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Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE OUTFIELDERS EXCERPT

We continue moving forward with our full transition to covering 2016 fantasy baseball by taking an excerpt look at our in-depth outfielder profiles and rankings in our annual Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide which is jam-packed with 268 pages. 

Also if you haven't picked up our copy yet, use the BUY NOW tab below to get your copy: 

 
OUTFIELDERS

Draft Strategy:  As we have already discussed, The Fantasy Sports Boss staff are of the mind that you should use your first or second round pick on a five-tool outfielder at the outset of your draft.  When we say five-tool outfielder, we include the following names that are worthy of being selected in the first two rounds, as well as the slugging outfielders who made the top 24 grade: 

Round 1:  Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper

Round 2:  Adam Jones. Ryan Braun, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gomez, A.J. Pollock (yes he is worth of such a grade now), Starling Marte, Nelson Cruz. 

Any of these names can anchor your outfield, whether you start three or five.  Those formats that use three should get their initial outfielder in the first two rounds, make an effort to grab a second before Round 8, and then round out the position in the middle rounds.  With regards to five outfielder formats, make sure you have two by Round 7, following that up with two more by Round 14, and round things out with your fifth option in the latter rounds of the draft.  Outfield runs the gamut in terms of all-around five-tool guys, .300-hitting sluggers, all the way to home run or stolen base one-trick ponies.  There are more than enough options to go around here in the deepest position in the game outside of first base. 

1.  Mike Trout:  Already the consensus number 1 player in all of fantasy baseball by a mile, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout achieved yet another plateau of production in 2015 as he reached the 40-home mark for the first time with 41.  It just added to the ridiculous set of numbers that Trout has produced on an annual basis, with no debate whatsoever about who should go number 1 in all drafts.  What is truly amazing is that Trout begins the 2015 season still incredibly young at the age of 24 and that means he actually has a few seasons left of upside if you can believe it.  There is nothing more to say here about what a dominant player Trout is and his five tool ability remains despite the fact his stolen bases sank to a career-low 11 in 2015.  Clearly Trout is losing interest in steals now that he is hitting in the prime 3-4 spots in the order but that will also decrease any injury risk as well.  Trout still strikes out a bit too much at 23.2 percent but he offsets that with a terrific 13.5 walk rate which helps him hover around the .300 mark in batting average.  45 home runs is the next benchmark and we have learned not to doubt Trout when it comes to any feat.  If you don’t land the top pick in your draft, you will be out of luck. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .288 42 HR 99 R 108 RBI 14 SB

2.  Bryce Harper:  So that is what a Bryce Harper breakout looks like.  After a few years of disappointing production due mainly to injuries caused some to question if Harper would ever live up to the hype, the 2015 season turned out to be the full coming out party for the Washington Nationals outfielder.  The numbers were straight out of a video game as Harper powered his way to 42 home runs, 118 RBI, and missed on the batting title by a single point with a .330 average.  Simply put, Harper was the definition of ridiculous.  Maturity was evident in Harper’s approach as he lowered his K rate by more than 6 points from 2014 (26.3 to 20.0) which sent the average soaring.  The 19.0 percent walk rate was phenomenal as well as Harper got the Barry Bonds treatment for most of the season.  Just like with Mike Trout, Harper is still incredibly young as he turned just 23 in October.  That means there are many more seasons of blockbuster numbers ahead of him and the only thing you can maybe nitpick about is the loss of stolen bases (only 6 in 654 at-bats last season).  While Trout is still the number 1 guy to draft, Harper has now pushed himself firmly into the number 2 spot. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .318 40 HR 122 RBI 106 R 5 SB

3.  Andrew McCutchen:  While it was not a blockbuster season by any means, Pittsburgh Pirates perennial MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen made his usual contribution across all five standard ROTO categories in 2015.  Dogged by some sort of leg/quad injury that was never officially confirmed by the team in the first half, McCutchen started out of the gates slowly for the second season in a row.  April doesn’t ever seem to agree with McCutchen as he batted just .197 with two home runs, and stole not even a single base.  Things got going from there as usual though as McCutchen has always done his best hitting as the season goes along.   The 23 home runs McCutchen hit were just two short of his 2014 tally and his 96 RBI was an improvement by 13 as well.  On the negative side, McCutchen fell off dramatically in the stolen base department, with his total of 11 serving as a career-low by 7.  In fact it is starting to look like McCutchen is ceding stolen bases as he pushes toward 30 since he has now declined in three straight seasons there.  Outside of the stolen bases, McCutchen was his usual top-notch self across the board with no noticeable declines anywhere else worth talking about.  McCutchen remains a locked-in middle first round pick. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .304 24 HR 95 RBI 99 R 16 SB
4.  Giancarlo Stanton:

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