2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy BaseballTotal Run Index

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Total Run Index – ADP vs. TRI Centerfielders

Inside and outside the game, there has been a huge debate the last couple of seasons between Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera. Those on the traditional side favor Cabrera because he offers the triple crown categories. After all, he won the triple crown in 2012 (become the first since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967). He won the MVP that season in spite of the fact that Trout had a vastly superior WAR (wins above replacement) that season. The results repeated themselves this past season except for the triple crown. It would make perfect sense for that argument to spill over into the fantasy world. Looking at the five basic fantasy numbers doesn’t offer any more enlightenment on the subject.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Trout. . . . .Cabrera

  • AVG:. . . . . …323. . . . . . .348
  • HR. . . . . . . . …27. . . . . . …44
  • Runs. . . . . . .109. . . . . . ..103
  • RBI. . . . . . . . ..97. . . . . . ..137
  • SB. ..  . . . . . . ..33. . . . . . ..  .3

With the exception of stolen bases, Cabrera seems to have the edge in most categories. That being said, Trout is going first in most drafts and most analysts think he is the obvious choice. Far be it for me to disagree with them, but an argument can be made for Cabrera. After all, he is vastly superior in three of the five major categories. Still, the good money is on Trout because he offers very good numbers in all five major categories.




Mike Trout




Andrew McCutchen




Adam Jones




Jacoby Ellsbury




Carlos Gomez




Matt Kemp




Shin-Soo Choo




Billy Hamilton




Desmond Jennings




Leonys Martin




Curtis Granderson




Coco Crisp




Austin Jackson




Brett Gardner




Alejandro De Aza




George Springer




Michael Bourn




Avisail Garcia




B.J. Upton




Ben Revere




TRI Potential Bargains

Shin-Soo Choo— Texas Rangers

Choo is a perfect example of how important teams and home ballparks are to fantasy production. Choo scored more than 100 runs for the first time in his career with the Reds last season. Now, he’s moving to an even more potent offense in Arlington. Plus, the home ballpark is that much better. Expect an OBP north of .400 again and he should also surpass 20 home runs again. Add to that another 20 stolen bases and you have a top three center fielder on your hands. He currently is going seventh in early drafts.

Michael Bourn— Cleveland Indians

I’m normally not a big fan of one category players, but it seems that Bourn is being undervalued. He’s been a very consistent base runner until this past season. He stole 40 or more bases in each of his seasons as a regular player. Last year he stole 23.  In the previous four seasons, Bourn averaged 93 runs scored a season. The Indians are certainly as good as the Braves or Astros as an offense, so I would excpect him to return to those numbers. That makes him better than the 17th best center fielder.

TRI Players to Avoid

Carlos Gomez— Milwaukee Brewers

This is a hard one to argue. Gomez hit 24 home runs and stole 40 bases this past season. He seems like a budding fantasy star. In 2012 he had 104 wRC+ and he turned in 130 last season. That makes him look like a fantasy star in the making and I have no doubt that he should be a fantasy regular. I’m just not sure he should be a top five guy. Mind you, TRI is based on past performance and not future performance. So, his so-so 2011 campaign is included in his three year average. All that being said, he has a strikeout to walk ratio of nearly four to one and that is on par with his career. Guys with shaky plate discipline make me nervous.

Billy Hamilton— Cincinnati Reds

Speaking of poor plate discipline, you have the curious case of Billy Hamilton. He stole 165 bases in 2012 between advanced A ball and AA. That is the professional record for stolen bases. He had 88 steals last year between AAA and the big leagues. Unfortunately, he was limited to a .308 OBP in AAA this past season and has had a batting average over .300 just twice at the minor league level. In other words, you have to be able to steal first base in order to steal second base. That being said, someone with this extreme of a skill is bound to have some value.

TRI Waiver Wire

Michael Saunders— Seattle Mariners (312.45 ADP, +0.3 Index)

Saunders has flown under the radar the past two seasons in the Pacific Northwest. 2012 was a better campaign than 2013, but as you know, TRI goes back three to five seasons on each player whenever possible. The one number working in his favor is his 11.5 percent walk rate last season. Saunders doesn’t look like a fantasy regular, but as a guy that can hit around 15 home runs and steal 15 bases he looks like a pretty good backup.

Cameron Maybin— San Diego Padres (315.45 ADP, +0.3 Index)

Last season was lost year for Maybin, so it makes perfect sense that people would avoid him on draft day. When healthy, he approached ten home runs and averaged more than 30 stolen bases a season. Yes, that is not starter quality at this position, but it is a good guy to have on your bench when you need some steals. Furthermore, he has the physical skills to do a little bit more.

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