Fantasy baseball: Undervalued outfielders for 2013

Fantasy baseball: Undervalued outfielders for 2013
March 4, 2013, 12:00 pm
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CSNPhilly Fantasy Baseball Top 100

1) Mike Trout
2) Miguel Cabrera
3) Ryan Braun
4) Robinson Cano
5) Joey Votto
6) Carlos Gonzalez
7) Andrew McCutchen
8) Albert Pujols
9) Josh Hamilton
10) Matt Kemp
11) Justin Verlander
12) Clayton Kershaw
13) Prince Fielder
14) Giancarlo Stanton
15) Jose Bautista
16) Adrian Beltre
17) Stephen Strasburg
18) Troy Tulowitzki
19) Jose Reyes
20) Buster Posey
21) Felix Hernandez
22) Cliff Lee
23) David Price
24) Cole Hamels
25) Zack Greinke
26) Adam Jones
27) David Wright
28) Jered Weaver
29) Matt Holliday
30) Evan Longoria
31) Justin Upton
32) Dustin Pedroia
33) Hanley Ramirez
34) Ian Kinsler
35) Bryce Harper
36) Adrian Gonzalez
37) Matt Cain
38) Jason Heyward
39) Edwin Encarnacion
40) Paul Goldschmidt
41) Ryan Zimmerman
42) CC Sabathia
43) Madison Bumgarner
44) Gio Gonzalez
45) Yoenis Cespedes
46) Jacoby Ellsbury
47) Jay Bruce
48) Chase Headley
49) Roy Halladay
50) Joe Mauer
51) Chase Utley
52) Starlin Castro
53) Jimmy Rollins
54) Asdrubal Cabrera
55) Aramis Ramirez
56) B.J. Upton
57) Brett Lawrie
58) R.A. Dickey
59) Brandon Phillips
60) Aaron Hill
61) Billy Butler
62) Craig Kimbrel
63) Ben Zobrist
64) David Ortiz
65) Pablo Sandoval
66) Allen Craig
67) Kris Medlen
68) Chris Sale
69) Yu Darvish
70) Jordan Zimmermann
71) Johnny Cueto
72) Max Scherzer
73) Ian Desmond
74) Shin-Soo Choo
75) Michael Bourn
76) Adam Wainright
77) Matt Moore
78) Mat Latos
79) Yovani Gallardo
80) Aroldis Chapman
81) Victor Martinez
82) Austin Jackson
83) Paul Konerko
84) James Shields
85) Yadier Molina
86) Carlos Santana
87) Carlos Beltran
88) Alex Gordon
89) Matt Wieters
90) Martin Prado
91) Ryan Howard
92) Mark Trumbo
93) Derek Jeter
94) Mariano Rivera
95) Jonathan Papelbon
96) Shane Victorino
97) Josh Johnson
98) Curtis Granderson
99) Jason Kipnis
100) Alex Rios

On Friday we took a look at some undervalued infielders heading into the 2013 fantasy baseball season. The list featured players who performed worse than you’d expect last year but are candidates to revert to form, either because of luck-based factors or just overall skill.

Today, we’ll take a look at four undervalued outfielders:

Brett Gardner (Yankees – LF)
With Curtis Granderson out two months with a broken forearm and Derek Jeter questionable for the start of the season because of ankle surgery, Gardner will likely bat first or second for the Yankees to start the season.

An elbow injury limited Gardner to 16 games in 2012, taking him off the radar for many fantasy owners. But Gardner will come cheaply and give you steals, runs and a high on-base percentage.

From 2010-12, Gardner hit .269/.365/.374 with 98 steals in 122 attempts. He averaged 96 runs and 49 stolen bases per 162 games, and he figures to give you those counting stats again batting before Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner.

Don’t take Gardner unless you have enough power elsewhere on the roster.

Take Gardner over: Ichiro, Desmond Jennings, Alejandro De Aza

Shin-Soo Choo (Reds – RF)
Choo may have centerfield eligibility, too, for those of you who play in split-position outfield leagues. Jay Bruce is Cincinnati’s centerfielder but Choo would be next in line.

The main boost to Choo’s stock is his new home stadium. Over the last three seasons, Great American Ballpark has been the fourth-friendliest park to hitters, while Cleveland’s Progressive Field ranked 18th, via ParkFactors.com.

Mired on bad Indians teams, Choo has been an underrated hitter for four seasons. Since 2009 he’s put together a .289/.382/.458 line with full-season averages of 37 doubles, 20 homers, 84 RBIs, 88 runs and 23 steals. Now he’ll be in a much better lineup in a stadium where the ball travels, especially in center.

Take Choo over: Carlos Beltran, Nelson Cruz, Hunter Pence, Andre Ethier

Jon Jay (Cardinals – CF)
Outfield is pretty deep this season, so Jay will again struggle to find love from fantasy owners.

His swing is unconventional but the guy just hits. In over 1,300 plate appearances the last three years, Jay has hit exactly .300 with a .773 OPS for St. Louis. He’s again set to lead off for one of baseball’s best offenses.

The missing element of Jay’s game to this point has been power. He hit 10 homers in 2011 but only four in 2012. He’s a singles hitter, but his minor-league track record shows that some gap power hidden in there somewhere. At 28, in his fourth full season in the bigs, Jay could harness that power and add about 20 points to his slugging percentage.

Jay doesn’t do any one thing great, but he does a lot of things well. His ability to hit lefties (.289 career average) bodes well for the future.

Take Jay over: Shane Victorino, Desmond Jennings, Angel Pagan

Mike Morse (Mariners – LF/RF/1B)
Morse has the added appeal of positional eligibility for two spots and potentially three, as he should see some time at first base for Seattle, especially against lefthanded pitching.

Morse has a full-time role in the middle of the Mariners’ order and there aren’t too many reasons to expect failure. He’s a .296 hitter the last three years with a .516 slugging percentage and full-season averages of 31 doubles, 30 homers and 93 RBIs. He doesn’t walk, but he doesn’t strike out a ton like most power hitters.

One could say the shift to Safeco Field will hurt the righty slugger, but this is the perfect year for Morse to be headed back out to the Pacific Northwest. The fences at Safeco have all been brought in for the 2013 season, with the most notable change occurring in left-center field, where the difference could be up to 17 feet. The height of that wall will also be cut in half.

Take Morse over: Nick Swisher, Nelson Cruz, Torii Hunter, Adam Dunn

Four more outfielders to target late:
• Shane Victorino (Red Sox RF/CF)
• Alex Gordon (Royals LF)
• Torii Hunter (Tigers RF)
• Cameron Maybin (Padres CF)