Dear Mr. Fantasy: Thinking Outside the Batter’s Box

Boy, I have really taken some flak for my choices of players this fantasy baseball season. That’s okay. I like to think outside the box. When you state an opinion that differs from widely held beliefs, there are those that will react negatively. However, if everything went according to plan, then the so-called “experts” would always be right. Like most big league batters, they fail more often than they succeed.

It’s okay to rank players differently than everyone else. It encourages debate and gets people talking. As far as I am concerned, getting people talking about baseball is way more important than who finishes higher on the ESPN Player Rater.

Heading into the 2011 season, if you had said that the top ten fantasy outfielders would have included Curtis Granderson, Lance Berkman, Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera you would have been ridiculed. Your fantasy advice would have been called terrible and a joke. However, you would have had the last laugh as these four players all made the 2011 year-end top ten outfield standings according to the aforementioned ESPN Player Rater.

This season, I mentioned that I liked players such as Michael Bourn, Ichiro Suzuki and Jason Heyward for my top ten outfielders. I also stated that I liked B.J. Upton better than Justin Upton. All of these choices have been questioned and ridiculed at length. I am not saying that these players will finish the year in the top ten, but I do believe that it is important to think outside the norm when it comes to evaluating performances.

Many articles written prior to the 2012 season suggested prominent outfield performers in 2012 would be comprised of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon. These are all great names and were all good bets to perform well this season.   However, taking a look at some less-than-popular names has merit as well.  Just ask the fantasy owners of Melky Cabrera how they liked his performance in 2011.

Sometimes it pays to think outside the batters box.
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