Draft Scripts: Using NFBC ADP’s to evaluate Outfield

In anticipation of the FSTA draft this week, I continue my early look at NFBC ADP’s, concentrating on the top 200 in money drafts. While the names continue to shuffle others stay the same. Outfield will be about trust, mixing some power with guys who can steal some bases and catching that bargain that others either overlooked or were burned by last year. It is evident in the ADP information that it will take due diligence and maybe a little luck to hit on the breakouts this year. Due the fact there are forty nine names to digest I made one chart and took the liberty of splitting up their strengths by color:

Red – 20+ HR, 8 < SB (Power); Green – 10 < HR, 20+ SB (Speed); Blue – 10+ HR, 10+ SB (Blends)

Here is how the outfield stacks up. I listed their draft rank below and also inserted their average ADP’s in the NFBC drafts to give an early indicator of their value prior to Thursday’s FSTA draft.

OF NFBC Avg ADP Chart Update 2

Keeping with the format, I have processed each player drafted in the top 200 in charts with their respective Steamer Projections courtesy of Fangraphs.com. After each group I will give some thoughts about how the outfielders stack up and then move to the next one. The first two charts will be in groups of seventeen then the last group will round out to the 49 outfielders according to the ADP numbers.

Group One – 4 Power, 1 Speed and 12 Blends

OF NFBC Projection Chart 1-17

I mean the first seventeen at most positions should be rock solid and for the most part the outfielders are. I have sort of clumped some highlights into categories since the Golden Globes just happened, so here goes. By the way I am not scared of either Matt Kemp or Justin Upton in San Diego but I wrote about that already here.
Safety in numbers: Adam Jones, Baltimore
He is not flashy and is always a regression candidate and he just keeps producing. It is like you do not feel great drafting him at his ADP but he is consistent while not flashy, which in the first round is not so bad.
Bounce Back: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
I was warning drafters last year to avoid Ryan, but I am back. Since his ADP is trending down, his health may be up and guys who produce 28 home runs and 12 steals are dwindling with a batting average near .300, so I am here with open arms.
Trust Issues: Michael Brantley, Cleveland; Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
While I am intrigued by the price on Carlos Gonzalez, his checkered health past, last year makes him a very risky option this early. But he could deliver a season like Michael Brantley did last year. Let that marinate a minute. Brantley broke through for a strong 2014, are you feeling lucky paying for a repeat? If you are the cost may alarm you.
Wild Cards: Bryce Harper, Washington; George Springer, Houston
Two guys who could determine how teams finish. I mean there is a 25 home run and 15 steal season while hitting .290 just waiting for Harper who people seem to forget is only 22 years old. With batting averages dropping across baseball again, a guy who could hit 30 home runs and if his legs stay healthy, steal 20 is tolerable if he hits .240, but the .240 could be iffy. If Springer gets his average to .250, then he is a potential top 10 outfielder. There, I said it.
Upside Play: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh
At the same cost as Carlos Gonzalez who may strain a pinkie or Billy Hamilton I can get a poor man’s Jacoby Ellsbury who is younger with more upside? Twenty picks later? Absolutely.
Group Two – 6 Power, 2 Speed, 9 Blends

OF NFBC Projection Chart 18-34

Safety in numbers: Nelson Cruz, Seattle
It is clear that Nelson Cruz’s huge 2014 netted him the Mariners contract which is twofold, first he will protect Robinson Cano and second he adds a power right handed bat that they have craved. While I am not saying to invest heavily in a repeat, he can still hit 25 home runs and you know what you are getting with Cruz.
Bounce Back: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati
At a time when power hitters are craved a strong return by Jay Bruce at a deflated cost would be huge for his fantasy value. We know he can hit for power, or at least should, but will his batting average return to respectability? Or does the shift have another victim?
Trust Issues: Charlie Blackburn, Colorado; J.D. Martinez, Detroit
One had a career year in Coors field and the other was an outcast from the Astros and found success in Motown? If I had to pick from the two, I think a repeat in power by Martinez is possible with some losses in batting average but his Steamer projection supports a solid season. I think Blackburn is a nice story but to invest in him this early when there are other options available late is a tough pick to justify.
Wild Cards: Rusney Castillo, Boston; Jorge Soler, Chicaco Cubs
A Cuban theme here in the wild card section so all kidding aside, they both have immense ability. If Castillo can translate his winter season statistics to the major leagues then the Red Sox have an even deeper outfield and should be dealing Allen Craig sooner than later. Not to kill the theme, but a power hitting outfielder is becoming rarer and rarer, so Jorge Soler has to be on radars. Since he could hit more home runs without destroying a team’s batting average I may venture to gamble on him since he can develop over say a Jay Bruce….the shift….
Upside Play: Jason Heyward, St. Louis
On my tombstone it will read, he trusted in in Jason Heyward. He has not hit left-handed pitching, well, at all lately and even though I sang his praises from the rooftops last year Heyward was replaced in Atlanta by Nick Markakis? Yes, that Nick Markakis. I am not saying that 20/20 is a guarantee but would it surprise anyone that being a Cardinal unlocked his potential? Would not be the first guy to have that happen.
Group Three: 3 Power, 4 Speed, 7 Blends, Melky Cabrera

