series, click below:

Unlike middle-infield positions, which are almost always viewed as thin, the default view on outfield is to see it as deep. While there are years when it is actually deep, the misperception often comes from a miscalculation of the toll that every team needing at least five will take on the pool. Add in a few teams taking some OF-eligible players for other positions including utility and, all of sudden, things really thin out, particularly in 2014.

The biggest factor in the lack of depth is the uncertainty surrounding the position. I apologize for Rick Reilly-ing myself and biting from a recent column of mine, but we have serious questions surrounding some middle tier options (taken in the 30-50 range of outfielders) who are being relied on as second and third outfielders:

And if you’re pairing them with some upper-tier guys who are far from certainties like Jacoby Ellsbury (health), Giancarlo Stanton (health), Yasiel Puig (track record), and Wil Myers (track record), then you could find yourself in some serious trouble at a very important position. This adds to the value of high-floor guys like Jay Bruce, Justin Upton, Shin-Soo Choo, and even Alex Gordon.

The League Breakout
The American League may have the single best outfielder, but it dries up quickly. They did add some worthwhile names to their pool with the returns of Choo and Carlos Beltran, plus Norichika Aoki, Adam Eaton, and Dexter Fowler all coming over, though some of that is canceled out by the departures of power sources Mark Trumbo and Curtis Granderson.

The superstar tier in the junior circuit could fatten up it needs some big “ifs” to come through: if Myers essentially doubles up his 2013 debut, if Jose Bautista stays healthy, if Yoenis Cespedes stays healthy and runs much better than his 7-for-14 effort in 2013, and if Desmond Jennings goes from solid-but-unspectacular to game-changing 20 HR/40 SB stud.

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Related Content:  Fantasy,  Outfielders

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (02/17)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (02/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (02/24)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Tier Rankings:... (02/18)

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