American League Outfield Stock Watch

Just over 50 games into the season — and about 200 plate appearances in — we have a little bit more information to judge our players on. One of the key statistics that tends to stabilize around the 200 PA mark is BB%. We’ll call today the all optimistic or all bullish version. Next Wednesday will feature the updated tier rankings, but perhaps two weeks time will bring us an all bearish write up.

Chris Davis
The rate at which Chris Davis goes unappreciated — even by the present author — is amazing. Davis now leads baseball with 17 home runs and is tied for third with 18 doubles. Adding to his value is his 13.5% walk rate, which, if you are scoring at home, is good for 16th in the league. His Swing%, Contact%, and SwStr% are both better than career averages and he has stated previously that “the patience is paying off.” Whether he specifically meant patience as walks, waiting for the right pitch to drive, or both the process seems to be working for him and fantasy owners everywhere. Davis is seeing four-seam fastballs less and less — 30.2% thus far — so how he keeps adjusting to pitchers adjusting to him will be fascinating. For now, pitchers are struggling to get him out, at least that is what it looks like given his .344/.437/.728 line. He’ll eventually cool off as his .381 BABIP comes back down, but given that he has a career .340 BABIP, he should continue to be a very good fantasy outfielder.

Michael Brantley
After leaving Brantley off of the previous AL OF Tiered Rankings, the present author is currently eating his words. Having rode Brantley last season with a mostly empty (almost) .290 average, being a one category player didn’t place him on the fantasy radar, not in a position as deep as the outfield. Brantley still doesn’t offer much in terms of power or speed, but with an improved lineup around him, his runs and RBIs are up compared to seasons past. He has shifted from hitting at the top of the lineup to the bottom third in recent games, however his average has held steady. He currently sports a .354 OBP which when looked at with last season’s .348 mark make him valuable in OBP formats as well. His rate stats will fall a bit once his BABIP stabilizes, however that should not discourage potential owners. Brantley is available in 60% of Yahoo! leagues, 40% of CBS leagues, and 20% of ESPN formats.

Alejandro De Aza
There is good news and bad news when looking at De Aza’s numbers.

The good news? He is on pace to have the most home runs of his career this season, and a 20-20 season isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility. His current .302 BABIP is 35 points below his career average and he has exclusively hit leadoff, boosting his runs scored.

The bad news? De Aza’s already less-than-stellar walk rate — 7.5% career — has gone down two points from last year’s 8.0% mark. Conversely, his strikeouts are up to the point where he is striking out in over one quarter of his plate appearances. He is hitting just .243 and he has a sub .300 OBP.

Hope relies on that vexing mistress known as BABIP as well as the fact that two thirds of the season is yet to be played. De Aza should hit .270 the rest of the season with double digit home runs and the potential to steal 20 more bases. He nabbed 26 bags last season (though was caught 12 times) and scored 80 runs. Expect good things from De Aza from this point onward. Make a trade for him now and buy low, then reap the benefits of him for the rest of the season.




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67 Responses to “American League Outfield Stock Watch”

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  1. fifa says:

    Hello.

    Who has more value h2h redraft

    A gordon or marte?

    Thank you!!

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    • David Wiers says:

      It depends on what your team needs.

      Gordon has the edge RBIs and average.They will probably end with similar runs and home run totals, but Marte has a huge edge in steals.

      If forced to pick one, I’d go with Gordon.

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    • potcircle says:

      i’d take matte… younger, better player on a better team…

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      • Clifford says:

        Marte is nowhere near the better player. Little known fun fact for you. Since the start of the 2011 season, only Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Justin Verlander, and Robinson Cano have accumulated more WAR than Alex Gordon. Yep, that’s right, he’s got the 6th highest WAR amongst all major leaguers since Opening Day of the 2011 season.

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      • David Wiers says:

        I wasn’t arguing who is the better player, I was arguing who makes the better fantasy player. A good 2+ WAR of Gordon’s in the past three years has been defensive value. He also gets a boost in SLG from his doubles, which unless your league counts TB, aren’t *that* useful in fantasy.

        I’d much rather have Gordon on my real baseball team, and I’d rather have him on my fantasy team, it just happens to be a close call on the fantasy side.

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  2. Giovani says:

    Lots of great information here, good stuff.

