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NL Outfielders: Day Six
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.

Jason Romano308.2671303O
CIN Reds4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 26B:R    T:R-3-30.40.4

The reserve outfielder only turns 27 this June yet accumulated between thirty and ninety-one at-bats on the big league bench over the past four years, a total of 191 AB split between five different franchises. Last year he registered a respectable .309/.349/.457 performance with 4 HR, 32 RBI, a 5/6 SB%, and a 14:36 BB:K in 223 AB for AAA Louisville(IL), split around two stints with the Reds. The real effect of his frequent moves is that he hasn't developed particularly playable skills, so although I see some upside in his speed and BA, he merely won't hurt you as roster filler rather than offering any real upside.

Ryan Spilborghs42.5000100O
COL Rockies4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 26B:R    T:R-3-40.60.6

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Colorado for my comments on Spilborghs.

Skip Schumaker246.2500119O
STL Cardinals4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:L    T:R-3-3-0.9-0.9

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

Corey Hart5711.1932729O
MIL Brewers4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 23B:R    T:R-3-3-2.3-2.3

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Milwaukee for my comments on Hart.

J.J. Davis266.2310210O
WAS Nationals4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 26B:R    T:R-3-4-2.1-2.2

Davis continued to mash last year in the minors, compiling a .266/.341/.506 output with 15 HR, 46 RBI, and a 25:73 BB:K in 241 AB between AAA New Orleans(PCL) and AAA Colorado Springs(PCL). He landed with the latter club after his inclusion with Zach Day in the Preston Wilson deal, however he apparently failed to impress his news bosses, likely due to the superior options already in the Rockies' organization. Instead Davis headed into minor league free agency, shockingly re-signing with the Rockies as a pitcher, effectively moving from the cusp of batter's heaven to pitching purgatory and absolutely zeroing his already minimal fantasy value.

Ray Sadler82.2501101O
PIT Pirates4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:R    T:R-3-40.20.2

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

Todd Linden17137.216413320O
SF Giants4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:S    T:R-3-3-8.7-9.3

The Giants relieved the mild crowding in their infield by swapping Edgardo Alfonzo for Steve Finley, which instead creates an absolute traffic jam in the outfield. Bonds, Moises Alou, and Randy Winn will start with Finley and Jason Ellison angling for any excess at-bats, which just might push Linden back to Fresno for a shot at a fifth year with more than a hundred at-bats for the same Triple-A club. Last season Linden finally emerged as an offensive asset, crushing the ball to the tune of a .321/.437/.682 performance with 30 HR, 80 RBI, and a 62:97 BB:K in 340 AB for Fresno(PCL), but his struggles with the Giants prompted the Winn acquisition. Now he looks most in need of a change of scenery, yet even if he remains in San Francisco, his overall skill at the plate demands consideration during the endgame in any league.

Charles Gipson112.1820112O
HOU Astros4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 32B:R    T:R-3-4-1.2-1.2

Gipson managed a .303/.354/.397 output with 2 HR, 25 RBI, a 19/28 SB%, and a 25:75 BB:K for AAA Round Rock(PCL), which unsurprisingly earned him a month with the Astros down the stretch. However, his failure to exceed 25 big league at-bats in any of the past three seasons firmly illustrates his limited upside. He won't contribute to any roto teams other than those desperate for any potential SB after September expansion.

Ben Johnson7516.213313010O
SD Padres4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 24B:R    T:R-3-3-0.7-0.7

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: San Diego for my comments on Johnson.

Mike Restovich11527.23538015O
Age: 26B:R    T:R-3-3-2.8-3.2

Out of options yet still possessing plenty of power potential, Restovich floundered on the Rockies' bench for six weeks before a trade to the Pirates allowed him to spend the rest of the season enjoying about twenty at-bats a month. His development completely stalled, descending to truly useless levels before Pittsburgh mercifully dumped him in November. Signing with the Cubs just might resuscitate his career as he looks like one of the few legitimate big league outfielders in camp this spring. Hopefully he'll head to AAA Iowa, regain his lost power stroke, and then compete for the left field job as soon as Dusty Baker sours on Matt Murton. Consider Restovich a perfectly respectable reserve option in any deep NL league.

