Fantasy BaseballFront OfficeTotal Run Index

Total Run Index: Left Fielders

I actually had to settle an internal debate with myself as to how to handle outfielders. Some leagues go with generic outfielders while others break them down by position. I chose the later. Mind you, when classifying these guys it was not an exact science. What I tried to do is classify them according to the position where they will play, but even that won’t be completely accurate. That being said, all of these guys should be eligible for left field.

We also are switching things up a bit by including only twenty players from the left field pool. We will do that with all of the outfield slots as 60 outfielders should be plenty to go through. Even in 12 team leagues that means that each team should be able to get five guys. I have data on more than twice that many, so if your guy is left off the list you can always shoot me a line.

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2012

3YR

5YR

Ryan Braun

50.7

46.8

42.5

Melky Cabrera

34.6

15.0

4.8

Yoenis Cespedes

28.8

—-

—-

Carl Crawford

1.7

10.4

10.4

Andy Dirks

13.6

—-

—-

Jonny Gomes

16.9

7.7

5.7

Carlos Gonzalez

16.6

27.1

15.7

Alex Gordon

22.0

17.5

15.7

Scott Hairston

11.9

2.6

3.6

Bryce Harper

19.5

—-

—-

Matt Holliday

34.2

36.5

37.9

Jason Kubel

7.5

3.0

9.9

Ryan Ludwick

16.2

4.3

12.6

Michael Morse

3.4

15.4

9.3

David Murphy

19.6

9.4

7.3

Carlos Quentin

18.6

16.0

17.1

Seth Smith

7.9

6.1

6.2

Alfonso Soriano

12.0

7.5

5.3

Mike Trout

65.7

—-

—-

Josh Willingham

32.0

22.3

21.8

Ryan Braun– Milwaukee Brewers

The sharks are circling the tank. Braun got off on a technicality last year after he failed a PED test. In all fairness, we shouldn’t have known about that. However, there is additional evidence coming out now. Who knows how long it will take for MLB to take action on any of the guys that were identified in the Miami lab situation.

If you take his numbers at face value then he is a top five overall fantasy player. Some people will take him as high as number two. He does have slightly better TRI scores than Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto. So, do you take the best overall player (outside of Mike Trout) or do you go by position? Then, you have to think about a possible suspension.

Melky Cabrera– Toronto Blue Jays

He was already caught, so his name surfacing in the report about the Miami lab is not as big a deal as Braun. The question with him will be how long he has been using. If he started in 2012 then you can hope he produces along the lines of 2011. That’s still a pretty good fantasy player. If he started using in 2011 then you’re screwed.

Yoenis Cespedes– Oakland Athletics

Second year players are always wild cards. At least he played the whole season, so you don’t have to guess what he would have done in a full season. Cespedes can grow as a hitter and definitely as a fielder. You’d have to think he should improve more because he should be more adjusted to the culture.

Carl Crawford– Los Angeles Dodgers

Is he healthy? He actually was slightly better last year than in 2011, but has been awhile since he was dominant. That could work in your favor if you wait until the later rounds. Someone has to score runs and the National League is more a speed driven league. None of his injuries last year affected his speed.

Andy Dirks– Detroit Tigers

There are sleepers and then there are sleepers. He might even make it to the waiver wire, but I’d keep tabs on this guy. You have a team that is going to feature Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, and Victor Martinez. Even average players would produce a lot in that lineup.

Jonny Gomes– Boston Red Sox

How much will he get to play in Boston. Daniel Nava was officially the left fielder last year and is still there. Gomes has become more a platoon player in recent seasons and if that continues it will limit his value. The quality of his performance is better when he is platooned, so you can see the dilemma.

Carlos Gonzalez– Colorado Rockies

If you go by the aggregate then Gonzalez doesn’t even crack the top five among left fielders. Still, you can see him going in the top two or three rounds in fantasy drafts. If you go by talent then I have no doubt that he belongs there. I’m one of those funny kind of people that actually wants my players to produce. Cargo is a tease and you should avoid him until you get into the 15-20 outfield range.

Alex Gordon– Kansas City Royals

Gordon rates slightly below Cargo in the left fielder standings, but they are really fairly similar players in terms of value. Gordon doesn’t steal as many bases as Gonzalez which is the main reason people overvalue him. For my taste, Gordon and Gonzalez are pretty interchangeable.

Scott Hairston– Chicago Cubs

Something tells me Hairston will end up getting the bulk of the at bats in right field even though he is listed as a left fielder. He has quietly come into his own in recent seasons. Taking advantage of his platoon splits is one of the main reasons for that, so he still might only be a 400 at bat guy.

Bryce Harper– Washington Nationals

See Yoenis Cespedes. The main difference is that Harper didn’t come up at the beginning of the seasons, so he might be his equal when all is said and done. Still, I don’t know how much I would bet on him becoming a megastar quite yet.

Matt Holliday– St. Louis Cardinals

Holliday is one of the quietest superstars in baseball. When you look at his TRI scores for the last five seasons you see one of the most consistent hitters in baseball. He should be the third left fielder taken in most drafts. If you are talking outfielders overall he should be at the bottom of the top ten.

Jason Kubel– Arizona Diamondbacks

This is one of those situations where fantasy baseball and real baseball separate. Kubel is a guy that usually produces between 25 and 30 home runs when he plays regularly. TRI shows he is a bit more marginal than that. That’s likely because of the lower OBP.

Ryan Ludwick– Cincinnati Reds

In a standard league, Jason Kubel and Ryan Ludwick would virtually be the same player. In a league that counts walks or OBP, Ludwick is slightly more valuable. Both guys are guys you can wait awhile on and if anyone pounces on one too early you can wait to pick up the other.

Michael Morse– Seattle Mariners

On the one hand, he will be guaranteed 600 at bats if he is healthy. On the other hand, he will be in a less talented lineup and in a pitcher’s park. Still, he should be good for at least 20 home runs and however many RBIs will be available in that lineup.

David Murphy– Texas Rangers

People have been bagging on the Rangers for letting Josh Hamilton go, but when you throw in defense, Murphy was not as far off as you might think. Now, he will get to play everyday and the results will probably surprise you. If you he slips much past the middle rounds you should snatch this guy up and laugh all the way to the bank.

Carlos Quentin– San Diego Padres

Quentin was a pleasant surprise last year. Considering that he missed the first couple of months, he produced much better than people would have thought. He signed long-term in San Diego and should be counted on to produce at least 20 home runs and a healthy on base percentage.

Seth Smith– Oakland Athletics

The A’s outfield is jammed with talent and there will be fewer plate appearances to go around. He spent most of his time as the DH last season, but with Chris Young in the fold it will be harder for him to get his time in. He might end up performing better in the time he gets, but that won’t help you as much.

Alfonso Soriano– Chicago Cubs

He was a revelation last season, but he’s getting closer to forty than he is to thirty. His comeback last year was remarkable and laudable, but he has been more marginal than anything the last several years and with Scott Hairston in the fold, he might get supplanted if he gets off to a slow start.

Mike Trout– Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. There is no need to get too far into it, but he should have been the AL MVP this last season. Will he repeat that awesome performance? I guess it remains to be seen, but he should be the first overall pick in every draft.

Josh Willingham– Minnesota Twins

All he does is produce. Compare him with Carlos Gonzalez and you’ll see one of the problems I have with hype. His career OPS+ is 125 in comparison with 121 for Cargo. Yet, almost every single league will see Cargo go first. Go figure.

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