    But “the present author” shtick is officially played out.

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  3. Kip says:

    Hi David. Do I start AJ Burnett and Marco Estarda tonight and sit Tommy Milone? Thanks!

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  4. Scott says:

    Hmmm, someone offered me Chase Headley for Josh Donaldson straight up. What do I do? WHAT DO I DO?

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    • Cuck city says:

      take it you pussy

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    • David Wiers says:

      Yeah, you have to go on that.

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    • Charlie says:

      A year ago today, who would have imagined a legitimate Donaldson for Headley trade would be questioned?

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    • wily mo says:

      donaldson’s not faking this. obviously headley can be good too but if he never gets on the power track this year you’re gonna regret it. in 2011 he hit 4 homers. his career high before last year was 12. last year doesn’t always repeat itself

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      • wily mo says:

        to illustrate further: headley’s HR, past four years: 12, 11, 4, 31. this year, so far, 4 in almost exactly a third of a season, which puts him on pace for… 12

        granted, he missed some time, and the time he missed was for a broken thumb that might still be affecting him. so maybe he turns it back on in the second half. but when you already have donaldson, it seems unnecessary to me to make an upside play on a guy whose upside is pretty similar to what donaldson’s already doing right now, unless you don’t believe in donaldson, which i personally do

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      • Clifford says:

        I would respectfully disagree with your last sentence there. I don’t see Donaldson having anywhere near the upside to post .286, 95 runs, 31 HR, 115 RBI, and 17 SB. He’s almost certainly not going to reach even 8-10 SB, and I think he will be more in the 80-85 runs, 85-90 RBI territory. Right now, his 162-game pace would put him at .332, 91 runs, 24 HR, 100 RBI, and 6 SB…but I don’t see his .370 BABIP as being sustainable, and I would guess he will end the season more around .280-.290, 80-85 runs, 22-25 HR, 80-90 RBI, and 4-6 SB…which is still really good, but its just not really even close to the upside Headley showed last year.

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      • wily mo says:

        it’s a fair argument. i actually think donaldson can get to more home run power than he’s deployed so far. hit 2 in april, 6 so far in may, and he’s been hitting bunches of doubles. has less speed than headley, that’s true.

        can’t really do much to settle this except wait and see what happens. donaldson’s a legit, plate-dissecting beast, though. that’s all i’m really trying to say

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  5. rustydude says:

    Davis’ transformation dates back to last September where we saw his bb-rate tick up to 9.5% along with high babip and iso rates. His lower k-rate belongs entirely to this year.

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  6. vikedawg says:

    So my Brett Lawrie went on the DL, and he sucks this year so I need 3B help. I have plenty of pitching in a keep 6 league. Who do I use to try to get Beltre? Cobb or the Shark. I also have Wainwright but I think that is too much.

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  7. bryan says:

    Hey All,

    I co-manage a team with a friend in a head to head 12 team league. We have Ian Kinzler, so I just traded Brandon Phillips for Wil Myers and Shelby Miller and my co-manager feels we got robbed.

    Your thoughts?

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    • majnun says:

      Maybe talk with your co-manager before making a trade?

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    • Pops says:

      Considering Wil Myers hasn’t had a single at bat in the majors, I’d have to side with your co-owner. Prospects are really an unproven commodity. Shelby Miller should continue to pitch well, but how long will he excel with the two pitches that he’s been relying on? Brandon Phillips is and will continue to be a strong play at second base.

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    • David Wiers says:

      Well, I’ll assume this is a keeper league…

      Regardless, they posts below are correct. To make a trade without consenting a co-owner is selfish. Phillips is a very good player and Miller and Myers could be very good players, but you have to consult with your friend before making any moves.

      The deal itself is okay, assuming keeper league, but if it is redraft then I think you made a big mistake.

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  8. Fish says:

    Still think the fact you left McLouth off the May rankings entirely is unjustified and you should write something indicating as such.

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    • David Wiers says:

      It was justified then, not now.

      Does that suffice? But really, looking at what McLouth did up to that point, it was hard to see him continuing at this pace, let alone all the steals he’s racked up.

      So yeah, I whiffed. So it goes. Apologies.

