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AL Outfielders: Day Five
by Tim Polko

Today's Fantasy Rx

American League Outfielders without Positive Draft Value

Quick Key to the tables:
B = Bats.  T = Throws.  Age = Player's Age as of October 1, 2006.
Proj. = Rotohelp's projected 2006 stats and fantasy values for each player.
2006 = Each player's final 2006 stat line and fantasy values.
AB = At-bats.  H = Hits.  BA = Batting Average.  HR= Home Runs.
RBI = Runs Batted In.  SB = Stolen Bases.  R = Runs.
Pos = Position qualification based on 20 appearances or max. # of games in 2006.
4x4 = BA, HR, RBI, and SB in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
5x5 = BA, HR, RBI, SB, and R in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
RAR = Runs Above Replacement; aRAR = RAR adjusted to
consider a player's 2006 defensive rating in Scoresheet fantasy baseball.

We ranked players by position 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 all players in the league where they began the season.

70.  Brad WilkersonTEX RangersAge: 29B:L   T:L

Though I no longer view the 30-year-old as a budding perennial All-Star, Wilkerson remains an intriguing player, worthy of a roster spot in any AL or mixed league in 2007. The Rangers acquired him as the primary return for Alfonso Soriano, and with free agent riches only a year away, a healthy Wilkerson could clear $20. Of course, after suffering shoulder problems throughout last summer, a situation that culminated in season-ending surgery in August, Wilkerson also looks like a significant bargain right now. His overall patience and power potential remained relatively intact as only a tremendous contact rate drop from .74 to a .64 mark truly devastated his offense. Also, he hadn't demonstrated a significant platoon split prior to 2006, so I see plenty of reason to expect a rebound. Expect Wilkerson to prospect from the lower half of the Rangers' order, easily meriting bids well into the teens.

71.  Gabe KaplerBOS Red SoxAge: 31B:R   T:R

A ruptured left Achilles from September of 2005 sidelined Kapler into June, though he performed adequately in a limited role upon his return. Despite just turning 31 in August, the nine-year veteran retired in December to begin managing in the minors with the Red Sox. The former top prospect from the Tigers and Rangers never saw more than 500 at-bats in a season, and after watching his power disappear in recent years, Kapler's decision doesn't shock me. Of course, he still could return late in a season as a right-handed pinch-hitter, albeit not one worth any fantasy attention.

72.  Kerry RobinsonKC RoyalsAge: 32B:L   T:L

After spending all of 2005 in the minors, Robinson landed with the Royals, who briefly employed him in the majors for two different stints. He spent most of the summer at AAA Omaha(PCL), where he compiled a .313/.372/.402 output with 2 HR, 40 RBI, a 17/31 SB%, and a 33:36 BB:K in 396 AB. Robinson's minor league deal with the Red Sox unfortunately doesn't give him a great opportunity to return to a big league bench, and even if he earns a promotion, he shouldn't receive sufficient steal attempts to deserve a roster spot in any fantasy league.

73.  Jeff FiorentinoBAL OriolesAge: 23B:L   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Baltimore for my comments on Fiorentino.

74.  Willie HarrisBOS Red SoxAge: 28B:L   T:R

Cast from the White Sox after another poor season in 2005, Harris landed in Boston, where he spent three months in the majors as the last man on the club's bench. He contributed just as little for AAA Pawtucket(IL), where Harris posted a .220/.319/.367 output with 8 HR, 17 RBI, an 11/14 SB%, and a 29:56 BB:K in 218 AB during the rest of the season. Nothing here suggests he can hold an acceptable BA in the majors, so although he enjoys an intriguing opportunity after signing with the Braves, I don't envision him earning sufficient playing time in Atlanta to merit a roster spot in any league.

75.  Adam JonesSEA MarinersAge: 21B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Seattle for my comments on Jones.

