Sunday, May 15, 2016

2011 Chicago Auto Show a Huge Success

The 103rd annual Chicago Auto Show finished this year’s session on Sunday to a larger crowd than was seen in 2010. From mini-vans to concept cars to old favorites, this year’s auto show had it all. Below are some of the better performing and coolest looking cars from the show.

Lexus CT200h

This luxury hybrid is tuned by 5 axis. That is about all the information Lexus passed along at the show. With a visual examination, one could see a custom designed wide body kit with 19 inch wheels. This hatchback has a great sleek look that rivals that fits with the Subaru WRX style.

2011 Dodge Challenger

With the paint option of “Green with Envy” only available on the Challenger R/T Classic and SRT 392 models, Dodge President and CEO, Ralph Gilles said they are “paying tribute to some of the coolest paint colors from our past.” The SRT 392 model, starting at $45,700 is available for order now, while the R/T model, starting at $36,610 will be available for order at the end of March.

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition

The special edition comes with former Mazda options, as features. Mazda only plans on producing 750 of the MX-5 model, with a price tag of $31,720. That includes HID headlamps, keyless ignition, Bluetooth capability and Sirius Satellite Radio in each car. That is great value for the quality and will likely sell out quickly.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Equipped with a 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V-8 engine, the 2012 Camaro pushes 550 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. With the ZL1 tag, Chevrolet was sure to make this car one of the most powerful on the market.

Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R Spec

Hyundai will make the V-8 5.0-liter exclusive to the R Spec model. Pushing out 429 hp and 376 lb-ft torque, Hyundai is looking to have one of the fastest sedans on the market. The R Spec will set prospective owners back $45-$50K when it is released in mid 2011.

2012 Shelby GT350 Mustang

Limited to only 350 units this year, Ford is hoping to make original 1965 Shelby owners yearn to own the newest model . Customers will have the option of either a 5.0-liter 430 hp automatic engine, or a supercharged 525 hp or 624 hp tunes manual version. The Shelby could get up to as much $90K with options, but for a collector, it’s money well spent.

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8

The 2012 Charger has received a slight makeover visually, and even more under the hood. Installed is fuel saving technology that takes the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 and changes it to four cylinder mode that’s activated over a wider rpm range.

Hyundai Veloster Rally Car

Hyundai unveiled their newest rally car which pushes nearly 500 hp. To start the process, they stripped the car naked and added stitch welding to help improve its strength. The rally car has nearly 600 lb-ft of torque and only weights 2656 pounds. The car is made almost entirely out of carbon fiber and Kevlar composites to reduce weight. The less weight a rally car has, the better it will race.

2012 Buick Regal eAssist

While I have never personally been a fan of the Buick model, the 2012 edition is a nice addition to their line. The eAssist is a mild hybrid, which means it can’t move the car on its own. With this system, owners will see the difference at the gas pumps as it is projected that it should receive 26 city and 37 highway miles. By comparison, the 2011 model had a 18 city/30 highway split.

2012 Hyundai HCD-12 Curb

My favorite car of the 2011 Chicago Auto Show is the sleek looking crossover vehicle from Hyundai. The HCD-12 is supercharged with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that pushes an estimated 175 hp. The interior features a display with access to the internet and navigation system and even includes access to Pandora internet radio.

Tags:2011 Chicago Auto Show a Huge Success

2011 Earth Day Activities in and Around Washington, D.C

Each year on April 22, the U.S. pays special attention to environmental issues by celebrating Earth Day. Earth Day, created in the 1970s, is a special opportunity for citizens to take part in community activities both celebrating our natural resources and in learning ways to better preserve them. In and around the Washington, D.C. area there are some fun and exciting ways to get involved in the community for Earth Day and to renew a commitment to protecting mother Earth.

Anacostia Watershed Society Cleanup and Earth Day Celebration :

Saturday, April 9, 2011 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

The Anacostia Watershed Society will celebrate Earth Day by hosting it’s annual cleanup along the shores of the Anacostia River. There are more than 20 clean-up sites in the District and along tributaries that travel up into Montgomery and Price George’s Counties in Maryland.

Saturday April 9, 2011 12 noon-2 p.m.

