Fantasy Baseball – Back to Earth Outfielders
We took a look at the glass half-full Bouneback Outfielders, now it’s time to look at the glass half-empty Back to Earth Outfielders. These are guys who aren’t going to match last year’s production.
Ken Griffey, Jr. (.277, 78 runs, 146 hits, 30 HRs, 93 RBI)
For starters Griffey is 38. He stayed relatively healthy last year. He had good numbers again, but how long can he keep it up? Luckily for Griff, he plays in a launching pad, but at some point the body’s gonna break down. I’ll be excited when he hits his 600th Home Run and passes Sammy Sosa (609), but I don’t see him hitting over 25 HRs this year or driving in more than 75.
Jose Guillen (.290, 84 runs, 172 hits, 23 HR, 99 RBI)
Guillen will miss the first fifteen games of the season because of a PED suspension. He usually has a slow April, so that will likely extend into May. He’ll also have to adjust to a move from Seattle to Kansas City. That adds up to decreased production to me.
Torii Hunter (.287, 94 runs, 172 hits, 45 doubles, 28 HR, 107 RBI)
Hunter will turn 33 this summer. He will feel some pressure to live up to that huge contract. He’s coming off career bests in virtually every offensive category. I think he’s too much of a free swinger to maintain a .287 average. I’d guess the number of doubles he’ll hit will be in the mid-thirties. I’m guessing his RBI total goes down to around 95. I hope I’m wrong because Torii is one of my favorite people in the game. He’s just seems so genuine. I just think he’ll have a hard time matching last year while adjusting to a new environment.
Magglio Ordonez (.363, 117 runs, 216 hits, 54 doubles, 28 HR, 139 RBI)
Sorry Mags, but that call you’re hearing is Earth telling you to come back home. .363, are you kidding me? His previous high was .320, and that was in 2001. He just turned 34 so his numbers should naturally being to decline, unless Jose Canseco is telling the truth (which I belive he is). I hate to get into a steroids debate because I’m tired of the subject, but I do recall Ozzie Guillen basically saying he had the goods on Mags when they had their little spat. He didn’t come out and say what those goods were, but that’s what I inferred. Obviously with a shrinking average, I expect his hit total to come down. His HR total will likely be similar, but I expect the RBIs to decline.
Aaron Rowand (.309, 105 runs, 189 hits, 27 HR, 89 RBI)
First of all, there’s the pressure to replace Barry Bonds. I’d say that’s a big deal. Second he left the launching pad in Philly. Finally, he’s no longer in the same offense as Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley. That adds up to a decline to me. He never scored more than 95 runs, had over 160 hits, had over 25 HRs, or had over 70 RBI before last year. I’m guessing he puts up .280, 170 hits, 24 HR, 75 RBI.
Photos courtesy of Icon SMI