OF NFBC Projection Chart 35-49

Safety in numbers: There is not really safety out here….

Bounce Back: Shin-Soo Choo, Texas
With health, it is hard to imagine a prohibitive top twenty outfielder in 2014 draft preps has fallen so precipitously, but Choo has. How many owners did he upset? In NFBC formats this means he is a tenth round pick and chance well worth taking. Unless the curse of Kinsler is real.
Trust Issues: Same as the safety problem, there are going to be trust issues here as well. Just look at the ADP’s of Alex Rios and the aforementioned Choo.
Wild Cards: Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox; Yasmany Tomas, Arizona
It takes some stones to invest in players out here in drafts and when you see the pitching options you will see why I am going to get power and hitters early and try to target pitching later. But I will take a chance on Avisail Garcia here since he could have a ceiling of 20 home runs with ten steals at an ADP of 172 on average. All day every day. The White Sox are going to score some runs. Yasmany Tomas will come with some hype especially with the breakout that Jose Abreu had last year but I fear that Tomas will resemble a different White Sox teammate, Dayan Viciedo. Tread lightly here….
Upside: Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh
There are all kinds of terms, post-hype sleeper for example, whatever you want to say I think Polanco had a tough go after his promotion last year but he is talented. After watching him in person I was a fan and he has presence. Though his ceiling in 2015 is probably 13 home runs and 25 stolen bases that is a bargain where he is going.
It is getting late so I am going to offer up one more chart with player that are beyond the top 200 in each category for outfield with their projections included. When you speak of me, please speak nicely.

OF NFBC Undrafted Chart with Projections Updated

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, ESPN.go.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/DKf0LS

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!


Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank OF versus LHP

Scary to think Stanton is slugging .713 vs. LHP & at 24 is just entering his peak power years
It is scary to think Stanton is slugging .713 vs. LHP and at 24 is just entering his peak power years

While working on the Script Splits articles, sometimes perception does meet reality. However, this is an imperfect process. One of the hardest things when playing daily matchups is not only recognizing what hitter has the optimal opportunity, but also maximizing that decision. Even when you play the splits correctly, it can go wrong. Once again I have tried to compile a list of the outfielders who have the best split advantages. Because of the high number of players, I have divided this over two columns with this article highlighting the best against left-handed pitching. There are some obvious choices, but as always there are some surprises. At the end I will try to tier them by the aggregate averages and will include three bonus plays. Here are the categories in which I investigated with:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

Since many of the daily sites refer to wOBA and wRC+, I thought these were two great target starts to dive into. First I will list the top 20 outfielders in each of the five categories above and then show the top 20 on average with their 2014 statistics versus left-handed pitching included at the end.

Outfielders versus left-handed Pitching (minimum 100 plate appearances):

1. Giancarlo Stanton .505
2. Jose Bautista .483
3. Adam Jones .477
4. Scott Van Slyke .461
5. Emilio Bonifacio .448
6. Drew Stubbs .447
7. Justin Upton .434
8. Alex Rios .434
9. Nelson Cruz .424
10. Rajai Davis .422
11. Mike Trout .422
12. Khris Davis .414
13. Jayson Werth .412
14. Dexter Fowler .400
15. JD Martinez .394
16. Josh Willingham .390
17. Josh Hamilton .390
18. Desmond Jennings .382
19. Brandon Guyer .382
20. Andrew McCutchen .379

1. Scott Van Slyke .400
2. Giancarlo Stanton .325
3. JD Martinez .320
4. Jose Bautista .313
5. Adam Jones .303
6. Mike Trout .294
7. Justin Upton .286
8. Khris Davis .286
9. Mike Morse .261
10. Jay Bruce .259
11. Alex Rios .258
12. Drew Stubbs .247
13. Desmond Jennings .242
14. Nelson Cruz .234
15. Marlon Byrd .233
16. Andrew McCutchen .227
17. Marcell Ozuna .222
18. Yoenis Cespedes .222
19. Ryan Braun .218
20. Josh Willingham .217

