DraftStreet is back, sponsoring another look at your fantasy baseball players to watch in 2012. The outfield is generally rather deep, but over the course of the last few seasons, trying to stock three (or four if you’re talking about a utility player) of these guys in your starting lineup can be tough. Here are five outfielders to watch for 2012 fantasy baseball.
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers – Asking Kemp to repeat the .324 average, 39 home runs, 40 stolen bases, or 126 RBIs from last year is going to be tough, but we see no reason the Dodgers can’t count on a 30/30 year and at least a .280 average out of Kemp. The big man should easily be one of the top picks in your MLB drafts this year because he is such a dynamic player, and in the end, he is just one of these players that you know you can count on for consistency year after year.
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays – The fact of the matter is that Bautista really is as good as advertised. He has 3rd base eligibility this year, and that only adds to his value in most standard fantasy baseball leagues, but even if he weren’t eligible there, he would still be a beast to draft. The potential is there for 35-40 home runs every year, and if Bautista bats anywhere near the .302 he did last season, he is once again going to be a Top 10 player in all of fantasy baseball regardless of position.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates – McCutchen is another one of these young Pirates that are going to hope to shape the team for the future. He really didn’t have a great batting average last year at just .259, but we know that the potential is there for him to hit in the .270s or even the .280s. He’s a good OPS man, especially with that whopping .901 OPS that he had in the first half of last season, and he is the type of talent that could come out of nowhere and go 30/30 as well.
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Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals – Remember when Beltran was getting all of that hype as a member of the new look Mets? Things didn’t pan out all that well for Beltran in Flushing, but now, he is going to return to the Show-Me State, where he once did a lot of damage for the Royals. You’ll be able to get good value on this switch hitter, who, if he stays healthy (and we know that that is a big “if”), has the potential to be a 20/20 type of guy with a .300 batting average.
Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox – Okay, so Crawford wasn’t nearly as big of a deal in his first season in Beantown as many thought, but that doesn’t mean that he has just dropped off the face of the earth. The power probably won’t be there after some wrist problems last year, but batting .290 and scoring a ton of runs in a great lineup is definitely a possibility. There is some great value here in taking Crawford in the middle rounds of your fantasy baseball draft, but you need to show some patience with him in this “comeback” season.