76.  Luis MatosBAL/WASAge: 27B:R   T:R

Nearly dealt to the Cubs last spring, Matos instead broke camp in the Orioles' starting outfield before losing all his at-bats to Corey Patterson and Nick Markakis by mid-April, when shoulder inflammation forced Matos to the DL. While he returned in early May, Matos played progressively worse over the next two months, finally departing the Orioles for good in July. He landed with the Nationals for the second half, though continued problems at the plate earned Matos his second release after barely a month with Washington. His minor league deal this winter with Pittsburgh places him in competition with several other journeyman for a spot at the end of the Pirates' bench, but given his combination of power and speed, Matos might return surprising profit for the few owners that take him during Dollar Days.

77.  Hiram BocachicaOAK AthleticsAge: 30B:R   T:R

Once again Bocachica destroyed AAA pitching, compiling a .323/.419/.591 performance with 19 HR, 59 RBI, an 18/21 SB%, and a 43:55 BB:K in 291 AB for Sacramento(IL), earning a deserved promotion for September. Unfortunately, he barely played for the Athletics, so while he remains on the club's 40-man roster, only an injury to someone like Bobby Kielty appears likely to open regular at-bats for the journeyman. The good news is that Bocachica appears prepared to contribute if given the opportunity, but until you see him playing a couple of times a week, he doesn't even quality as viable roster filler.

78.  Doug ClarkOAK AthleticsAge: 30B:L   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Oakland for my comments on Clark.

79.  Freddy GuzmanTEX RangersAge: 25B:S   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Texas for my comments on Guzman.

80.  Matt LawtonSEA MarinersAge: 34B:L   T:R

Still bearing the stigma of his positive steroid test in 2005, Lawton impressed no one upon returning from his suspension, and after slipping into a backup role, foolishly asked for his release to find more playing time elsewhere. Not only did every team ignore Lawton after he departed Seattle in early May, he also hasn't landed an NRI this winter. Considering he turned thirty-five in November and missed nearly all of 2006, he can't be counted upon in any capacity at this point. Even if he unexpectedly breaks camp in the majors somewhere, Lawton deserves no more than an end-round afterthought selection despite the latent BA/SB upside here.

81.  Adam HyzduTEX RangersAge: 34B:R   T:R

While Hyzdu appeared in the majors for the seventh straight season, his increasingly limited role drove him to sign with Softbank in Japan for 2007. Considering his .271/.370/.476 performance with 19 HR, 80 RBI, and a 74:102 BB:K in 439 AB for AAA Oklahoma(PCL) last year, heading overseas makes a lot of sense for the aging journeyman. He likely won't reemerge in any significant big league role.

82.  Joe BorchardSEA/FLOAge: 27B:S   T:R

The former first rounder and owner of one of the largest bonuses awarded to any drafted player, Borchard exhausted the White Sox's patience in the spring, resulting in a late-March trade to Seattle for Matt Thornton that added more value to Chicago than Borchard provided in six seasons with the organization. Borchard barely received any playing time in Seattle, and despite available playing time in the outfield, he departed the Mariners on waivers by the end of April for Florida. The Marlins deployed him regularly in right field, but due to his increasingly questionable defense, he failed to fill the club's gaping hole in center. Jeremy Hermida's pending reemergence leaves Borchard without more than a bench job, and although his respectable .258/.353/.449 performance against right-handed pitchers should keep him in the majors, he doesn't merit more than a Dollar Days pick in NL leagues due to the limited fantasy potential caused by his low BA.

83.  David MurphyBOS Red SoxAge: 24B:L   T:L

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Boston for my comments on Murphy.

84.  Chad MottolaTOR Blue JaysAge: 34B:R   T:R

Spending a second season at AAA Syracuse earned Mottola four weeks in the majors during July as the temporary replacement for the injured Alex Rios. Mottola barely saw the field in Toronto, and his .265/.315/.448 output with 16 HR, 65 RBI, and a 30:103 BB:K in 431 International League at-bats doesn't warrant a longer look this year. Re-signing with the Jays probably guarantees Mottola won't see more than another brief cup-of-coffee regardless of his minor league numbers.

