2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2013 Fantasy Baseball, Total Run Series: Left Fielders

Like many other positions, left field has been affected by injuries. Some of the players on the top twenty list would likely be higher if they had not suffered through nagging injuries. Others didn’t even make the top twenty in spite of being very highly ranked. This is where we get to the 50,000 pound elephant in the room.

Ryan Braun was not included in the top 20 even though he likely would have qualified at this point. The primary reason is that we don’t expect him to be in the top 20 at the end of the season and he does nothing for your fantasy team unless you play in keeper or dynasty leagues. He is not the only player that shot his value in the foot with PEDs. If anything, 2013 might represent the kind of player he would be without the help of PEDs. He’s battled injuries this year that he hasn’t in the past and while he hasn’t tanked overall, he hasn’t been the MVP level player he was in the past.

Brett Gardner was affected by injuries as well, but more indirectly. He moved to center field to make up for the injuries that Curtis Granderson suffered. While not a big name, Gardner would qualify for the top 20 if we kept him in left field. Instead, he qualifies in center.

Josh Willingham is probably a bigger name than Gardner and he also misses the list. He hit his 11th home run recently and could get up to 20 if he stays healthy from here on out. However, most owners were expecting more when they drafted him. Like many of the players in the top 20, it wasn’t one big injury, but a series of injuries.

PRE

RC

BR

TOT

Notes
Carlos Gonzalez

8

82

-1

81

He was advertised as a stud following 2011. He’s finally doing it again.
Justin Upton

22

70

3

73

He just might be the difference between a solid offense and a very good one.
Starling Marte

212

65

4

69

If you add in his fielding he might be the best left fielder on the board.
Domonic Brown

253

65

0

65

It’s too bad the Phillies couldn’t take advantage of his coming out party.
Alex Gordon

87

59

4

63

He’s found a home in left field and is now putting up his third straight solid season.
Nate McLouth

319

59

0

59

We’re going to party like its 2007. McLouth has been a revelation for the Orioles.
Daniel Nava

402

52

4

56

Players like Nava are how the Red Sox got on the map.
Michael Brantley

325

54

1

55

Who would have thought that he’d be the Indians best outfielder?
Matt Holliday

45

51

3

54

Injuries have derailed his season, but he’s also not the player he once was.
Alfonso Soriano

194

50

3

53

He’s finally playing for a relevant team. Maybe production will also increase.
Bryce Harper

19

51

1

52

He’s really better than this if he can keep from crashing into walls.
Raul Ibanez

361

51

-2

49

He is the Harold Baines of this generation.
Matt Joyce

393

46

3

49

All the build up over Wil Myers has many forgetting about this guy.
Carlos Quentin

246

48

-1

47

I always felt like he was underrated and when healthy he is.
Yoenis Cespedes

27

43

2

45

It’s amazing that the Athletics are still in the hunt with down seasons like this one.
Carl Crawford

146

42

2

44

He’s been healthier than in the past couple of seasons, but that’s not saying much.
Melky Cabrera

107

39

1

40

This is your body. These are PEDs. This is your performance off PEDs.
Cody Ross

248

40

-1

39

It looks like things are back to normal for Cody Ross. It’s not bad, but it’s not 2012.
Seth Smith

712

35

1

36

Oakland platoons too often for him to be of any significant value.
J.B. Shuck

972

33

3

36

I was always a big Shuck fan. All he does is get on base.

If we count Ryan Braun and Josh Willingham as preseason top 100 players then we see that left field had eight top 100 players. In a standard ten team league, you would have ten regulars from each outfield position. Melky Cabrera came close to finishing in the top 100 before the season (although he probably shouldn’t have). This makes left field the strongest position on the diamond in terms of perceived fantasy value.

Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Upton are really the only two preseason favorites to live up to their advanced billing. That means more championships were lost here than probably any other position. In particular, Ryan Braun owners quickly went in the tank when he failed to live up to his chemically enhanced 2011 and 2012 campaigns.

Braun and Cabrera in particular highlight an important lesson in the future. Pay attention to this steroid stuff. I know it’s a pain in the rump, but players that have those rumors swirling around them always seem to fall back to earth eventually. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the Biogenesis crowd does when they come back from suspension.

 

 

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