2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy BaseballFront Office

A Look Back at the 2013 Draft: NL Right Fielders

It took us awhile, but we got the end of the position players. The National League right field list is peculiar to say the least. When you look at the owned percentages you see a huge drop off even before you get out of the top ten. That right there tells you all you need to know about the perception of the position. As we  have noted before, the difference between perception and reality can be quite a lot. It’s no different when we look at this position and this highlights the differences between fantasy baseball and real baseball.

More than anything, the position has been rocked at he top with injuries to both Giancarlo Stanton and Jason Heyward. These injuries have taken a thin position and made it anorexic. Still, there is plenty of value to be had if you look hard enough and sometimes you might have to pay more attention to your roster on a daily basis due to platoons and other considerations.

[am4show have=’p4;p7;p3;’ guest_error=’Front Office’ ]

Owned

TAV

BR

RC

Giancarlo Stanton

97

.332

33.7

94

Jay Bruce

97

.285

14.4

94

Jason Heyward

94

.294

15.6

94

Carlos Beltran

93

.298

18.5

91

Hunter Pence

90

.274

1.8

81

Michael Cuddyer

87

.280

1.0

52

Norichika Aoki

73

.283

10.5

82

Andre Ethier

67

.305

17.5

86

Jayson Werth

66

.303

11.3

52

Cody Ross

15

.289

8.0

71

Lucas Duda

14

.259

0.8

53

Nate Schierholtz

14

.276

-0.5

32

Delmon Young

4

.252

-7.6

63

Chris Denorfia

4

.291

10.6

52

Will Venable

3

.281

8.2

63

Scott Hairston

1

.287

8.4

54

Travis Snider

1

.255

-1.7

21

Jose Tabata

0

.244

-6.3

33

Jesus Guzman

0

.279

2.1

38

Shane Robinson

0

.248

-4.0

17

Median

.282

8.1

59

Hunter Pence– San Francisco Giants

The game of picking overrated outfielders is as simple as a game of “what does not belong with the other?” A look at the batter runs for the top ten shows two players that stick out like a sore thumb. Oddly enough, both have some defense for being drafted high as we will see. In Pence’s case, he highlights the differences between fantasy baseball and real baseball. The team that gives him a long-term contract after the season is the ultimate sucker. He is sub-par defensively and does not do anything particularly well offensively either.

What he does do is show up to play everyday and he legitimately gives it everything he has. That has a way of endearing him to the fans and to managers alike, but the hustling facade hides a game full of holes. It isn’t that Pence shouldn’t be on your fantasy team, it’s just that most fantasy owners reached to get him based on inflated RBI totals and solid power/speed numbers. However, you can go those qualities in a better player.

Michael Cuddyer– Colorado Rockies

I’ll admit that Cuddyer fooled me last season. I saw a player that was eligible all over the diamond and someone that had averaged 25+ home runs a season in Minnesota. I thought that would become 35-40 home runs a season in the mile high air of Coors Field. Injuries kept that from happening, but the batter run and total average numbers are a bit deceiving in comparison with what he really gives you. Those are park neutral numbers, so the reality of the situation is that he is closer to median in actual production.

He is off to a good start this season, but make sure you watch his health. If healthy he may very well eclipse 30 home runs and be the guy that everyone thought he would be last season. If he gets banged up then he will be the guy that he has always been. He’ll be the guy that looks like he should be a very good fantasy performer, but for some reason never quite lives up to the billing.

Will Venable– San Diego Padres

Fantasy players are a lazy sort. It’s way too easy to plug in your lineup at the beginning of the week and simply wake up on Sunday to do it again. The Padres have used a sort of Will Venable/Chris Denorfia platoon for several years now. Both are eligible at multiple outfield positions since the Padres seem to rotate their entire outfield like a perverse game of musical chairs. It creates an entire outfield where four guys seem to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 to 500 at bats.

Venable adds a little power and speed to your team, but you can’t simply plug and play him like more traditional outfielders. You have to pay attention to match ups so that you can be sure that he will play. The reward is that you can carry two guys (Denorfia as the other) and get the same production you would have gotten with one regular outfielder. If its any consolation, the Cubs have become the latest team to use this model (Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston). I imagine more teams will be doing it as time moves on.

Chris Denorfia– San Diego Padres

Like we just said, more and more teams have been doing this with some positions on the diamond. The Padres have just been doing it longer. Denorfia may not play right field as often as Venable, but he seems to be more versatile in his ability to play left field and center field. So, in some respects he may be even more valuable than Venable since he can fit at all three outfield slots.

Like with Venable, you need to pay attention to get the most out of Denorfia. He isn’t going to pay everyday, but Bud Black loves to exploit matchups, so when he does play he tends to be more productive than a lot of guys you spend higher picks on. He finished sixth among NL right fielders in batter runs despite the fact that he was a 400 PA type of player. In terms of bang for buck he might have been closer to Jay Bruce or Jason Heyward than anyone else. That’s excellent production for a guy that sometimes goes undrafted.

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