Jayson Werth is down. Now that the surgery was ‘successful’ and they didn’t attach his kneecap to his elbow, it looks like he’ll be out twelve weeks. That means he’ll be trying to come back in August from wrist surgery similar to the one that once robbed an entire year from him. He’s droppable in most formats.
What’s left out there for those that are now less a Werth? Especially in OBP leagues, you won’t get a guy that combines the speed and power upside Werth had, but the options aren’t all worthless.
One guy that fits the mold perfectly is Dexter Fowler. He’s owned in 47% of leagues, so he’s your 10- or maybe 12-team OBP league power/speed combo pickup. Fowler has cut down on the strikeouts and is showing the best power of his career. He can replace a .350+ OBP with the same amount of steals. He won’t keep up this power pace, most likely, though. He’s actually hitting more ground balls this year, and the power is mostly driven by what looks like an unsustainable home-run-per-fly-ball ratio (21.1%, versus 5.5% career). It can’t be a bad sign that he’s making more, powerful contact, though.
If the power is more important to the speed, and you’re in a batting average league, now mashing is Allen Craig (37% owned Yahoo). He’ll steal a few bags if his knee is feeling good, and definitely has power. The problem with him is playing time once Lance Berkman is healthy. He’s got a glove for the corners, and the team has availabilities in the middle. Could they try him at second base? Maybe, but it might not look very good. In any case, with Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman being your impediments to playing time, it’s virtually guaranteed that he’ll be on the field some. Take him and worry about later… later.
At the next level of availability, there are a few options depending on your needs. Kyle Seager (27% owned) might break double-digits in both power and speed, and will have a decent batting average, but his on-base percentage will leave you wanting. Jose Tabata (27% owned) has a regular job and will give you more steals than Werth would have. He’ll hit half as many homers, so, yeah. Once he walks like he’s shown he can, his OBP will be decent enough to be an option, and his batting average should get better once his BABIP (now .280) gets in line with where it should be for a speedy hitter that puts two-thirds of his balls in play along the ground.
Drop down another 10% in ownership and things are starting to look dicier. Jason Bay (17%) is on the DL, but even at this reduced state, he can manage a .340ish OBP with double-digit power and speed. He’s the only guy that might give you a little of all three. Alex Presley (9% owned) could double-digit the power and speed, but is really no kind of an OBP asset. Samesies for David Murphy (9% owned), who also sits against most left-handers. Actually, you could say the same for Kirk Nieuwenhuis (9% owned), even (and worse, with Captain Kirk’s strikeout rate (29.5%), swinging strike rate (10.7%) and BABIP (.426), his batting average (and OBP) are headed south). Tony Campana will steal your heart (11% owned) but shouldn’t keep that nice batting average all year and has negative power if that is possible.
The deepest of leaguers need a 1% owned guy. He’s probably not out there — sorry. Andres Torres (2% owned) has power and speed and a walk rate. And he’s even making more contact this year. He’s got the upside to approximate like a half-Werth. Brent Lillibridge (1% owned) has power and speed, but he’s striking out like a power hitter (40%), while also sporting zero extra-base hits. Also, he has below-average patience! Andy Dirks (1% owned) is playing semi-regularly now with Delmon Young suspended and could be useful in batting average leagues. He’s a lefty with a better glove than Young, too, so there could be some time available to him later on. He could show better-than-league-average power and steal ten bases from here on out, so that’s not bad. Given his strikeout rate and batted ball mix, lefty Brian Bogusevic (1% owned) should be hitting better than .212. He has some patience and speed, too — just won’t manage league-average power. Roger Bernadina! The Shark (1% owned) has little patience most years, strikes out too much to be a batting average boon, and won’t manage league-average power either. But he steals some bags.
0%ers? Might as well try the Nationals’ own Tyler Moore, who has power and patience but might not make a ton of contact. The Nats tried Harper, why not try another untested rookie in the outfield?
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