Five to Watch – OF

FANFOOD_FB2014_5toW_OF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are hundreds of websites where you can get information to help you prepare for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft and season. It seems like every one of them offer rankingscheat sheets and draft guides.

In order to dominate your league you need to be familiar with a few of them. Check them outpick your favorites and have fun with your research. We will help you with our FANFOOD Fantasy Baseball Tools and new features, the FANFOOD 5 to Watch and FANFOOD goes 2 for 2.

During Spring Training, we offer 5 players from each position for you to watch and consider for your FB team. They will be ones that you may be able to find later in your draft or even off the waiver wire as the season progresses.

Once the season begins, FANFOOD goes 2 for 2 and discusses two upcoming starting pitchers scheduled for two starts. They will be our weekly picks for your team to stream (if that is your strategy).

So who are the FANFOOD 5 to Watch? Are they ones to target? Are they sleepers, studs or duds? The answer is yes and the answer is no. Simply put, they are the players that we find interesting at each position, ones you need to keep an eye on this spring before your fantasy baseball draft.

 

That all said, let’s get to it with our next 5, this time it is the outfielders, followed by some helpful links and a great recipe, Grilled Jalapenos stuffed with Prosciutto and Havarti

 

The outfield is filled with every type of player and skill set a successful fantasy roster requires. Obviously there are more outfielders than players at any other position, so it’s no surprise that there’s so much talent to mine here.  This is why we couldn’t just pick 5, we had to pick 15 to watch this spring.

Because so many outfielders are drafted in each league, it’s a good idea to come away with at least two in the first seven or eight rounds. There are enough potential upside and value plays that it’s OK to wait on some of them, but it can be risky to avoid the position for too long on draft day. The player pool doesn’t stretch as far as you might think. This is why it is wise to grab at least a couple of outfielders in the first third of your draft to ensure you aren’t left picking at table scraps. In 2013, more than half of the top 20 fantasy hitters were outfielders, so to skip the position early on is to miss out on a lot of elite production.

The strength of the outfield lies in the variety of players and statistics it provides. If, for example, you’re in the middle of your draft and realize your team is lacking batting average or home runs or stolen bases — or perhaps a combination of the three — there are outfielders who can fill those needs. The same can’t be said for every position.

If you are like us, you don’t just start three OF in your league, you start one LF, one CF, and one RF. While many baseball players that roam the grass play more than one position and have extra eligibility, this gives you the option to move them around in your fake outfield. Though locking up one of those spots with a dedicated player early on will help you win fantasy gold.

 

Here are 15 outfielders that we think you need to keep an eye on this spring.

 

5 to Watch quick links:

[C] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF] [SP] [RP] [Prospects]

 

FANFOOD 5 to Watch – Outfield

 

 

1. Ryan Braun (LF/RF)

ADP #11

 

There are so many different opinions about Braun coming into this year and that is why he is our first OF to watch. Not only to see how he handles his return from his suspension for being a cheater, but to see how he handles himself with his teamates and how he is treated by the fans. But most importantly we want to see how he handles the stick and what that will do for our fake team.  While ADP #11 may seem high, his eventual added OF eligibility puts him easily in the top 3 OF. When you decide to pull the trigger is up to you.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Ryan was a lost cause last year due to his PED suspension. Are you going to be morally torn to throw auction dollars at the Hebrew Hammer? Pshhht, its fantasy bruh! Braun may or may not be on the juice anymore but the dude is still a stud with a sweet stroke. Not only a stud, but a stud who a lot of people will not be willing to take a risk on. Be that guy who takes the risk and reap the benefits.

source | baseball press
——–

 

Braun became the Brewers’ left fielder in 2008 and has played no other position since — save for a few starts at DH — but Milwaukee traded Norichika Aoki to the Royals on Thursday and will now make the outfield shift. Carlos Gomez is going to remain in center field and left field will be occupied primarily by Khris Davis. Caleb Gindl could also get starts there.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

We all know that Ryan Braun is going to be a controversial topic heading into 2014. Once a lock to go in the first round, he’s coming off a down season by his standards (.298 with 9 HR) and saw his season end prematurely due to his suspension. Now the question facing fantasy owners is if he still belongs in the first round or if his stock should fall. A reasonable expectation, if healthy, is probably around 27-28 HR. Keep in mind that there were only 21 players who hit as many as 27 HR in 2013. As for the average, fewer HR will lead to a lower batting average (more balls put in play). He likely won’t be a .320 hitter and maybe not even a .300 hitter. That said, he’s always made good contact (18.1% strikeout rate) and should have enough speed to maintain a better than average BABIP. I would put .290ish as his floor, with .300 still realistic. Of the 21 players to hit at least 27 HR last season, only eight of them did so with at least a .285 average. Then you also have to consider the SB numbers. He’s always been a 14+ SB guy, and posted 30+ in both 2011 and 2012. If you want to think there’s going to be a regression, fine, but we still have to expect in the 20 range (if not more). Only two of the players with at least 27 HR stole at least 20 bases in 2013 (in fact only five had as many as 14) and only one did so with an average north of .285. That player, Mike Trout. Now throw in Braun hitting in the middle of the Brewers lineup, along with Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez, and there is a lot to like. While we don’t necessarily want to take a big risk in the first round, it’s hard not to think that Braun still belongs.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke expects it to be business as usual this spring for outfielder Ryan Braun, who is coming off a 65-game suspension at the end of the 2013 season. “Now that this is over with, I think his teammates will accept him well,” Roenicke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He knows this is behind him, and I think he’ll open up and be a good influence in the clubhouse. My first year here (2011), he was certainly that. A lot of stuff has happened since, but I expect everything to go well there.” r Ryan Braun returns to action in 2014 after missing the last 65 games in 2013 due to a Biogenesis-related suspension. Despite the long layoff and heavy criticism he will face coming off a suspension, Braun doesn’t believe his production will drop-off, according to MLB.com. “I think I’ll be better than I’ve ever been,” he said.