85.  Curtis PrideLA AngelsAge: 37B:L   T:R

Struggling last spring earned Pride a ticket back to AAA Salt Lake(PCL), where he registered a .311/.424/.465 performance with 8 HR, 44 RBI, a 21/27 SB%, and a 54:75 BB:K in 273 AB to earn another shot with Los Angeles by the end of July. Of course, he barely played due to the combination of minor back problems and general ineffectiveness, and while Pride re-upped with the Angels, the major league-ready cadre of promising young outfielders will keep him from seeing regular action at the big league level.

86.  Ryan SweeneyCH White SoxAge: 21B:L   T:L

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Chicago(A) for my comments on Sweeney.

87.  Bubba CrosbyNY YankeesAge: 30B:L   T:R

Finally in a position to play regularly for the Yankees following the injuries to Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, Crosby strained his right hamstring in mid-May, costing himself a month of action that allowed Melky Cabrera to emerge as the preferred outfield alternative. Crosby slipped off the roster entirely following the Bobby Abreu pick-up, and after closing the season with an unimpressive stint at AAA Columbus, Crosby signed a minor league deal with the Reds this winter. Despite his fairly woeful offensive numbers over the last three years, he appears right on the edge of winning a roster spot, likely requiring only an injured veteran or two to resume his outmaking ways. Shifting to the GAB from Yankee Stadium actually doesn't provide a big boost for left-handed hitters, giving you no reason whatsoever to roster Crosby anywhere.

88.  Adam SternBOS Red SoxAge: 26B:L   T:R

Retained by the Red Sox in the majors for eighteen days in April to complete his injury-interrupted service as a Rule 5 pick from the previous season, Stern then headed to AAA Pawtucket(IL), where he posted a .258/.300/.388 with 8 HR, 34 RBI, a 23/30 SB%, and a 23:78 BB:K in 392 AB over the balance of the season. Boston sent him to Baltimore in October as the PTBN for Javy Lopez, and although Stern seems a decent fit for the Orioles' AAA squad, he appears unlikely to see any extended action in the majors. Given his limited upside in all categories except steals, wait until you see Stern playing regularly before considering him for any team.

89.  T.J. BohnSEA MarinersAge: 26B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Seattle for my comments on Bohn.

90.  Adrian BrownTEX RangersAge: 32B:S   T:R

Although a strong spring propelled Brown back into the majors for the first time since 2004, he played sparingly in the spring before the Rangers designated him for assignment in July. He also failed to earn regular action in the minors, even earning his release from AAA Oklahoma City two weeks before season's end. Brown appears unlikely to contribute much more in the majors despite speed skills that hint at some fantasy promise if he lands on a club that will use him more than the typical fifth outfielder.

91.  Luis TerreroBAL OriolesAge: 26B:R   T:R

The former Diamondbacks' prospect landed in Baltimore last spring after Arizona cut him. Terrero spent a couple weeks with the Orioles in both the spring and summer, though he played far better for AAA Ottawa(IL), registering .318/.367/.500 averages with 16 HR, 44 RBI, an 18/27 SB%, and a 16:61 BB:K in 302 AB. While he finished the year in the minors, the White Sox signed him to a major league deal in November, making him the favorite to open 2007 at the end of Chicago's bench if either Scott Podsednik needs a DL stint or the club demotes Brian Anderson. I won't recommend him at this time, but if Ozzie takes a shine to him, Terrero finally could emerge as a viable fantasy option by converting his intriguing tool kit into decent big league numbers.

92.  Mitch MaierKC RoyalsAge: 24B:L   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Kansas City for my comments on Maier.

AL Outfielder Week concludes tomorrow.

Today's Fantasy Rx: The long-term prospects of Adam Jones, Freddy Guzman, and Ryan Sweeney all intrigue me, but all three players offer the most upside as mid-round reserve picks in most leagues given the veterans blocking each player's path to the majors. As none of them should seize everyday jobs sooner than the second half, Brad Wilkerson easily ranks as the best target here. Hope to grab the likely $15-20 contributor for no more than two-thirds of that price in standard leagues.

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