Outfield Shuffle Up: The rise of Eddie Rosario, and updated rest-of-season values

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Scott Pianowski
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Minnesota Twins' Mitch Garver (18) high-fives teammate Eddie Rosario (20) after Garver hit a two-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)
Eddie Rosario is one of 2019's high-five leaders (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

As we work through May, it’s time to revisit the Shuffle Up series. How would we price players if the season were starting fresh tonight? This week’s assignment is the outfielders; everyone below has outfield eligibility in the Yahoo game.

You’ll have to season the prices to taste. The numbers don’t matter in a vacuum; what matters is how the player prices relate to one another. Assume a 5×5 scoring system, as always. Players at the same cost are considered even.

I’m not going to price injured players; I don’t see the point in that. Some fantasy owners are injury optimists, some are injury realists. You can choose whatever path you want.

Have some disagreements? Have some major disagreements? That’s good! That’s why we have a game. I welcome your respectful disagreement anytime: @scott_pianowski on Twitter. You can check out the corner infield shuffle up here.

Remember the golden rule: No player takes on extra (or less) value simply because you roster him.

The elite class

$44 Christian Yelich

$43 Mike Trout

$40 Cody Bellinger

$40 Mookie Betts

$37 Ronald Acuna

$37 J.D. Martinez

Yelich is simply unfair these days. The walks and strikeouts are almost even — that’s a sign of an elite offensive player — and somewhere, he’s found time to steal seven bases in seven attempts. Initially I was going to have him even with Trout, but the Anaheim lineup is a factory of sadness and, heck, Yelich does everything well. Enjoy the yellow jersey, swinger . . . Stolen bases so often are about wanting to do it, not being able to do it. Betts could steal 50 or more if he really wanted to, but the Red Sox understand where baseball is at these days. At this point, I’d be thrilled if he pushed to 20.

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Legitimate building blocks

$33 Whit Merrifield

$31 Charlie Blackmon

$30 Bryce Harper

$28 George Springer

$27 Rhys Hoskins

$26 Eddie Rosario

$26 Tommy Pham

$26 Andrew Benintendi

$26 Kris Bryant

$26 Lorenzo Cain

$25 Joey Gallo

There are some funky movements in Rosario’s stat line; his line drive rate is almost cut in half (which explains a BABIP under Mendoza), but his hard-hit rate is actually up slightly. The HR/FB number is juicy but not unrealistic, and he’s pushed his fly balls up by seven percent. Perhaps the key thing to remember is that Rosario was a first-round value for the first half of 2018 before injury struck. His second half slump is a completely excused absence in my mind. Sit back and enjoy a likely career year in his age-27 season; the average should rebound by 20-40 points, and although stealing is not a priority, he’s unlikely to end the year on zero.

The Colorado explosion is coming; they’re still working off a home-game deficit. Blackmon is still a shrewd buy-low target; you won’t get a giveaway price, but you might land a mild discount . . . Pham might never slug over .500 again, but he’s capable of hitting for a plus average, and the OBP could easily be over .400. The Rays stole Pham from the Cardinals; St. Louis fans shouldn’t look at the log on that trade.

Set and forget pieces

$23 Marcell Ozuna

$23 Khris Davis

$23 Starling Marte

$22 Michael Brantley

$21 Mitch Haniger

$19 Michael Conforto

$18 Nick Castellanos

$18 Domingo Santana

$16 Max Kepler

$16 David Peralta

$14 Andrew McCutchen

McCutchen remains an elite OBP man and he’s headed for a career best in runs scored . . . Kepler is pulling the ball more often and hitting it hard more often, justifying the power jump . . . Brantley is making a reasonable $16 million a year for the next two; you suspect he would have stayed in Cleveland if offered something similar. Even if he eventually dips back to last year’s level, that’s a nice neighborhood to live in: .309/.364/.468. Cleveland’s lineup is depressing without him. Health was the only question Brantley ever had to answer; he’s one of the smartest hitters in the world . . . Davis has extreme peaks and valleys every year, which is life as a high-strikeout, high-fly hitter ($1, Gene McCaffrey). Maybe you can slide him in a trade now, an eyelash under market.