source | CBSsports.com
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
53797157289018.292.364.529.893

source | KFFL
——–

 

 

2. Shin-Soo Choo (CF/LF)

ADP #43

 

Choo will move to LF this year in Texas and he is one to watch to see how he fits in with that powerful lineup. Hitting in front of Fielder and Beltre will only help him see better pitches resulting in better ABs. Just with any high draft pick, you need to be concerned about injury, but Choo’s reward outweighs the risk.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

It’s hard to imagine that a player can improve on a 21/20 season, with a .285/.423/.462 triple slash line – but look for Shin-Soo Choo to do just that this year. His move to Texas means he will hit in front of Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre, which in turn could very well lead to seeing more fastballs, and hitting more home runs in that hitter friendly ball park. Not to mention, he could lead the major leagues in runs scored if he is able to maintain his ridiculous OBP. It’s true, he may see less chances to run on the base paths, but if he stays in the leadoff spot, he should get his share of chances to run with Elvis Andrus hitting behind him. He may have the least growth out of the three names mentioned here, but Choo has the potential to be a very exciting player to own in 2014.

source | baseball press
——–

 

Rangers signed OF Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract. Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com has reported that Choo passed his physical Thursday, making the deal official. The 31-year-old outfielder reportedly turned down a $140 million offer from the Yankees earlier in the offseason, but with no state income taxes in Texas, his contract with the Rangers is actually worth more. Choo will play left field and bat leadoff for the Rangers in 2014, so his fantasy value should remain very strong.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

This is the player the Rangers wanted from the beginning of the offseason, and this is where Shin-Soo Choo wanted to be. After all the negotiations, phone calls and public posturing, what both sides extolled as the “perfect fit” was officially announced on Friday at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers have signed Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract to be their leadoff hitter and left fielder. “The first thing I was looking for was a winning team,” Choo said. “That was most important.” Over the past six years with the Indians and the Reds, Choo ranks eighth among all Major League players with a .392 on-base percentage and 13th with 426 walks.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

New Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch 26 times in 2013, which led the major leagues. Even though he is with a new team, his approach isn’t about to change. “Hit by pitch is part of baseball,” Choo said, per ESPN. “I can’t do anything. If I get scared about hit by pitch, I might change approach and I can’t do anything. Pitchers can throw inside. I can hit it or I get hit.” The risk of injury increases with the amount of times Choo is hit by a pitch, but he said he doesn’t worry about that when he steps into the batter’s box. His focus is on the pitcher and getting on base. “That’s life,” Choo said about injuries. “You think about injury and you can’t play 100 percent. If you get injured, you get injured. I don’t want to be scared to play. That’s just me.”

source | CBSsports.com
——–

 

Texas Rangers 1B Prince Fielder will bat ahead of 3B Adrian Beltre in the lineup for 2014, with Fielder going third and Beltre fourth. Columnist Gerry Fraley speculates OF Shin-Soo Choo will bat leadoff. The second slot in the lineup was not disclosed by manager Ron Washington.

source | Dallas Morning News
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
572100160196319.280.385.451.836

source | KFFL
——–

 

 

3.  Wil Myers (CF/RF)

ADP #59

 

When it comes to stocking your OF, it’s always good to load up on young players with upside, and Myers fits the bill. Getting his services with a 5th round pick will be nice for your team. Keep an eye on him this spring and if he gets off to a hot start, you may have to consider drafting him earlier.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

He was the first ever hitter to win Rookie of the Year Award while playing in fewer than 100 games. The voting wasn’t close, as Myers received 23 of 30 first-place votes, comfortably winning over second-place finisher Jose Iglesias and teammate Chris Archer. Myers batted .293/.354/.478 with 13 homers for the Rays last season.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

After his Major League Debut in June last season, Wil Myers hit .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI in his first 335 at-bats for Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays. Even though he is young, this very talented former top prospect for the Kansas City Royals has the potential to be a top 15 outfielder at the end of 2014. His batting average will still show room for growth at the end of the season, but look for his power and speed to be on par with the likes of Carlos Gomez – who looks to be a top-5 outfielder on some depth charts. This could be the last season you will see Myers available after the second round of a fantasy draft in a long time, this is your chance to get in on the ground floor this year.

source | baseball press
——–

 