After the cleanup the AWS will host festivities at Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, MD with music and a free picnic lunch. To donate or register as a volunteer, visit

7th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo :

Saturday, April 16, 2011 & Sunday April 17, 2011

The expo features the designs of the best and brightest students, engineers, scientists, and industry leaders in the fields of conservation and sustainable energy. Teams from all over the nation will be bringing their sustainable design projects to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to compete for the EPA’s P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Award and an opportunity to win grant funding up to $90,000. Exhibitions are open to the public on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

On the National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets, Washington DC. For more information visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at:

Earth Day Party for the Planet at the National Zoo :

Saturday April 22, 2011

The National Zoo is hosting a recycling event! Bring your working cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, calculators, Apple laptop computers, gaming devices, and external drives to the front desk at the Visitor Center for recycling under environmentally appropriate guidelines, and help support conservation efforts. Regular zoo hours in April are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and admission is always free.

For more information and for the Zoo’s ‘Green Tips’ for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle visit

Earth Day Celebration at the Maryland Science Center :

Saturday April 23. 2011 12 noon – 4pm

Voted a top ten children’s museum, fun activities for the whole family will abound at the Maryland Science Center for Earth Day 2011. Activities will include making your own recycled paper, and the egg drop where teams will design and build an egg transportation device to safely transport an egg from the third floor to the first without cracking! Participants will also be able to plant their own lavender pot to take home.

All activities are free with a paid admission (Adult admission ranges from $14.95-$18.95 and for Children ages 3-12 from $11.95-$15.95)

601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 For more details, visit

Alexandria’s 18th Earth Day Festival :

Saturday, April 30, 2011 7a.m – 11a.m.

Alexandria’s annual Earth Day Festival will be held at Ben Brenman Park, 4800 Brenman Park Drive, Alexandria. Organized around the theme ‘Fashion from Trash’, students from the Alexandria Public Schools will be staging a fashion show featuring designs made from recycled materials. More information can be found at


Earth Day Network

Maryland Science Center

Anacostia Watershed Society

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Green Team Tips

Tags:2011 Earth Day Activities in and Around Washington, D.C

2011 Event 45: $1000 No-Limit Hold'em Tournament

The 2011 World Series of Poker has another $1000 no-limit hold’em tournament for Event 45. There is only one more 1K event after this one for 2011. This one starts at 12 noon Pacific time on Sunday, June 26th.

Players should expect over 3000 players for this tournament, as no-limit hold’em is the most popular game in tournament poker. This event is scheduled to last for 3 days.

Fans and players can use many resources to get more information on this event. Check out the official site for the tournament structure, PokerNews for live updates, and The Hendon Mob for full results.

Also check this article for updated chip counts and leaders as Event 45 progresses.

This tournament eventually saw another first-time bracelet winner in Kenneth Griffin. Here were the final-table results:

1 Kenneth Griffin 455,356

2 Jean Luc Marais 282,676

3 Philip Hammerling 199,366

4 Eric Baudry 143,991

5 Andrew Teng 105,262

6 Jonathan Lane 77,873

7 Antonio Esfandiari 58,288

8 Aaron Massey 44,138

9 Jeremiah Siegmund 33,813


PokerNews Live Reporting

The Hendon Mob Poker Results Database

Tags:2011 Event 45: $1000 No-Limit Hold'em Tournament

2011 Carolina Panthers Roster: Sit or Start Jimmy Clausen for the 2011 Season?

Jimmy Clausen slipped out of the 2010 NFL draft’s 1st round. When the Carolina Panthers picked him at 48th overall, the general consensus seemed to be that he was a great bargain at that draft slot. However his rookie season was rough at best. Should the Carolina Panthers sit or start Jimmy Clausen for the 2011 season?

Here are some of the reasons to sit and start Jimmy Clausen for the 2011 season. All stats are courtesy of and

#1. Inaccuracy
Although Clausen had a 68% pass completion rate in his senior season at Notre Dame, he struggled to hit his wide receivers in his rookie season. Clausen finished the season completing only 52.5% of his passes. The low completion percentage came despite offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson running a system similar to what Clausen played in at Notre Dame.

#2. Lack of Rhythm with Other Skill Position Players
At wide receiver, Steve Smith has been the franchise’s premier offensive playmaker. With Clausen at quarterback, Smith finished the 2010 season with his lowest number of catches, touchdowns, and yards since 2004.

#3. Sacks
Clausen took 33 sacks during the 2010 season, despite not playing in 3 games and only throwing 2 passes in the 1st game of the season. Some of the sacks can be attributed to the offensive line. However when Clausen dropped back on passing plays, he would frequently set up at different depths behind the offensive line. His footwork needs practice so he drops back at a standard depth. This will help the offensive line create a pocket if they know exactly where he’ll be on every play.

His presence in the pocket needs some work as well. It will partially come with experience, but Clausen needs to be making his decisions faster. At times, he seemed to be stuck on one read instead of switching to his next option. He would hold the ball too long and take a sack.