I like them, but make me an offer

$13 Ketel Marte

$13 Yasiel Puig

$12 Brandon Lowe

$12 Nomar Mazara

$12 Gregory Polanco

$11 Alex Gordon

$11 Victor Robles

$11 Trey Mancini

$11 Jason Heyward

$11 Wil Myers

$11 David Dahl

$10 Dee Gordon

$10 Shin-Soo Choo

$10 Jorge Soler

$10 Adam Eaton

$10 Alex Verdugo

$10 Franmil Reyes

$10 Jesse Winker

$10 Nick Senzel

I rarely own Puig and other than 2013, I don’t recall ever regretting it. When he’s cold, you can throw him anything. When he’s hot, the velocity, movement, pitcher hardly matter. He plays the field and runs the bases like his hair is on fire. I need a little more stability in my life and on my roster . . . Mazara’s career seems to have flatlined, but some good things are happening. He’s trimmed the ground-ball rate by 7.6 percent, and his hard-hit rate is up almost seven percent. It will be obtrusively hot in Texas later this summer, and the runs will be cheap. Stay the course here . . . If I knew Eaton would play all year, he’d be in the mid-to-high teens. I can’t ever bet that way, though.

Bankable enough that you’re not cutting them

$9 Nick Markakis

$9 Kike Hernandez

$9 Stephen Piscotty

$8 Dwight Smith

$8 Ryan Braun

$8 Brian Goodwin

$8 Jose Martinez

$8 Josh Reddick

$8 Randal Grichuk

$7 Hunter Renfroe

$7 Jeff McNeil

$7 Clint Frazier

$7 Eric Thames

$7 Chris Taylor

$7 Brandon Nimmo

$7 Odubel Herrera

$6 Brett Gardner

$6 Kevin Kiermaier

$6 Ramon Laureano

$6 Niko Goodrum

$6 Harrison Bader

$6 Brian Anderson

$5 Joc Pederson

$5 Chad Pinder

$5 Adam Jones

$5 Jarrod Dyson

$5 Ender Inciarte

$5 Marwin Gonzalez

I could live with Nimmo’s strikeout bump if he was hitting for power, or coming close to last year’s rate. Then you see that 147-point drop in slugging and you worry about the Mets benching him . . . Markakis never gets hurt, walks more than he strikes out, and will probably hit another 13-16 home runs again. Whatever you paid in March, you’ll be making a profit here . . . Pinder probably should be a little lower, but I keep wondering if the A’s might bench Jurickson Profar at some point. That said, Profar’s bat has awakened this week. Neither player is ever going to win a Gold Glove, but if Profar can simply get over the yips, he probably stays in the lineup.

The rest of the crew

$4 Leury Garcia

$4 Hunter Pence

$4 Jay Bruce

$4 Derek Dietrich

$4 Kevin Pillar

$4 David Fletcher

$4 Avisail Garcia

$4 Byron Buxton

$4 Melky Cabrera

$4 Jake Bauers

$4 Kyle Schwarber

$4 Ian Desmond

$4 Danny Santana

$3 Kole Calhoun

$3 Howie Kendrick

$3 Raimel Tapia

$3 Dexter Fowler

$3 Tyler Naquin

$2 Steven Duggar

$2 Billy Hamilton

$2 Manuel Margot

$1 Leonys Martin

$1 Ben Gamel

$1 Robbie Grossman

$1 Albert Almora

$1 Teoscar Hernandez

$1 Ryan Cordell

$1 Terrance Gore

$1 Jacob Marisnick

$1 Tyler Wade

$1 Billy McKinney

$1 Curtis Granderson

$1 Carlos Gonzalez

$1 Cameron Maybin

$1 Mac Williamson

$1 Jackie Bradley

I could watch JBJ defensive highlights on an endless loop, but the offense is difficult to stomach. He’s not hitting anything right now, but he’s especially punchless against lefties (17 strikeouts in 37 at-bats). The Red Sox basically have three centerfielders in the outfield, so trading Bradley’s defense wouldn’t be that big a deal.

Injured - No Rank

$0 Giancarlo Stanton

$0 Austin Meadows

$0 Juan Soto

$0 Aaron Judge

$0 AJ Pollock

$0 Eloy Jimenez

$0 Corey Dickerson

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