I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, I know I did. I assume that you’re all ready and can’t wait to get back to work, I know I am (just in case the boss sees this). What better way to spend your Monday lunch break than reading up on the current state of my opinion on the American League Outfield?
Nick Markakis – Although its only been three games since his activation from the disabled list, Markakis is showing us that he hasn’t missed a beat. He has four extra base hits already, all of the doubles variety. He is currently owned in just 58% of Yahoo! leagues and 64% of ESPN leagues. He is guaranteed playing time and at his best he is able to fill all five major fantasy categories. He deserves to be owned in all but the shallowest of formats.
Yoenis Cespedes – Cespedes has hit a home run in two straight games coming into today and is also coming off of his first career four hit game. He is still swinging at a few too many pitches for my taste (14.3 SwStr%) but there should be zero doubt about his power at this point. His ZiPS rest of season calls for nine homers, but I’d take the over on that. After a total of two homers in an injury shortened May and June, Cespedes should bounce back into form for the rest of the season. If you’re looking for what could be perceived as cheap power (at least in redraft leagues), he is a nice trade target.
Dayan Viciedo – Sure his AVG is pretty brutal, but Viciedo has been a legitimate source of homers and RBI up to this point. He should see his AVG raise to the .270 neighborhood, at least according to ZiPS. With enough power to hit double digit home runs from this point on, Viciedo is definitely a cheap and available source of power. He is sitting on the waiver wire in over 70% of Yahoo! leagues and almost 80% of ESPN formats. If you have a struggling or injured outfielder, grab Viciedo to help stem the bleeding.
Desmond Jennings – After continually dropping him in the monthly Tiered Rankings Update, Jennings still hasn’t responded the way fantasy owners have been hoping for. And yes, of course if he played better it would be in response to the fact that I ranked him so aggressively. Of course! In the last edition of the AL Tiered Rankings Update, reader and commenter Everdiso made solid points about “not getting the hype” surrounding Jennings, and Jennings hasn’t done anything to prove Everdiso wrong. Over the past 30 days, Jennings has just 18 hits and a .198 AVG. He does have seven steals over that time frame, but that hardly justifies where many (myself included) fantasy owners drafted him. Jennings only projects to hit for a .250 AVG for the rest of the way. In redraft leagues I’d look to trade Jennings to an owner who is looking for speed and for someone who goes with name recognition. In dynasty leagues I’d pray to Jobu and hope that he takes the fear out of Jennings’ bat.
A lot of players are coming back from injury right now, with Jacoby Ellsbury back already, Carl Crawford soon to follow him and apparently (maybe) Brett Gardner soon after. I am pretty optimistic on all of them, but cautiously optimistic on Crawford. None of those three players should be available in your leagues, but if you want my opinion on whom to target in a trade, I’d take Ellsbury, Gardner and Crawford in that order. With these players coming back, this causes an adverse effect on players such as Daniel Nava, Cody Ross and Raul Ibanez. I am of course skeptical of their playing times, and thus am bearish on them. Rather than breaking this opinion up on six separate paragraphs, I figured this would be the easiest way of conveying my thoughts.