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2016 Fantasy Baseball: Right Field Projections

There are many ways to rank players. I don’t claim to have a monopoly on the truth, but I hope my methods balance analytics with common sense. The analytics part is probably the most involved. We take runs above replacement from the past three seasons according to three different sources (Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Reference, and Fangraphs). We apply a multiplier to make sure the most recent performance is given the most weight. That creates an index score for each platform. We then take the average of those three to provide a single score for each player.

Outfielders tend to be interchangeable. Some fantasy platforms treat them generically, but others are position specific. For the purposes of keeping our sanity, we will use rosterresource.com’s listing to sort them out by position. That might mean that some players are moving around from where they have played in the past.

  1. Bryce Harper— Washington Nationals (55.9)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 30.2 17.0 97.4 59.4
BR 32.0 13.0 87.0 53.2
FG 36.8 13.0 89.4 55.2

Sixty years ago, the debate in baseball was between Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. Mays had the defense, power, and speed. Mantle had power and patience on his side, but often was hurt. We might be seeing a repeat of that debate between Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. One can imagine that debate raging on well into the next decade for fantasy baseball fans. Verdict: Over

  1. Jose Bautista— Toronto Blue Jays (48.0)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 31.1 53.3 47.0 46.5
BR 35.0 63.0 51.0 50.7
FG 39.4 57.9 41.9 46.8

Joey Bats has been one of the more compelling stories of the last decade. In 2010, Bautista went from being an also-ran into a bonafide superstar. While offensive numbers have gone down overall, his numbers have continued to soar. He is a legitimate first round pick in six category leagues. Verdict: Over

  1. Nelson Cruz— Seattle Mariners (41.5)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 21.2 38.8 54.0 43.5
BR 22.0 39.0 57.0 45.2
FG 12.4 33.3 45.4 35.9

Cruz has had two brilliant seasons back to back, but you have to wonder how long that brilliance can last. For the Mariners sake, you hope he can do it for one more season. He has more help in the lineup now that they have added Adam Lind, Chris Iannetta, and Steve Clevenger. Maybe they can help him produce more runs without being as dominant as he has been in the past. Verdict: Under

  1. Giancarlo Stanton— Miami Marlins (40.7)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 35.8 61.3 34.8 43.8
BR 32.0 57.0 27.0 37.8
FG 23.2 56.5 35.7 40.6

Stanton may be the best guy on the board when it is all said and done. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy the last couple of seasons. If healthy, he is almost as sure a bet to hit 50 home runs as anyone in the game. Elite skills are hard to come by in any of the five major categories. That might make him a better bet than just about anyone other than Harper. Verdict: Over

  1. J.D. Martinez— Detroit Tigers (32.6)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP -1.6 36.0 35.1 29.3
BR -1.0 40.0 43.0 34.7
FG -11.3 36.6 47.2 33.9

One of the keys when looking at runs above replacement is noting not only the ranking of the players, but the distance between them. Obviously, there are four prime players in right field and then everyone else. If Martinez plays like he did the last two seasons he isn’t that far away from those top guys, but there is still some separation. Verdict: Under

  1. Shin-Soo Choo— Texas Rangers (31.6)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 61.0 11.5 36.0 32.0
BR 62.0 14.0 45.0 37.5
FG 50.5 0.9 33.0 25.2

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate drops to zero. Sometimes, three years isn’t enough time to judge a player. Choo has two strong years and one lean season in the last three. Going back to 2008, he’s only had two seasons with fewer than 30 runs above replacement. I’d bet the over myself. Verdict: Over

  1. Curtis Granderson— New York Mets (30.1)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 6.4 19.6 49.2 32.2
BR 8.0 19.0 40.0 27.7
FG 14.5 11.4 48.3 30.4

When you look at the numbers it makes you think last season was a career year. If you look at the complete record you know that’s not true. What it does look like is a brief renaissance that players sometimes have when they are approaching the end of their careers. It likely will not happen again. Verdict: Under

  1. Yasiel Puig-– Los Angeles Dodgers (29.6)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 36.9 53.6 14.7 31.4
BP 37.0 51.0 9.0 27.7
FG 38.4 48.6 14.0 29.6

According to tale, Yasiel Puig was voted the worst guy in baseball. Who knows who conducted this poll. It may have been just an informal poll amongst the Dodgers themselves. At any rate, 2015 was a lost year for him. If he had a bad injury it might have been better. He needs to dedicate himself to the game. I don’t know if I want to roll the dice on that. Verdict: Under

  1. George Springer— Houston Astros (26.5)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 20.8 27.7 24.9
BR 20.0 30.0 26.0
FG 14.8 34.8 28.6

There were periods in the last two years when Springer looked like the best right fielder in the game. He brings power, speed, and patience to the game, but he hasn’t been able to put it all together. If he can get through a season and play 150 or more games that would make a huge difference. Verdict: Over

  1. Hunter Pence— San Francisco Giants (26.1)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 33.7 32.1 11.2 21.9
BR 46.0 40.0 10.0 26.0
FG 50.8 42.8 15.2 30.3