#1. Lack of Options
Let’s say the Carolina Panthers draft a quarterback in the 2011 NFL draft. The team will be installing a new offensive system. There’s a lack of a capable playmakers on the offense. Steve Smith has been streaky and hasn’t had a 1,000 yard season since 2008. There would be little help for a rookie quarterback. Why not let Clausen start and avoid having the hypothetical rookie take a beating?

#2. Progress
It’s entirely possible that Clausen could improve significantly from his 1st to his 2nd season. He was able to lead the Carolina Panthers to a win against the Arizona Cardinals. In that game, Clausen threw for 141 yards and a touchdown. He was able to complete 68.4% of his passes. If he can lean on a strong running game, Clausen can produce a win.

I think you have to look at Clausen as nothing more than a backup quarterback and possible starter at this point in his career. Although there were some expectations for him coming into the season, I saw very little potential out of him during his rookie year. I think the Carolina Panthers need to sit Jimmy Clausen for the 2011 season unless there are no other options available.

When the franchise starts hiring assistant coaches for the 2011 season, they need to take a look at a qualified quarterbacks coach. I think Clausen has the potential to develop into a game manager-style quarterback, but he needs a strong running game and a lot of work with his fundamentals. He can’t carry the team without help from his supporting cast.

Sources Jimmy Clausen’s Player Page. January 8th, 2011. Jimmy Clausen’s Career Stats. January 8th, 2011.

Tags:2011 Carolina Panthers Roster: Sit or Start Jimmy Clausen for the 2011 Season?

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

It was a hot July weekend when my family and I, out car shopping, stumbled upon my new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan. We went looking for a 2007 Townsend Van and ended up at the dealership across the street from the one we originally intended on going. At the front door, we met a wonderful car saleswoman by the name of Marilyn. After that everything fell into place and honestly, I believe I am just as enamored of the dealership as I am of my new vehicle.
Marilyn is a dedicated saleswoman with nearly 30 years of selling cars and a few months until retirement. She gets to work two hours early so she can memorize the lot and its prices and she knows which vehicle is just right for which situation. So when I waltzed up to her with my husband, three chidren and our cramped 2009 Kia Optima looking for a trade in and a mini van, she already knew the perfect vehicle. A test drive later with my quiet motley crew in tow later we were hooked! Its honestly the newest car I’ve ever owned and my first mini van.
Let me start off by saying that mine is not the full package and cost about 30,000 dollars with my trade in included. However it is still pretty nice. The seats fold down for extra room so now I can not only my kids but reasonably large furniture as well if need be. The captains seats are all wonderfully comfortable and evenly spaced for the a cool and well appreciated quiet from my three children. My mini van drives easily, has sensitive brakes, and the best safety ratings! When it starts up, my husband says it sounds like its got a little rumble in its jungle!
The only downside is the gas. This van gets about 17 city miles to the gallon or 24 highway miles. For someone who has to drive 7 miles back and forth to work, the gas goes fast. However, to me its worth the money, not only because of the peace and quiet, but the peace of mind knowing that my children are in a vehicle with a high safety rating. I wouldn’t trade my minivan for anything in the world!

Tags:2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

2011 Emmy Awards: Emmy Winner's List and Red Carpet Photos!

As part of my role at one of my primary web sites,, I was lucky enough to be on hand for the 2011 Emmy Awards red carpet in Los Angeles on Sunday. It was very exciting to be surrounded by so many big names in television, and I want to share the experience with you here!

If you missed any of the pre-show coverage or the 2011 Emmys themselves, and want to know who wore what, who said what, and who won what, just keep reading!

2011 Emmy Awards Recap: Exclusive Red Carpet Photos, Interviews and Full Emmy Winner’s List!

The 63rd Annual Emmy Awards were held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles September 18, and I have all the details for you! Click here to check out brand new, exclusive red carpet photos from the 2011 Emmy Awards.

Stars such as Mad Men actor Jon Hamm, Dancing With The Stars host Brooke Burke, The Soup host Joel McHale, SNL‘s Seth Meyers and Vampire Diaries starlet Nina Dobrev, took the time to talk to me as they made their way down the red carpet at the 2011 Emmys. Find out what they had to say right here!

For a full list of the 2011 Emmy winners, click this link.

Did your favorite celebrity or show win big at Sunday’s awards? What did you think of Glee star Jane Lynch as this year’s host? Sound off below and let us know what you think of television’s biggest night of 2011!

Attended the event articles (all links)

Tags:2011 Emmy Awards: Emmy Winner’s List and Red Carpet Photos!

