Fantasy Baseball – BREAKOUT Outfielders

Mar 5, 2008

Before we dive into baseball, I want to direct your attention to a fantasy basketball interview I did on NBA Roto.  Pop on over and watch the video.  My pal Jimmy did a great job on it.

Ok, on to baseball.  Here are some outfielders who could explode this year.

Rick Ankiel - St. Louis Cardinals
As long as he doesn’t let the PED issue distract him, Ankiel should have a very solid season.  Last year he was one of the league’s best stories (before the HGH talk) with 11 HR, 31 runs, and 39 RBI in 47 games.

Ryan Braun
– Milwaukee Brewers
I fully expect Braun to improve on the .324, 24 HR, 97 RBI season he had last year in 113 games.  That will be big time.

Chris Duncan - St. Louis Cardinals
Duncan didn’t make the progression that everybody expected last year, but he did have good power numbers.  Perhaps this is the year he puts it together.

Jacoby Ellsbury -
Boston Red Sox
One can’t ask more out of Ellsbury than he did last year when he hit .353 with 20 runs, 18 RBI, and 9 SBs in 33 games.  That is unless you ask him to top the .360, 8 run, 4 RBI he turned in during the Red Sox playoff run.

Kosuke Fukudome - Chicago Cubs
Kosuke should jump right in the Cubs starting lineup (perhaps hitting 3rd) and deliver immediately.  He is a gap hitter that should do well in Wrigley.

Matt Kemp - Los Angeles Dodgers
Kemp delivered in his 98 games with the Dodgers last year hitting .342 with 47 runs, 12 doubles, 10 HRs, and 42 RBI.  He even added 10 SBs.  In a full season I see Kemp scoring 80 runs with 30 doubles, 20-25 HRs, and 70 RBI.

Nick Markakis - Baltimore Orioles
I’m not sure where Markakis will get his protection from, but he should have a solid season to follow up the .300, 97 run, 191 hit, 43 double, 23 HR, 112 RBI season he turned in last year.

Hunter Pence - Houston Astros
In 108 games last year Hunter hit .322, with 57 runs, 30 doubles, 17 HRs, and 69 RBI.  With a full year’s work he could score 80 runs, hit 40 doubles and 25 HR while driving in 80 or better. 

B.J. Upton - Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. showed his worth last year hitting .300 with 86 runs, 25 doubles, 24 HRs, 82 RBI, and 22 SBs.  I think he builds on that success and scores 100 and joins the 30-30 Club.

Justin Upton - Arizona Diamondbacks
He struggled last year hitting .221 in 43 games, but has plenty of talent to produce like the first pick of the 2005 draft.  He’s not ready to outproduce his brother B.J., but he should be a decent 3rd or 4th OF for fantasy teams this year.

Chris Young -
Arizona Diamondbacks
Young scored a decent amount of runs (85), hit for power (29 doubles, 32 HRs), and was a force on the basepaths (27 SBs).  He has plenty of room for improvement with his average (.237) and run production (68 RBI).  I would not be surprised if Young challenges entry into the 40-40 Club.  His ceiling is that high.

Delmon Young - Minnesota Twins
The talented Young was dealt to Minnesota for Matt Garza.  He’ll have a chance to make a name for himself hitting near Mauer and Morneau.  I expect him to build on the .288, 65 run, 186 hit, 38 double, 13 HR, 93 RBI season he had last year.  He’ll have to show more hustle though to avoid Ron Gardenhire’s dog house.

Posted by | Categories: MLB |
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9 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Luis
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    this might just be me being a Yankee homer, but I’m expecting big things from Melky Cabrera this year. Last year was his first full season in the bigs and he was having a great season till a September swoon… I think he puts it all together this season.

  2. Ryan Lester
    March 5th, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    Luis – I agree. Melky could have a great year.

  3. Mike H.
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Nobody I can remember off the top of my head has had expectations quite like Ellsbury going into a season…

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  4. Ryan Lester
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:45 pm #

    Mike – There have been a few. Ken Griffey, Jr., J.D. Drew, Mark Prior, Todd Van Poppel, Travis Lee to name a few.

  5. Luis
    March 6th, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    yeah, i agree… there have been a handful… i think ellsbury can be really special. he put on 15 pounds of muscle during the offseason as well, i think that will help get him through the 162 game grind… as a yankee fan it pains me to say that the sky is the limit with this kid… he is gonna be a good one…

  6. Ryan Lester
    March 6th, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    Luis – It’s good to see the Sox and Yanks both using some homegrown talent vs. buying it all.

  7. Anonymous
    March 17th, 2008 at 6:48 am #

    Never again will I entertain the notion that NASCAR drivers are something other than athletes. After a few laps around the track at Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco— in full racing regalia (pictured above) that had me and about 30 other other thril…

  8. Just me
    April 11th, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    I don’t think so. You have to revise your looks. In general your blog is good, but sometimes your posts are creepy.

  9. Ryan Lester
    April 11th, 2008 at 3:30 am #

    How so?

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