There are two things that drive the modern day baseball player: winning a championship and signing a lucrative free agent deal. Jayson Werth accomplished the first goal as a member of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Series championship team, and now he has achieved the second goal with a huge free agent deal with the Washington Nationals.
Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Werth is not going to be worth as much now that he has left the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park and the protection of the Phillies line-up.
The question is just how far will Werth’s value fall now that he has changed teams. He will no longer have Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hitting in front of him, which will result in him getting walked more. Opposing pitchers will not give him as many pitches to hit now that he and Ryan Zimmerman are the only two legit threats in the line-up. Adam Dunn’s presence would have given Werth more value; instead the team will rely on a decent, but far less dangerous Adam LaRoche to play first.
When Werth signed the huge long term deal with the team, many baseball writers and agents were outspoken to the fact that Washington paid too much for the outfielder. While we think Werth is a talented player who has a proven track record, the record was earned under very special circumstances in Philly.
It is likely that a novice manager will draft Werth simply based on 2010 stats, expecting another 30/30 season with 100 runs scored and an RBI total approaching 100. That manager will most likely be disappointed by the all-star break and will likely either trade Werth at a discount or outright drop him to waivers.
For the more advanced Roto player, I recommend looking elsewhere when building your outfield in 2011. Werth is a decent talent, however, without the variables he enjoyed in Philly he will not be a top 20 outfielder this season. Wait for the rookie manager to waste his high pick on Werth, and then pick him up off waivers mid-season. He will still have some value down the stretch; it just won’t be close to his value in years past.
This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com, the home of free fantasy news, rankings, and advice.