So. Much. Content. Can’t. Breath… Dude, chill. Yes, we’ve been cranking the fantasy baseball content — we’re in the middle of draft season, it’s time to make sure this stuff is on the site — But that’s no reason to hyperventilate.
What did I come over here for? … Oh, right, outfielders Nos. 21-40. After reading about the Top 20, you’ve been waiting a whole day for the next batch. And you’ve been waiting patiently, so let’s get to it.
This is an Average Draft Position-based list. Read the comments to know if the ADP is bogus or genuine. Projections? They’re there to keep things interesting.
21. Carlos Lee – A new tier, this tier runs through Ibanez. My leagues are pretty good and my leaguemates know their stuff. They’re going to let Lee marinate a little beyond this pick. You should, too. And take the under on the homers, if your facing that bet proposition. Projections: 80/30/100/5/.295
22. Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian gets a draft bump because he’s got an exciting nickname and because he plays exciting baseball. My projections put Victorino behind the next couple of guys on this list. He’s not completely overrated here. Projections: 90/10/60/25/.285
23. Bobby Abreu – Yes, Abreu is baseball old at 36, but until he stops producing numbers in the 100/20/100/20 range we have to slot him inside the Top 30. Projections: 95/15/90/25/.285
24. Alfonso Soriano – If you found your way to Chinstrap Ninjas, we kind of figure you have some knowledge about the fancy baseball, as grandma calls it. In that case you already know Soriano’s made of the brittlest of peanut brittles. He had knee surgery in September and is working his way back this spring. If you want him on your team, your going to have to get him around this slot because he still produces when healthy. These projections honor the time he’ll miss due to injury, so they could be a little pessimistic. Projections: 75/25/75/15/.265
25. Hunter Pence — Turning 27 in April, Pence is one of those players a lot of owners wish they had picked last season. Those 2009 steals were no fluke — he stole 17 in a minor league season. Projections: 80/25/85/10/.285
26. Andrew McCutchen — He turned 23 in October and could blossom this season. There’s more speed than power here and he’ll be held back some by the skimpy Pirates offense. Projections: 90/10/60/30/.290
27. Carlos Beltran — My notes on Beltran are pretty obnoxious, there’s writing in the margins written on top of other writing in different colors of pen. However, all of the writing talks about one thing — a knee scope that could cost him the start of the season and who knows what else. These projections feel optimistic, so he’s overrated here. Projections: 85/20/85/15/.285
28. Adam Jones – If you were drafting for upside, and you should, you’d want Pence, McCutchen and Jones in whatever order. Jones is only 25 this season and there are lot of potentially exciting young bats in Baltimore to provide R and RBI opportunities. Projections: 80/20/75/10/.285
29. Nate McLouth – He’s 29 and will be better than last year, just not to a level of excitement that is actually exciting. Know what I mean? No? His projections should clear that up. Projections: 90/20/70/20/.260
30. Raul Ibanez — Thought about cutting the tier at Jones, but I’m not afraid to own McClouth or Ibanez any more than Jones. Ibanez suffered through a sports hernia after he returned from a mid-season stint on the DL. Since we have an explanation for the second-half power outage, let’s take advantage of his potential at this draft slot even at age 38. I’d bet on the over for his homers. Projections: 80/25/90/.275
31. Michael Bourn — This is a new tier. If it had a name, it’d be “Man, I hope you got three outfielders from the previous 30 players because we got questions here.” This tier, with quite possibly the longest name for a tier ever, runs 10 players deep. There’s no way Bourn hits close to .285 again. So, when his BA drops let’s also say his OBP slips into the sub-.300 range he had in 2008 and 2006 and the Astros drop him from the top of the lineup. He’ll still get steals, but he’ll get fewer at-bats and score fewer runs. Those apocalyptic words makes these numbers look optimistic. Projections: 85/5/40/50/.270
32. Torii Hunter – His “groin pull” this spring was just breaking scar tissue, but a 35-year-old with popping scar tissue in his groin region this early in the season probably isn’t a great sign. Come to think of it, popping groin tissue isn’t a great sign for anyone. If it wasn’t for those two darn “i”s in Torii, you’d probably be able to draft him at a worthy slot. This is too high. Projections: 75/20/85/15/.275
33. Carlos Quentin – While Quentin has questions, many of them seem to have answers. He had a pin removed from his surgically repaired wrist and his foot appears to be healed. Let’s not start up the 40-homer talk yet, but let’s get a little optimistic with these numbers because not too long ago there was 40-homer talk. Projections: 80/30/80/5/.290
34. Brad Hawpe — Hawpe’s a fighter. He’s fighting his toe, his inability to hit lefties and his replacement — power hitter Seth Smith — for playing time. Hawpe’s split against lefties is terrible, so if there’s a viable platooner to pair with him, Colorado would be smart to move in that direction. If that happens, it’ll be hard for Hawpe to match this prediction. Projections: 80/25/90/1/.280
35. Jason Kubel – The power is legit for Kubel — that’s an answer to his question. He turns 28 in May. Expect good numbers considering his draft slot. Could get to 30 homers again easily. Projections: 70/25/85/1/.280
36. Alex Rios — My projections say 20-20, but it makes me question my ability to do projections. The worst part is, I don’t believe them, but I’m not going to change them. I’m not sure if I even want to know what level of psychosis a statement like that fits under. But I do know I won’t own Rios on any team this season. Projections: 80/20/75/20/.275
37. Michael Cuddyer – Hit 32 homers last season at the age of 30, a career-high by eight homers. And that other season was his only over 20. That’s a red flag, but the biggest difference between Cuddyer in 2009 and in 2008 was that he hit more fly balls. His home run to fly ball rate was a little elevated, but if he keeps putting the ball in the air, consider the over on his HR projections. Projections: 80/20/80/5/.270
38. Jay Bruce – Upside here at age 23. Bruce’s batting average is going to be way better and his power may be a little better. Considering he hit 22 homers in just 345 at-bats in 2008. All together now, Bruce is an upside super value pick in 2010. However, some folks aren’t sure if he’ll top 500 ABs. Projections: 70/30/80/5/.275
39. Denard Span – At age 26 now, the Twins just locked Span in with a five-year extension. His batting average on balls in play was significantly above the league average, so his batting average could plummet. However, don’t be surprised if he hits a few more homers based on his career HR/FB rates vs. 2009. Projections: 90/10/60/25/.300
40. Johnny Damon – He turned 36 in November and signed a big one-year contract with the Tigers. A lot of folks see Damon approaching 550 or even 600 at-bats this season. That feels like a stretch. Also, leaving Yankee Stadium is going to diminish his power numbers some. I’m not going to pick him, but as the 40th OF, he’ll produce when he does get ABs. Projections: 85/15/70/15/.280
Reminder: Bonus round returns after we’ve completed the entire outfielders list.