1. Giancarlo Stanton 1.202
2. Jose Bautista 1.139
3. Adam Jones 1.112
4. Scott Van Slyke 1.085
5. Drew Stubbs 1.036
6. Alex Rios 1.033
7. Emilio Bonifacio 1.025
8. Justin Upton 1.009
9. Nelson Cruz .997
10. Rajai Davis .974
11. Mike Trout .970
12. Khris Davis .962
13. Jayson Werth .930
14. JD Martinez .920
15. Dexter Fowler .907
16. Josh Willingham .905
17. Josh Hamilton .903
18. Desmond Jennings .879
19. Andrew McCutchen .860
20. Brandon Guyer .850

1. Scott Van Slyke 10
2. Jose Bautista 10.4
3. J.D. Martinez 12.5
4. Justin Upton 12.8
5. Giancarlo Stanton 13.3
6. Jay Bruce 13.5
7. Mike Trout 13.6
8. Marlon Byrd 14.7
9. Khris Davis 15.2
10. Adam Jones 15.6
11. Marcell Ozuna 16.2
12. Mike Morse 16.4
13. Yoenis Cespedes 16.5
14. Curtis Granderson 17.2
15. George Springer 18
16. Drew Stubbs 18.6
17. Andrew McCutchen 18.8
18. Torii Hunter 20.6
19. Carlos Gomez 22.3
20. Desmond Jennings 23.8

1. Giancarlo Stanton 229
2. Jose Bautista 211
3. Adam Jones 209
4. Scott Van Slyke 204
5. Emilio Bonifacio 189
6. Justin Upton 182
7. Mike Trout 177
8. Drew Stubbs 175
9. Alex Rios 174
10. Nelson Cruz 172
11. Rajai Davis 170
12. Jayson Werth 166
13. Khris Davis 165
14. Dexter Fowler 157
15. Josh Hamilton 155
16. Desmond Jennings 150
17. Josh Willingham 150
18. J.D. Martinez 150
19. Brandon Guyer 150
20. Andrew McCutchen 146

There were some surprises on all of the lists but I was really shocked at players like Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Pence not being higher on the lists. It shows how the daily game is changing the landscape of fantasy baseball as a player like Brandon Guyer who is priced appreciably lower than a former MVP provides value. Again, which pitchers the batters are facing are of the utmost importance and maximizing those matchups is the key. With that in mind, here is the top 20 overall based on the five categories.

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above:
1. Giancarlo Stanton – 15 R, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, 388/490/713
2. Jose Bautista – 17 R, 8 HR, 14 RBI, 361/465/675
3. Scott Van Slyke – 16 R, 7 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 271/414/671
4. Adam Jones – 23 R, 7 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 376/433/679
5. Justin Upton – 17 R, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 312/411/597
6. Mike Trout – 25 R, 8 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 275/402/569
7. Drew Stubbs – 16 R, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 7 SB, 366/423/613
8. Alex Rios – 14 R, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 371/404/629
9. Khris Davis – 18 R, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 1 SB, 319/357/604
10. J.D. Martinez – 10 R, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 256/322/564
11. Emilio Bonifacio – 19 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 SB, 403/442/583
12. Nelson Cruz – 10 R, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 370/400/574
13. Rajai Davis – 16 R, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 8 SB, 370/400/574
14. Jayson Werth – 16 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, 351/430/500
15. Mike Morse – 14 R, 7 HR, 13 RBI, 235/302/496
16. Marlon Byrd – 17 R, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, 282/321/515
17. Desmond Jennings – 16 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 274/364/516
18. Dexter Fowler – 16 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 333/426/481
19. Andrew McCutchen – 15 R, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB, 253/380/480
20. Marcell Ozuna – 12 R, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 272/314/494

Three Bonus Plays:
1. Jonny Gomes – 12 R, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 303/359/429
2. Brandon Guyer – 11 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 348/411/439
3. Hunter Pence – 22 R, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 4 SB, 312/368/456

Stubbs power/speed combo with 5 HR & 7 SB vs. LHP makes him a great daily play
Stubbs’ power/speed combo with 5 HR and 7 SB vs. LHP makes him a great daily option