2011 Fantasy Baseball: Outfield (OF) Rookies

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Outfield (OF) Rookies. Outfield (OF) Rookies 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) Rookies selections are based on players who have a rookie or prospect status in the MLB entering the 2011 season.

Outfield (OF) Rookies 2011

Domonic Brown – RF – Phi
As one of the best prospects in all of baseball, and considered by many to be a complete 5-tool player, Brown will be given an opportunity to claim the Phillies starting RF job to begin the 2011 season. At age 23 and with a highly successful minor league career under his belt, Brown who offers an excellent combination of speed and power, seems poised to become an impact player in all fantasy baseball leagues as a rookie in 2011. Combine in the fact that Brown will be situated in a high run scoring Phillies offense, and it seems reasonable to expect solid all around stats from Brown in 2011.
2010 Minor League Stats: 343 AB, 65 R, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 17 SB, .326 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 62 AB, 8 R, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 2 SB, .210 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 75 R, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 15 SB, .280 AVG

Desmond Jennings – LF/CF – TB
As one of the best minor league prospects in all of baseball during the 2010 season, Jennings was able to make his highly anticipated major league debut with the Rays at the end of last season. At age 24 and with a proven and successful minor league career under his belt, Jennings who many consider to be a near carbon copy of Carl Crawford, should seemingly have little trouble claiming a starting spot in the Rays outfield for the 2011 season. Offering 30 plus stolen base ability to go along with a solid batting average as well as a little pop in his bat, Jennings will be considered one of the top rookie of the year candidates entering the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 399 AB, 82 R, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 37 SB, .278 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 21 AB, 5 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, .190 AVG
2011 Stat Projections: 85 R, 6 HR, 45 RBI, 30 SB, .275 AVG

Michael Taylor – LF/RF – Oak
After an extremely disappointing 2010 season that resulted in Taylor hitting just 6 homeruns with a .272 batting average over 127 games at Triple-A, the top prospect light is fading quickly on this 25 year old. However given Taylor’s tremendous talent and combination of power and speed, a turnaround in 2011 is absolutely within reach. Add in the fact that the Athletics outfield offers a bunch of midlevel to below average players, and any type of hot start to the 2011 season could easily have Taylor claiming a starting spot in the Athletics outfield at some point during the 2011 season. Offering 20 homerun and 20 stolen base ability, Taylor is one hot streak away from making a significant fantasy baseball impact in 2011.
2010 Minor League Stats: 464 AB, 79 R, 6 HR, 78 RBI, 16 SB, .272 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: no major league experience
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 50 R, 12 HR, 55 RBI, 12 SB, .275 AVG

Yonder Alonso – LF/1B – Cin
The Reds 1st round pick 7th overall in the 2008 draft, Alonso is a natural 1B who has been moved to LF to try and give him his quickest opportunity for playing time in the majors. Stuck behind Joey Votto at 1B, Alonso will either need an injury to Votto or the more likely possibility of Jonny Gomes in LF struggling, to give him any significant playing time in the majors during the 2011 season. However, if either of these two possibilities happen, then Alonso could almost instantly become a top run producer in the Reds everyday lineup.
2010 Minor League Stats: 507 AB, 69 R, 15 HR, 69 RBI, 13 SB, .289 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 29 AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, .207 AVG
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 40 R, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 2 SB, .280 AVG

Casper Wells – LF/CF/RF – Det
As a seasoned minor league outfielder, Wells earned himself his first major league call up during the 2010 season, and he definitely did not disappoint. Tallying a superb .333 batting average and .560 slugging percentage to go with his 4 homeruns, 15 rbi and 14 runs scored in just 84 at bats after the all-star game, Wells could easily force his way into a significant amount of playing time with the Tigers during the 2011 season. Offering the ability to play all three outfield positions, Wells and his 20 plus homerun potential should definitely be a welcome addition to the Tigers lineup during the 2011 season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 387 AB, 56 R, 21 HR, 46 RBI, 7 SB, .233 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 93 AB, 14 R, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 0 SB, .323 AVG
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 55 R, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 5 SB, .270 AVG

Scott Cousins – CF – Fla
With the Marlins trading once considered centerfield of the future in Cameron Maybin during the offseason, the starting CF spot in Florida has now been opened and is up for grabs entering the 2011 season. Luckily for the 26 year old Cousins, a very successful late season major league debut to close out the 2010 season, has positioned him as the leading candidate to claim the everyday starting CF job to begin the 2011 season. Offering a little bit of everything as a hitter, Cousins has 10 homerun and 15-20 stolen base ability over the course of a full season.
2010 Minor League Stats: 410 AB, 74 R, 14 HR, 49 RBI, 12 SB, .283 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 37 AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, .297 AVG
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 65 R, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 15 SB, .275 AVG

