This was an interesting list to come up with last offseason. It’s always hard to tell who’s got one or two more good years left in the tank and who is in fact, done. As you’ll see, I was a little hit or miss here.
In most cases, if you were to come up to me and ask me before the season if I would recommend a hitter that would bat .204, I would tell you to avoid at all costs. But Adam Dunn is not most hitters.
The White Sox are a potent lineup and despite hitting .204, a league high 105 walks gave Dunn an OBP of .333. Now, that’s still not great, but it’s not awful either. Granted, OBP is not a standard fantasy stat, but runs scored is, and you won’t score runs without being on base. But while his 87 runs scored is solid, that’s not why you draft Dunn.
You draft Dunn for the long ball, and he found that stroke again, socking 41 homers on the season with 96 homers to go along with it.
2013 Prospects: On balance, I like Dunn to continue strong in homers, RBI, and runs. Chicago had a good offensive season, but guys like Alexei Ramirez could have been better and Paul Konerko missed a lot of time, missing 18 games. That’s just a way of saying that I feel Dunn will have at least the same kind of help in 2013. Also, while I think expecting anything around .250 for an average is overly optimistic, I am also looking for Dunn to upgrade from .204.
The problem with Dunn is the position he plays. First base is incredibly strong and unless you’re in a really deep league, it’s hard to imagine that you can’t get a better player than Dunn. Now, if your team has a lot of speed and average guys and you need some thump, bring Mr. Dunn on board. He has his flaws, but I can’t see Dunn under 35 homers and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get to closer to 45.
Los Angeles Angels Outfield:
My focus in the beginning of the season was on Abreu and Wells. I’ll say with all certainty that they’re both done as major league starters, so don’t have them on your fantasy team. Now Hunter on the other hand is a different story.
In 2011, Hunter hit .262. In 2012, he was up to .313. The first time in his career Hunter went over .300.
In 2011, Hunter drove in 82 runs. In 2012, he drove in 92 despite hitting seven fewer homers (2011 – 23, 2012 – 16), and playing in 16 fewer games.
He turned 37 in July, but was still a pretty good all-around fantasy option.
2013 Prospects: This is where things get interesting. The Angels have a pretty serious youth movement going on, so it would be surprising if he returned next year, as Hunter is a free agent. If I am right, he’ll not only lose the luxury of hitting around star players, but unless he signs a one-year deal somewhere, won’t have the urgency of a contract year going for him.
Now, Hunter’s a professional and I am certainly not suggesting that he’ll dog it with a guaranteed long term deal, but age is also becoming a factor. Ultimately, I am holding my 2013 prediction until I see where he signs. If Hunter goes to a contender with some offense around him, I think he’s viable in 2013. If he goes to an also-ran, I’d look elsewhere. Remember, outfield is a position with plenty of talent around the league.
I really don’t know to say if I got this one right or not. First off, a big part of my theory is that the A’s would be out of contention early and go young, which would push Crisp aside. But it was the A’s, not the Rangers or Angels, that won the American League West. On the other hand, Crisp only played 120 games. Still he stole 39 bases, which was not a surprise.
2013 Prospects: The problem is Crisp is that in Oakland, playing time for outfielders is hard to come by. Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick are starters, which leaves Crisp, Jonny Gomes, Seth Smith, and Brandon Moss fighting for time. Sure, there’s a DH and first base, but Cris Carter is a factor there too. Mind you, I didn’t even mention any of the young players that the A’s bring up more often than any other team.
Really, I’d leave Crisp on the waiver wire unless your team needs steals and only steals. He only hit .259 this year and while 11 homers is a decent total for him, I wouldn’t expect anything more than 10 in a given year. We’ll have to see if all of those guys stay in Oakland for 2013, but Crisp still has little value outside of the steal.
Alright, I’m not going to give myself too much credit here. Huff wasn’t much of a factor in 2011. Still, he was the opening day left fielder for the Giants and batted fifth in the lineup, so someone obviously had high expectations for him. Huff didn’t answer the bell in 2012, dealing with anxiety issues, injuries, and age. It’s doubtful that he’ll ever be a starter again.
But I would like to remind you guys why I chose Huff in the first place.
No, I am more bringing his name up so you know about Brandon Belt….At the end of last season, Belt was getting at bats and improving his batting stroke. On a team that will struggle to generate offense beyond Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey, the Giants will need to maximize their offense. That means that Belt has to come up.
Belt I might have missed on.
2013 Prospects: There’s not much more to say about Huff.
As for Belt, he really came on strong at the end of 2012, but still lacks the power you want out of the first base position. Being a lefty, it’s hard to imagine him ever going beyond 20 homers while AT&T Park is his home stadium.