Fantasy Baseball: Outfielders 41-80
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For those who cannot survive on Top 40 rankings alone, here is a compilation of the next 40 outfielders to target in mixed- and league-specific drafts.
41. Carlos Lee, Astros
Skinny: Lee posted better numbers in hits, triples, RBI, steals, walks and batting average last year, compared to 2010. The biggest omission of the Top 40 outfielders.
42. Andre Ethier, Dodgers
Skinny: Coming off a sluggish campaign, Ethier is a good bet for modest across-the-board improvements in 2012. Targets: 17 HRs, 72 RBI, 69 runs, 1 steal and .292 average.
43. Jeff Francoeur, Royals
Skinny: This pedestrian ranking is based on the assumption Francoeur won't collect 601 at-bats again, while vying for space in the Royals' crowded outfield.
44. Nick Swisher, Yankees
Skinny: Fantasy owners will appreciate Swisher's latest comfort zone in the draft's latter rounds. Targets: 22 HRs, 86 RBIs, 77 runs, .257 average.
45. Logan Morrison, Marlins
Skinny: Better plate discipline could easily vault the 24-year-old Morrison into the Top 40, sooner than later. Targets: 24 HRs, 75 RBI, 59 runs, 4 steals, .268 average.
46. Josh Willingham, Twins
Skinny: An underrated two-category force, look for Willingham to take a slight dip in HRs and RBIs...but raise his average to approximately.265.
47. Carlos Quentin, Padres
Skinny: Quentin may never replicate his MVP-caliber season from 2008 (36/100/.288), but he's still a reasonable play for 25 HRs, 82 RBI and .261 average.
48. Austin Jackson, Tigers
Skinny: It's rare to find a two-category machine at this point in the countdown. Assuming he bats leadoff for most of 2012, A-Jax could tally 100 runs and 30 steals.
49. Martin Prado, Braves
Skinny: Prado is a respectable four-category contributor to those who have forgotten the 15-HR/100-runs/.300 expectations of last March.
50. Brennan Boesch, Tigers
Skinny: The planets may be aligned for Boesch to finally enjoy a season of relatively good health and fruitful fantasy numbers: Targets: 17 HRs, 70 RBI, 82 runs, 6 steals, .287 average.
51. Matt Joyce, Rays
Skinny: A productive player with some inescapable red flags from last year: two months of sub-.200 hitting...and three months of two homers or less.
52. Peter Bourjos, Angels
Skinny: Bourjos should be a four-category factor this year (excluding RBI)...assuming he logs 500 at-bats for the Angels.
53. Angel Pagan, Giants
Skinny: Like Bourjos, Pagan should be a four-category success in roto and head-to-head leagues, and bonus...30 steals is now the baseline of reasonable expectations.
54. Alex Rios, White Sox
Skinny: Rios may not register stats worthy of the 54th outfielder. But his age (31) and intriguing physical tools will nonetheless prompt fantasy GMs to take a later-round flier on the former star.
55. Brandon Belt, Giants
Skinny: Forget last year's pedestrian stats (9 HRs, 18 RBI, 21 runs, .225 BA). Belt has the tools and superb minor-league track record to be a four-category factor in his second season.
56. Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays
Skinny: It's time for Rasmus to take a big leap in his development, while avoiding the wild highs and lows of seasons past. Targets: 22 HRs, 67 RBI, 84 runs, 9 steals, .274 average.
57. Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins
Skinny: A two-category whirlwind (runs, steals) who needs to prove last year's .296 BA wasn't a fluke.
58. Dexter Fowler, Rockies
Skinny: A potential National League clone of Austin Jackson, Fowler might approach 90 runs and 25-30 steals for the hot-and-cold Rockies.
59. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
Skinny: Moreland's hearty supporters might find fault with this conservative ranking. But for 2012, Moreland's upside likely doesn't extend past 21 HRs and 67 RBI.
60. Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks
Skinny: With 140 games and 500 at-bats, Kubel can recapture his 20-HR mojo from 2008-10. But that may be a tall order, given the Diamondbacks' packed outfield and absence of a DH during National League play.
61. Lucas Duda, Mets
Skinny: Duda has the physical tools to be a four-category contributor in his age-26 season. Targets: 16 HRs, 58 RBI, 59 runs, .284 average.
62. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
Skinny: Soriano makes for a productive fifth or sixth outfielder in 12-team leagues, especially for owners in need of 20-plus homers and 80 RBI.
63. J.D. Martinez, Astros
Skinny: A .342 hitter in the minors, Martinez has the skill set to be a four-category factor in his second MLB season. This leap-of-faith ranking will look even better in May.