Chris Carter – LF/1B – Oak
A mixture of LF, 1B, and DH is what Carter has been playing over his minor league career, and likely will play in the majors if given an opportunity during the 2011 season. After making his major league debut in August last season, Carter started in an 0-33 slump but he eventually caught up to speed and easily showcased his power hitting ability and run producing potential. Boasting 30 plus homerun potential, Carter is seemingly in the same mold as fellow slugger Adam Dunn. Much like Dunn, Carter strikes out a lot but he also draws a ton of walks, and when Carter is not strikeout out or drawing a walk, he is either hitting a homerun or a double. All in all, if given just 300 at bats in the majors during the 2011 season, Carter could be pushing 15-20 homeruns, 40-60 rbi, and a slugging percentage above .500.
2010 Minor League Stats: 465 AB, 92 R, 31 HR, 94 RBI, 1 SB, .258 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 70 AB, 8 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, .186 AVG
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 50 R, 18 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB, .265 AVG

Ben Revere – LF/CF/RF – Min
When you think of the Minnesota Twins offense and how they score runs, you probably think of a scrappy bunch of slap hitters who get on base and can steal bases with ease. Revere is built in this mold to a tee, as he can draw more walks than strikeouts and he can steal a base on any pitcher and catcher. While the Twins outfield is pretty stocked to begin the 2011 season, a speedy and versatile outfielder like Revere is the ideal replacement if an injury were to strike any of the starters. If given the opportunity, Revere could potentially become the Twins leadoff hitter at some point during the 2011 season. All in all, if Revere get playing time, then he is definitely worthy of a roster spot for fantasy baseball teams looking for stolen bases, runs scored, and a solid batting average that could register around .300.
2010 Minor League Stats: 361 AB, 44 R, 1 HR, 23 RBI, 36 SB, .305 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: 28 AB, 1 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, .179 AVG
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 55 R, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 25 SB, .290 AVG

Jerry Sands – LF/RF/1B – LAD
After an outstanding 2010 season between Single-A and Double-A, in which Sands tallied 35 homeruns, 93 rbi, 102 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, and a .300 batting average while on his way to being name the Dodgers minor league player of the year, Sands appears to be on the fast track to making an impact at the major league level. While his primary position in 1B, Sands has been playing in the OF and 3B to see if the Dodgers can find a place for him so they can get his potent bat in the lineup. Entering the 2011 season, the Dodgers LF spot appears to be Sands’ quickest way to the majors, however if an injury were to sideline either James Loney or Andre Either, then Sands could find himself playing 1B or RF during the 2011 season. For fantasy baseball purposes, Sands is all about potential if given the opportunity. I would definitely recommend filing this name away and keeping track of it in case of a midseason callup.
2010 Minor League Stats: 502 AB, 102 R, 35 HR, 93 RBI, 18 SB, .300 AVG
2010 Major League Stats: no major league experience
2011 Major League Stat Projections: 30 R, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 2 SB, .275 AVG

Nick Weglarz – LF/RF – Cle

Brett Jackson – CF – ChC

Trayvon Robinson – CF – LAD

Thomas Neal – LF/CF/RF – SF

Fernando Martinez – LF/CF/RF – NYM

Eric Thames – LF/RF – Tor

Chris Marrero – LF/1B – Was

Mike Trout – CF – LAA

Bryce Harper – CF/RF – Was

Aaron Hicks – CF – Min

For additional 2011 fantasy baseball rankings, articles, and draft tips, check out my blog at Hawk Fantasy Sports

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball: Outfield (OF) Rookies

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Bust: Austin Jackson of Detroit Tigers

Been a few days since we examined a 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Bust and that leads us today to Detroit Tigers OF Austin Jackson. No doubt about it Jackson opened up many eyes around the leagues last season as he debuted to much fanfare with a .293 average with 103 runs scored and 27 stolen bases. Jackson batted at the top of the lineup for the entire 2010 season and no doubt was one of the better values among all players since he wasn’t even drafted as a whole. Be that as it may, Jackson is setup to let down his fantasy baseball owners in 2011 and stands a solid chance of ending up as a draft busts. Lets take a look at why.

