Perhaps no other position will fluctuate as much as the outfield depending on moves made this offseason. Players like Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth and even Ichiro (will he get someone to drive him in next season?). Consider these some of the most subject to change of the early rankings.
1. Ryan Braun – Huge upside despite a down season in the home run department. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he hits 35-40 bombs in 2011.
3. Carl Crawford – Most likely headed to a new city in 2011, possibly a new league. How will he adjust?
4. Josh Hamilton – All the natural ability in the world, but must account for injury risk.
5. Matt Holliday – While he’s not the .320/30 superstar that he once was, there is no reason to believe that he won’t continue to produce at his current and consistent level.
6. Shin-Soo Choo- Despite playing in 12 fewer games, Choo put up slightly better numbers in 2010 than he did in his breakout 2009. He looks like a .290/20/20 lock.
8. Jayson Werth- There are a couple things to consider when it comes to Werth’s value in 2011. First, his .352 BABIP was the highest of his career and a regression in AVG is likely (.272 career AVG). Second, Werth did most of his damage at home…
Home: 272 AB, .327/.406/.610, 18 HR, .283 ISO
Road: 282 AB, .266/.371/.457, 9 HR, .191 ISO
Where he lands as a free agent will play a big role in his 2011 projection.
9. Justin Upton – A shoulder injury held Upton back in 2010, but he also hurt himself with a strikeout rate of just over 30 percent. The sky is still the limit with Upton, who is only 22 years old. Even in a down year he still almost reached the 20/20 marks. His 30/20 potential is certainly there, so take advantage of his lowered stock in 2011.
10. Andre Ethier- Ethier started the season on a tear, but a broken knuckle in May really knocked his season off course. He just wasn’t the same hitter the rest of the way. At full strength in 2011, Ethier should get back to being a premier fantasy outfielder.
Others of note
Vlad Guerrero – .278/.322/.426 with only 9 home runs in 289 second half at-bats. He’ll be 36 on opening day 2011 and it is unknown if he even stays in Texas.
Ichiro – He’s not getting any younger and questions remain about the lineup behind him.
Jacoby Ellsburry- Injury sapped all of his potential value in 2010, but keep a close eye on his offseason progress. He could be a big-time stolen base bargain on draft day.
– Mechanical changes
in August could lead to a bounce-back season in 2011.
Alex Rios – Good numbers overall, but his second half fall-off is a big cause for concern should he be viewed as a top three round option on draft day.
Pre-all-star: 311 AB, .305/.361/.518, 15 HR, 23 SB
Post-all-star 256 AB, .258/.301/.383, 6 HR, 11 SB
Hunter Pence - 25 home runs and ten plus stolen bases for three straight seasons. Stolen base totals trending up and he is now the centerpiece of the Astros lineup.
Jay Bruce – 12 home runs in the season’s final two months shows his tremendous power upside. A wrist injury sapped his power for almost a full year, but he should be absolutely 100 percent in 2011 and the potential for 35-plus bombs is real.
Mike Stanton- 16.3 AB/HR rate in his rookie season. That rate translates to 30 home runs over 500 at-bats. Stanton hit a combined 43 home runs in 551 at-bats between double-A and the bigs. A high strikeout and whiff rate make it hard to expect much in the AVG department, but the power is clearly legit.