Hunter Pence’s best quality is his durability. That obviously was lost last season, but the injuries he sustained were not debilitating. They were nuisance injuries that simply took away time and did not allow him to accrue value as he normally does. When healthy, he is a sure bet to hit 20 home runs and drive in 80 or more runs. Verdict: Over

  1. Kole Calhoun— Los Angeles Angels (25.0)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 12.3 29.1 13.8 18.7
BR 11.0 36.0 23.0 25.3
FG 9.5 34.2 36.0 31.0

Value is a fluid thing sometimes. This is why we use multiple platforms. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between offensive value and fielding value. Some of the platforms don’t do a good job of doing that. Calhoun is one of those guys that is a strong defender. Just make sure you aren’t buying the defense. Verdict: Over

  1. Ryan Braun— Milwaukee Brewers (24.2)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 16.5 16.1 34.3 25.3
BR 16.0 21.0 39.0 29.2
FG 14.4 6.5 26.8 18.0

Oh how the mighty have fallen. What’s also funny was that last season was a bit of a comeback for Braun and he still is not the guy he used to be. Of course, we are not sure he used to be and whether it is because he is getting older or because he is finally clean. Either way, this is probably an appropriate placement for him. Verdict: Over

  1. Josh Reddick— Oakland Athletics (23.5)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 11.5 19.6 24.9 20.9
BR 9.0 18.0 32.0 23.5
FG 25.9 23.2 27.8 26.0

Like Calhoun, much of Reddick’s value is wrapped up in his fielding. However, he has produced enough to be a borderline fantasy regular. In a standard 5×5 mixed league he could be a good fourth outfielder on a fantasy team. He is durable and obviously will play regularly because of his glove. That helps his counting stats play up a little. Verdict: Over

  1. Stephen Piscotty— St. Louis Cardinals (21.4)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 16.4 25.8
BR 14.0 22.0
FG 10.5 16.5

The Cardinals seemingly churn out prospects out of nowhere. Piscotty was one of those guys and one of the reasons they didn’t try so hard to keep Jayson Heyward. The second year for players is always a bit tricky. He should be the full-time player next year, so a bump in counting numbers is the least we should expect. Verdict: Over

  1. Eddie Rosario— Minnesota Twins (21.0)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 9.8 15.1
BR 10.0 15.4
FG 21.3 32.6

Like Piscotty, Rosario came in midway through the season and was productive. He helped the Twins come within a couple of games of the playoffs. With Torii Hunter retiring, there is a permanent opening in right field and Rosario looks good for it. Like Piscotty, his numbers should be better this season. Verdict: Over

  1. Seth Smith— Seattle Mariners (20.7)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 9.0 32.3 20.0 22.3
BR 4.0 33.0 17.0 20.2
FG 8.9 23.0 21.1 19.7

There’s a difference between fantasy value and real value. In real baseball, Smith is an above average offensive player that most teams would love to have playing fairly regularly. In fantasy terms, he might make a decent bench guy you can play for a few weeks at a time. Otherwise, he shouldn’t be in anyone’s starting lineup. At least not in a mixed league. Verdict: Under

  1. Matt Kemp— San Diego Padres (18.9)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 9.7 37.7 21.2 24.8
BR 12.0 37.0 24.0 26.3
FG -3.3 12.2 4.2 5.6

There’s a pendulum in this value thing and Kemp exists on the other end from the other guys mentioned above. He’s one of the worst regular defenders in the game and as such looks worse on some platforms (namely Fangraphs). Still, he’s a guy that drives in runs fairly regularly, so he might even be starter quality. Verdict: Over

  1. Nick Markakis— Atlanta Braves (18.5)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 10.2 17.4 25.5 20.3
BR 8.0 18.0 27.0 20.8
FG -1.8 22.3 14.7 14.5

Markakis used to be a pretty dynamic offensive player. Now, he’s a testament to what can happen when you field your position competently and handle yourself as a professional. He’s still a pretty useful player, but that doesn’t translate in fantasy terms. He’s a late round pick or waiver fodder depending on the size of your league. Verdict: Under

  1. Carlos Gonzalez— Colorado Rockies (18.1)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 32.9 -0.6 24.4 17.5
BR 37.0 1.0 27.0 20.0
FG 43.4 -4.5 22.2 16.8

On the one hand, this is shockingly low, but we have to remember that runs above replacement assumes a neutral environment. If Gonzalez ends up being traded these numbers will become a lot more relevant. As it stands, you could possibly boost his value here some. When healthy, he is definitely a fantasy regular…as a Rockie. Verdict: Over

  1. Carlos Beltran— New York Yankees (14.3)
2013 2014 2015 ADJ
BP 28.9 2.3 18.9 15.0
BR 31.0 4.0 23.0 18.0
FG 17.8 -6.0 18.1 10.0

This is Carlos Beltran’s swan song. Like with David Ortiz, we can’t be sure if that means he will muster enough to produce more than what he has in recent seasons of if he will fade quietly into the sunset. Last year was a little of both, but he can wait until the waiver wire if need be. Verdict: Over

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