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Scott Pianowski

Tip Drill: Roaming the outfield

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Here's my blue book on the outfield, season to taste. As always, assume a 5x5 format. If you're in a mood for pitchers today, the mound marketplace is over here.

$34 Grady Sizemore
$32 Ryan Braun
$31 Josh Hamilton
$30 B.J. Upton
$30 Carlos Beltran

Some generally-respected sites have Sizemore nowhere near the No. 1 spot on their respective boards. Go ahead and draft like that, fine with me. I've also seen some overly-optimistic Beltran projections that I can't agree with (especially given the buzz on the new park), but he's too safe to drop out of my Top 5.

$29 Carlos Lee
$27 Carl Crawford
$27 Manny Ramirez
$27 Jason Bay
$25 Alfonso Soriano
$25 Ichiro Suzuki

I'm more willing to give Crawford a mulligan than you might be. Bay's got a super-safe floor and while it doesn't always matter, he's playing for a contract, too. Soriano and Ichiro deserve the high ranking, but they never seem to be on my teams. Lee might be the most under-appreciated sure thing in roto; how did the White Sox trade him for Scott Podsednik?

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$24 Matt Holliday
$24 Nick Markakis
$23 Carlos Quentin
$23 Matt Kemp
$23 Curtis Granderson
$22 Jacoby Ellsbury
$22 Nate McLouth
$21 Alex Rios

How much will the A's let Holliday run? Markakis is talking about running more this spring too; news or noise? Granderson can play for my team anytime, and I think you all remember how I feel about McLouth.

$20 Vladimir Guerrero
$20 Shane Victorino
$19 Alexei Ramirez
$19 Corey Hart
$19 Bobby Abreu
$18 Hunter Pence
$18 Jermaine Dye
$18 Torii Hunter
$18 Magglio Ordonez
$18 Lastings Milledge
$18 Andre Ethier
$18 Jayson Werth

For years Guerrero thrived despite that hack-first mentality and the Fred G. Sanford limp, but I'm petrified to touch him this year. If you want Milledge, Ethier or Werth in tonight's blog league draft, act early. Ramirez is another hack master but he held up nicely his second time around the league.

$17 Johnny Damon
$17 Vernon Wells
$16 Adam Dunn
$16 Raul Ibanez
$16 Nelson Cruz
$15 Jay Bruce
$15 Milton Bradley
$14 Chris Young
$14 Ryan Ludwick
$14 Brad Hawpe

Ludwick's 2008 breakthrough was built on consistency, but it's still just one season. I can't get too excited about Bruce until he shows significant improvement against lefties and on the bases. Bradley will give you 3-4 dynamic months, but be ready with a Plan B when the other cleat invariably falls.

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$13 Justin Upton
$13 Adam Jones
$12 Conor Jackson
$12 Rick Ankiel
$11 Pat Burrell
$11 Coco Crisp
$10 Fred Lewis
$10 Elijah Dukes
$9 Xavier Nady
$9 Mike Cameron

Some roto players will pay Upton for what he might do someday. I need to see some of it first. Jones is having a bang-up spring and he'll open the year batting second for the O's. I'd rank Dukes a lot higher if I knew the Nats weren't going to mess with his playing time.

$8 Carlos Gomez
$8 Mark DeRosa
$8 Cameron Maybin
$8 Adam Lind
$7 Shin-Soo Choo
$6 Felipe Lopez
$6 Willy Taveras
$6 Delmon Young
$5 Denard Span
$5 Randy Winn

It's a shame Span and Young are in the same jumbled outfield; the real mistake the Twins made was overrating Cuddyer a few years back. Taveras only has one thing to offer you but at least he dominates in that area. Everyone else seems to believe in Lind more than I do; what's so special about a .436 slugging percentage over 676 at-bats?

$4 J.D. Drew
$4 Jeremy Hermida
$4 Michael Bourn
$4 Jeff Francoeur
$4 Hideki Matsui
$4 Gary Sheffield
$4 David DeJesus
$4 Aaron Rowand
$3 Ty Wigginton
$3 Jose Guillen
$3 Jason Kubel
$3 Jack Cust
$3 Chris Dickerson
$3 Daniel Murphy
$3 Ryan Church
$3 Kendry Morales
$3 Mark Teahen

Matsui's physical condition (he'll need to DH for at least half the year) curbs my enthusiasm, significantly. As flawed as Bourn's game is, it does seem like he's taking a better approach at the dish this spring, shortening his swing and playing to his one strength. I'd push Murphy up a buck if I knew for sure the Mets won't jerk him around.

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$2 Ryan Spilborghs
$2 Skip Schumaker
$2 Nick Swisher
$2 Luke Scott
$2 Travis Buck
$1 Brian Giles
$1 Eric Byrnes
$1 Travis Snider
$1 Chase Headley
$1 Cody Ross
$1 Ben Francisco
$1 David Murphy
$1 Garret Anderson
$1 Ken Griffey Jr.
$1 Michael Cuddyer
$1 Colby Rasmus
$1 Jody Gerut
$1 Josh Anderson
$1 Jerry Hairston Jr.

Schumaker's transition to second base buys him some extra utility. Byrnes could be a heck of a grab if anyone in front of him gets hurt; look at those 2007 stats again. I've always liked Buck and I'm not sure why, exactly.

$1 Seth Smith
$0 Juan Pierre
$0 Kosuke Fukudome
$0 Josh Willingham
$0 Marlon Byrd
$0 Melky Cabrera
$0 Dexter Fowler
$0 Ryan Freel
$0 Felix Pie
$0 Juan Rivera
$0 Willie Harris

Marc Normandin of Baseball Prospectus is ranking Felix Pie over Jayson Werth this spring. I can't figure it out, maybe you can. Smith has a lot of competition, but gravity always wins in Colorado.; he's an intriguing sleeper if he quickly establishes some job security.

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