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NL Outfielders: Day Five
by Tim Polko

Today's Fantasy Rx

National League Outfielders without Positive Draft Value

Quick Key to the tables:
AB = At-bats.  H = Hits.  BA = Batting Average.  HR= Home Runs.
RBI = Runs Batted In.  SB = Stolen Bases.  R = Runs.  B = Bats.  T = Throws.
Pos = Position qualification based on 20 appearances or max. # of games in 2005.
Age = Player's Age as of October 2, 2005.
4x4 = BA, HR, RBI, and SB in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters in 2005.
5x5 = BA, HR, RBI, SB, and R in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters in 2005.
RAR = Runs Above Replacement in 2005; Adjusted RAR = RAR modified to
consider a player's 2005 defensive rating in Scoresheet fantasy baseball.

We ranked players in order from the highest draft value in a 4x4 league to the lowest. As the majority of fantasy leagues allow you to keep anyone traded to the other league, we listed each player in the league where he started the season.

Tike Redman31980.251226433O
PIT Pirates4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 28B:L    T:L01-11.5-9.7

Although an atrocious April hid two decent months of stats, Redman completely collapsed in the second half, losing his job first to Chris Duffy and then Nate McLouth. He even failed to remain an asset on the bases, so Pittsburgh dumped him to the Mets in the fall for cash. Subsequent acquisitions of Endy Chavez and Julio Ramirez certainly reduce Redman's odds of seeing much time in the majors, so until you see him stealing bases again, don't roster him anywhere.

Nate McLouth10928.257512220O
PIT Pirates4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 23B:L    T:R00-0.6-0.6

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Pittsburgh for my comments on McLouth.

Barry Bonds4212.28651008O
SF Giants4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 41B:L    T:L0-16.25.6

While we fully plan to take Bonds in any national contest where his injury suitably depressed his price, I can't imagine wanting to own him in standard leagues. He won't contribute much speed and his limited AB total will reduce the benefits of his batting average, giving him a rather firm $30 ceiling. Since some skill degradation appears inevitable, he turns 42 in July, and needs to deal with both the press regarding his upcoming 715th homer and a rumored ESPN reality show, I expect an OPS no better than 1.000 and potentially as little as a $15 return on any investment even if stays healthy.

Dustan Mohr26657.2141738134O
COL Rockies4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 29B:R    T:R-10-4.1-5.8

Mohr managed to lose eighty-five points of OPS despite moving from SBC Park to Coors, a rather amazing accomplishment driven by the halving of his walk rate and nearly a fifty percent increase in his strikeout rate. The only good news is that a career-best .66 G-F unsurprisingly resulted in a dramatic homer spike, suggesting he still could succeed in the right environment. Signing a minor league deal with the Red Sox provides that environment as Mohr will spend spring training attempting to win a job platooning with Trot Nixon. With the hurting Gabe Kapler presenting the only significant competition, Mohr should see another couple hundred big league at-bats, making him a good Dollar Days target in most AL leagues.

John Mabry24659.240832026O
STL Cardinals4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 34B:L    T:R-10-3.7-4.4

I see nothing here to explain why Mabry's BA dived fifty-six points other than a general acknowledgement of a regression to his mean. His skill history, while unimpressive, supports a mild rebound, especially upon moving into a friendlier home park in Wrigley Field. He won't hurt you whenever need as roster filler and just might earn upward of five bucks.

Brian Jordan23157.247324225O
ATL Braves4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 38B:R    T:R-1-1-8.2-9.4

Continued knee problems kept Jordan off the field for much of the year yet truly helped the Braves since his absence resulted in the promotion of Jeff Francoeur. Now Jordan returns to camp looking for a job on the edge of the bench, but with fewer than 240 AB in each of the last three years and two straight sub-.640 OPS marks, Atlanta lacks any substantial reason for keeping the veteran retread in the majors. Nothing here provides any hope for a rebound, so don't even bother with Jordan during Dollar Days if he doesn't retire.

Jason Dubois18744.235924021O
Age: 26B:R    T:R-1-1-2.8-3.2

Inconsistent playing time precipitated the collapse for formerly solid plate discipline for Dubois, who never gained Dusty Baker's favor and earned first a July demotion and then a trade to Cleveland for Jody Gerut. Unfortunately, the Indians didn't give Dubois regular at-bats, playing him in merely fourteen games over the rest of the season. Now Dubois ironically needs to beat out Todd Hollandsworth once again for a bench job, and unless Jason Michaels or Casey Blake implodes, I still don't envision Dubois enjoying an everyday position. You just can't consider him more than a wild card gamble until he begins producing regularly at the big league level.