As far as Jackson’s game is concerned, the biggest stats that he excels in are both runs and stolen bases. Batting leadoff almost guarantees a large amount of runs scored and Jackson also has tremendous speed which serves his stealing ability well. What he doesn’t do however is hit for power as Jackson hit only 4 home runs all season in 618 at-bats and so expecting anything more than single digits even after he begins to fill out is not a smart idea. Jackson’s game is to get on base with a good average, score runs, and steal bases. Whatever he gets in home runs and RBI are gravy. With all being said, there are some major concerns about the stats that Jackson put up last season and its likely he will take a turn for the worse in 2011.

The first area of concern is the fact that Jackson flat out the luckiest hitter in all of baseball according to BABIP. Jackson’s BABIP of .396 was the highest mark in the game and so based on this stat alone, Jackson should see a sharp decrease from the .293 average from last season. A small caveat is that guys with good speed generally put up higher BABIP’s than those who are slower of foot but his mark was so high in 2010 that a regression is certain. Its just a matter of how much he drops. In addition to this issue, Jackson wont help stave off this regression in his average due to the fact he refuses to take walks which goes against everything that a leadoff man is trained to do. Jackson only garnered 47 walks in those 618 at-bats which is a joke and so once again its an almost certainty that a sharp drop in his average is on the way. Now since Jackson wont be getting on base as often as last season due to his luck falling by the wayside and since he doesn’t walk, his runs are likely to be impacted as well. Lack of walks + drop in average= fewer runs. So at this point we have a drop in average coming and a drop in runs as well.

Finally, Jackson not being on base as often due to the non-existence of walks and a drop in average could also impact his steals in a negative way to boot. Its common sense to see that Jackson not finding himself on first base as often this season will result in fewer attempts to pilfer second base. So the 27 steals from 2010 could drop to the lower 20 range as well. Bad signs everywhere here.

In conclusion, Austin Jackson is a losing commodity for fantasy baseball this season. It wont be a shock to me to see him bumped down in the order due to the approaching drop in numbers and so our advice is to steer clear of Jackson for 2011 if you can. His biggest asset is steals and there are plenty of guys available late in drafts that can fill this requirement so don’t fret in this respect. Once again you have been warned.

2011 PROJECTION: .272 BA 91 R 6 HR 59 RBI 25 SB

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Bust: Austin Jackson of Detroit Tigers

2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings- Starting Outfielders

2011 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings- Outfielders

Outfield has long been the buffet table of fantasy baseball (and I mean the good kind of buffet, like you find in nice hotels and not the kind you find in greasy places juts off of the interstate.) Need some speed? Just step right over here. Looking for a little extra punch? It’s over next to the batting average boosters there on the left. Use your outfield to fill in areas of weakness and you will have one tasty offensive attack.

Number One Outfielders– These outfielders will provide all of the ingredients for a fine five-star fantasy dinner.

1. Ryan Braun (.323, 38 HR, 112 RBI, 109 Runs, 17 SB)

Why is Braun the number one outfielder in fantasy baseball for 2011? Well, let’s see:

– He will star in at least four categories, and help out in the fifth.

– He has a track record of stardom.

– He’s durable, so you can count on his health as much as you can for anyone.

– He’s just turned 27.

Yeah, I would say that makes him the top outfielder this year. Bid high and with confidence- Braun will anchor many a title-winning clubs this year.

2. Carl Crawford (.308, 21 HR, 81 RBI, 116 Runs, 53 SB)

How long has Crawford been around? Seemingly forever, but he only turns 30 in August of this season. He’s in his prime, going to Fenway, and joining a team which can put runs on the board. Crawford breaks through the 20 HR barrier this year, all the while keeping those world-class wheels spinning and stealing over 50 bases. The park-added pop of Fenway makes Crawford a solid second choice as your top outfielder.

3. Matt Kemp (.298, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 94 Runs, 31 SB)

Just forget about last season and write it off to Joe Torre’s going from a baseball genius to a cranky old coot in about 3.5 seconds after leaving New York. (People forget that Torre was at best mediocre as a manager before landing in pinstripes.) For some reason, Torre seemed to despise Kemp- maybe Torre wanted to date Rhianna. Whatever, look for a major bounce back from the 26-year old Kemp as he opens the door to his prime.

4. Matt Holliday (.316, 27 HR, 104 RBI, 93 Runs, 10 SB)

I am going to say this as loudly and clearly as I can- MATT HOLLIDAY IS NOT A POWER HITTER! There- now you know a secret. Too many people bid on Holliday as if he was a big bopper, but the fact is that he has only topped the 30-homer mark twice, and both of those times were in Coors Field. The real Matt Holliday is an excellent hitter who has very good- but not great- power. I like to toss his name out early in an auction. If my fellow owners are in a profligate spending mood, Holliday will go for a price way higher than he should, pulling money from the room for when someone like Ryan Braun comes up. If owners are playing it tight, then I might get Holliday for a slight discount. If it is the latter case, stay in the bidding. Holliday is a consistent, high-quality, producer of fantasy numbers.

