Outfield is a thinner position than in years past and owners who wait to fill the position will find their options limited. While the sure bets are off the board there are still a few interesting options left but you're sure to sweat wondering what kind of production you will get from them. After the jump I will highlight some outfielders who should be available late in the draft that could help your team.
Lorenzo Cain - A change of scenery allows Cain to be mentioned on this list as he should get full time at bats for the Royals in 2011 and may even lead off. He has 40 SB speed but will need to walk more in order to utilize it. He is not a .300 hitter going forward but could give you .275 over 600 plate appearances. Everyday at bats give him value, his OBP will determine how much.
Dexter Fowler - Fowler has teased fans with his tools and could finally put it all together this year and become a breakout performer. He will struggle to hit for a high average but a strong walk rate gets him on base enough to use his wheels. He has above average power for a speedster and could approach double digit home runs. He will need to improve his baserunning efficiency but if he can regain Clint Hurdle's confidence he should be off and running to 30+ SB.
Raul Ibanez - Talk about bottom of the barrel. The aging slugger isn't what he used to be but he will get his at bats this year and he isn't as bad as many think he is. After a slow start in 2010 he hit above .300 in the second half and showed that his power is still around. He could have one more 20 HR season left in his bat and he should be able to hit .275. No one is anxious about picking up Ibanez so he should be available right til the end of your draft.
Wil Venable - Venable was allowed to run free last year and rewarded the Padres faith in him with 29 SB. As if the speed wasn't enough he added 13 HR in only 392 AB. He strikes out like he was Carlos Pena so he is a risk to hit .230 but if he can avoid strike three similar to how he has in the past he could hit .270. With 15 HR and 30 SB that would make him a bargain. He has earned a starting role with the Padres but his recent struggles against lefties may keep that from happening. If they give him 600+ plate appearances we should see some pretty impressive numbers.
Tyler Colvin - The Cubs may have a future 30 HR man in Colvin. 25 is more likely but one thing is for sure and that is he can get the ball over the fence. Making contact is another story. His penchant for strikeouts will limit his AVG. If he gets BABIP lucky he may take advantage of the extra on base opportunities and steal a dozen bases. Owners looking for power with upside could do a lot worse than Colvin.
J.D. Drew - The oft injured Red Sox OBP machine is showing signs that the countless injuries have begun to take a toll but he still has some left in the tank. He can hit for good power numbers and his AVG should rise from the .255 he posted last year. He is a major risk with his age and injury past but desperate times call for desperate measures and if you're really hard up for a home run hitting outfielder he may be your only option.
Garrett Jones - Able to partially shake the Quad A label he put up decent numbers in his first full major league season. He is likely headed for a platoon role which will hurt his value. He has decent power and can add a few steals. Most of his value last year came in RBIs so with less playing time he holds little value. However, he is on the Pirates so any level of competence will get him ABs and as one of the primary run producers he could give owners 70+ RBI with upper teen home runs.
Seth Smith - He has a good eye at the plate and above average power while playing half his games for the Rockies.What he lacks in a full time role. Struggles against lefties may keep that from ever happening but if he can figure them out enough to play everyday he could hit 25 HR with an AVG above .280. If you think this is the year he tops 500 ABs you could have yourself a nice bargain if you're right.
Julio Borbon - Last year was the first professional season that Borbon failed to hit above .300 and after a shaky April he showed he has the potential to hit that mark in the majors. His elite defense and Josh Hamilton's injury proneness should keep him in center field on most days giving him another shot at becoming what Rangers fans hoped they were getting when he exploded late in the 2009 season. He has 30+ SB speed and could even add a few HRs. He needs to walk more often to properly use his speed but if he makes a few improvements to his game this year he could be a solid roto contributor.
None of these players are money in the bank and there are others who could make an impact. Which endgame outfielders do you like in 2011? Feel free to share your thoughts with other readers in the comments section.