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American League Outfield Stock Watch

Today brings another round of bullish reports. If you’re looking for cheap and readily available outfield help, today is your lucky day.

Brandon Moss
Over the past 14 days, Brandon Moss is 11-for-35 — with five of those hits going for home runs. He also drove in 10 and scored seven runs over that time frame. Following last season’s breakout performance was going to be a difficult task, though he came out swinging in April, May saw him struggle. Many owners on the fence about Moss ditched him during his May slump, and given his .153/.262/.333 line in 84 plate appearances, we shouldn’t be quick to judge those that were quick to drop him. Of course months — and seasons, for that matter — are all arbitrary end points and we can’t get too caught up in them.

But for now, let us get caught up in them. Between his very good April, terrible May, and thus far excellent June, Moss has brought his line up to .240/.328/.480 and now has 13 home runs, four doubles, and (somehow) three triples. Moss has just 49 hits on the year, so seeing 20 of them go for extra-bases has boosted his ISO to the top 15 of qualified hitters. He’ll still struggle against left-handed pitchers, career 93 wRC+, though this year the league as a whole has a mere 94 wRC+ against lefties. Basically Moss has been a tick below average against fellow southpaws this year. One can live with that as he rakes right-handed pitching. He is Matt Joyce 2.0, someone who will demolish opposite handed pitching and isn’t helpless against lefties. Whereas Joyce is owned in 64% of Yahoo! leagues and over 85% of ESPN and CBS formats, Moss is owned in just 27% of Yahoo! leagues and 50% of ESPN and CBS leagues. Moss is one year older and will strikeout a lot more than Joyce, however they will put up comparable counting stats and their RoS batting average should be within 10 points.

Mike Carp
The first thing people see when looking at Mike Carp‘s season to date is his .400 BABIP. The next thing people look at is themselves in the mirror, asking why on earth did they think about picking up Mike Carp. That BABIP is totally unsustainable! And they’e right, to certain extent. What many people are discounting is what Carp has done before coming to Fenway. Previously with the Seattle Mariners, the soon to be 27-year-old Carp had 608 PA’s spread across parts of four seasons. Despite being yanked around from the minors and majors, Carp managed a .255/.327/.413 line that equated to a .327 wOBA and 109 wRC+. Carp’s only prolonged stay in the majors was in 2011 where he hit for a .345 wOBA and socked 12 dingers in 313 PA’s. Last year was an immediate uphill climb, as he hit the DL with a shoulder sprain on March 28 and didn’t make it back to the majors until May first. Even after his DL stint, Carp was shuttled between Tacoma and Seattle too often to get into a decent rhythm.

What we’ve seen from his snippets of MLB action is that Carp has some power, he’ll have a solid batting average, but he will strikeout about a quarter of time. He’ll also take his share of walks though — career 8.6% walk rate — and if he continues to get regular playing time, he should settle in as a decent option in deeper leagues. Carp isn’t an illusion of park factors, though the move to Fenway is certainly a better hitters environment than Safeco.

For the time being, Daniel Nava is still listed as the left field starter, though he has started several games at first base. Partly to give Mike Napoli a rest, partly to continue to get Carp’s bat in the lineup. With Jacoby Ellsbury being a constant injury worry and Shane Victorino already having spent time on the DL this season, Carp should continue to see solid amounts of playing time. Carp projects to hit .275 with about 10 home runs and 40 runs and RBIs, but it wouldn’t shock to see him surpass all of those numbers. Carp is currently available in 75% of Yahoo! leagues, 60% of ESPN formats, and 45% of ESPN leagues.