64. Michael Brantley, Indians
Skinny: Brantley posted across-the-board gains in his second MLB season (7 HRs, 46 RBI, 63 runs, 13 steals, .266 average). Expect another season of modest improvement.
65. Vernon Wells, Angels
Skinny: With this outfield ranking, fantasy owners probably wouldn't mind a repeat of Wells' 2011 numbers (25 HRs, 66 RBI, 60 runs, 9 steals)—minus the deflating .218 average.
66. Delmon Young, Tigers
Skinny: Fantasy owners shouldn't expect a homer every five games from Young—his admirable pace with the Tigers last season. But he's still a respectable four-category contributor.
67. Ben Revere, Twins
Skinny: Revere will be a high late-round priority for owners needing cheap speed, and the fleet-footed Twin is a lock for 42-45 steals in 2012.
68. Juan Pierre, Phillies
Skinny: The 34 year old may be in the twilight of his career, but he's still a threat for 40 steals and 80 runs when given adequate playing time. An ideal late-round flier.
69. Jason Bay, Mets
Skinny: Bay's numbers have obviously dipped since that coup de grace season of 2009 with Boston (36 HRs, 119 RBI, 103 runs). But as a healthy Met, he's still a good play for 16 HRs, 70 RBI and 11 steals.
70. Ryan Raburn, Tigers
Skinny: Opportunity knocks for the OF-eligible Rayburn, who has a clear shot at winning the Tigers' job at second base and posting numbers of 15 HRs, 58 RBI, 61 runs and .282 average.
71. Jose Tabata, Pirates
Skinny: The next five players in this countdown could all make big jumps in 2012. Tabata is a reasonable candidate for 12 HRs, 34 steals and .279 average.
72. Eric Thames, Blue Jays
Skinny: Thames has down-the-road power potential of 25 HRs and 90 RBI. He could be a last-round gem for upside-loving owners.
73. Jerry Sands, Dodgers
Skinny: Sands would probably rate higher if he had a spot sewn up in the Dodgers' outfield. Hopefully, owners will have more clarity with Sands in April or May.
74. Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Skinny: Cain was a four-category factor in the minors. Hopefully, that status will transition into big-league success for 2012. A solid late-round flier.
75. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
Skinny: You've seen the video of Cespedes running, jumping and P90X-ing his way into the hearts of MLB scouts and general managers. But is he ready to play in the bigs?
76. Seth Smith, Athletics
Skinny: It's hard to guess how Oakland's outfield situation will shake out by season's end, but Smith has respectable potential in all five categories. A late-round coup in any format.
77. Travis Snider, Blue Jays
Skinny: A red-hot spring start has fueled the notion that Snider will put it all together in 2012. Here's the rub: Toronto's outfield is stacked right now.
78. Yonder Alonso, Padres
Skinny: The Reds took a big gamble on Joey Votto (beyond 2013) when they traded Alonso, a future star at first base, to the Padres. For Alonso, anything above 14 HRs, 63 RBI and .270 BA would be welcome.
79. Mike Carp, Mariners
Skinny: Carp may finally be getting the requisite playing time to become a productive fantasy asset. Targets: 18 HRs and .282 average.
80. Denard Span, Twins
Skinny: The 80th ranking is more ceremonial than a punitive judgment against Span, who tallied 182 runs and 49 steals in 2009-10. With a productive spring, thus erasing last year's disappointment, Span could vault 14-17 slots before Opening Day.
80a. Bryce Harper, Nationals
Skinny: It might not matter if the Nationals send Harper down for more minor-league seasoning before Opening Day. Fantasy owners won't hesitate to take a Round 20 flier on one of the most touted hitting prospects of the last 20 years. Expect a June 1 call-up.
80b. Mike Trout, Angels
Skinny: A springtime illness has effectively curtailed Trout's chances of making the parent club on Opening Day. Nevertheless, he's a stealth last-round flier and a can't-miss prospect for the long term.
80c. Alex Presley, Pirates
Skinny: With an outfield of Andrew McCutchen, Tabata and Presley, the Pirates can afford to be patient with Starling Marte. A .291 hitter in the minors, Presley could develop into a four-category factor.
80d. Allen Craig, Cardinals
Skinny: Like so many prospects at this stage of the countdown, Craig's fantasy potential is directly proportional to the number of at-bats he'll accrue in his first full season.
80e. Alejandro De Aza, White Sox
Skinny: A poor man's (or undiscovered) version of Emilio Bonifacio. In the right setting, De Aza could hit .300 and notch 30-35 steals.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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