2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2013 Fantasy Baseball, Total Run Series: Left Fielders

As we move into the outfield, we notice that on the corners, defense becomes more and more an afterthought. If one were to look at the defensive spectrum wheel, left field would come ahead of only first base in terms of defensive value. Therefore, like at first base, we will see a lot of DH types patrolling left field. Most American League teams do not employ a full-time DH. They rotate players in and out of the position, so profiling the DH slot makes little sense and stashing players that DH most of the time does not make much sense.

You are better off treating your utility spot the same way that teams are employing the DH. You rotate players in and out depending on the matchup. When you want to get a player into the lineup and you don’t have a position for him, then you stash him at the utility slot. Since left field has those DH types included, it stands with first base as the deepest position for fantasy baseball players.

Team

RC

BR

Total

Mike Trout Angels

38

1

39

Justin Upton Braves

35

2

37

Carlos Gonzalez Rockies

38

-1

37

Alex Gordon Royals

35

1

36

Starling Marte Pirates

29

3

32

Gerardo Parra Diamondbacks

31

1

32

Ryan Braun Brewers

31

0

31

Bryce Harper Nationals

31

0

31

Carl Crawford Dodgers

27

1

28

Vernon Wells Yankees

27

0

27

Daniel Nava Red Sox

24

2

26

Matt Holliday Cardinals

22

2

24

Michael Brantley Indians

23

1

24

Nate McLouth Orioles

24

0

24

Melky Cabrera Blue Jays

22

1

23

Seth Smith Athletics

22

1

23

Lucas Duda Mets

23

0

23

Matt Joyce Rays

21

2

23

Josh Willingham Twins

21

0

21

Domonic Brown Phillies

21

-1

20

Gerardo Parra– Arizona Diamondbacks

When you are looking at the trade market from the upper end you tend to look for players that play on teams with a number of options and that happen to be overachieving at the time. Jason Kubel is on the shelf in Arizona, so Parra is getting an opportunity to play. Beyond Kubel, the Diamondbacks are flush with outfielders. Adam Eaton can’t even crack the big leagues because of Parra, A.J. Pollock, and Cody Ross. When Kubel comes back the outfield will be that much more crowded.

Parra is currently second in the National League in total runs. His +13 on the defensive end isn’t even shown here. His ability to play all three outfield slots makes him pretty attractive to another club. Furthermore, he is still under club control, so he affords the Diamondbacks the ability to take on a higher priced player from a team looking to retool for the future.

Nate McLouth– Baltimore Orioles

There’s always the occasional actor/actress in Hollywood I assumed was dead before I see them in a movie or television show. Of course, I didn’t really think they were dead. Their career was just dead. Well, baseball players have the same affect.  As a fantasy prospect, McLouth was all but dead the past three seasons. He seemed destined to roam the earth as a fourth or fifth outfielder until someone finally pulled the plug. That’s likely his destiny, but he has kicked the proverbial grim reaper in the privates and returned to relevancy (at least for now).

He leads the industrialized world in stolen bases while playing everyday in Baltimore. Dan Duquette knows this likely will not last. If Nolan Reimold is healthy, Duquette has a prime opportunity to deal from a position of strength. Maybe he can fetch relief help or maybe he package McLouth with some young talent to solve the second base problem. Either way, he would be smart to get while the getting is good.

Seth Smith– Oakland Athletics

Smith is in a similar situation as Gerardo Parra except he does not have the defensive flexibility that Parra does. He can fake his way through left field and right field, but there is a reason he DHs more often than not. The Athletics have a similar outfield arrangement in that they already have four outfielders capable of playing everyday with Smith. Smith has created more runs than all of them, so it would seem foolish to deal him in that kind of environment. Again, Billy Beane would have history on his side.

Historically, Smith has less value than the rest of the group. The hold up here is probably the extreme struggles of Josh Reddick. If Reddick were to start hitting like he did last season then one of the group would be due to be traded. Sure, it could be guuys like Chris Young or Coco Crisp, but why not trade the guy with the least amount of defensive flexibility. Bob Melvin loves to mix and match his lineups, so keeping the four outfielders capable of doing that makes the most amount of sense for them.

Lucas Duda– New York Mets

The Mets have one thing that none of those other teams have: they are already out of their race. So, the Mets may deal everyone that is not bolted down. They would love to build around guys like Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler, David Wright, and Travis D’Arnauld. Beyond Wheeler, they really only have one other noted pitching prospect (Noah Syndergaard). That needs to change if they are going to a force to be reckoned with. Harvey, Wheeler, and Syndergaard are as good as they come, but the Mets have tried this whole triple prospect attack before only to see it blow up in their face. You always need more arms.

Yes, the Mets are thin in the outfield, but outfielders are easier to find that most other positions. If worse comes to worse you can always dip into the free agency market and outfit your outfield with decent enough players. Duda is having a solid season and if they can parlay that (along with another player) into some more good pitching prospects then they might as well give it a go.

Team

RC

BR

Total

Alfonso Soriano Cubs

19

0

19

Andy Dirks Tigers

18

-2

16

Gregor Blanco Giants

15

1

16

Juan Pierre Marlins

14

1

15

Conor Gillaspie White Sox

16

-1

15

David Murphy Rangers

14

0

14

Raul Ibanez Mariners

14

0

14

Xavier Paul Reds

12

-2

10

J.D. Martinez Astros

11

-1

10

Carlos Quentin Padres

10

-1

9

Carlos Quentin– San Diego Padres

Bud Black is very adept at taking a number of spare parts and making them work in his favor. Carlos Quentin’s lack of production probably has more to do with a simple slow start and Black’s ability to cover up for the deficiency. Cameron Maybin has done the same and is in worse shape. Will Venable and Chris Denorfia can cover for a multitude of sins in all three outfield slots. These days, both are finding themselves in the lineup somewhere even though they were penciled in as a right field platoon to start the season.

I don’t see the Padres dealing any of these players, but if you are someone that has Quentin on their squad, you might think about dumping him in favor of someone that will play everyday. Unless he sees a hot streak (which is highly possible) then he will not see the field more than three or four times a week.

Raul Ibanez– Seattle Mariners

There are a number of different ways a team can get into the bottom tier and one of them is simply not to play any one player regularly. Ibanez and Jason Bay have shared left field in what can only be described as a platoon of convienence. Both could play everyday, but neither is really effective enough to play everyday. So, Eric Wedge rides the hot streaks of each in an effort to see a collective productive left field. You aren’t going to create Mike Trout in the aggregate, but you should have a top twenty producer between the two. The upshot is that if either catches someone’s eye they won’t hesitate to deal either one.

Alfonso Soriano– Chicago Cubs

Trading Alfonso Soriano represents the wet dream of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. He is the last of the bad contracts from the previous regime. They should have done it last year when Soriano was at his most productive. Teetering in and out of the upper half of the position seems to be his destiny and there are still teams that will be interested in adding him to their lineup for the right price. The Cubs will have to eat some salary, but that seems to be the norm these days for toxic contracts. For his part, Soriano is still making a professional effort to be a solid player, but his skills have eroded through no fault of his own.

 

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