Choo Freeman226.2730006O
COL Rockies4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:R    T:R-3-4-0.4-0.2

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Colorado for my comments on Freeman.

Chin-Feng Chen82.2500201O
LA Dodgers4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 27B:R    T:R-3-4-0.6-0.6

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Los Angeles(N) for my comments on Chen.

Tony Torcato113.2730001O
SF Giants4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:L    T:R-3-4-0.4-0.5

Breaking camp as the end of the Giants' bench only resulted in three boring weeks for Torcato. He quickly returned to AAA Fresno(PCL), where he posted another set of mediocre numbers, including a .269/.310/.415 line with 10 HR, 57 RBI, and a 21:43 BB:K. Unable to find an affiliated job, the minor league free agent reportedly signed with Grosseto in the Italy, thereby extinguishing his last vestiges of roto value for the upcoming season.

Julio Ramirez41.2500103O
SF Giants4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 28B:R    T:R-3-4-0.3-0.3

Despite negligible plate discipline, decent speed and developing power keep Ramirez continuously employed. He registered a .241/.286/.459 performance with 23 HR, 60 RBI, a 21/29 SB%, and a 22:113 BB:K in 386 AB for AAA Fresno(PCL) before spending September in San Francisco. Ramirez's move to the Mets this winter just might prevent him from a similar opportunity due to the presence of superior options to fill his role in New York, including both Endy Chavez and Tike Redman, players with much better track records than the completely unimpressive Ramirez.

Adam Greenberg00.0000000O
CH Cubs4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 24B:L    T:L-3-400

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Chicago(N) for my comments on Greenberg.

Charlton Jimerson00.0000000O
HOU Astros4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 26B:R    T:R-3-400

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Houston for my comments on Jimerson.

Matt Cepicky256.2400301O
WAS Nationals4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 27B:L    T:R-3-4-1.5-1.5

I see just enough here to recommend Cepicky as a true deep sleeper. He compiled a .269/.347/.477 line with 14 HR, 68 RBI, and a 43:85 BB:K in 342 AB for AAA New Orleans(PCL). Yes, those numbers don't translate into big league success, but his agent landed him an NRI with Florida. All Cepicky needs is a good camp to join the Marlins, possibly as the starting left fielder. Of course, he appears most likely to spend another summer in the minors and shouldn't contribute much fantasy value even while playing in Miami, so hopefully he'll just emerge as an interesting spring story, clogging one of your competitor's rosters after an accidental gamble during Dollar Days.

Ben Grieve205.2500101O
CH Cubs4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 29B:L    T:R-3-4-0.7-1

Among the twenty Rookie of the Year recipients in the last decade, only Grieve and the effectively retired Kaz Sasaki appear unlikely to spend the majority of this season in the majors. Although Grieve spent a couple weeks with the Cubs last season, he only managed a .266/.371/.481 season for AAA Iowa(PCL), along with 14 HR, 51 RBI, and a 48:59 BB:K in 293 AB. Nothing here portends any immediate comeback, especially after he joined the White Sox for 2006. Ignore the former All-Star until he demonstrates some ability both to remain in the majors and post positive fantasy value.

Paul McAnulty245.2080014O
SD Padres4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 24B:L    T:R-3-4-1.7-2

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: San Diego for my comments on McAnulty.

Adam Shabala153.2000401O
SF Giants4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 27B:L    T:R-3-4-1.4-1.4

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: San Francisco for my comments on Shabala.

Nelson Cruz51.2000001O
MIL Brewers4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25B:R    T:R-3-40.10.1

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Milwaukee for my comments on Cruz.

NL Outfield Week concludes tomorrow.

Today's Fantasy Rx: Only Linden and possibly Restovich merit any fantasy consideration among the non-rookies listed above. The true values here look like Hart, Johnson, and Freeman, all of whom appear reasonably likely to open the year on a big league bench. Each warrants a couple bucks to fill your last outfield slot if they remain available during the endgame.

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