May 26, 2020

Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Top Five OF Prospects For 2011

January 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Philadelphia OF Domonic Brown is arguably the top prospect in baseball. If everything goes as expected in spring training, he will break camp as the Phillies starting right fielder and make a significant impact on fantasy leagues in 2011.


In articles such as this, many websites give readers a list of the best overall prospects at a given position, but the intention here is to focus on those prospects who are most likely to provide a significant fantasy impact during the 2011 season; therefore, a guy like Mike Trout – who is blocked in Los Angeles and is likely to make his MLB debut in the second half of 2012 – is not on my list.

Here is my list of the five outfield prospects who are likely to have the greatest impact at the major league level in 2011:

1. Domonic Brown, PHI
2010 performance: .327, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 17 SB, 65 R (combined stats at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley) and .210, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 2 SB, 8 R in 62 AB in MLB (with Philadelphia)

Brown was a schoolboy star selected in the 20th-round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft. He has made a steady climb through the Phillies minor league system – and up the MLB’s prospect rankings – in the ensuing years. He’s considered by most observers to be a “legitimate” five-tool player and is being counted on to fill the void left by Jayson Werth’s departure for the Nation’s Capitol.

It’s a lot to expect from a 23-year old, especially on a team with championship aspirations and in a tough city like Philadelphia… but the Phillies are convinced he will be up to the challenge. I expect he will hit .260, with 15-20 HR and 15-20 SB, in his first full season in the City of Brotherly Love.

2. Desmond Jennings, TB
2010 performance: .278, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 37 SB, 82 R (at Triple-A Durham) and .190, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 5 R in 21 AB in MLB (with Tampa Bay)

Jennings made it possible for Tampa Bay to allow free agent Carl Crawford to walk away without looking into the abyss. Jennings had a rough 2010 season, by his standards, but he’s expected to rebound in 2011 en route to taking his spot in the Tampa outfield in the second half of the year. He is a patient hitter with tremendous stolen base capability… as such, he should be a solid three-category contributor in your fantasy leagues (BA, SB, R). He has had an above-average walk percentage in the minor leagues, which should translate to a high OBP in the big leagues an ample stolen base opportunities.

Look for the Rays to fall out of contention in the eastern division by mid-season. I expect they will then trade newly-signed Johnny Damon and / or Manny Ramirez at the trading deadline, making room for Jennings in left field in the second half of the year. I would not be surprised to see him steal 20-25 bases in a half-season.

3. Nick Weglarz, CLE
2010 performance: .285, 13 HR, 47 RBI, 3 SB, 51 R (combined stats at Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus)

Some pundits compare Weglarz to Adam Dunn. While I think the comparison is a bit of a stretch, it’s not all together inaccurate. He is big (6’3?, 240 lbs), powerful, and can hit with power to all fields. He also takes a ton of walks (50 BB in just 312 AB last year). He has had trouble staying healthy, but when he is healthy he can rake (.285 / .390 / .503 last year).

With the Indians in full rebuilding mode, Weglarz will likely see time in Cleveland during the second half of the year. He is one of those guys who could fly under the radar in your fantasy draft… grab him and stash him in the hopes he’ll get a serious look in the second half of the year. He could be a nice infusion of power as you fight for your league title.

4. Ben Revere, MIN
2010 performance: .305, 1 HR, 23 RBI, 36 SB, 44 R (at Double-A New Britain) and .179, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, 1 R in 28 AB in MLB (with Minnesota)

Revere was a first round pick in 2007, to the surprise of the entire baseball community… word is he was drafted that early because he agreed to sign early and for well-below slot (he signed for just $750K). Regardless, he’s an outstanding contact hitter with great speed.

He will likely start the season in AAA, but could be called up later in the season. While he is behind OF Aaron Hicks in the Minnesota system, the Twins believe Hicks is going to need at least another full season in the minor leagues due to his struggles hitting against right-handed pitchers. That means Revere gets the nod when / if the parent club finds itself in need of an outfielder during the 2011 campaign. He is a “slappy” hitter who makes contact in front of home plate so he won’t hit for power, but will provide a solid BA/OBP and is capable of stealing 30+ bases.

5. Trayvon Robinson, LAD
2010 performance: .300, 9 HR, 57 RBI, 38 SB, 80 R (at Double-A Chatanooga)

Robinson showed solid growth in 2010. He’ll likely start the 2011 campaign in Triple-A, but if he continues to demonstrate the same kind of development he had last year, he would be a candidate to be promoted to the big leagues after the all-star break. Prospect Jerry Sands may have a higher upside than Robinson, but he is not yet ready for prime time whereas Robinson is just about there.

Robinson strikes out a bit too much for my liking (125 K in 434 AB in 2010), but improved plate discipline (73 BB) helps to mitigate those concerns. The Dodgers enter the 2011 season with just Jay Gibbons (a career .260 hitter) and Tony Gwynn (a career .244 hitter) ahead of him on the depth chart, so if he continues to progress offensively he could find consistent playing time at Chavez Ravine in August and September.

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