Fantasy Baseball Analysis: CF

Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready to Play…Centerfield

No one is head and shoulders above the rest, but if healthy all of last year, the Mets’ Carlos Beltran might have been! Instead, he’s one of the top three Centerfielders that are all within 10 points of each other. Those three were Beltran, the D’Backs Eric Byrnes (who also qualifies for LF & RF) and the Indian’s Grady Sizemore. All three had 20 or more SB with 20 or more HR and hit between .276 and .286

The next three are about 10 point behind the leaders and are former Twins and new Angel Torii Hunter, Detroit’s Curtis Granderson and Toronto’s Alex Rios (who also qualifies at RF). Granderson is coming off his historic 20/20/20/20 season while Rios had a breakout year up in Canada and Hunter missed 30 HR and 20 SB by 2 in each category. Given the Angels need for speed, expect to see Hunter’s SB to top 20 this upcoming season.

After a small drop off, we see the Giants new CF Aaron Rowand and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki after his first year in CF. Rowand scored over 100 runs and over 25 HR for the Phillies, but expect to see the number of runs drop as the Giants offense is no where close to that of the Phillies. Ichiro, on the other hand, should have no problems replicating his numbers from 2007. He hit just over .350 with an OBP just under .400 and scored over 100 runs while stealing over 30 bases.

Rounding out the top 14 (all of whom had point totals above 200 for 2007) we have only 1 player from the Al with the remaining 5 being (obviously) from the NL.

  • We start with the lone Al selection from the Rays’ in B.J. Upton who also qualifies for 2B. Now that he has found a positional home, you might start to see his numbers rise along with his comfort level. He hit .300 with 24 HR and 86/82 (R/RBI) for a sub .500 ballclub while swiping over 20 bases.
  • Then there’s the Brewers’ Corey Hart who also qualifies at RF. You might say that Hart had a break out year in 2007 as his line reads as follows .295/.353/86/24/81/23 (BA/OBP/R/HR/RBI/SB). He will probably be moved to either RF (likely) or LF once Mike Cameron is done serving his suspension at the start of ’08. If he’s hitting at the top of the line up consistently throughout the year, expect his runs and OBP to increase and his RBIs to (slightly) drop.
  • 2007 Rookie sensation for the D’backs’ Chris Young (Jr.) was 3 stolen bases shy of a 30/30 season. Look for him to attain that mark in ’08, but they should consider bumping him back in the line up if his OBP does not get above .300 in ’08 and he does not improve upon his .237 average. If these areas are improved upon in ’08, then you can expect closer to 100 runs or else 100 RBIs if moved in the order.
  • The Dodger’s newly acquired Andruw Jones, a move that will move Juan Pierre to LF (more about Pierre in a moment), brings both power and a winning attitude to the Dodgers in ’08. Although his average took a big hit in 2007 most people expect that to be attributed to the stress of being in a contract year. He still hit 26 HRs and 94 RBIs in 2007.
  • Newly acquired and suspended, Mike Cameron, will be playing CF for the renewed Brewers in the NL Central in ’08. Now that he has left a pitcher’s park, you should see his power numbers increase upon his return and he’s still a gold glove caliber outfielder.
  • Lastly, we have the new Dodger LF, Juan Pierre! Ok, he’s not new to the Dodgers, but he is new to this position (unless traded). Expect him to hit close to .300 and score over 100 runs with over 50 (maybe even over 60) SB in ’08, but not much more.

*Again, if you have any questions about other CF’ers, please mention them in the comments section below.*

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