5. Josh Hamilton (.312, 34 HR, 118 RBI, 100 Runs, 8 SB)

A big risk/reward guy, Hamilton will crank up some astronomical numbers if he plays 150 games. But he won’t so you have to temper your expectations a bit when chasing him. If you land Hamilton, make sure to save a couple of extra bucks to get a good, quality, fourth outfielder, because that guy is sure to play some for you when Hamilton makes his annual visit to the DL. (If you are risk-adverse, drop Hamilton down at least four spots.)

6. Jason Heyward (.288, 26 HR, 97 RBI, 95 Runs, 16 SB)

Last year’s hot rookie didn’t disappoint, and he is capable of much more. This year will be another season of growth for young Mr. Heyward, and my predictions for him may be a bit on the conservative side. It would not surprise me if he topped each number cited above, and it is that upside that earns him this spot. Bid for the projection, hope for a bit more, and do whatever you have to and protect him for 2012 if you can. This year he will be great- next year he will be scary.

7. Justin Upton (.290, 25 HR, 92 RBI, 86 Runs, 23 SB)

Where did the plate discipline go last year, Justin? Aww, we’ll forgive you- you’re just a kid. Look for a return of the batting eye and the increase in production that will go with it. He’s still just a pup (age 23 on Opening Day), has a world of talent, and hits in the desert oasis of the BOB in Arizona.

8. Andrew McCutchen (.294, 19 HR, 68 RBI, 103 Runs, 47 SB)

Meet Carl Crawford 2.0. McCutchen has a very similar offensive skill set, and is just now growing into his talent. As weird as this sounds, Pittsburgh may be a little better this year, and so expect a slight uptick in McCutchen’s numbers. If nothing else, you know you’ll get speed and double-figure homers from this kid, along with a solid batting average. If he goes for any sort of discount, get in on the ground floor on this future superstar.

9. Jay Bruce (.286, 32 HR, 97 RBI, 95 Runs, 7 SB)

Last year gave you a taste of what to expect from Bruce in 2011. His second-half numbers were excellent, especially in the power department. I love players with minor league track records of success who finally show they are “getting it”. Bruce is young (turns 24 just after the season starts), has a great background, plays in the best little ball park in America in Cincy, and already tacked up three 20+ HR seasons in his “disappointing” years. Look for 30-40 bombs in 2012, with more to come in the future.

10. Shin-Soo Choo (.305, 24 HR, 98 RBI, 83 Runs, 22 SB)

The South Korean Army’s loss is fantasy baseball’s gain, as Choo is now exempt from military service in his homeland- wahoo! Anytime you can get a legit 20/20 guy with a .300 batting average, you have to love it, and that’s what Choo brings to the table. Bid for another rock-solid season and hope his Indian teammates help him pile up even better counting stats.

11. Hunter Pence (.285, 25 HR, 93 RBI, 90 Runs, 20 SB)

Hunter Pence seems like a character from a Faulkner novel, if ol’ William ever decided to do one on baseball. Pence swings, runs, and plays, like he was coached by some sort of bayou mad scientist- but he can give you some real nice production. Best part is Hunter’s still in his early prime (age 28), hits in a great hitter’s park in Houston, and has some ceiling left above him. I’m calling for Pence’s first 20/20 season in 2011, and you might get that at a dollar or two below full market value.

12. Carlos Gonzalez (.310, 27 HR, 102 RBI, 100 Runs, 28 SB)

Too bad we have numbers on the back of uniforms instead of letters. If CarGo wore the letter “S” on his jersey, fans could yell, “Look at that S CarGO!” (Say it fast- yeah, I so funny…) What won’t be funny is if you bid on Gonzalez to repeat last year’s numbers. He will do fine- he was a very good (but not great) prospect, he’s young (age 25), and still plays half of his games in Coors. But last year screams “outlier”, so don’t chase this CarGo. There is still risk here.

13. Nelson Cruz (.278, 27 HR, 81 RBI, 77 Runs, 18 SB)

Nelson Cruz has proven two things- 1) He’s not a Quad-A player, but rather someone who deserves to start in the bigs; and 2) he can get hurt just by looking at a trainer’s table. The injuries are frustrating, since the sky is the limit for Cruz’s numbers if he could stay healthy for a season. But since he makes Josh Hamilton look like Cal Ripken, you know that’s not gonna happen. Get a good fourth outfielder if you get Nelson Cruz.

