Mar 23, 2012

2012 Position Analysis & Draft Outlook - Outfielders




Determining position scarcity at the outfield position is a tricky venture because the depth of the position is completely relative to the number of outfielders that you start in your league. In a three outfielder league, you may think that this position is incredibly deep but an owner in a five outfielder league may be pretty upset with the options for his starting 5th outfielder. Regardless of how we look at it, there is talent to be found throughout the entire draft for this position though.

Here's a glance at how the position progresses throughout a standard 12-team draft:


The various outfielders are represented by the grey dots with the draft round going horizontally and the projected roto value going vertically. There's a mix of some really elite talent in the first few rounds before the value seemingly drops down a level from Round 3 to 8 and then takes another huge dip towards  mediocrity after that.

That's all fine and good but let's see how that sort of trend compares to the other positions out there:

The trend for outfielders is represented by the red line with the grey lines representing all of the other positions. In comparison to most other positions, this is the most standard regression we'll see. In the first few rounds of the draft, it's one of the highest producing positions and it stays towards the top in the middle rounds while even finishing among the highest producing positions towards the end. 

Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun are the cream of the crop here. If we take a step down from those two, there's a nice tier of similarly valued players with Jose Bautista, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzalez and Curtis Granderson. Any one of those players is projected to give you nice value but they're all gone by the conclusion of the second round.

At that point, we see the next drop in talent with a group of players like Andrew McCutchen to Carl Crawford over the next four rounds. By the conclusion of the 6th round, you hope to have two good outfielders for your squad because the talent drops off considerably after that. But, that's not to say there isn't value to be had. For instance, B.J. Upton and Adam Jones project quite well over those next few rounds but they are outliers among the next group of players.

In the later rounds, when you're looking to either fill up your bench or your final OF spots in a five outfielder league, there are a couple of decent options. Nick Markakis represents the best late round value as he is seemingly always undervalued. Austin Jackson, Alex Rios and Delmon Young are decent late round options as well to fill out your team that are a bit undervalued but have a nice history.

And, of course, there are some saucy sleeper options in the late rounds here even if the projections don't show a breakout coming. This position has more late round sleepers than any with tons of talented players getting new opportunities. Just to name a few, you may want to look at Lucas Duda, John Mayberry, Alejandro De Aza or a Nolan Reimold as nice sleepy outfielders to stash away.

This is a position that you can't ignore early on. You have to try to get at least two above average options even if you're in a three outfielder league. When it comes to outfielders, the talent is distributed in noticeable waves so you need to plan accordingly. A good strategy is to get the guys you can trust early, the guys who might take a step forward in the middle rounds, a couple of trustworthy guys to fill out your lineup before you fill out your roster with the potential breakout stars.

Outfielder Average Draft Position and Projected Value in 12-Team League
Name
ADP Rd
Werth Total
Matt Kemp
1.2
8.1
Jose Bautista
1.4
5.1
Jacoby Ellsbury
1.8
5.4
Justin Upton
1.9
5.7
Carlos Gonzalez
2.2
5.8
Curtis Granderson
2.6
5.1
Ryan Braun
2.6
8.8
Mike Stanton
3
3.5
Andrew McCutchen
3.2
3.3
Josh Hamilton
3.7
2.8
Matt Holliday
3.9
3.4
Hunter Pence
4.7
3.3
Nelson Cruz
4.7
1
Jay Bruce
4.9
2.6
Michael Bourn
5.3
2.3
Carl Crawford
6
2.2
Desmond Jennings
6.2
-1.2
Alex Gordon
6.4
0.8
Michael Morse
6.5
-0.5
Shane Victorino
6.6
0.8
Shin-Soo Choo
6.8
-1.3
B.J. Upton
7.1
2.1
Lance Berkman
7.2
0.3
Corey Hart
7.9
0.5
Adam Jones
8.1
2
Michael Cuddyer
8.7
1.3
Ichiro Suzuki
8.8
1.1
Brett Gardner
8.8
0.1
Jason Heyward
9.1
-1.6
Drew Stubbs
9.4
0.2
Jayson Werth
9.6
0.6
Chris B. Young
10.3
-1
Andre Ethier
10.9
0.2
Carlos Beltran
11
-1.4
Cameron Maybin
11.4
-2.2
Nick Markakis
12.1
1.6
Nick Swisher
12.2
0.5
Logan Morrison
13.2
-2.7
Coco Crisp
13.2
-1.7
Martin Prado
13.4
-2
Melky Cabrera
13.6
0.1
Peter Bourjos
13.8
-1.8
Jeff Francoeur
15.3
-0.3
Torii Hunter
15.4
0.3
Austin Jackson
15.6
-0.1
Matt Joyce
15.6
-1.7
Carlos Lee
15.9
-0.1
Angel Pagan
16
-1.1
Josh Willingham
16.8
-1.7
Juan Pierre
17.4
-3.7
Brandon Belt
17.5
-4.6
Alex Rios
17.6
-0.6
Delmon Young
17.7
-0.1
Colby Rasmus
17.8
-0.5
Dexter Fowler
18.1
-2.6
Lucas Duda
18.1
-4
Brennan Boesch
18.2
-1.1
Jose Tabata
18.2
-2.6
Carlos Quentin
18.3
-2.5
Jason Kubel
18.4
-2.5
Mike Trout
18.4
-4.9
Lorenzo Cain
18.5
-6.2
Jason Bourgeois
18.9
-6.5
Yonder Alonso
18.9
-6.4
Seth Smith
19
-3.3
Vernon Wells
19
-2.9
John Mayberry
19.1
-4.4
Alejandro De Aza
19.3
-3.6
Ben Revere
19.4
-3.7
Grady Sizemore
19.5
-5.8
Alfonso Soriano
19.7
-3.6
Nyjer Morgan
19.7
-4.3
Jason Bay
19.7
-2.7
Rajai Davis
19.8
-4.9
Allen Craig
20
-4.5
Dayan Viciedo
20.1
-3.6
Chris Heisey
20.1
-4.7
Ryan Raburn
20.1
-4
Michael Brantley
20.1
-3
J.D. Martinez
20.1
-3.7
Bryan LaHair
20.5
-5.7
Alex Presley
20.6
-3.8
Garrett Jones
20.7
-3
Domonic Brown
20.7
-7.1
Denard Span
20.7
-3.5
Luke Scott
20.8
-5.1
Raul Ibanez
21.1
-4.1
Will Venable
21.2
-3.7
Jon Jay
21.7
-3.3
Ryan Ludwick
21.7
-3
Nolan Reimold
21.9
-4.9
Eric Thames
22
-3.2
Josh Reddick
22.7
-5.4
David Murphy
23.5
-2.8
Cody Ross
23.6
-3.6
Andres Torres
24.3
-4.6
Jerry Sands
24.4
-7.1
Travis Snider
25.3
-6.7
Marlon Byrd
26.1
-3.5
David DeJesus
26.2
-3.4
Chris Coghlan
26.2
-6.5
Franklin Gutierrez
26.5
-5
Brent Lillibridge
29.1
-7
Juan Rivera
32.4
-4.4

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