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Scott Pianowski

Shuffle Up and Deal: Roaming the Outfield

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Here's my current outfielder board, how I'd attack the position if I had a new draft tomorrow. What's happened to this point is merely an audition; we're trying to figure out who will be the most valuable from this point forward.

Assume a 5x5 format, as always, and bring your respectful disagreement (backed with reasoning) to the comments. I may mildly tweak this list within the first few hours of release. Let's hash it out, peeps.

$33 Ryan Braun
$30 Matt Kemp(notes)
$29 Justin Upton(notes)
$28 Jayson Werth(notes)
$27 Andre Ethier(notes)
$26 Carl Crawford(notes)
$26 Andrew McCutchen(notes)
$25 Matt Holliday(notes)
$24 Carlos Gonzalez(notes)
$24 Shin-Soo Choo(notes)
$24 Nelson Cruz(notes)
$23 Vernon Wells(notes)
$23 Grady Sizemore(notes)

I know Upton's average isn't there yet, but he's also on a pace for 123 runs, 28 homers, 89 RBIs and 28 steals. He's fine. … McCutchen is quickly becoming worth the price of admission in Pittsburgh. … Sizemore deserves a few more weeks of patience before the ledge-jumping starts, but we have to accept that he's never been a big boost in average, and he's at the point in his career where we can't be sure the steals will come back.

$22 Ben Zobrist(notes)
$22 Adam Lind(notes)
$22 Ichiro Suzuki(notes)
$22 Alex Rios(notes)
$22 Jason Bay(notes)
$21 Shane Victorino(notes)
$20 B.J. Upton(notes)
$20 Chase Headley(notes)
$20 Josh Hamilton(notes)
$20 Michael Cuddyer(notes)
$20 Jason Heyward(notes)

Perhaps you wouldn't go to $20 on Headley, but he's always had the patience and the pedigree, and now he's running as well. … Rios's comeback hasn't gotten it's just due through five weeks. … Cuddyer is the most underrated part of that solid Twins lineup; dual-position eligibility and consistent run production. … Sure, Heyward's striking out a bunch, but look at the ridiculous production when he does make contact. He's starting to get better recognition on the slider, and that's the only thing holding him back right now.

$19 Adam Dunn(notes)
$19 Curtis Granderson(notes)
$19 Michael Bourn(notes)
$19 Carlos Lee(notes)
$18 Colby Rasmus(notes)
$18 Carlos Quentin(notes)
$18 Alfonso Soriano(notes)
$18 Andruw Jones(notes)
$18 Torii Hunter(notes)
$18 Juan Pierre(notes)
$18 Manny Ramirez(notes)
$17 Brett Gardner(notes)
$17 Johnny Damon(notes)
$17 Bobby Abreu(notes)
$17 Nick Markakis(notes)
$17 Nyjer Morgan(notes)
$17 Jacoby Ellsbury(notes)
$16 Denard Span(notes)
$16 Austin Jackson(notes)
$16 Hunter Pence(notes)
$16 Adam Jones(notes)
$16 Scott Podsednik(notes)
$16 Brad Hawpe(notes)

Look at the logjam at this price range - it underscores what outfield is like this year, a little thin with the first two tiers, but plenty of solid options here. … Quentin's fallen quite a bit since the middle of 2008; he was so close to winning the AL MVP that year before a wrist/forearm injury with a month to go, and he's had trouble staying healthy since. … The ageless Abreu has been a profit player for most of his 30s. It's frustrating to watch him in the field and he's not the most exciting offensive player when it comes to his style of play, but you can't argue with the production. … We've talked a lot about Detroit's Jackson in this space; now let's bring in Mike Salfino with a different perspective. … I probably overrated Markakis for a full two years; I'm over it now. He's just another solid contributor, not a cornerstone.

