Sure there were a lot more outfielders that changed addresses this off-season than appear on this list but we’re only profiling the ones worthy of fantasy consideration in 2011. The majority of these players are in their thirties and coming off of subpar seasons. Still, almost everybody on this list has experienced success at the major league level and thus has an opportunity to turn things around this season. So, let’s go through and figure out what to expect from these nomadic outfielders in 2011.
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I’ve always admired Carl Crawford’s game. He makes great contact, hits for a high average, steals a ton of bases and has enough power to rack up double digits in HRs and pad his RBI totals year in and year out. Obviously, his move to the Boston Red Sox has many excited about his potential this season. I think Crawford will continue to do what he does and that is get on base, score runs and play great defense in LF. But it is important to not get too carried away with him come draft day. Crawford is not a first round pick nor would I even take him in the second as there just isn’t enough power or RBI to justify that high of a selection. Still, with Adrian Gonzalez hitting behind him there will be plenty of runs scored and still a solid amount of steals when all is said and done. I could see Juan Rivera being this years version of Jose Bautista. OK, maybe not to the tune of 50 HR, but he could be a guy who breaks out and put together a monster season for Toronto this year. Rivera has always been supremely talented and has shown the ability to hit .280, 25 HR, 85 RBI and score 70+ runs. I think he could surpass these totals in 2011 and is definitely a sleeper candidate heading into fantasy baseball drafts.
The New York Yankees believe they are getting a lefty killer with the addition of Andruw Jones but his career statistics prove quite to the contrary. Jones has hit only marginally better vs. LHP in his career (.261-.255) and actually has a slightly better HR rate against RHP (1/20 AB- 1/17 AB). Jones is a useful fourth or fifth outfielder but expecting anything more would be a big mistake. I wouldn’t draft David DeJesus with your fantasy team. Don’t get me wrong, DeJesus is a fine hitter and has always posted good batting averages over his career. But he lacks speed and run scoring ability necessary for him to be fantasy relevant. DeJesus also has absolutely no power and the move to Oakland will not make up for any of his shortcomings.
Don’t forget to check out our 2011 fantasy player rankings to see how all of the off-season changes will impact your fantasy baseball draft this year. Also, before you draft be sure to view and printout our 2011 real time fantasy baseball cheatsheets. Take Fantasy Alarm to your draft this year and relax knowing you have all the information you need to draft a winner in 2011.
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