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Fake Teams Fantasy All-Stars: The Outfield

Kemp's greatest accomplishment to date?  Making this list.
Kemp's greatest accomplishment to date? Making this list.

To give a Scrabble (or in modern day terms, Words with Friends) analogy; Outfielders are the "E's" of Fantasy Baseball.  Rough math tells us that there are three times as many outfielders as there are any other individual position.  Therefore, their value goes down a bit.  If a catcher can hit like a right fielder, then he's going to be treated like a "Z" because it so rarely happens.  It's much more common for an outfielder to be a good hitter.

So its hard to pick just three that are the best.  There's a good amount of players outside of the diamond that can provide power and speed, I am only given the option to select three names that can make the Fantasy All-Star squad.  Try not to be upset if an "obvious" choice did not make it, I promise you that the following three names are three worthy names out of at least a dozen deserving candidates. 

Jose Bautista would head the list, but I've already slotted him at third base for good reason.  In lieu of him, here is your Fake Teams Fantasy Outfield:

Matt Kemp, LAD

Before I was a writer for FakeTeams, I famously (famous to Ray and whoever was reading at the time) declared Matt Kemp a bust and I was going to stay away from him.  So of course, I am now a writer for FakeTeams.  Those who can't do, write I suppose.

Kemp is hitting .324/.408/.603, 22 HR, 25 SB, 64 RBI, 54 R.  His walk rate is 4.4 percentage points higher than his career average, and he has a career high .279 ISO.  Kemp is playing at his absolute peak abilities right now, and even though his BABIP is .364, he did once maintain a .361 BABIP over the entire 2008 season, so this is sustainable.

He has been consistently good throughout the season and over his last 31 games is slugging .717 with 9 HR, 24 RBI, and 11 stolen bases without being caught.  He's well within reach of a 40/40 season.

The rest of the outfield after the jump...

Ryan Braun, MIL

While consistently good since the beginning of his career, Braun has never quite been able to recapture what he was able to do in his awesome rookie season when he hit .324/.370/.634 with 34 and 97 RBI in only 113 games.  Though he's won 3 straight Silver Slugger awards, he's also slowly declined a little bit each year. 

Well, if he's not entirely back on the right track this year, he's at least improved one dimension of his game: stolen bases.  He currently has 19 through the midway point, just 1 off of his career high.  While still on pace for another 30 home run season, and a career high .402 OBP, Braun is just behind Kemp in terms of being the total fantasy package. 

He is currently on a 22-game hitting streak.

Curtis Granderson, NYY

Jason already wrote about Granderson as an All-Star here

I give him the edge over Lance Berkman because while their numbers are very similar, Granderson has 15 SB and Berkman has none.

I also give him the edge over Jacoby Ellsbury because while Ellsbury has 13 more SB and 20 more hits, Granderson has 15 more HR, 18 more runs, and 17 more RBI.