2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Total Run Index: Right Fielders

“That’s why I’m here in right field just watching the dandelions grow.” — Peter, Paul, and Mary

It’s funny how right field changes from Little League to the big leagues. The right field in the infamous Peter, Paul, and Mary tune is the one we remember growing up. It was for those of us picked last on the playground. When we get into the professional ranks we notice that right fielders are among the best offensive players on the diamond. Arguably they are better than even the first base group.

As we leave the position players, we should take note of how to look at the following table. The first incarnation of total run index was far more ambitious than this one. It included every single player that had ever appeared in the big leagues and was still active. It also included graphs for each player that included forecast lines.

Using the single, three, and five year averages allows you to do the same thing in a qualitative way. When the number is increasing from right to left then the player is on the rise. When it is decreasing in that direction then the player is typically on the decline. However, the decision not to graph that was done because there are extenuating circumstances that affect some players. So, I allow the individual user to make up their own mind. Below are the TRI numbers for right fielders.

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2012

3YR

5YR

Norichika Aoki

14.4

—-

—-

Jose Bautista

22.3

48.4

28.6

Carlos Beltran

20.3

19.9

22.2

Jay Bruce

10.7

14.5

8.0

Michael Cuddyer

6.0

10.2

9.9

Nelson Cruz

4.0

14.1

13.1

Andre Ethier

22.7

17.8

18.1

Josh Hamilton

30.4

35.3

27.1

Jason Heyward

24.3

17.3

—-

Torii Hunter

24.7

17.8

18.1

Matt Joyce

10.5

13.5

9.5

Nick Markakis

13.7

12.8

17.7

Hunter Pence

6.8

18.9

13.7

Alex Rios

26.3

3.7

3.1

Nick Swisher

18.8

19.3

15.2

Giancarlo Stanton

34.5

22.6

—-

Justin Upton

9.7

18.4

16.3

Will Venable

12.6

8.7

6.1

Shane Victorino

3.0

14.1

15.0

Jayson Werth

12.7

18.8

21.1

Norichika Aoki– Milwaukee Brewers

Rookies always make me nervous. You never know where they are going to go in year two. What we do know is that Aoki will get more playing time initially than he got last season. With both Corey Hart and Mat Gamel on the shelf, the Brewers will be expecting Aoki to man right field full time.

Jose Bautista– Toronto Blue Jays

Joey Bats was on the path back to his dominant self when he got hurt and had to miss the rest of the season. He will walk a ton and will hit home runs by the bushel. An improved lineup just might improve his run producing opportunities as Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera join in the fun.

Carlos Beltran– St. Louis Cardinals

Beltran is good for 20+ home runs and nearly as many steals when healthy. The Cardinals lineup is solid enough for him to produce and he did so a year ago. This is a contract year for him and he may have one big contract (albeit short term) left him before he rides off into the sunset.

Jay Bruce– Cincinnati Reds

Bruce will either be in right field or center field depending on what happens with Shin Soo Choo. Either way, Bruce is capable of producing 30 home runs and 100 RBIs regardless of where he plays. His average and OBP won’t be much to write home about, but it won’t kill you either.

Michael Cuddyer– Colorado Rockies

Cuddyer was supposed to mash in Denver, but something happened on the way the super stardom. Primarily, he got hurt and lost much of the last half of the season. If he is healthy he could be a huge sleeper for you in the later rounds. He is capable of 30 home run production in the thin air.

Nelson Cruz– Texas Rangers

The offensive force that was Nelson Cruz didn’t show up in 2012. He is another great example of how you can overvalue postseason performance. Cruz will produce decent enough numbers, but he is a part of a very deep position group and really does not offer you any elite production in any of the categories.

Andre Ethier– Los Angeles Dodgers

Do yourself a favor and check out the original platoon advantage article.  Andre Ethier is a beast against right-handed pitchers, but when he faces lefties he becomes the equivalent of Geoff Blum. As long as you know that going in and plan accordingly, he can be a very useful player for you.

Josh Hamilton– Los Angeles Angels

The Rangers switched Hamilton between left field and center field. The Angels have him penciled in to play right field, so by the end of April he will be eligible in all three outfield slots. If you play in a position specific league that can be worth its weight in gold. Oh, he also can mash.

Jason Heyward– Atlanta Braves

2011 was a down season for him and that affects his three year average. If you think he is on the way up then you might want to consider 2012 as a bench mark. If he can produce to his capabilities he could be a top ten overall fantasy performer. He has the power and the speed to be a dynamic offensive force.

Torii Hunter– Detroit Tigers

Looks can be deceiving. On the one hand, he is moving to a talented lineup and a better ballpark to hit in. On the other hand, he is entering his mid thirties and has seen a fairly dramatic drain on his power numbers over the last couple of seasons. He will likely be a very good complimentary player, but that means his 2012 numbers are a bit inflated.

Matt Joyce– Tampa Bay Rays

Joyce should be eligible in right field and left field and will play both positions this year. If he gets a full complement of at bats he could be similar in value to Hunter. Joyce has never played a full season for one reason or another, so you might not want to make that gamble this year.

Nick Markakis– Baltimore Orioles

I’ve gotten more crap from Orioles fans about Markakis than any other player. That comes more from the fielding side of things than anything else. Markakis wasn’t healthy all of last year and the Orioles still made the playoffs. He is a complementary player pure and simple, but he can help your fantasy team as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Hunter Pence– San Francisco Giants

Pence is a lot like Markakis. The Phillies and Astros discovered that over the past couple of seasons and traded him away. The Giants will realize it before long, but will they do it before they sign him long term? As for you, don’t buy too much into the hype.

Alex Rios– Chicago White Sox

Rios has been all over the map over the past couple of seasons. He is either really good or really bad and a lot of it seems to depend on the attitude he brings in. Every time he is about ready to lose his job he seems to turn in a great season. Is he motivated after producing one last season? Take the chance if you dare.

Giancarlo Stanton– Miami Marlins

If no one is on base when you hit one of your home runs is it really worth that much? Moreover, if no one is in the lineup to protect you then will you get the opportunity to hit many home runs? Stanton is one of the best players in baseball, but those questions will plague you as a fantasy owner.

Nick Swisher– Cleveland Indians

Moving from Yankee Stadium to the ballpark formerly known as Jacobs Field is not a recipe for fantasy success, but the Indians are going to be a better offense than you might suspect. Swisher is a complementary player probably good for 25 home runs and around 80 RBIs. Plan accordingly.

Justin Upton– Atlanta Braves

Put the Upton brothers together and you get a good player that people have a feel for. Justin is usually overvalued because he rarely produces to his talent. B.J. has that reputation but actually produces better than people might think. Will Justin ever repeat the 2011 production again? I guess if you think the bliss of playing with his brother is a factor then go ahead and take the plunge, but he has been drafted way to early in early drafts in my humble opinion.

Will Venable– San Diego Padres

Venable is another platoon advantage candidate. He rarely gets more than 400 plate appearances during the season, but if you plan accordingly then you can still get a lot of value for him. He produces a little in every category, so he quietly helps your team more than a lot of bigger impact players.

Shane Victorino– Boston Red Sox

Like Josh Hamilton, Victorino played in both left field and center field last year and will be playing in right field this year. That means he will be eligible in all three slots. Given that he is not an elite player, he could be a really valuable member of your bench because of his flexibility.

Jayson Werth– Washington Nationals

He is eligible in center field and right field. He has been a bit of a disappointment the past couple of years, but this is a growing team and he played well when healthy. Give him 600 at bats and he might be an elite level outfielder again.

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