Each week, when we cover a position here at Fake Teams, in addition to all of the content you've been seeing, we're going to be doing two staff posts where each of the writers will contribute a brief comment on a player they will personally be targeting in drafts and a player they will be avoiding. Yesterday we shared the optimistic side of this equation, but today is a day of reckoning. These are the players who we are weary of at their projected draft day values.
So without any further ado, I present the Fake Teams staff and their least favorite outfield targets for 2013:
"Sometimes when you're low on a player, it's less about the player himself than about the suitable alternatives who can be had later on. A player who can hit 5-10 HR, steal 25-30 bases, score 90 runs and hit for an average that won't hurt you, is a valuable guy. But my only question is why would you reach for those stats where Angel Pagan is going to go in drafts? Pagan was the 56th ranked OF in our collective ranks, but further down that list, you have guys like Ichiro (64), Alejandro de Aza (65), Adam Eaton (72), Denard Span (NR) and Jon Jay (NR). All of these players are projected to hit either first or second in their respective lineups and possess the same type of statistical skill set. So use that earlier pick on a starting pitcher or a risky closer, and come back to grab one of these other guys later on to fill out your OF." --Bret Sayre
"Curtis Granderson may be an ideal fit for the short porch at Yankee Stadium, but he's not an ideal fit for my fantasy team. The last three seasons, Granderson has averaged an impressive 36 home runs, but he's also seen his strikeout rate (career worst 28.5 percent in 2012) and contact rates decline significantly over the same period, leading to a fantasy team-dragging .232 batting average in 2012. Granderson turns 32 next season, and it's very possible we start to see the outfielder decline significantly over the next year or two. We've already seen an example of it in his steal numbers (25 in 2011; 10 in 2012), and it's only a matter of time before we see it in other areas, too. I still think he will put up 30-plus home runs, but I don't want a big chunk of my outfield production depending on whether or not Granderson can continue to offset his average with enough power and speed." --Alex Kantecki
"Look, I don't have anything against Mark Trumbo. The man gives a great interview. I'm not however buying Mark Trumbo as a top 30ish outfield option for 2013. He ended up at 36 in our consensus ranking, but I was the only outlier there as Ray, Bret and Jason had him at 30, 31, and 30 respectively. I was WAY low on him, ranking him down in the 60s. It is a bit of a surprising ranking, even to me. I care not for my neighbor's wife, but I covet the hell out of some power. So why rank him so low? It's not that I believe Trumbo's power is illegitimate, but his absolute collapse down the 2012 stretch concerns me. Trumbo got off to a hot start, buoyed by a renewed sense of discipline at the plate, and his numbers were through the roof. It didn't last however, tailing off starting in June. His power numbers remained excellent though, and that's why you're drafting him, right? Well, those plummeted in the second half of the season where Trumbo posted a putrid 630 OPS. Perhaps he wore down as the season went on - which would be less of an issue in 2013 as he becomes a full-time DH, a transition that should be an issue given his 948 OPS at the position last year. That said, perhaps pitchers figured out he struggles to talk a walk and feasts on fastballs, and thusly pitched him backwards. I'm not willing to bank a top 30ish OF ranking on him suddenly figuring it out given his backslide last season. He's got prodigious power, but he's also got a long swing and a quick trigger. He'll give you power with no on base and limited runs. You can generally find those guys fairly cheaply later on. I'm rooting for the guy, I'm just not optimistic." --Craig Goldstein
"I am the type of fantasy manager that will typically not use a player's age against him. For reference see my third base target of Aramis Ramirez earlier in the ranking series, as well as my defending of Paul Konerko for one more year. There are players, actually positions, where I am less optimistic however, and that's in regards to aging outfielders (especially National League players who do not have the option to DH from time to time) For this very reason, Carlos Beltran is my player to avoid in 2013. Beltran will play the majority of 2013 at the ripe age of 36. As Ray pointed out earlier in the week, Beltran's season has two very distinct halves. The first half saw Beltran slash his way to a .296/.382/.542 line, while the second half dropped to a .236/.302/.440 line. My main concern with Beltran and in particular his age in 2013 is the chance of an injury taking away a chunk of his season. His 151 games played in 2012 was his most played since 2008, and as I mentioned above, not having the chance to DH and having to patrol the outfield daily is not the best option for any player over the age of 35. While I do expect his batting average to actually rise some in 2013, the odds of breaking 25 homers, let alone 30, is not something I'd want to invest heavily in come draft day next year." --Dave Morris Jr.
"To me, Bryce Harper is the perfect storm of paying for the ceiling of his performance at your draft this year. Our consensus rankings have Harper as the #12 outfielder overall, and while I think he will have a very good year, if you have to draft him in the first three rounds to get him, you will need him to have that kind of year to get back your draft value. I just don't see a way that he ends up paying back the value you'll need based on that kind of draft position." --Jason Hunt
"I really like Giancarlo Stanton. He could hit 40+ home runs, drive in over 100, and score over 90. Those numbers, even without his .270 batting average easily put him in the first round of a 15 team mixed league draft. The only problem I see is that the Marlins traded away anyone who can help him get those numbers. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Juan Pierre fan, but he's not Jose Reyes or Hanley Ramirez. And did you ever think they would miss Carlos Lee? (Technically they may get Carlos back, but I am not counting on that) Things are bad. Just who is Giancarlo going to drive in or get driven in by? Solo home runs? What ‘ev. In 2013, Stanton is a top 15 outfielder, but I think he will only return top 30-35 overall-value. That puts him at the back end of the second round, or top of the third round in my book. Most likely he will be drafted in the first round and I cannot pay that price for a one-man-team." --Brad Dengler
"I am the low man on Bautista in our consensus rankings, as I see him struggling out of the gate after having wrist surgery. Wrist injuries sap hitters power, so I see his power numbers dropping in 2013. Couple that with a low batting average, albeit with a high OBP, I see Bautista disappointing some owners next season. Will he hit 40 HRs in 2013? I don't think so. Will he hit 30 HRs in 2013? I think he can. But also consider the fact that his power, as measured by ISO was in a 2 year downtrend before the wrist injury. Case in point-Vernon Wells fractured his wrist way back in 2008, missing 50+ games. The following year, after hitting 20+ home runs in 6 of his previous 7 seasons, he hit just 15 HRs in 158 games in 2009." -- Ray Guilfoyle