2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Dumpster Diving — Left Fielders, Part II

joyce land
Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America

When looking at veteran left fielders, we see some intriguing names on the list. Of course, all of these guys have flaws or they would be owned by more fantasy owners. The question is whether their flaws make them unfit to be owned by you. Unlike the young pups, all of these players offer you some intriguing production in some of the fantasy categories. Furthermore, some of them have history on their side.

Still, there is nothing more insidious than the memory of a great player. Some of them might not be great anymore. That is why we will take a look at their plate discipline and batted ball statistics to see if they will bounce back to their old selves. There might be some hidden gems in there if we look hard enough.

Age

PA

AVG

HR

Runs

RBI

SB

BB

Matt Joyce

29

159

.281

3

16

20

1

22

Andre Ethier

32

139

.272

2

9

21

1

11

Seth Smith

31

161

.333

6

19

20

1

22

At first blush, it looks like Seth Smith is a serious diamond in the rough. He was brought in to be a fourth or fifth outfielder type in San Diego, but the Padres have had a rash of injuries. So, he has come in handy. However, Carlos Quentin is finally healthy, so there will be fewer games for all of the Padre outfielders. As of right now, Will Venable hasn’t been performing, but regression is likely to eat into Smith’s playing time.

That leaves Ethier and Joyce as options. Joyce is likely to get the most playing time of the three. Ethier is already a fourth outfielder and the Dodgers also have Joc Pederson waiting in the minors. Of course, the Dodgers may end up dealing him when they get closer to the deadline. At any rate, it is important to take a look at what these guys are doing in terms of plate discipline to see what will happen moving forward.

BABIP

SO%

BB%

Oswing

Contact

Matt Joyce

.314

17.0

13.8

17.2

77.8

Andre Ethier

.330

19.4

7.9

32.0

77.9

Seth Smith

.371

15.5

13.7

21.5

79.7

I have never understood why Joyce doesn’t get more respect than he does. That O-swing rate is outrageously low and that really shows in his walk rate. The same could be said for Smith, but we are not sure as to what his playing time is going to look like from here on out. Unfortunately, Ethier is not in the same category. His walk rate is more or less league average and his BABIP is already well above average.

The question with Ethier is whether anyone will take him at this point. He is in the midst of a five year, $75 million deal he signed back when he was driving in 90 to 100 runs a season. His contract runs out officially in 2017, but there is a vesting option for another 18.5 million in 2018. The last two seasons haven’t been tremendous ones for Ethier, but maybe he will pick things in another location.

ISO

SecA

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB

Matt Joyce

.125

.289

21.5

43.0

35.5

7.9

Andre Ethier

.104

.192

23.2

49.5

27.3

7.4

Seth Smith

.267

.437

18.9

45.0

36.0

15.0

Smith might be the most improved player in baseball according to these numbers. Let’s keep in mind that he is hitting .333 in addition to his .437 secondary average. If you were to average those two you get a .385 real offensive value (ROV). He obviously won’t continue hitting at that clip, but he has a nice walk rate and his isolated power numbers indicate that he should still be a good add.

That being said, Joyce still has the best chance to continue producing. His .314 BABIP looks like one that can be sustained throughout the season and he also has the high walk rate. His .285 ROV is right around the positional average. That’s pretty good production for a bench player.

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