General thoughts on drafting RF:
This is a very deep position, especially in terms of home runs, with no less than 19 players putting up 20+ HR last season. You can wait until the middle rounds to pick your player, but there are some intriguing young players available at the beginning of the draft.
1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL) (25): CarGo was pretty much as good as it gets last year and looks like a superstar in the making. Two causes for concern: high luck (.384 BABIP) and a pretty big home/away split at Coors Field.
2) Jason Heyward (ATL) (21): The most impressive stat that Heyward put up last year was last year was 91 BB. It looks like the sky is the limit with this kid, and the hype is for real.
3) Sin-Soo Choo (CLE) (28): Was the only RF with an OBP over .400 (.401) and added 22 steals. Good guy to have on your team, even if he’s on the Indians.
4) Jayson Werth (WAS) (31): I’m a Phillies fan, and I’ve watched Werth carry that team at times over the past few years. I think the tendency is to discount a player on the Nats, and if that happens, jump on him.
5) Jay Bruce (CIN) (23): Starting to show the form that made him a hyped prospect. Power is for real, expect good things in the years to come.
6) Mike Stanton (FLA) (21): Youth is the word, and also hit 22 bombs at a tender age.
7) Justin Upton (ARI) (23): Again, drafting on upside is a great idea. Upton won’t slip under anyone’s radar, but don’t overpay for him.
8) Nelson Cruz (TEX) (30): Good numbers from Cruz, but his age prevents me from putting him higher.
9) Hunter Pence (HOU) (27): Put up some good numbers last season, and still has some good seasons left. Also needs to take more walks to move up this list.
10) Nick Swisher (NYY) (30): I love his LH stroke in Yankee Stadium. Put up 29 HR with great peripherals, great player for the Yanks.
11) Carlos Quentin (CHW) (28): Low BA, but should rebound a bit. Good power numbers.
12) Andres Ethier (LAD) (28): I think Ethier is popular because he’s hit so many dramatic home runs, because his stats aren’t all that spectacular.
13) Cory Hart (MIL) (28): Don’t forget: before this last season (31 HR), Corey Hart was viewed as something of a disappointment and the Brewers were trying to move him.
14) Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) (37): He’s a future HOFer, no doubt. But if you’re planning a roster for more than one season, he’s tough to take early.
15) Domonic Brown (PHI) (23): Rated as a Top-5 prospect in most lists, but failed to impress in brief playing time. May start season in the minors, but has a bright future.
16) Jose Bautista (TOR) (30): I’m not buying that the power is for real. Pay for a career year at your own peril.
17) Nick Markakis (BAL) (27): Disappointing year for the young slugger. Has to put up more than 12 HR to stay relevant in fantasy.
18) JD Drew (BOS) (35): Still effective when he plays, but may not have too many years left.
19) Travis Snider (TOR) (22): Promising youngster will likely be getting an extended look in Toronto.
20) Ben Zobrist (TB) (29): I’m not paying for his career year in 2009 (at age 27), and with Brignac and Rodriguez entrenched in the middle infield, he likely loses his best quality.
21) Lance Berkman (STL) (34): Slugger was fantasy gold until last year, when a knee injury seemed to sap his power. How much does he have left? Could be a good buy-low option.
22) Tyler Colvin (CHC) (25): His performance seemed to surprise many observers, but he did put up 20 jacks in limited time. Still strikes out too much, though.
23) Mike Cuddyer (MIN) (31): I’m really not impressed by Cuddyer. He’s basically just above average with his best quality as his positional eligibility.
24) Bobby Abreu (LAA) (36): Too old to merit much consideration, but seems to surprise everyone after he gets written off every year.
25) Jason Kubel (MIN) (28): Just average, not likely to get much better, and in a crowded situation in Minnesota. I wouldn’t take him until later in the draft.
26) Vladimir Guerrero (FA) (35): Don’t write off the old guy just yet, but I’m not sure how much I trust his knees.
27) Ryan Ludwick (SD) (32): Petco Park will keep his numbers down, but not a terrible option.
28) Magglio Ordonez (DET) (36): Good swing, but too old to merit much consideration in a keeper league.
29) Garrett Jones (PIT) (29): He’s shown some pop in his time in the majors, but would he even be playing on any other team?
30) Ben Francisco (PHI) (29): Looks like a sleeper if he starts for Philly in RF. His numbers have been good when he plays, and Philly desperately needs a righty bat, so it looks good for him.
Also consider: Michael Morse