Jason Repko27661.221830543O
LA Dodgers4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 24B:R    T:R-10-9.7-9.7

Consistent improvement while ascending the minor league ladder culminated in Repko's spot on the Opening Day roster. He appeared prepared to contribute in a limited role, but poor plate discipline sabotaged his best shot at success. Somewhat ironically he actually performed best when playing the most, an unfortunate situation given he won't see many more chances to start. However, if you see Repko finding more at-bats, he offers a little upside compared to many reserves due to his latent speed and power skills.

Luis Terrero16137.230420323O
ARI Diamondbacks4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:R    T:R-1-1-6.1-5.5

Foolishly forced to waste the season on the big league bench rather than allowed to develop as an everyday player, Terrero saw his steals disappear as he failed to improve in any noticeable player. At least he only turns 26 this spring and still should emerge as a passable starter, but after Arizona's winter moves, he again appears stuck as no more than bench depth. Only risk your dollar here if trolling for any SB upside during the endgame due to the downside of Terrero's BA.

Terrmel Sledge379.2431827O
WAS Nationals4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 28B:L    T:L-2-200

Although Sledge initially slipped behind Ryan Church on the depth chart, he had returned to a starting role before suffering a season-ending torn hamstring in early May. He then required shoulder surgery the next month, resulting in a season of rehab that culminated in trades to first Texas and then San Diego. Sledge and Ben Johnson give the Padres a couple of intriguing bench players, and with an impressive history of disciplined at-bats, Sledge could provide surprisingly strong stats in PETCO. Spending a few bucks here could net you plenty of profit, especially in keeper leagues where he could go for double-digit prices as a projected 2007 starter.

John Gall3710.27021005O
STL Cardinals4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 27B:R    T:R-2-20.70.3

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: St. Louis for my comments on Gall.

Shane Victorino175.2942805O
PHI Phillies4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 24B:S    T:R-2-31.11.1

The International League MVP compiled a .310/.377/.534 performance for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre(IL), along with 25 2B, 16 3B, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 93 R, a 17/26 SB, and a 51:74 BB:K in 494 AB. Victorino's overall skill development strongly suggests he could thrive as the new Jason Michaels on Philadelphia's bench. Definitely bid a few bucks on him in almost any league due to the virtual certainty of double-digit returns if an injury opens a starting job for the youngster.

Gerald Williams307.2331329O
NY Mets4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 39B:R    T:R-2-3-0.7-0.7

Another perfectly pedestrian year from Williams didn't even result in 175 professional at-bats. He managed a meager .683 OPS for AAA Norfolk(IL), adding only four homers and one stolen base in 139 AB. His equally poor performance with the Mets just might force him out of baseball altogether.

Quinton McCracken21551.237113423O
ARI Diamondbacks4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 35B:S    T:R-2-2-8.7-8.7

Despite decent plate discipline and the benefits of remaining with Arizona, McCracken returned to his awful 2003 form, again failing to produce acceptable stats in an odd-numbered year. Although that pattern suggests a rebound in 2006, he doesn't appear headed to camp anywhere and therefore won't be a viable fantasy option in any league.

Jacob Cruz12730.236418012O
CIN Reds4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 32B:L    T:L-2-2-0.6-1.4

Cruz unexpectedly spent a full year on the Reds' bench, filed for free agency, and then again returned to Cincinnati on a minor league deal that should translate into a 25-man roster spot by the end of camp. He hit .263/.352/.461 in 76 AB as a pinch-hitter, so despite his poor performance when playing the field, his performance added a useful element to the team. Of course, he still strikes out too often to carry an acceptable BA, so don't employ him as more than short-term roster filler, particularly if you see the Reds headed on a road trip.

Chris Denorfia3810.2631218O
CIN Reds4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:R    T:R-2-311

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Cincinnati for my comments on Denorfia.

Kenny Kelly134.3080215O
Age: 26B:R    T:R-2-3-0.8-0.8

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Washington for my comments on Kelly.

NL Outfielder Week continues tomorrow.

Today's Fantasy Rx: Few of these outfielders qualify as any more than very deep sleepers. Even the upside suggested by the minor league numbers of McLouth and Dubois won't mean anything if they can't stay in the majors. Only Shane Victorino and Chris Denorfia truly deserve your attention here among a group of mostly career backups.

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