In 88 games with Tampa Bay last season, Myers delivered on that promise. His 50 R, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 5 SB, and .293 BA extrapolated over a full season would have made him one of the best players in the game last year, and there’s no reason to think he won’t fully live up to his hype within the next few years. But Myers probably isn’t ready to be a full fantasy force yet. His K% is still a little high, meaning he’ll need a repeat of last year’s .362 BABIP to be a .290 hitter, and he demonstrated a pretty strong ground ball tendency that makes a high-20s or 30 HR season a little unlikely. You might expect a player like Myers to just keep getting better and keep hitting for more power (he did hit 37 HR in 2012 and 14 in 298 PA last year before getting the call), but Tampa Bay’s park limits HR to right-handed batters by 15%, and I’m not entirely ready to project more than last year’s 15.5% HR/FB rate from Myers. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay’s other right-handed slugger, has just a career 16.3% HR/FB rate. He has a trio of 30 HR seasons, but he also hits a lot more fly balls (his FB% was 26.5% higher than Myers’ last year, in fact). This isn’t meant to say that Myers can’t post a higher HR/FB rate than Longoria, but it does give us a frame of reference.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5367114323839.267.332.459.791

source | KFFL
——–

 

 

4.  Jason Werth (RF)

ADP #85

 

I have never been a huge fan of Jason, the old joke is calling him Werthless, but you can’t argue with his production last year and that was only in 3/4 of a season. He won’t be a priority for many FB managers come draft day, but watch him closely and if he falls much past this ADP, you got a steal.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth finished the 2013 regular season with a .318 batting average, 25 home runs, 82 RBIs, 84 runs and 10 stolen bases. Despite missing time on the disabled list and only playing in 129 games, Werth was a force at the plate, putting together his best season in a Nationals uniform. The veteran outfielder is a strong mixed-league option who should be capable of producing in all five categories in 2014.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

With a hamstring injury shelving Werth for nearly all of May and some of June last year, it looked like he was about to lose another season due to health woes. Once he returned, though, he did so with a vengeance. Even factoring in a tepid month of April, Werth batted a career-high .318 and put himself on a pace for 30-plus homers and doubles with 100-plus runs and RBI, had he played a full season. Not only did he set that pace even after having a slow start, but his .292 batting average with runners in scoring position makes his run (84) and RBI (82) totals look sustainable. Werth’s average will regress somewhat, since he probably won’t approach a 31 percent line drive rate again, but he has become a better contact hitter over the last two years. With his wrist and hamstring issues behind him, owners could look forward to a full season of strong power and run production with double-digit steals to boot. He’s a sneaky play as someone you can draft as a No. 2 or 3 outfielder but who may produce like a No. 1. Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was able to begin his offseason workouts in early December and is starting to incorporate baseball activities into his regimen as spring training draws closer, according to The Washington Post. It’s a nice change from a year ago, when Werth’s status was uncertain as he was building up strength in his surgically repaired wrist. “It’s good,” Werth said of his wrist. “I don’t have any issues now and I don’t foresee any problems. And I’m kinda hoping we’re past it.”

source | CBSsports.com
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
47883135217910.282.367.477.844

source | KFFL
——–

 

 

5.  Carlos Beltran (RF)

ADP #91

 

The Yanks are counting on him to in part replace some of the numbers they lost when Cano took the money and ran to the West coast. He is never been that flashy player that people talk about, but all he does is produce. He will again this year under the bright lights in New York. Playing in the AL will allow him to rest his legs while at the same time get more ABs. He is one to watch this spring to get an idea of how he fits in with the bombers. Don’t sleep on him come draft day.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Yankees signed OF Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million contract. The deal has become official after Beltran passed his physical. The Yankees were unable to re-sign Robinson Cano, but they’re hoping Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury will make up for some of that lost production. Beltran is expected to see most of his time in right field but should also be used in the DH spot plenty in an effort to save his legs.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

The Beltran signing took shape earlier this month, as the eight-time All-Star agreed to a three-year deal reportedly worth $45 million. With St. Louis last season, Beltran posted a .296/.339/.491 slash line in 145 games. Though his clutch postseason play has been well-documented (Beltran’s 1.128 OPS in the playoffs trails only Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig among players with at least 100 plate appearances), Beltran has yet to win a World Series in his 16-year Major League career. To make room for Beltran on the club’s 40-man roster, the Yankees designated righty Brett Marshall for assignment. “I feel great, man, honestly,” Beltran told reporters at the club’s Minor League complex. “It’s a great experience. This organization has always been an organization, tradition-wise, where many good players have put on this uniform. For me to be able to be part of history, I would say it feels great. I’m happy and looking forward to doing my job.” Beltran, who turns 37 in April, came to the Yankees on a three-year, $45 million deal. “I look at the team, I look at our situation and the players that we have; we have a pretty good chance,” Beltran said. “Last year I experienced being in the playoffs, being in the World Series with the Cardinals. It was a great feeling. Once you play there, you want to go there every year. Everything starts from Spring Training.”

source | MLB.com
——–

 