I used the underlined players to create tiers above. In tier one they are all fantastic against left-handed pitching but I would use Scott Van Slyke more in GPP contests rather than cash games like 50/50 or head-to-head. His supporting numbers are strong, but his boom or bust ability makes him a risky play. Tier-two has options, as you can go with power like Nelson Cruz, Justin Upton and Khris Davis, or opt for a speed guy with pop like Rajai Davis, Emilio Bonifacio and Drew Stubbs. With the trade of Austin Jackson, Rajai Davis should hit leadoff against all lefties increasing his stock in the weeks ahead. One has to think that the Braves would give Bonifacio a look at the top of their lineup over B.J. Upton, but Fredi Gonzalez’s batting orders leave much to be desired. The third tier consists of solid players who you can target when they are hot. Jayson Werth is a prime example, right now he is a middling daily player, but his price jumps when he goes on a homer binge, the key is pouncing on him at the right time. Drew Stubbs is a player I like to use against southpaws, especially at home. His ability to not only hit home runs, but steal bases provides a nice baseline of points when building an optimal lineup. All of the bonus plays are great fillers to a lineup and names to keep in mind when they face a left-handed pitcher and can provide salary relief depending on the site. Not only can Major League teams exploit split advantages, daily fantasy and leagues with daily lineups can as well. Baseball is unpredictable, but advanced metrics help identify who to target.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/avjaLT (Stanton), http://goo.gl/nnY9xw (Stubbs)

The Sports Script Fan Duel MLB Lineup for 05/08

I am going to bring you the lineup I feel is the best for you to bring home some $$$ for the day. Early on we are fighting the guessing game but riding some of the guys hot bats to start the season.

 Terrible night last night!

Well everything I am going to bring you my lineup in which I am playing over at FanDuel.com –RIGHT NOW IF YOU JOIN Fan Duel and make your 1st deposit using the Promo Code – SCRIPT – You will get 100% bonus match on it!!!!!!!! Just do it folks.
Which if you haven’t joined just click this link here: http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3360b_2

The Sports Script Fan Duel MLB Lineup for 05/08


Don’t forget to tune into the Fantasy Forecaster each and every Wednesday at 9 PM EST here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/foryourconsideration or download the show on iTunes by clicking the link here. https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-sports-script/id850876078?mt=2

The Sports Script Fan Duel MLB Lineup for 05/02

I am going to bring you the lineup I feel is the best for you to bring home some $$$ for the day. Early on we are fighting the guessing game but riding some of the guys hot bats to start the season.

So/So night last night. I don’t like small slates and games that just have a ton of question marks. Makes for a hard play.

Well everything I am going to bring you my lineup in which I am playing over at FanDuel.com –RIGHT NOW IF YOU JOIN Fan Duel and make your 1st deposit using the Promo Code – SCRIPT – You will get 100% bonus match on it!!!!!!!! Just do it folks.
Which if you haven’t joined just click this link here: http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3360b_2

The Sports Script Fan Duel MLB Lineup for 05/02



Don’t forget to tune into the Fantasy Forecaster each and every Wednesday at 9 PM EST here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/foryourconsideration or download the show on iTunes by clicking the link here. https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-sports-script/id850876078?mt=2

5 Questions Surrounding Fantasy Baseball Outfielders

The MLB season is upon us which means it is time for the Fantasy Baseball season. We here at the Sports Script want to do everything possible in setting you up for draft day and helping you throughout the season to win a Fantasy Baseball Championship. We are gathering a team of Sports Script writers as well as some special guest to answer 5 key questions about each position for the upcoming 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season. Today we have gathered myself (Ricky Valero), Matt Bell, Matt Wincherauk and special guest Jonathan (@Jonathan_TTF) from Top Team Fantasy (@TopTeamFantasy) as we are going to take a look at the Outfield.

5 Questions surrounding Fantasy Baseball Outfielders

1 – Which player or players are you targeting?

Jonathan – Carlos Beltran: Everyone always looks for the sexy guys like Yasiel Puig (more on him later) and Billy Hamilton, but you win your leagues by grabbing those value players like Beltran. He’s 36 years old, but based on his 10th round ADP; I love the 8-time all-star who is moving from a tough ballpark to a launching pad in New York (check this out for a great read on the subject). He’s been more durable than you may thing in his last three seasons and will be almost a lock for a 25 HR season. I’d be shocked if he finishes outside the top 20 OFs.

