Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NL West preview: Outfield

Part 2 of my preview for the '09 season...

Left Field
1. Manny Ramirez - Dodgers

2. Connor Jackson - Diamondbacks

3. Chase Headley - Padres

4. Seth Smith - Rockies

5. Fred Lewis - Giants

Manny is far and away the head cheese in this group. That's not to say that the others aren't any good, because there's definite potential. Jackson hit .300 with a .376 OBP last season, but people want to see more than just 12 home runs. He could hit more, but maybe that's just not in his makeup. Headley is on the rise and should get plenty of playing time in that lineup. He'll probably have to get used to hitting with nobody on base (unless it's Adrian Gonzalez). Smith could platoon, but can hit over .300 if given the chance.

Center Field
1. Matt Kemp - Dodgers

2. Chris Young - Diamondbacks

3. Aaron Rowand - Giants

4. Ryan Spilborghs - Rockies

5. Jody Gerut - Padres

Kemp is one of those promising players that fantasy people drool over. With Manny back in the lineup, there's plenty of reasons to think that he could make the next step this season and be a big threat. Young was outstanding in '07, and not so much in '08. He still hit 22 HR and 85 RBI, so if he can get his OBP way above .315, he'll be in good shape. Rowand doesn't get much help in San Francisco, but he's a gamer and always plays hard.

Right Field
1. Brad Hawpe - Rockies

2. Andre Ethier - Dodgers

3. Justin Upton - Diamondbacks

4. Brian Giles - Padres

5. Randy Winn - Giants

The deepest of all outfield spots, all 5 players either have or are capable of putting up great seasons. Hawpe appeared in 138 games because of a hamstring injury, but still hit 25 and 85 with a .381 OBP. Ethier got much better with Manny in the lineup, as he really took off in the 2nd half. Upton only hit .250 last year, but with a .350 OBP. He could potentially put up 30 homers once he figures things out. Giles and Winn have been around the block, but if you look at their numbers, they are still very solid.

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