“I feel personally that our club has a good chance,” Beltran said. “I know it’s going to be hard because the American League East division is a strong division. But we feel we have a good team.” Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson left via free agency, but Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka, Roberts and Johnson were brought in for what the Yankees believe will be a net improvement. The Yankees committed more than $460 million to those players, with a mandate to more than just return to the playoffs. “Of course we have to win,” Beltran said in the minor league parking lot after his workout. “I don’t know how far we will go, but at least we have to do something positive better than what they did last year. They went out and they spent a lot of money and brought in players to improve the ball club. For me as a player, you want to be around an organization like that where every year they are trying to improve and get better.” It has long been a dream of Beltran’s to play for the Yankees, dating to when he was a youngster in Puerto Rico idolizing their center fielder, Bernie Williams.

source | NY times
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5167114426795.279.340.488.828

source | KFFL
——–

 

 

6. Josh Hamilton (LF,CF,RF)

ADP #94

 

Here is yet again another controversial player to keep an eye on. Many people think he has become a bust and they could be right, but he mashes the ball and if for some reason he falls outside the top 100 during your draft, you can get him, smile and reap the rewards in 2014.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

By now the story is out on Hamilton — the guy loves to swing at bad pitches and he whiffs a great deal of the time. It’s this ridiculous approach at the plate that makes him such a frustrating player to own because when he makes contact, no one can hit the ball quite like him. He loves to swing the bat and when he makes contact he can really mash the baseball. However, he swings and misses a lot.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

Josh Hamilton is back in camp, weighing in at 240 pounds and eying a different set of numbers for 2014: .300 batting average, 30 home runs, 100 RBIs. “Anything after that is gravy,” Hamilton said shortly after arriving to the Angels’ Spring Training facility on Sunday morning. “That’s where I want to be. If I get there, it’s always good to break your goals and go further.” After a season that saw his batting average drop to .250, his homers drop to 21 and his RBIs drop to 79, Hamilton put on 28 pounds with a high-calorie, high-protein, gluten-free diet and some cheat days mixed in. In hopes of being healthier, while predicting that he wouldn’t drop as much weight during the season as he used to in Texas, Hamilton deployed a natural-juice diet last offseason. He showed up weighing 227 pounds, dropped an additional 15 over the summer and never really found his typical power. Now, he’s at the weight where he used to be at the start of Rangers camp — and hoping for similar numbers. “It will help,” Hamilton said.”My joints won’t feel as good. I felt good last year, as far as my joints and body. This year, I will probably hurt a little bit more. “I’m used to when I mis-hit balls, they still have a chance. Last year, I didn’t feel like I was there.” The new weight should help him regain his power, the strong finish to 2013 — .327/.386/.500 slash line in the last 40 games — should help his state of mind, and a return to left field should simplify things.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

Josh Hamilton has gained 20 pounds this offseason.Hamilton dropped the weight last offseason after signing a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels, but he’s hoping that a return to his old weight will lead to better results. The 32-year-old hit just .250/.307/.432 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI over 151 games last year.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

Hamilton fell short of expectations during his inaugural season with the Angels in 2013, batting a career-low .250 and belting his fewest long balls (21) since an injury-shortened 2009. The former Triple Crown candidate seemed to improve as the year progressed, though, recording a .224/.283/.413 line during the first half and hitting .287/.341/.460 after the All-Star break. The 32-year-old may bounce back a bit in 2014, but a return to superstardom may prove to be too much to expect.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5608115125925.270.327.473.800

source | KFFL
——–

 

 

7. Domonic Brown (LF)

ADP #96

 

Brown is the guy you think of when you hear the phrase, “post-hype prospect”.  Last year was the year where you could consider him a sleeper, not anymore. He should be picked by round 8 of your draft, and if he isn’t, it’s time to jump on the D-train. Watch closely this spring and draft accordingly.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown finished the 2013 season with a .272 batting average, 27 home runs, 83 RBIs, 65 runs and eight stolen bases.A popular prospect for many years, Brown finally got the chance to play every day for the Phillies and responded in a big way. The 26-year-old highlighted his breakout season with an incredible month of May, in which he hit .303 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs. Brown has the power potential to produce in all formats, and he should be a popular mixed-league option in 2014 drafts.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

Domonic Brown finally enjoyed his coming out party last year, posting a .351 wOBA and swatting 27 homers, backed by an impressive 19.3% HR/FB ratio. He even recorded a bunch of steals, solidifying himself as an all-around contributor. The primary driving force propelling the breakout was of course the power. Unfortunately, his batted ball distance sat only a bit above the league average, and his overall xHR/FB rate was just 13.8%. That suggests that he could be in for a significant falloff in power, or at least home run power. Of course, even if that does happen, he should still be good for 20+ homers given the promise of more plate appearances along with nearly double digit steals. Brown’s HR/FB rate was 8% higher at home than away. Citizens Bank Park tied for 8th best left-handed HR park factor last year, so better home performance should have been expected. Perhaps the location of his fly balls are tailor made to take advantage of the park’s dimensions or atmospheric effects. Or perhaps not. Maybe it was just some fluky good luck. Some good news is he posted a .315 wOBA against lefties, which isn’t great, but far from terrible. It means he shouldn’t worry about ever getting benched when a southpaw is on the mound.

source | fangraphs
——–

 

Owners that were either patient, or decided that Domonic Brown would finally have that post-hype prospect productive year were very happy with the results last season. In fact, the owner that was probably the most happy to own Brown last season, was the one that traded him in early June, right after he hit 12 home runs with 25 RBI in the month of May . After the month of May, the then 25-year-old outfielder was very mediocre for the rest of the season.