Ricky – Unlike my buddy Jonathan and many others that I have had some nice chats about in the past, Yasiel Puig is a guy I not only want on my team, I am willing to reach in the middle of the 1st round for the guy. If you are drafting around the 5th or 6th spot in this year’s draft there is a bunch of uncertainty. After Cabrera and Trout, the field is wide open. Now I think Goldschmidt is a shoe-in at #3 but after him you have McCutchen, Cano and Davis lined up right after all of whom have some serious questions. If you are drafting 4th-6th you are more than likely not going to have a chance at Puig in round 2. I present the following things to you.

He ranked 6th in batting average (Min. 400 PA)
He scored 66 runs in only 104 games
His 19 HRs/382 PA (20.1% AB/HR) ranked 25th in baseball
12th in OBP (.391) higher than Cano/Davis/Beltre/Ramirez
His 160 wRC+ was 4th in baseball and was 60 points higher than the league average
Of the 56 players with over a 20% K% only 5 players hit .300 or better last year. Only Chris Johnson had a higher batting average than Puig did.

That’s all from a guy in his first season in the MLB. While there is talks questioning is work ethic (he’s “30” pounds heavier) or questioning his “character” but I am taking him based on his talent. End of story.

Matt Bell – If I have one of the top picks in any of my drafts I’ll be targeting Mike Trout who I think is primed for another huge year. That pick is obvious, so the other outfielders that I’ll be looking to target include Bryce Harper and Josh Hamilton. Harper is no secret to any fantasy player as he’s burst onto the scene pretty quickly in the past two years. He spent some time on the DL last year which really hurt his numbers. I see Harper if healthy hitting for an average of .275 with 30 home runs and over 20 stolen bases. Josh Hamilton probably makes some people throw up in their mouth hearing his name, but I really think he’s primed for a bounce back year.  Hamilton is going to have a ton of value at the spot he will fall to in most drafts. He’s coming off his worst year hitting for an average of .250 with only 21 home runs. Hamilton will improve over last year and being ranked 32nd in the ESPN rankings leads me to believe he can be had in the later rounds of most fantasy drafts.

Matt Wincherauk – Mike Trout. Not adventurous enough? Fine. I’ll go with Bryce Harper here. I feel like he’s about to really break out, like many thought he would last year before injuries got to him. More on him in a later question.

2 – Which player are you staying away from?

Jonathan – Curtis Granderson: We just spoke about the impact of Beltran moving to Yankee stadium, well Granderson leaving Yankee stadium will have an opposite effect. Here’s his home/away splits since joining the Yankees (given in per 100 AB numbers):

Home: 19.75 R, 7.03 HR, 17.41 RBI, 2.9 SB, 0.254 AVG
Away: 18.75 R, 5.8 HR, 16.85 RBI, 3.24 SB, 0.236 AVG

As you would expect, his power was significantly down on the road, and moving to a more neutral park (Citi Field) will only make matters worse for the aging (former) star, not to mention the stark difference in lineup around him. He’s already 33 years old and is coming off a year in which he was limited to only 61 games, so you’d have a hard time convincing me a comeback year is in the works. Don’t let his name value trick you into overpaying for Granderson on draft day.

Ricky – Bryce Harper – He is being over drafted in so many leagues this year and it’s insane. He started off with a Monster April last season and boom just died for months on end. He struggles really badly against lefties as seen below.

Vs. LHP – 131 AB – 12 R – 25 H – 2 HR – 16 RBI – .214 BA – .327 OBP

I think this is a make or break season for Harper if he is going to be among the élite Fantasy outfielders or not. With a current ADP of 12, I am staying as far away from Harper as I can.

Matt Bell – The player I’m staying away from is Carlos Gomez as he was much in the spot light for the Brewers last year with Braun hurt. I think Gomez is going to struggle to hit anywhere close to the .280 mark he hit for last year. The previous years he hadn’t hit anywhere close to that mark with .260 being his highest average. He has some power, but I don’t expect him to hit over 20 home runs next year and he just won’t be able to justify his early draft pick status.

Matt Wincherauk – I’m avoiding Ellsbury like I talked about in the first question. His power numbers might benefit from being in New York, but he is the biggest injury risk in baseball, and I can’t trust him. That and he’s a little traitor.

3 – Who is the biggest sleeper heading into 2014?

Jonathan – Melky Cabrera: How much of Melky’s excellent 2011 and 2012 seasons were due to steroids? We’ll probably never know. But the hate has gone too far. Melky was drafted as a top 25 OF last year, and although he’s coming off a terrible year that was largely due to injuries. He’s still going to be starting in left and looks likely to be starting in the #2 hole. There is absolutely no reason not to gamble on him considering his 281.7 ADP (79th OF).

