Outfield projections can be challenging. Some platforms treat them all the same while others separate them by position. We will treat left fielders as left fielders, but we will include all three medians just in case you want to cross-reference the player with the other outfield positions. Some players are eligible at multiple outfield slots. We can wax on about the complexities, but we should probably move on and treat them like every other position we have covered.
Instead of ranking each player 1-24, we will be comparing each player to the median. The median is defined as the average between the 12th and 13th ranked player in each individual category. Players that meet or exceed the median will have the numbers in green font. Players that do not meet the median will have numbers in red font. As always we want to discuss the context of the numbers.
LF Median: .261/20 HR/71 Runs/70 RBI/12 SB
CF Median: .268/16 HR/78 Runs/62 RBI/21 SB
RF Median: .263/21 HR/68 Runs/74 RBI/7 SB
Andrew Benintendi— Boston Red Sox
PECOTA: .273/18/79/66/12 (+3)
3 Year: N/A
You can acquire big time pitchers and big time hitters, but it is often the homegrown talent that determines how far you go. Benintendi was a first round pick, so his ascension to the Red Sox lineup is not a surprise. That being said, it can be a crap shoot as to how quickly a young player gets it. An .835 OPS in over 100 plate appearances looks promising, but pitchers will be studying him and they will find holes.
Michael Brantley— Cleveland Indians
PECOTA: .301/12/59/58/13 (+2)
3 Year: .289/12/56/63/13
Unfortunately, attendance is a part of the grade. Brantley has missed much of last season to a bum shoulder. Supposedly, he is healthy now, but he will have to prove it. At this point, he represents a pretty good sleeper candidate. In five outfielder leagues he would probably be an ideal fourth or fifth outfielder. He has some upside if he can stay healthy.
Ryan Braun— Milwaukee Brewers
PECOTA: .277/27/82/86/7 (+4)
3 Year: .285/25/78/85/17
Sometimes fantasy baseball asks you to suspend disbelief. Some people would consider Braun a scumbag for how he treated the courier that handled his drug sample. Some would consider him a scumbag for lying about his PED use. He will never put up those numbers again, but no one is really putting up those numbers. He is a top three fantasy left fielder either way. If you want to moralize you can let someone else enjoy the production.
Melky Cabrera— Chicago White Sox
PECOTA: .288/12/61/67/3 (+1)
3 Year: .290/14/74/79/4
Cabrera is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. The aggregate doesn’t work well for him because he tends to be like the girl with the curl. He will be a free agent following the season and he tends to be the sort that shines in contract years. You can base your teams on hunches and get laughed out of town, but the occasional hunch never hurt anyone.
Yoenis Cespedes— New York Mets
PECOTA: .261/28/74/87/5 (+4)
3 Year: .277/29/87/97/6
Cespedes will probably be the first left fielder off the board and it makes perfect sense. Since moving to New York, the only thing that has stopped him has been the disabled list. Obviously, PECOTA is projecting some more lost time this year. Otherwise, he would be a no brainer for the top spot. If healthy, he could go 40/100/100.
David Dahl— Colorado Rockies
PECOTA: .272/19/67/70/17 (+3)
3 Year: N/A
Like Benintendi, Dahl’s development could go a long way in making the Rockies a competitive team in the NL West. Some think he has star potential and if you add another star to that lineup they could be the best lineup in the division. Unfortunately, young players rarely become stars right out of the gate, but he would be a decent player to take a flier on.
Khris Davis— Oakland Athletics
PECOTA: .240/31/75/89/5 (+3)
3 Year: .246/30/70/79/4
Davis very quietly hit 42 home runs last season. He would have led the American League if it weren’t for Mark Trumbo. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough runners for him to drive in with those home runs. That isn’t his fault, but it does limit his fantasy value. If he walked more often he would be of more value, but as of now is he is a two outcome player.
Corey Dickerson— Tampa Bay Rays
PECOTA: .262/21/62/75/3 (+2)
3 Year: .287/19/53/59/3
Dickerson had a brilliant 2014 campaign. He seemed on the verge of stardom, but two things happened along the way. First, he became injury prone. Second, he got traded to sea level. It remains to be seen which had the more drastic effect on him, but now he looks like a part-time player on a team full of part-time players.
Adam Duvall— Cincinnati Reds
PECOTA: .240/34/75/93/4 (+3)
3 Year: .241/33/85/103/6
Every cloud has a silver lining. The Reds went through a brutal season last year, but most of that came on the mound. The bats had quite a few bright spots and none was brighter than Duvall. He went from obscurity to being a participant in home runs derby. He faded in the second half, so that is a bit of concern long-term, but he should at least be a power source.
Brett Gardner— New York Yankees
PECOTA: .256/12/80/58/18 (+2)
3 Year: .259/13/87/55/19
Every championship team needs guys like Gardner. He won’t get any Hall of Fame votes, but he would probably be a cinch for the Hall of Pretty Good. The same could be said of fantasy teams. You can’t man a n all-star at every position. If you want to punt left field you could probably add a player like Gardner and wind up very happy.
Alex Gordon— Kansas City Royals
PECOTA: .255/15/63/64/7 (+0)
3 Year: .252/16/63/54/7
Believe it or not, Gordon was a MVP candidate in 2014. That’s what happens when you are a transcendant fielder at your position. He was a three and a half win player with the glove that season. That only matters in how you percieve him as a player. He has put up good numbers in the past, so you might be tempted to go with him again. At this point, he is strictly bench material.
Randal Grichuk— St. Louis Cardinals
PECOTA: .246/27/71/79/6 (+3)
3 Year: .258/21/58/58/5
The Cardinals rely more on homegrown talent than any playoff contender in baseball. Grichuk took a step backwards last season and that is perfectly understandable. PECOTA is not projecting a step forward though. The Cardinals need him to be the player he was in 2015 in order to advance further than the wild card round.