$15 Magglio Ordonez(notes)
$15 Josh Willingham(notes)
$15 Ryan Ludwick(notes)
$15 Franklin Gutierrez(notes)
$15 Jose Guillen(notes)
$15 Garrett Jones(notes)
$14 Jay Bruce(notes)
$14 Jeff Francoeur(notes)
$14 Rajai Davis(notes)
$14 Chris Young
$14 Jason Kubel(notes)
$13 Raul Ibanez(notes)
$12 Carlos Beltran(notes)
$12 Marlon Byrd(notes)

There's a Bruce-loving gene that most of the fantasy public seems to have; I don't have it yet. At least he's shown a little progress against lefties this year (low average, but .500 slugging, albeit a small sample). … Francoeur's approach might not work for most major-league hitters, but it's been productive for him. He's been productive this year and he hit .311 for the Mets after the trade last season. … Beltran is the hardest player on this entire list to rank. If you've got a price or a theory, I'm all ears. Can we be sure he'll be interested in running when he returns? Heck, can we be sure he will return, period?

$11 Will Venable(notes)
$11 J.D. Drew(notes)
$11 Nick Swisher(notes)
$11 Ryan Sweeney(notes)
$11 Dexter Fowler(notes)
$11 David DeJesus(notes)
$10 Kyle Blanks(notes)
$9 Kosuke Fukudome(notes)
$9 Austin Kearns(notes)
$8 Julio Borbon(notes)
$8 Fred Lewis(notes)
$8 Jose Bautista(notes)
$7 Cameron Maybin(notes)
$7 Cody Ross(notes)
$7 Delmon Young(notes)
$7 Juan Rivera(notes)

Fowler's turned into an overrated player of sorts. He will run some, but he's not exactly dominant in that area, and his career line on the road is a pedestrian .228/.315/.361. … You can forgive a low average if you get significant production in other areas; that's been the story with Venable and Bautista to this point. I expect Venable to be mixed-league viable all year, but I'm not making the same bet on Bautista (he could be this year's Brandon Inge(notes), useful for 2-3 months, then he falls off a cliff). … Lewis may not have a long leash in Toronto, but I'm intrigued enough to give him a test run in the Friends & Family League. He was pretty good to us in 2008.

$6 Nate McLouth(notes)
$6 Corey Hart(notes)
$5 Drew Stubbs(notes)
$5 Mark DeRosa(notes)
$5 Michael Stanton(notes)
$5 Carlos Gomez(notes)
$5 Nate Schierholtz(notes)
$5 Travis Snider(notes)
$4 Mark Teahen(notes)
$4 Aaron Rowand(notes)
$4 Tony Gwynn(notes)
$4 Chris Coghlan(notes)
$4 Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes)
$4 Seth Smith(notes)
$4 Conor Jackson(notes)

Kid Hairston gets an extra buck for the versatility, and I suppose the same applies for Teahen. … I'm not a big fan of carrying a dead roster spot for a minors-in-waiting guy, but Stanton is a rare exception on that. … I can't see how Jackson goes back to the leadoff spot in Arizona, given what Kelly Johnson(notes) has done of late. … Snider has a pedigree and some defenders out there, but all he really is to this point is a poor man's Jay Bruce. Snider is tied to the ninth spot in the Toronto order and he's still trying to figure out lefties, slugging just .313 against them for his career.

$3 Tyler Colvin(notes)
$3 Lastings Milledge(notes)
$3 Carlos Guillen(notes)
$3 Jake Fox(notes)
$3 Nolan Reimold(notes)
$3 Brennan Boesch(notes)
$2 Skip Schumaker(notes)
$2 Angel Pagan(notes)
$2 Jim Edmonds(notes)
$2 Ryan Church(notes)
$2 Omar Infante(notes)
$2 Scott Hairston(notes)
$2 Jeremy Hermida(notes)
$2 Ryan Raburn(notes)
$1 Jonny Gomes(notes)
$1 Luke Scott(notes)
$1 Milton Bradley(notes)
$1 Brett Carroll(notes)
$1 Eugenio Velez(notes)
$1 Matt LaPorta(notes)
$1 Melky Cabrera(notes)

I've said my piece, now it's your turn. Have at it.

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