Ricky – Khris Davis is someone I really have an eye on in all my upcoming drafts. He is coming off the board in the 15th-17th round right now and I think he has a much higher ceiling than that. He hit a pretty solid .279 and hit 11 homers in 136 ABs which equated to 1 in every 12 at bats. While it’ll be tough for him to match those types of numbers in 2014 but even if he balloons to 1 in 20, he will still hit 20+ HRs, hit for a decent average and may even steal you a few bags. I would take him in the 12th or 13th round ahead of guys like Michael Bourn and Torii Hunter.

Matt Bell – The biggest sleeper in the outfield is tough as there are just so many players to choose from, but the player that I think could have a big year that no one is talking about is Mark Trumbo. He’s coming off a year where he only hit for an average of .234, but he still hit for over 30 home runs and now he finds himself in a hitter’s park in Arizona. He’s got the potential to smash 40 home runs there and if he gets his average back up to around .270 you’ve got one heck of a steal in the outfield.

Matt Wincherauk – I’m going to go with Shin-Soo Choo here, just because he’s such a consistent player. Yes please I’ll take a player with a .300+ average, and a 20/20 guy, who should also benefit from playing in the Rangers ballpark.

4 – Which player will be a bust for Fantasy owners?

Jonathan – Yasiel Puig: We all know how talented Puig is, but a top 10 OF this year? You gotta be kidding me! In 2013, he hit .319 with 19 HRs, 66 R, 42 RBI and 11 SB in only 104 games. That means in 2014 with a full season he’s a good bet to go 30-20 with a .300 average right? Wrong!

If you look deeper, you will see regression coming up the wazoo. 0.383 BABIP, a contact rate of just 67%, a ground ball rate of over 50%, HR/FB% of 22%, the average will drop significantly this year and the power numbers should suffer as well. We saw that regression already coming when he only batted .214 in September and October.  As a top 10 OF, there is no benefit to grabbing Puig; he can’t possibly outperform his draft position. I’m letting someone else overdraft him and grabbing safer players at a value instead.

Ricky – Can I put Matt Kemp? Anyone that drafts him is in line for a huge disappointing season again. He is hurt again, may or may not start the season and could be on a short leash with the Dodgers having some depth in the OF. Another guy I won’t be drafting is Ryan Braun, while I believe he will be a nice fantasy option this year, I just don’t think he will match up to his ADP.

Matt Bell – The biggest bust that I see looking at the top of the OF rankings is Joey Bautista. He’s going to hit his home runs, but other than he doesn’t give you much value. He’s also missed games in every season but two that he has played in as a professional baseball player. Bautista just scares me as a player that can be taken way too high and spend more of the season on the DL than on the field.

Matt Wincherauk – Jose Bautista is my pick for being a bust this year. I think this is the year that we finally see Bautista fall off a bit from his usual gaudy power numbers. He’s constantly hurt, and his attitude doesn’t help him much either. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a name being floated around in trade numbers.

5 – Give a bold prediction for one player.

Jonathan – Ryan Braun has his third 30/30 season in four years and finishes the year as a top 3 OF.

Ricky – Mike Trout finally wins the MVP? Okay that’s not bold. Matt Kemp won’t play more than 120 games, not bold really either. Give me Yoenis Cespedes to hit .265 with 32 HRs and 98 RBIS.

Matt Bell – The Bold predictions that I’ll make for the outfield position involves Giancarlo Stanton. He’s missed some time over the last couple of seasons with injuries, but this year he stays healthy. The prediction for me is that he will hit for 45 home runs and be one of the top 5 fantasy players at the outfield position

Matt Wincherauk – My prediction will be that Bryce Harper tops 30 home runs, and solidifies his spot as a top 5 outfielder, in that group of Trout, McCutchen and Gonzalez.

If you have any questions about the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season make sure to hope on over to twitter and ask. You can follow me @rickygangster @mattbell211 & @TheMattyWin and we will answer any and all questions.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings

MLB season is upon us and Fantasy Baseball is back and better than ever! Over the next few weeks we are planning on getting you ready for any of the upcoming Fantasy drafts that you have. This week we are sending out our initial 2014 rankings that will be updated as Spring Training progresses. The week after we are going to answer 5 questions about each position as well as giving you some insight into some players that we like as well. Matt Bell is joining me today as we rank the Outfield as well as take a look at one guy we like higher than his ADP and one we have lower than his ADP.

