2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Outfield (OF) Breakout Players. Outfield (OF) Breakout Player selections are based on a standard scoring system in mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball leagues for the 2011 season. Scoring system stats include: runs scored, homeruns, rbi, stolen bases, and batting average – (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG). AB = at bats during the 2010 season.
Outfield (OF) Breakout Player selections are based on players who have the potential to post a significant increase in offensive statistics during the 2011 season. Outfield (OF) Breakout Players are players to consider drafting a round or two earlier, based on their offensive stat potential likely being greater than what their fantasy baseball draft position is to begin the 2011 season.
Outfield (OF) Breakout Players 2011
Jason Heyward – Atl
Entering the 2010 season as the top hitting prospect in all of baseball, Heyward at just age 20 easily won the opening day starting RF job in Atlanta to begin the 2010 season. With expectations extremely high, Heyward absolutely did not disappoint, as he tallied a rock solid 18 homeruns, 72 rbi, 83 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, and a .277 batting average during his rookie season in 2010. Offering stat potential similar to that of Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday and Matt Kemp, Heyward who is often ranked outside of the top 10 overall outfielders taken in fantasy baseball drafts to begin the 2011 season, could easily produce stats worthy of being a top 5 overall OF by the end of the 2011 season.
2010 Major League Stats: 520 AB, 83 R, 18 HR, 72 RBI, 11 SB, .277 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 100 R, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 15 SB, .290 AVG
Jay Bruce – Cin
Since making his major league debut back in 2008, the expectations for Bruce have been extremely high. So even though Bruce has tallied three straight seasons of 20 plus homeruns to begin his major league career, he is still often thought of as a fantasy baseball bust. Yet on a positive note, Bruce finished the 2010 season virtually on fire, as he tallied an outstanding 15 homeruns, 34 rbi, 30 runs scored, and a .306 batting average in just 186 at bats after the all-star break. Now entering his fourth season in the majors and still only 24 years old, Bruce could easily be in for a huge breakout season in 2011. 30 plus homeruns and 10 stolen bases is definitely within reach.
2010 Major League Stats: 509 AB, 80 R, 25 HR, 70 RBI, 5 SB, .281 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 90 R, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 10 SB, .290 AVG
Adam Jones – Bal
After a solid season in 2009, Jones entered the 2010 season with high expectations for a breakout year while becoming one of the best hitters in the Orioles lineup. Unfortunately for the Orioles and fantasy baseball teams who gambled on drafting Jones early last season, Jones was just an ordinary hitter in 2010 as he put up a near carbon copy of his 2009 stats. Yet on the upside, Jones is still only 25 years old, and he has plenty of ability to finally breakout in 2011. A 25 homerun and 15 stolen base season is absolutely within reach for Jones in 2011. Often ranked outside of the top 40 outfielders taken in fantasy baseball drafts to begin the 2011 season, Jones could reel in a nice loot for fantasy baseball teams as late-mid round draft pick in 2011.
2010 Major League Stats: 581 AB, 76 R, 19 HR, 69 RBI, 7 SB, .284 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 90 R, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 15 SB, .290 AVG
Colby Rasmus – StL
While Rasmus clearly progressed as a major league hitter during the 2010 season, there is no denying that he also struggled mightily during the second half of the season after the all-star break. However given his place in a potent run scoring St. Louis offense, Rasmus has all the tools to tally stats in the range of 25-30 homeruns and 15-20 stolen bases. With a ranking often after the top 25 outfielders taken in fantasy baseball drafts to begin the 2011 season, Rasmus could definitely rack up stats worthy of being a top 10 overall outfielder in fantasy baseball leagues by the end of the 2011 season.
