2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy BaseballFront Office

Looking Back at the 2013 Draft: NL Centerfielders

Centerfield perhaps highlights the differences between fantasy baseball and real baseball more than any other position. So, when we highlight the the two most overrated guys we should probably keep that in mind. In terms of pure fantasy, they may not be that overrated, but in terms of real life they are. It’s hard to go back and forth between both worlds. We usually find ourselves a slave to one or the other.

Much like last time, we are noticing that owned percentages reflect 2013 more than they reflect 2012. So, we will try to look at both as we look at players that were either overdrafted or underdrafted. So, we are looking for players who’s current numbers and past numbers do not reflect where they should have been drafted. Usually, sabermetrics is at work. Again, sabermetrics and the fantasy world don’t always mix. In the fantasy world, a player like Jeff Francouer (although not now) is sometimes useful. In real life, he is very much useless most of the time.

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Owned

TAV

BR

RC

Matt Kemp

99

.322

24.5

74

Andrew McCutchen

99

.328

46.3

123

Shin Soo Choo

96

.295

24.6

98

Carlos Gomez

91

.267

2.9

60

B.J. Upton

90

.277

5.4

77

Dexter Fowler

89

.284

14.8

84

Angel Pagan

79

.290

10.0

91

Ben Revere

44

.245

-8.1

61

Adam Eaton

35

.296

2.1

14

Justin Ruggiano

23

.314

17.7

53

Denard Span

20

.270

3.3

69

Jon Jay

14

.286

9.7

66

Cameron Maybin

14

.255

-8.9

53

A.J. Pollcok

9

.296

-1.8

13

David Dejesus

5

.273

3.1

71

Tyler Colvin

5

.273

8.9

70

Jordany Valdespin

4

.264

-1.4

23

Eric Young Jr.

2

.278

3.4

31

Andres Torres

1

.251

-6.6

42

Jordan Schafer

1

.224

-15.4

28

Median

.278

3.4

68

Carlos Gomez– Milwaukee Brewers

The numbers here don’t lie. Gomez is not an effective offensive player based on the numbers we see here. He is below the median in every single category (ranking 15th in TAV, 12th in batter runs, and 12th in runs created). Yet, fourth in percentage owned among National League centerfielders.  This year he is hitting a robust .368 with six home runs and seven stolen bases. His meteroic rise is owned more to a hot start than anything else. At this point, I’m reminded of the ol adage “past is prologue.”

Gomez has been in the big leagues since 2007, so it is very unlikely that he suddenly would become a superstar. He is likely going to meet up with the cruel mistress that is regression very shortly. That being said, he is still a very good candidate to hit 20 or more home runs and steal 20 or more bases. That makes him valuable in fantasy circles where we might tend to yawn in reality.

Adam Eaton– Arizona Diamondbacks

It is quite often that the players in our imaginations are infallible and ready for enshrinement in Cooperstown. Eaton’s story is really nothing new. I seem to remember the immortal story of Kevin Maas. In 1990, he hit 21 home runs in 300 plate appearances to finish the season. He had a .902 OPS that year and appeared to be on his way to a successful career with the Yankees. He hit 23 home runs in 1991 as a full time designated hitter and then sputtered the rest of the way. After that season, he would hit only 21 home runs over three abbreviated seasons. Who knows what Kevin Maas is up to these days.

Adam Eaton burst on the scene last year in September and had one of the more magical September callups in recent memory. His entire season was magical as he combined to hit north of .350 for the entire season on every level. He’s owned by over a third of the population despite not having a single at bat this season. While it may seem counterintuitive, young players are often more valuable when we don’t see them play at the big league level. It’s like the girl (or guy) before you go on the first date. They don’t have any blemishes at that point.

Denard Span– Washington Nationals

Span barely fits the category of someone underdrafted since he is 11th among National League centerfielders, but given the fact that only 20 percent of the league owns him, I figure he fits the mold. His numbers this season are really no different than what they are under normal circumstances. He is hitting for a decent average (.278) with some on base ability and a little power. More importantly, he is on pace to steal 20 bases again.

Make no mistake, Span shouldn’t be a fantasy starter in most mixed leagues, but he is a very good guy to have on a bench. He is a steady offensive performer that offers something in the speed department. Imagine that more people own his ex-teammate Ben Revere than him. Span is a more productive player across the board. While he may not have Revere’s top end speed, Revere has had difficulty stealing first base consistently.

Eric Young Jr.– Colorado Rockies

Very rarely do you ever get an opportunity like this. Guys like Young are usually only good in NL only (or AL only) leagues because they don’t get enough time to be regulars. However, he plays at some many positions he still his quite a bit of value because of his flexibility. Tyler Colvin would have been a candidate for this spot because of his performance last season, but he has yet to be healthy this year. That means that Young gets his starts as the fourth outfielder. Couple that with Young’s ability to play multiple infield positions and you have yourself the makings of an everyday guy even though Young has no set position.

Young has 89 plate appearances in the early going even though he doesn’t have anymore than eight starts at any particular position. He’s hitting .306/.337/.459 and has stolen a couple of bases. If that production continues he is due to get more starts at second base. I wouldn’t necessarily dedicate a starting spot to him, but as a guy that is eligible at all three outfield slots and second base, he is a nice guy to have on your bench.

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