2014 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings (as of 2/22/14)

Rank Ricky Valero Matt Bell
1 Mike Trout 
Mike Trout
2 Andrew McCutchen Andrew McCutchen
3 Yasiel Puig Carlos Gonzalez
4 Carlos Gonzalez Yasiel Puig
5 Jacoby Ellsbury Bryce Harper
6 Adam Jones Jacoby Ellsbury
7 Carlos Gomez GianCarlo Stanton
8 Bryce Harper Adam Jones
9 Ryan Braun  Jose Bautista
10 Giancarlo Stanton Hunter Pence
11 Jose Bautista Alex Rios
12 Alex Rios  Ryan Braun
13 Jay Bruce Shin Soo Choo
14 Hunter Pence Jay Bruce
15 Shin-Soo Choo Yoenis Cespedes
16 Yoenis Cespedes Justin Upton
17 Starlin Marte Starlin Marte
18 Justin Upton Carlos Gomez
19 Matt Kemp Allen Craig
20 Allen Craig Matt Holiday
21 Matt Holliday Matt Kemp
22 Domonic Brown Mark Trumbo
23 Wil Myers Domonic Brown
24 Jason Heyward Wil Myers
25 Carlos Beltran Michael Cuddyer
26 Mark Trumbo Alex Gordon
27 Ben Zobrist Jason Werth
28 Alex Gordon Josh Hamilton
29 Jayson Werth Carlos Beltran
30 Curtis Granderson Jason Heyward
31 Michael Cuddyer Curtis Granderson
32 Josh Hamilton Ben Zobrist
33 Desmond Jennings Austin Jackson
34 Shane Victorino Desmond Jennings
35 Martin Prado Christian Yelich
36 Billy Hamilton Shane Victorino
37 Alejandro De Aza Martin Prado
38 CoCo Crisp Billy Hamilton
39 Carl Crawford Alejandra De Aza
40 Alfonso Soriano Carl Crawford
41 Brandon Moss Coco Crisp
42 Christian Yelich Alfonso Soriano
43 Leonys Martin Brandon Moss
44 Brett Gardner Dexter Fowler
45 Josh Reddick Leonys martin
46 Will Venable  Nelson Cruz
47 Norichika Aoki Colby Rasmus
48 Austin Jackson Torii Hunter
49 Dexter Fowler Josh Reddick
50 Nelson Cruz BJ Upton
51 Ben Revere Will Venable
52 Nick Swisher Norichika Aoki
53 Adam Eaton Adam Eaton
54 Torii Hunter Nick Swisher
55 Michael Bourn Michael Bourn
56 Nick Markakis Nick Markakis
57 Michael Brantley Michael Brantley
58 Colby Rasmus Ben Revere
59 BJ Upton Khris Davis
60 Khris Davis Brett Gardner

Why I ranked (blank) higher than his Current ADP (ADP average comes from the rankings at Fantasypros.com)

Ricky – Yasiel Puig – Current ADP 10th – I have him ranked 3rd – Puig has the oppurtinuty to become one of the best outfielders in baseball. He has all the tools to do so and I think he will just add onto what he did in 2013. Puig is a 5 category guy and someone I would draft as high as 4th overall this year. In most drafts he will slip into the top half of round 2 and if you can get him on the 12-13 turn, you will not regret it.

Matt Bell – Giancarlo Stanton is going to be a steal in the outfield this year if you ask me. He’s got an ADP of 10th, but I’ll be snagging him ahead of some of the other guys people plan to take before him. He’s at 7th in my rankings and that’s simply because of the power he possesses. He’s been held back by injuries in his career, but if he gets a full season healthy 40 plus home runs is not out of reach.

Why I ranked (blank) lower than his current ADP.

Ricky – Bryce Harper – Current ADP 5 – I ranked him 8th – Harper was a disapointment this season and for some reason is being overdrafted this season. The price is too steep for a guy that really hasn’t lived up to potential.

Matt Bell – Carlos Gomez is a guy that I’m not very high on as he’s got an ADP of 9th, but can be found at 18th in my rankings. Gomez has had been getting better, but he strikes out a ton and one really good year is not enough for me to rank him ahead of some of the other outfielders in the league. I can even see him taking a step back in some of his stats next year.

In case you missed these, here are my Catcher Rankings (http://wp.me/p2MUTr-BY), 1st baseman (http://wp.me/p2MUTr-BZ), 2nd baseman rankings (http://wp.me/p2MUTr-C2), 3rd Baseman Rankings (http://wp.me/p2MUTr-C7) and Shortstop (http://wp.me/p2MUTr-Cb).

