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AL OF Stock Watch

Posted By David Wiers On August 13, 2012 @ 1:15 pm In Outfielders,Stock Watch | 6 Comments

Per usual, here are the Monday American League outfield stock watch updates.

Bullish:
Alex Rios – Since July 30, the 3rd best AL outfielder has been none other than Alex Rios. Commenter db thought that I should have ranked Rios higher in my last AL Tiered OF Rankings Update, and I may be inclined to agree more now than I was then. I still don’t love his projection, but a lot of his ZiPS is being influenced by his less-than-impressive 2009 and 2011 campaigns. To see this resurgency in Rios shouldn’t be taken lightly at this point. He is a five full category producer in standard roto leagues and barring a major collapse, should easily notch his second 20-20 season, but his first with a .300+ average.

Cody Ross – I just ranked him down in tier seven not even a week ago, but giving him a closer look, I may have under-valued him myself. I was mostly worried about playing time going forward, but Ross has started every game in August thus far. He did get five starts as a DH while David Ortiz was out, but plate appearances are plate appearances. I didn’t (and haven’t) fully accounted for just how favorable of a park Fenway is for someone like Ross. As a right-handed hitter with solid power, his current .255 ISO is over 50 points higher than his career average. His seasonal spray chart shows a pull tendency and when that is combined with his home triple slash of .306/.364/.621, no wonder he is still getting plenty of playing time. I was too hasty in not considering all of the facts regarding Ross, and now I regret it. Ross is still available in 60% of Yahoo! leagues and 40% of ESPN formats.

Matt Joyce – Joyce is another player that I may have undervalued. I had concerns about ranking him too aggressively for the rest of the season after his stint on the disabled list, but he’s shown that his power is largely unaffected. In just the past three games he has two home runs, three doubles and six RBI’s. After spending nearly a month on the shelf, Joyce took 12 games before socking his first dinger back. Now he has three homers in nine starts and one pinch hitting appearance. I’d imagine that we can expect a relatively high amount of power from him going forward again. His platoon split still isn’t pretty, but a 90 wRC+ against left-handed pitching certainly isn’t dreadful. When you consider that the league average (both right and left-handed) wRC+ against left-handed pitching is just 96, Joyce looks even better. He is owned in less than half of Yahoo! leagues and barely half of ESPN leagues.

Bearish:
Jose Bautista – After it was pointed out that Bautista was due for a second MRI last week, he has to take a dip in the rankings. Although he was recently cleared to swing a bat beginning today, he is still a ways away from returning to action. I guess sometimes no news can be bad news. It’s hard to be productive while on the DL, and without a time table to even begin guessing, Bautista looks like a very shaky pick to project for the rest of the year. The Blue Jays have no reason to rush him back as they are currently 13 games back and they have every reason to rest him even more than usual. Don’t expect a lot of playing time from him for the rest of the year.


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