Tuesday, March 5, 2013

CATCH!: 2013 Early Pre-Rankings--CF

How far down will Curtis Granderson drop on this list?



Felipe M


GREEN = on my keeper team.

TOP TIER

1. Andrew McCutchen: The time is now for "Cutch" to take over the top spot at CF after waiting patiently for his turn to arrive.  I don't even have to explain myself on this one.  With respect to Mike Trout's raw abilities and skills, McCutchen, at this stage of his career, is the more complete hitter and, therefore, occupies this year's top spot at center.  
2. Matt Kemp: With all due respect to Trout, it's hard to ignore a guy who is projected to produce an OPS of .907 (per ESPN).  By comparison, Trout is projected by the worldwide leader to obtain an OPS of .823.  
3. Mike Trout: There he is!  This year, Trout is projected to produce an OPS of, on average, .871.  He's also needs to work on his approach at the plate.  Perhaps if I were solely just concentrating on Roto-style ball, I would consider putting Trout at #1 (27 homers/48 steals), but I have to consider his unpolished discipline at the plate for the players who have to take strikeouts and on-base% into effect.  "Cutch" and Kemp are projected to have a higher on-base% for 2013.  
4. Josh Hamilton: Projected to have better power production than Trout, Hamilton is even less disciplined at the plate than Trout and also comes with plenty of baggage (injuries, off-the-field issues, etc.).  However, new team with established stars on the club should make him a happier, even more productive hitter. 

SECOND TIER

5. Bryce Harper: Could possibly be a 25/25 guy, but, like Trout, he needs to improve his discipline at the plate.  Harper is still developing his game despite making an All-Star appearance and winning Rookie of the Year honors.  That's a scary thought to have a player that's established like Harper, yet is still in the process of improving to greater heights.  
6. Adam Jones: I gave up on Jones a long time ago.  Even as his power finally developed as promised, it's hard to ignore his terrible discipline at the plate.  However, his adequate contact rate helps him get on base and provide a very heatlhy batting average.  He'll also throw in 15 stolen bases.
Yoenis Cespedes turned out to be as good as advertised.
7. Yoenis Cespedes: I attempted to draft Cespedes in the draft last year, but he went one spot ahead of me in the 6th round (which really is the 13th round in our league after taking into account the 7 keepers one must keep).  He can easily be a 25/25 player at his best in 2013 and his adequate contact rate keeps him at a steady batting average.  If he can imrpove on his discipline, he can easily be an elite player at his position. 
8. Jacoby Ellsbury: He can easily be an elite player with his speed/power combo, but injuries have forced owners to look elsewhere for healthier alternatives.  ESPN is calling his injuries "fluky," but a player that plays hard like Ellsbury needs to understand how to pace himself as well.  There's a thin line between being a "hustling" player and being "Eric Byrnes"--a guy who just goes at full speed just for the sake of showing his manager that he can go full speed at all times.  Ellsbury is not a scrub like Byrnes.  But he does need to be healthy to produce and be on the field to produce the monster numbers that we know he can attain.  
9. Curtis Granderson: I was ready to relegate Granderson into THIRD TIER status, but it's very hard to drop him out of the top 10 at the position.  I despise the fact that he has terrible plate discipline and strikeout totals, but sometimes those counting stats are so impressive, that all other stats that gauge a player's contact/hit, and patience can be thrown out the window.  As long as Granderson plays at Yankee Stadium, we can forgive him for being a quasi-all-or-nothing hitter.  He is projected to miss the enitre month of May.
10. B.J. Upton: And then there's the overrated Upton.  The counting stats are great, but even Roto players will be pulling their hair at his awful batting average.  His low contact rate, poor discipline, and laughable on-base% would make him practically useless in Head-2-Head/Points' leagues if it wasn't for the fact that his 30/30 capabilities can provide for an explosive outburst of production from time to time.  

THIRD TIER

The rest of the field: 

  • Austin Jackson (with a terrible approach at the plate and a high strikeout rate, how he is able to project to have a .348 on-base% is beyond me)
  • Desmond Jennings (still needs to figure it out at the plate, but when he gets on base, he can fly)
  • Alejandro De Aza (adequate contact rate and can actually get on-base and provide 25+ stolen bases and 10+ homeruns).
  • Angel Pagan (modest on-base% is made up by good discipline and contact rate. Can get you 30 stolen bases)
  • Shane Victorino (age and decrease in production is a concern, but still a solid play with a projected respectable on-base% of .337 and 28 steals).
  • Dexter Fowler (potential 15/15 player, but very impatient at the plate. Projected OPS of .812 is not too shabby though)
  • Michael Bourn (adequate contact rate will help him achieve projection of 45 stolen bases)
  • Carlos Gomez (15/30 player, but terrible on-base skills will hurt in both Roto and Points' leagues alike)
  • Coco Crisp (decent patience and contact skills will should mean an improved batting average and on-base% alike. Power seems to be waning, but is still a good source of steals)
Keep an eye on:
  • Adam Eaton (Until I see that he has "officially" won a starting spot, I'm not moving him from this spot).
  • Ben Revere (can rack up the steals, and contact rate plus speed makes him a tough out despite low on-base%)
  • Drew Stubbs (Roto leagues only)

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