I posted my Top 20 Outfielder Rankings about a week and half ago, where I ranked Mike Trout as my No. 1 outfielder for 2013. Many Fake Teams readers opined that Ryan Braun should be ranked ahead of Trout since he has more productive seasons under his belt. I don't have a problem picking either of them and arguments could be made for either Trout or Braun.
Let's take a look at their 2012 stats, courtesy of Baseball-Reference:
Mike Trout, LAA
|162 Game Avg.||162||620||135||192||30||6||32||92||49||4||63||148||.309||.375||.530||.905||154|
Trout is having a truly unbelievable age 20 season in the majors, and production like this, at such a young age, portends of a very good career ahead of him. He leads the majors in runs scored, stolen bases, wRC+ and OPS+.
The real question for fantasy owners is what will he do in 2013? Can he improve upon his 2012 rookie season? I doubt it. But, let's say he does. Also, consider that he missed the first month of the season and still has 27 HRs, 116 runs, 77 RBI and 45 stolen bases this season. If you prorate his stats over a full season, he would hit 30+ HRs, steal 50+ bases an score 130+ runs.
Sounds like a No.1 overall pick to me. But, what if he doesn't duplicate his 2012 season? What happens if he pulls a Jason Heyward in 2013? That is the risk of drafting Trout No.1 overall next season. He has a track record of just one season. A might good one at the age of 20.
The other obvious choice for the No.1 outfielder spot in 2013 is Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. Fresh off his 2011 MVP season, and an offseason that had him escaping a 50 game suspension for testing positive for PEDs on a technicality, Braun has had an even better 2012 season.
Here are Braun's 2012 stats, courtesy of Baseball - Reference:
Ryan Braun, MIL
|162 Game Avg.||162||638||112||199||41||5||37||118||22||56||127||.312||.373||.567||.940||147|
Braun put up a 33 HR - 33 stolen base season in 2011, good enough to win the NL MVP award. This season has been even better for him, as he now has 40 HRs after hitting 2 on Sunday ( not reflected in the BR chart above), 100+ RBI and 24 stolen bases. He leads the NL in home runs, SLG and OPS, is second in runs and RBI, and 5th in batting average.
It will be interesting to see how many MVP votes he will receive from the baseball writers, but many seem to think he won't get too many due to failing the drug test last season. Even though he failed and got off, I think he is the NL MVP this season.
If we stop for a moment and agree that either could be the Number 1 outfielder in 2013, let's take this a step further. Who is your choice for No.1 overall pick in 2013? Trout or Braun?