source | baseball press
——–

 

Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown is working on his durability, according to the Daily News. Brown worked with a chiropracter during the offseason, and was “getting a lot of tissue work.” Brown said his hips typically ache shortly after the season begins due to the torque in his swing. He plans to stay on top of treatments during the season. “I just think I’m getting a little older now, so I’m staying on top of that stuff.” After a strong start, Brown dealt with both concussion issues and a knee injury late last season. He hit .272/.324/.494 in 496 at-bats last year.

source | CBSsports.com
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5367013925768.259.322.463.785

source | KFFL
——–

 

 

8.  Curtis Granderson (LF,CF,RF)

ADP #97

 

As a NYY fan, it was tough to see Grandy leave. He was left out in the cold and didn’t seem to be in the plans for the Yanks. He stays in NY, which is good, and will hit square in the middle of the Mets lineup. A spring training injury hurt his draft status last year, and his season left a bad taste in the collective mouths of any FB manager that took the chance on him. This year will be different, as he will over perform his draft position.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Mets signed OF Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. The outfielder surely would have gotten a bigger deal had he stayed healthy in 2013, but he still managed to snag $60 million after a lost season. Granderson will add some much-needed punch to the Mets’ lineup.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

Granderson, 32, hit .229 with seven home runs in 61 games last season, suffering a fractured left pinkie and fractured right wrist after being hit by pitches in Spring Training and during the regular season. A three-time All-Star prior to that, he hit 84 home runs combined from 2011-12 with the Yankees.

source | MLB.com
——–
Granderson signed a four-year, $60 million deal with New York, so he’s the one guy in this outfield who’s clearly locked into an everyday role. He’s entering his age-33 season and transitioning to a less friendly home park, so you can’t reasonably expect more than, say, 24-30 homers and 10-15 steals, with a sub-.260 average. We should note that Granderson’s power surge in 2011 and 2012 was not purely a Yankee Stadium phenomenon; during those seasons, he hit 37 of his 84 homers on the road. If he’s healthy-ish in 2014, he’ll be useful in the power cat’s.

source | Yahoo Sports
——–

 

Now that Granderson has moved across town from the Bronx to Queens, the question is how will the move affect his fantasy value? The horrors of Jason bay are all too real. But putting Bay aside (I firmly believe his decline was psychological and not skills based), the question is how will moving from lefty friendly Yankee Stadium to the cavernous Citi Field affect his power. Power is why the Mets are paying him $60 million over 4 years. Granderson pulls just about every HR he hits, When he hits them they go a very long way.Granderson will still hit for power as a Met. Perhaps/definitely a bit less, but potential 30+ HR outfielders are becoming more and more rare these days. Even if he falls short that’s still a very useful fantasy season.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said OF Curtis Granderson won’t be asked to play center field this year. OF Juan Lagares will start the opener in spring training, but he’ll have to earn the job. The team will go with the best three offensive weapons in the outfield, meaning OFs Eric Young Jr. and Chris B. Young could also be options. Adam Rubin is suggesting that Eric Young is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of playing time in the outfield over Lagares, if he can improve his on-base percentage. Granderson and Chris Young are expected to fill the corner outfield spots.Curtis Granderson is set to hit behind 3B David Wright in the batting order, presumably as the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters.

source | ESPNNewYork.com
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
53176128257811.241.329.431.760

source | KFFL
——–

 

Top of Page

 

9. Nelson Cruz (RF)

ADP #140

 

Nelson is another player with differing opinions from the FB “experts”. As of this posting he has yet to sign with a ballclub. My gut tells me he joins Cano in Seattle, and if that happens he could be a nice fit. Here’s what’s going to happen on draft day, your leaguemates are going pass on him, one by one, round by round and then someone is going to pick him and scream “steal of the draft”. If it comes after round 15, this should be you.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes that the Orioles “seem to prefer” Nelson Cruz over Kendrys Morales. Either player could make sense for the Orioles given their question marks between left field and DH, but Cruz is apparently at the top of their list. They could have some competition from the Mariners, who figure to make a run at Cruz.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

The team that has been connected to free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz the most this offseason is the Seattle Mariners. They are in need of another power hitter to go along side Robinson Cano and all signs have been pointing to Cruz going to Seattle, but there is another team that has shown recent interest in him. The New York Mets have had recent discussions with Nelson Cruz, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Even though the two sides are talking, Martino says that a deal getting done is “highly unlikely.”

source | sportsinjuryalert.com
——–

 

Cruz is still seeking a home for the 2014 season. Despite a spotty injury history, terrible defensive skills, and the steroid cloud hanging over his head, someone will pay for Cruz’s bat. At 33 years old, he’s hit 135 HR over the last five years (27 per year) but averaged just 514 PA per season. Cruz is likely heading towards being a DH as his career moves into its final phase, which will help him stay healthy and rack up the PA, but much of his value depends on what team he signs with and which ballpark he calls home.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

 552 PA, 64 R, 26 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB, .251 BA

source | baseball professor
——–

 

Top of Page

 

10. Khris Davis (LF)

ADP #165

 

