Preseason Position Power Rankings: Couch Side’s top five right fielders for 2013


BY CHUCK CONSTANTINO, Couchsideshow.com blogger

Outfield has always been a crucial position in fantasy baseball leagues. From the outfield spot you can grab some of the best players in the league. When analyzing just right fielders, there are several big name players who may be selected ahead of projections because many of them are entering their prime, or due to potential. Here’s a look at my top right fielders this fantasy season.

Right fielders just outside of my top five stack up as the following: Alex Rios, CWS, Carlos Beltran, STL, Nelson Cruz, TEX, Ben Zobrist, TAM, Nick Markakis, BAL, Nick Swisher, CLE.

5. Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds (.252 BA, 34 HR, 99 RBI, 1.4 WAR)

If the right field class wasn’t so stacked, Bruce would be higher up.The 6-foot-3 lefty oozes potential. He’s hit at least 25 home runs since entering the league in 2010, with 34 last year. He knocked in 99 RBIs last year, and should improve on that. As he enters his prime, Bruce will be a 40 home run candidate, and a sleeper to lead the league in home runs. Be careful though, he’s a .255 career hitter who strikes out a lot and walks very little. Also, his career high in steals is just nine.

4. Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves (.269 BA, 27 HR, 82 RBI, 21 SB, 5.5 WAR)

Heyward sports one of the smoothest swings in baseball since Ken Griffey Jr. Teamed up with the Upton brothers should push Heyward toward the top of the right field class this season. Heyward should also be in line for more runs and RBIs, depending on where he is slated in the lineup. He will be coming into some power as he ages, so expect 30 homers. He will need to improve on last season’s .269 average and improve on his 152 strikeouts compared to 58 walks, though.

3. Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels, (.285 BA, 43 HR, 128 RBI, 3.3 WAR)

This was a tossup between Hamilton and Jason Heyward. But, in the end, Hamilton is in the better situation in terms of fantasy baseball. Hamilton will be batting behind Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, which can only mean good things. Nothing against the Texas Rangers, but Hamilton could wind up with better numbers in an Angels uniform. He smashed 43 homers and knocked in 128 runs last season and it’s not too crazy to think he could improve on those numbers. The Angels will have to keep him healthy though as they invested their money and future with Hamilton.

2. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays (.241 BA, 27 HR, 65 RBI. 3.2 WAR)

Hampered last season due to injuries, Bautista, if he can stay healthy, is poised for a big year. The Blue Jays went out and loaded up on talent, now surrounding Bautista with better players. He should wind up somewhere over 40 home runs and with Jose Reyes at the top of the order, he should flirt with 100 RBIs. Also, Bautista should see more pitches because of the well-rounded Blue Jays lineup.

1.) Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins (.290 BA, 37 HR, 86 RBI, 5.4 WAR)

The lone big fish for the Marlins will be pitched to differently this season, especially because he has no support in the lineup. Stanton has the ability to take his game to another level. A .300, 40 home run, 100 RBI season isn’t a stretch. Stanton has grown man power, but that ballpark could keep a few from leaving the stadium.

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