2010 Major League Stats: 464 AB, 85 R, 23 HR, 66 RBI, 12 SB, .276 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 90 R, 25 HR, 80 RBI, 15 SB, .280 AVG
Mike Stanton – Fla
With hype overflowing for Stanton entering the 2010 season, the big lights of the major leagues definitely did not slow him down. Beginning the 2010 season at Triple-A, Stanton earned himself a much deserved June callup for his major league debut with the Marlins. Displaying the power hitting ability that he was known for during his minor league career, Stanton tallied an outstanding 17 homeruns, 16 doubles, 39 rbi, a .538 slugging percentage, and a .271 batting average over 251 at bats after the all-star break as a 20 year old rookie in 2010. Offering the potential to be a 35 plus homerun hitter at just 21 years old during the 2011 season, Stanton is a huge reward/risk for fantasy baseball teams entering the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 192 AB, 42 R, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 1 SB, .313 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 359 AB, 45 R, 22 HR, 59 RBI, 5 SB, .259 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 85 R, 35 HR, 100 RBI, 5 SB, .270 AVG
Austin Jackson – Det
In terms of rookie expectations, Jackson was every bit as good of a rookie leadoff hitter as any major league team could have hoped for during the 2010 season. Putting up a steady and reliable stat line all season long, Jackson seemingly eluded any major slumps during his rookie season, and if that is any indication for the future, Jackson could easily become one of the best leadoff hitters in the entire league in just a year or two. With a 27 stolen base, 103 runs scored, and .293 batting average season already in the bank from 2010, Jackson could easily take the leap up to the 35 plus stolen base plateau in 2011. With a typical ranking outside of the top 50 outfielders taken in fantasy baseball drafts to begin the 2011 season, Jackson not only offers excellent value, but excellent upside as well for fantasy baseball teams with their mid to late round draft pick.
2010 Major League Stats: 618 AB, 103 R, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 27 SB, .293 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 110 R, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 35 SB, .295 AVG
Jose Tabata – Pit
After making his major league debut in June of last season, Tabata took full advantage of his opportunity. Splitting time between the leadoff and #2 spot in the Pirates lineup, Tabata put together an outstanding second half of the 2010 season after the all-star break that resulted in 49 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, and a .322 batting average over 289 at bats. With a full season potentially in the leadoff spot for Tabata in 2011, it would not be surprising if Tabata tallied stats in the range of 100 runs scored, 10 homeruns, 35 stolen bases, and a batting average around .300 for the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 224 AB, 42 R, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 25 SB, .308 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 405 AB, 61 R, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 19 SB, .299 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 100 R, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 35 SB, .300 AVG
Logan Morrison – Fla
After getting called up in July last season, Morrison immediately claimed a permanent starting spot in the Marlins lineup as their everyday left fielder. As a rookie in 2010, Morrison showed no signs of struggling to adjust to major league pitching. Displaying an excellent eye at the plate to go along with an outstanding ability to get on base, Morrison excelled as the #2 hitter in the Marlins lineup during the 2010 season. At age 23 and with developing power hitting ability, Morrison should claim a permanent spot in the Marlins batting order somewhere between the #2 and #5 spot for the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 238 AB, 36 R, 6 HR, 45 RBI, 1 SB, .307 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 244 AB, 43 R, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 0 SB, .283 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 85 R, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 3 SB, .290 AVG
Alex Gordon – KC
I don’t even think putting Gordon’s name here is legal, but the potential is just too great with Gordon to overlook him simply because he has been a bust thus far during his major league career. With a position change from 3B to LF midway through the season last year, Gordon once again was able to dominate minor league pitching during his time at Triple-A in 2010. However when given the opportunity to play in the majors, Gordon once again fell flat. Entering the 2011 season with the LF starting job his to lose in Kansas City, there is no denying that Gordon could finally have that much anticipated breakout season this year.
2010 Minor League Stats: 260 AB, 59 R, 14 HR, 44 RBI, 7 SB, .315 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 242 AB, 34 R, 8 HR, 20 RBI, 1 SB, .215 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 70 R, 20 HR, 75 RBI, 10 SB, .270 AVG
Other OF Breakout Players
Franklin Gutierrez – Sea
Chris Coghlan – Fla
Brett Gardner – NYY
For additional 2011 fantasy baseball rankings, articles, and draft tips, check out my blog at Hawk Fantasy Sports