If you have any questions about the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season make sure to hope on over to twitter and ask. You can follow me @rickygangster and I will answer any and all questions.

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Trade Deadline: Where will the top hitters go?

The Trading deadline is vastly approaching and there are some big name players who could be changing uniforms over the next month. I am going to break into two articles, the Top 5 Hitters and Pitchers, that I think will be traded and where they may go. This may change over the course of the next few weeks, as teams could fall from contention and become sellers, or rise to contention and become buyers. Today I am going to cover the hitters.

Andre Ethier (Los Angeles Dodgers) –

With the emergence of Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers are loaded in the outfield. Ethier seems like the odd man out of the lineup. The big issue is that Ethier signed a five-year $85 million contract extension last season. So if the Dodgers were to trade him they are going to have to pay some of the remaining dollars on the contract. Ethier is a solid outfielder and would be good addition to any team that could use an everyday player. He does strikeout way too often but is a solid career .288 hitter.

Teams that could use him: Mets, Mariners, Rangers and Red Sox

Though I don’t see him landing in a Ranger uniform, I would have to think the option would be open for discussion. With Murphy and Martin playing in the OF along with Cruz, there is an opening for him there. But I think the dark horse is the Red Sox. If they continue to contend towards the break, they could use another bat down the stretch.

Where he will land:

The Mets, if he isn’t traded at the deadline to any of the teams I listed. I see him getting traded this offseason for sure. Also, watch for a trade in the August waivers deadline as well. However, I think he will land with the Mets which will give them a solid hitter in a weak lineup.

John Buck (New York Mets) –

Buck started the season red-hot and has since cooled off a bit. After hitting 9 HRs in the month of April, he has only 3 to date. There are a number of teams that could use a veteran catcher behind the plate. I also think a team in the AL could use him as DH as well as Catcher.

Teams that could use him: Rays, Tigers & Angels

With Chris Iannetta behind the backstop, I would fully expect the Angels to take a look at Buck.  I can only see them trading for someone if they are within a few games of the division or the Wildcard.

Where he will land:

The Tigers.  Victor Martinez

Alex Rios (Chicago White Sox)

Rios’ contract a few years ago was a bit laughable. Well, he has since turned it around and is hitting well. He is making $12.5 through 2014, and a team option in 2015 with a $1M buyout. So his contract is manageable for sure. He is hitting .276 with 11 HRs and 35 RBIs. He could be an upgrade for any team that would acquire him.

Teams that could use him: Giants, Reds & Rangers

As stated earlier, with Ethier the Rangers could use a bat. Rios is a bit cheaper and hits for more power. So the Rangers could go this route. Reds need some help in the outfield as well.

Where he will land:

The Giants.  If they are going to contend in the West, they need an upgrade in the outfield together with some hitting. Rios fits that bill for them, and I think they need to pull the trigger if they are going to try for their 3rd World Series title.

Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox) –

Konerko definitely is not the hitter he once was, but he can still play baseball. I would really like to see him play for a contender down the stretch, as this may be his last year in the majors. He does have 7 HRs on the season and could be a perfect 1B/DH fit for contending teams.

Teams that could use him: O’s, Rays, Pirates & Yankees

With Teixeira gone for the season, I think the Yankees could make a play for Konerko. He is also a good fit for AL East teams, the Rays & O’s systems, as well. All 3 of those teams could use some more hitting and Konerko could offer a nice addition to their lineup. The Pirates are another team that could use his veteran presence as well.

Where he will land:

The Rays, I think this would be a small move that could help them in the 2nd half secure one of those Wild Card slots. He would only be under contract through this year, and the Rays shouldn’t have to give up that much to get him.

Michael Morse (Seattle Mariners) 

Morse hasn’t exactly had a clean bill of health over the last few seasons but, when healthy, he is a solid hitter. He can play either 1st base or Left Field, which increases his value at the deadline over some others. He comes cheap as a team would probably be on hook for around $3 million for the rest of the season.

Teams that could use him: Rays, Giants, Reds & Pirates

Any of the teams I listed could really use him in their lineup. The Rays are a team I thought should’ve traded for him this past offseason. The Reds & Giants need help in the outfield, and Morse would fit there as well.

Where he will land:

The Reds, I think the Reds need to be a bit aggressive at the deadline, and getting Morse would be key if they are going to contend with the Pirates and the Cardinals for the NL Central Crown.

Other names to watch: Daniel Murphy, Rickie Weeks & Josh Willingham.