“Khris, don’t call spell me Chris” is a nice young player with upside the you can get late in your draft. He is one to watch to see if the starting LF gig is his this year and if so, he may not make it to pick #165.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Brewers outfielder Khris Davis finished the 2013 regular season with a .279 batting average, 11 home runs, 27 RBIs, 27 runs scored and three stolen bases. Davis found his way into a consistent starting role once Milwaukee lost Ryan Braun and took advantage of the situation by showing off great power. The 25-year-old slugged .506 in the Minors, and he contributed some stolen bases as well. It is unclear where Davis will fit into the Brewers’ crowded outfield in 2014, but he will be worth taking a shot on in all formats if it looks like he is going to get regular at-bats come Opening Day.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

I often say that success occurs at the intersection of talent and opportunity. After spending a lot of time reading and researching exactly who Khris Davis is, I’m confident he has the talent. With Norichika Aoki now a Royal and Ryan Braun moving to right field, Davis now has the opportunity. Most fantasy owners who hadn’t checked out by the All-Star break are probably familiar with Davis’ body of work in the second half of 2013 — 25 R, 11 HR, 27 RBI, .294 BA in 41 games from the end of July until the end of the season. Davis didn’t claim a full time job until the second week of August, but once he did, he became one of the best players in fantasy down the stretch (or at least during the month of August). Davis hit 11 HR with Milwaukee last year, and he showed the ability to hit for power against almost every type of pitch he saw. He homered against six different pitches, had an ISO over .300 against five different pitches, and batted at least .290 against four different pitches. Again, the sample size is extremely small, but that’s an incredible amount of balance.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

Although it appears Khris Davis is the favorite to open the season in left field for the Brewers, manager Ron Roenicke said he will have to earn the job this spring, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think we have three guys we’re going to look at — Caleb Gindl, Logan Schafer and Khris,” Roenicke said. “I’m not saying we’re going into camp saying, ‘You’re definitely our left fielder.’ He’ll have the opportunity certainly because of what we think he can be offensively, and he did a nice job for us defensively. I’ll get him out there as much as we can. “If we get close to the season and he’s not swinging it at all, and Gindl and Schafer are swinging, an opportunity (for them) will be better. Khris has more of an upside offensively, especially from a power and RBI standpoint, so that’s how we’re looking at it.”

source | CBSsports.com
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
339448115445.239.325.440.765

source | KFFL
——–

 

Top of Page

 

11.  Oswaldo Arcia (LF,RF)

ADP #175

 

Sticking with our theme of young talented players with upside, we bring you Oswaldo. Many of your leaguemates will not know anything about him and if you are reading this you are not one of them. He is not going to be your starting LF or RF, but if you decide to wait on one of your corner OF roster spots, he could be a nice late round platoon player you can team up with a quality right handed batter.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

When asked if Oswaldo Arcia will need protection against tough left-handed pitchers, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said: “He can hit lefties.”As a rookie, Arcia’s OPS against southpaws (.254/.274/.386) was more than 100 points less than it was against right-handed pitching (.249/.318/.451). Arcia, of course, accumulated those numbers in his first taste of the big leagues as a 22-year-old. He should never be expected to crush left-handed pitching, but Arcia’s bat is plenty promising enough to expect that he won’t need a platoon partner for the foreseeable future.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia ended the 2013 regular season with a .251 batting average, 14 homers, 43 RBIs, 34 runs scored and one steal.Arcia enjoyed a productive rookie campaign. The 22-year-old flashed more power down the stretch, as he slugged eight homers after the calendar flipped to August. While Arcia still needs to improve his strikeout-to-walk rate in order to take a step forward at the dish, the rebuilding Twins will likely offer him another chance for extended playing time next season.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

Arcia came into the 2013 season ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the Twins system and through numerous call ups to the majors he amassed 378 PA where he managed 14 HR, .179 ISO, and .430 SLG. Those numbers aren’t eye-opening, but if you consider that he posted perennial .200+ ISOs in the minors there’s definitely potential for him to grow into something special.You can immediately see that Arcia takes a lot of hacks at the plate — usually at pitches that aren’t in the strike zone — which contributes to his high strikeout and whiff rates. The potential with Arcia is there, but he’s definitely in the raw-power, unpolished-approach category.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
4615512019683.260.329.449.778

source | KFFL
——–

 

Top of Page

 

12.  George Springer (CF,RF)

ADP #195

 

Ahh prospects, what do you do with them?  Here is what you do, watch them this spring to see if they will earn a job, and pounce if they do. If they are sent back to the minors to start the year and you are confident in your draft, pick them late, and hold on until they arrive, or let someone else do it.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

In Triple-A, Springer had 18 homers after hitting 19 homers in Double-A. That’s not one year in Double-A and one year in Triple-A even though my syntax might lead you to believe that. He hit 37 homers last year in the minors. Hello, sexy, what’s your name?” Sexy, indeed. Springer is ready to start posting 30+ HR seasons at the highest level, and he’s perfectly capable of stealing 20+ bags, too. If this were mid-March, and news from Astros camp was that Springer would break camp with the big club, then he’s #4 on this list. For now, I’m thinking Houston, being sensitive to service time, will keep him in the minors until June.