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      • wily mo says:

        it wasn’t really justified then either dude. all those speeches about his past however many thousand plate appearances, but now one month was a small sample but two months is enough?

        he was worth ranking for the starting job and steals alone. you put jonny gomes on

        just own it

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      • David Wiers says:

        Well I’m glad you agree that he was bad for a bout 1000 PA’s prior to this season. As for “two months is enough” in some cases, this case his legs returning and an uptick in Contact%, etc, yeah, I think McLouth will be a solid player going forward.

        He’ll be on next week’s tier.

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      • James says:

        You don’t owe these clearly biased owners any explanation as to why you left a marginal player off a list.

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      • David Wiers says:

        Eh, it’s fine. I try to address every comment/question/complaint.

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      • wily mo says:

        @wiers – i didn’t say or imply that i agreed with it (“i’m glad you agree that he was bad”), i was just saying that was what you said.

        to i guess go ahead and address that point, sure, he was terrible for a couple of years. you didn’t say 1000 PAs, though, you said his entire career. but in addition to being bad for a stretch, he’s also been startlingly good for entire seasons in the past (remember his .356 OBP, 76 XBH and 23 steals in 2008? i do), has fantasy-relevant skills (primarily speed), a job, isn’t that old, and has been playing as with some semblance to the already-shown-to-exist good version of himself since late last year.

        nobody said he should be in the second tier, but to not rank him on an eight- or nine-tier outfield ranking that has weak-side platoon guys on it was silly then and is still retroactively silly now.

        sure he has collapse risk – no one else does? he has no upside? speed provides a nice floor? i’m not trying to be a dick here, i just really think you were and are being irrational about this

        …i mean, he’s got a .302 OBP over the past 30 days. also 8 steals, but, maybe you were right. why cave now

        @james – i actually don’t own him. i used to back the when he was good the first time, which maybe helps me remember that it happened and believe in him a little more. but thanks for the support, anyway

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  9. Josh says:

    Just got offered Carlos Gomez and Matt Harvey for Shelby Miller and Alex Gordon. Should I pull the trigger on that? Feel like Gordon is kind of a sell high candidate.

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    • David Wiers says:

      I like Harvey more than Miller. Gomez provides more 5×5 value than Gordon too.

      If you’re getting Gomez and Harvey, I’d do this deal.

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    • gjones says:

      I don’t understand why someone would offer you that trade.
      I wouldn’t be able to hit accept fast enough, nevermind go ask about it on RG…

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  10. Josh says:

    I would be getting Gomez/Harvey. It’s a 13 team roto keeper, and I need speed desperately. I was just worried about the potential drop in Rs/RBIs from Gordon to Gomez.

    Thanks for the response David, I really appreciate it.

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  11. Ben says:

    Good stuff David,

    I was offered David Wright and David Price for my Miguel Cabrera. I’m torn. What are your thoughts?

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    • David Wiers says:

      I’d do that deal. Cabrera is a monster, but Wright is no slouch himself. There will be an RBI drop off but if you need pitching help at all, then I like this deal.

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      • Ashman says:

        No concern about Price’s arm?

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      • David Wiers says:

        Sure, there is concern when acquiring any injured player, particularly when it is a pitcher.

        He’s played catch in back-to-back days now. There still isn’t a timetable for his return, but I still go with this deal.

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    • Cuck city says:

      you are genuinely mentally challenged if you dont do that now

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  12. Emcee Peepants says:

    With Brett Lawrie on the DL as my only 3B eligible player, I am forced to choose from the pu pu platter of Keppinger, Aviles, or Gillaspie as the top options. Thoughts? Suggestions? Condolences?

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  13. Jon says:

    You rather De Aza or Revere as 5th OF in 6×6 with OPS added. OPS a consideration but not the only one.

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  14. Jonathan says:

    Chris Davis just hit out number 18…
    The legend continues to grow…

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  15. Phil says:

    ROS: Daniel Nava or Andy Dirks? Ugh.

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  16. Richard says:

    Hey,
    I have Andrelton Simmons, Jean Segura and Starlin Castro…which 1 of the 3 should I drop or potentially try and trade (and any realistic targets if possible). 6×6 OBP H2h.
    Would appreciate any comments.
    Thanks

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    • David Wiers says:

      Castro can probably give you the most in return, Segura would be the best sell-high candidate and Simmons hasn’t been what I’d hoped he be yet.

      I’d try to move Segura of any of them.

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