Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, a consensus top-12 outfielder in fantasy circles, has the potential for 22 homers, 95 runs and 25 steals this year.
In a nod to the classic Pepsi Challenge of 1980s lore, here's a blind taste test for fantasy-goers, based on AccuScore projections.
Which of the five high-profile outfielders would you most prefer from this point forward (April 18-Sept. 30)?
Can you guess which projections represent that of preseason top-10 assets Andrew McCutchen and Justin Upton?
Projected stats: .280 batting, .362 OBP, 22.7 HRs, 68.4 RBI, 89.2 runs, 18.2 steals
Projected stats: .333 batting, .383 OBP, 32.7 HRs, 101.7 RBI, 94.7 runs, 9.5 steals
Projected stats: .279 batting, .370 OBP, 24.8 HRs, 83.8 RBI, 81.1 runs, 1.3 steals
Projected stats: .284 batting, .372 OBP, 16.4 HRs, 61.6 RBI, 82.3 runs, 26.0 steals
Projected stats: .299 batting, .362 OBP, 30.3 HRs, 84.8 RBI, 90.6 runs, 7.0 steals
A—Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
B—Josh Hamilton, Rangers
C—Nick Swisher, Yankees
D—Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
E—Corey Hart, Brewers
- Upton's thumb injury seems to be affecting AccuScore's RBI projections. If the ailment remains an issue all season, fantasy owners might want to explore near-market trade talks involving Upton, in hopes of landing an outfielder (Brett Gardner) and starting pitcher (Madison Bumgarner). Bottom line: Upton's batting average likely won't be high enough to compensate for a noticeable drop in power.
- AccuScore's computers have the highest respect for Hart's power potential, projecting 30 homers and 85 RBI from this point forward. If memory serves, the projections weren't so glowing during Hart's injury time off during spring training.
- If McCutchen could flirt with a .290 batting average this season, he'd be part of the elite club of five-category studs in mixed leagues. Of course, I'd gladly take the .280 batting if McCutchen could recapture his 35-steal potential from 2010.
- Despite his Round 4 pre-draft value, Hamilton has quickly emerged as this group's top fantasy asset, at least in AccuScore's eyes. Hamilton's prodigious track record in even-numbered years has been well documented in this blog.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.