source | razzball
——–

 

Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said OF George Springer will play in the big leagues this season, but he may not be in the lineup on Opening Day April 1. “I think George Springer will be a starting outfielder in Houston this year,” Luhnow said. “Whether it happens Opening Day or sometime during the season, he’s a special talent.” Springer hit .303 with a .411 on-base percentage and 37 home runs, 45 stolen bases and 83 walks with Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City last year. Springer will have to win a starting job, and the presence of OF Dexter Fowler will likely push Springer to right field.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

George Springer was named as the Texas League Player of the Year for his tremendous offensive production at Double-A Corpus Christi. It’s an impressive honor considering Springer played just 73 games at Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A. He hit .303/.414/.611 with 37 homers, 106 RBI and 43 swipes on the year between the two levels.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
38752100205423.258.345.465.810

source | KFFL
——–

 

Top of Page

 

13. Christian Yelich (LF,CF)

ADP #201

 

It seems like we have been talking about him for 5 years, yet he is only 21. He looks to have a full time gig and you know what that means. This late in your draft you have the option of rostering someone like Swisher or him. Who would you rather have? Watch him this spring and fill out your bench spot or use a waiver wire pick with Yelich.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Marlins position players report to Spring Training on Feb. 20, but that hasn’t stopped Christian Yelich from getting a head start. The Marlins’ first-round pick in 2010, Yelich enjoyed a solid rookie season, batting .288 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 62 games. Now he will head to Spring Training as the starting left fielder. After batting leadoff for most of the second half of the season in 2013, he likely will hit second behind Rafael Furcal in the revamped lineup.Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich ended the 2013 regular season with a .288 batting average, four home runs, 16 RBIs, 34 runs scored and 10 stolen bases.Yelich was called up in late July, and although he did not hit for much power, he certainly held his own at the Major League level. The 21-year-old former top prospect may not put up many counting stats in the Marlins lineup right now, but he has the potential to improve his production across the board. Yelich should be worth a late-round pick in standard formats, and fantasy owners in deep leagues will definitely want to take take a look at him given his upside.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

In late July of 2013 the Marlins promoted Christian Yelich, who many considered to be their top hitting prospect, to the big leagues. Yelich was a first round pick in the 2010 amateur draft, and after 4 minor league seasons between rookie ball and AA the Marlins had seen enough to believe the 21 year old’s “prettiest swing in the minors” (according to Keith Law) could hold his own in the majors. We only have about 60 games to go by, but on the surface Yelich did have a fairly productive first run. He was by no means a complete fantasy player, but he definitely offered pockets of helpful contributions in batting average, runs, and stolen bases.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

At just 21 years old, Yelich has proven to be more than capable as a full-time player in 2014.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond said 2B Rafael Furcal will bat first in the starting lineup this season and will be followed by OF Christian Yelich. Redmond said he has not decided how spots three through six in the lineup will look like yet.

source | The Miami Herald
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
4025610793715.266.344.420.764

source | KFFL
——–

 

Top of Page

 

14. Dexter Fowler (CF)

ADP #227

 

Dexter will not be in many fake team’s plans, but he should be. He will be a nice source of speed and will score a bunch of runs this year. While he most likely will go undrafted or picked late, he is still one to keep an eye on. If he is your starting CF, you definitely have issues, but he could be a great player to platoon with someone like the aforementioned Yelich.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Astros manager Bo Porter confirmed that Dexter Fowler will serve as the Astros leadoff hitter to begin the 2013 season. The Astros struggled to find a consistent option at the top of their lineup in 2013, with four different players making 23 or more starts out of that lineup spot. While Fowler’s fantasy value does take a hit moving away from the friendly confines of Coors Field, he still possesses a nice blend of power and speed and should be able to be a plus in runs scored as well, so long as he remains atop the lineup.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

Fowler, a 27-year-old switch-hitter, batted .263 with 18 doubles, 12 home runs, 42 RBIs, 19 stolen bases, 65 walks and a .369 on-base percentage in 119 games with Colorado last season. He started 106 games in center field for the Rockies in 2013, and he has been Colorado’s primary center fielder for the last five seasons (2009-13). Barnes, 27, hit .240 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs in 136 games in what was his rookie season in 2013, making several highlight-reel catches. He appeared in 179 Major League games over the last two seasons (2012-13) with the Astros. Lyles, 23, went 7-9 with one save and a 5.59 ERA in 27 games (25 starts) with the Astros last season. He appeared in 72 games (65 starts) for Houston since his Major League debut in 2011. Lyles was originally a supplemental first-round pick by Houston in the 2008 Draft.

source | MLB.com
——–

 

In 2013, Dexter Fowler followed up his 2012 breakout season (from a power perspective) with what was arguably the best season of his career (despite only playing 119 games). Most of the missed time was due to a sore right wrist that landed him on the DL in late June. For Fowler, as with most wrist injuries, this ailment hampered him well beyond his actual time on the DL. This injury makes it difficult to use 2013 as a baseline for what fantasy owners should expect in 2014, but it’s not the only thing complicating what we should expect out of Fowler either. There’s also that 1,000 pound elephant sitting on Fowler’s stat line (small for an elephant, but still cumbersome) — Fowler will no longer play half his games at Coors Field.

source | baseball professor
——–

 

Fowler is one of the few established major leaguers on the club, and doesn’t have to worry about his role. “I’m hitting leadoff and (I’ll) play some centerfield and just go out and hopefully I’ll play every day,” Fowler said. He added that he’s hoping to play all 162 games this year. Fowler hit .263/.369/.407 in 415 at-bats last season.

source | CBSsports.com
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
46074118114717.257.357.402.759

source | KFFL
——–

 

Top of Page

 

15. Gregory Polanco (CF)

ADP # 300

 

Here we have a great last pick flier for your FB team. He is one to watch to see if he gets picked to the starting roster, and if he does he will not make it to your last round. He is what this article is all about.  Watch him closely this spring and draft accordingly.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Regarded as the one of the top position player prospects in the game, Polanco batted .285/.356/.434 with 12 home run, 71 RBI, and 38 stolen bases in 127 games in the minors last season. The 22-year-old should make his major league debut at some point during 2014.

source | rotoworld
——–

 

Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, and Jose Tabata sounds like a pretty decent outfield, but y’know what sounds way better? McCutchen, Marte, and Gegory Polanco. That is what, yo. Polanco’s skill set is still developing, but he’s already logged games at the Triple-A level. He’s a Taveras/Baez brand of prospect who’s capable of surfacing in the bigs and blowing minds, and he’s set to arrive this summer for the Bucs.

source | razzball
——–

 

Gregory Polanco is – or at least very well could be – a five category producer in the immediate future. Polanco is a toolsy outfield – it seems like Pittsburgh already has a few those. He’s still learning to tap into his raw power, but scouts are enamored with his swing and advanced plate discipline. Despite being only 21 at the time of promotion to AAA, Polanco only chased ~16% pitches outside of the zone, and made contact on ~93% of swings at pitches in the zone, according to Minor League Central. Winter league stats should be taken with a grain of salt – even more so than Spring Training number – but it’s still nice to see Polanco building on his 2013 success deep into the winter. He won the MVP award of the Dominican winter league he played in by posting a .331/.428/.494 line in 166 at-bats. Polanco was also able to put on weight throughout the season – after being listed at 170 pounds to open the year – which should help his power production in the future.Polanco’s 2014 value depends completely upon if he is on the Opening Day roster. If he is able to break camp with the team he could easily be a very valuable asset. However, as it stands, breaking camp with the team might be a difficult task. A top 50 outfield finish should be extremely reasonable considering that Alejandro De Aza’s 2013 season netted him a top 25 finish at the position. Polanco’s projections are nearly identical – except for the discrepancy in batting average – to De Aza’s numbers from 2013. Pittsburgh’s lineup is hardly set at the moment. If Polanco is given the go ahead from day one and works his way near the top of the order, I’m comfortable saying I believe he will be a top-35 – Brett Gardner, 2013, territory – outfielder in standard leagues with considerable upside for more.

source | fantasy fix
——–

 

Polanco is one of the most exciting position-player prospects in the minors due to his combination of all five tools and a very mature approach to all parts of the game.His main calling card now is his plus-plus defense in center, with great range due to his speed and much better reads on balls than he was making early last year. He shortened up his swing without sacrificing any power, maintaining his high contact rates despite spending half of 2013 at Double-A in just his second year in full-season leagues. He’s a 70-grade runner out of the box, and his plate discipline and approach are way beyond what you’d expect from a player so young and inexperienced. He’s going to impact the game on offense, on defense and on the bases, a 25-homer guy with high OBPs and outstanding glovework in the outfield. The suddenly talent-rich Pirates can prepare to get even richer.

source | keith law
——–

 

Right field could be his by mid-June if Jose Tabata and Travis Snider fail to produce. Even if Tabata or Snider put up decent numbers, it’s just a matter of time before Polanco arrives. Scouts love Polanco’s speed, size and still-developing power.

source | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – Rob Biertempfel
——–

 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
12213292156.238.301.361.660

source | KFFL
——–

 

Top of Page

 

 

5 to Watch quick links:

[C] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF] [SP] [RP] [Prospects]

 

 

FB2014 Player Links:

 

 

Top of Page

 

—————————

Prosciutto and Havarti Jalapeno Poppers

 

INGREDIENTS

10 jalapenos- tops cut off, with seeds and insides removed
(6 -8 0z) package of prosciutto
8 ounces of havarti cheese
PREPARATION
Cut cheese into lengthwise pieces the length of the jalapenos.
They will need to be skinny enough to fit inside the jalapeno after being wrapped with prosciutto.

After removing the tops and seeds of the jalapenos, wrap the cheese pieces with a piece of prosciutto.

(Make sure to portion out the prosciutto so that there is enough for all the poppers.)

After each piece of cheese is wrapped with a piece of prosciutto, stuff it inside the jalapeno as far as it will go.
Repeat this process with all the poppers.

Prepare a grill for medium direct heat (about 350 degrees).
Grill the poppers for about 8 minutes total, 4 minutes each side,
or until nice char marks form and the cheese begins to melt.

High Heat , , , , , ,

Review are closed.

© 2014 FANFOOD, LLC, All right reserved

Designed & Developed by
SilverTree Technology