14. Jose Batista ( .258, 33 HR, 106 RBI, 94 Runs, 7 SB)

Where the heck did those 54 home runs come from? Was Jose storing them up to be unleashed in one massive burst? Actually, Bautista always had some punch, he just never got too much of a chance to show it. Toronto’s park and hitting philosophy (which must be “swing hard in case you hit the ball”) plays right into Bautista’s wheelhouse, so pay for 30 big flies and hope he becomes Adam Dunn-lite.

15. Jacoby Ellsbury (.298, 11 HR, 64 RBI, 114 Runs, 56 SB)

Last year was basically a lost cause for Ellsbury, primarily due to Adrian Beltre trampling him while chasing a pop fly. (Beltre also took out Mike Cameron the same way- it must have been a great relief to both the Red Sox outfielders and their insurance agency when Beltre headed off to Texas to increase the injury threat to both Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton, like they really need it.) Back healthy this spring, Ellsbury has looked good in training camp, so bid for a nice comeback. Hitting atop the Boston batting order along with newly-acquired Carl Crawford should set up the BoSox attack better than any 1-2 punch since the Whitaker-Trammell combo for the Detroit Tigers back in the 1980’s.

16. Andre Ethier (.294, 24 HR, 97 RBI, 83 Runs, 4 SB)

Someone needs to tell Billy Beane in Oakland that constantly dealing prospects for “established vets” will eventually bite you in the butt. How good would Oakland’s outfield look if they still had Ethier (dealt to the Dodgers for Milton Bradley) and Carlos Gonzalez (shipped to Colorado as part of the Matt Holliday deal) in the middle of the Oakland lineup? Another player who seemed to suffer under the thumb of Joe Torre, look for at least a minor rebound now that Don Mattingly holds the reins.

Number Two Outfielders– Not meant to carry your team, these guys should compliment your number one outfielder, and cover any weakness he may have.

17.Nick Markakis (.302, 22 HR, 101 RBI, 89 Runs, 8 SB)

Where did Nick’s power go? Did Shane Victorino steal it? 12 homers and 60 RBI is a ridiculous low total for a hitter like Markakis, and will be the low outlier for his prime. Markakis has been getting dogged by a lot of pundits this spring. Take advantage of the bad press and scoop up a perfect second outfielder at a reduced price.Alex Rios (.274, 18 HR, 78 RBI, 87 Runs, 32 SB)

Step right up and get your ticket for the Alex Rios Carnival Ride! Will he hit .290? Will he hit .190? 20+ or less than 10 HR? You pays your money and you takes your chances- all I can guarantee you is a wild ride.

18. Ichiro Suzuki (.322, 6 HR, 45 RBI, 78 Runs, 38 SB)

Ichiro will hit .300 and steal over 30 bags three years after he’s died. If Seattle had any sort of major league-equivalent offense backing this all-time great, Ichiro would rank a lot higher. As it is, he’s a number two outfielder in a 16-team mixed leaguer.

19. Jayson Werth (.277, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 92 Runs, 14 SB)

Leaving the hitting mecca that is Philly to go to Washington cannot help your numbers, and Werth will miss out on some bennies that came from hitting in such a powerful lineup. But he is a good player, and will continue to post solid numbers in his new home.

20.Colby Rasmus (.287, 28 HR, 83 RBI, 88 Runs, 16 SB)

In 2010, Rasmus took a step toward stardom. In 2011, he will take a bigger stride (if Tony LaRussa lets him). All of his numbers got to the useful level last year, and he is only 24. If he and his manager can get on the same page, we will see exactly what has made Rasmus such a prospect in the eyes of scouts who should know. Pay the extra two bucks- he will be worth it, either in St. Louis or somewhere else after a trade.

21. Michael Stanton (.271, 26 HR, 74 RBI, 68 Runs, 10 SB)

He’ll boom or bust this year, so I went with numbers between the two. If you think these numbers are too low, pay the extra money and bet on the boom. If you think they are too high, let someone else spend their budget. Me, I’ll go for the gusto and chase for two reasons- 1) If nothing else, he will give you 20+ HR; and 2) if he doesn’t explode this year, he will in 2012, and I want to have his rights when he does.

22. B.J. Upton (.264, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 93 Runs, 44 SB)

Only 26, there is still time for Upton to blossom into the five category stud we all hope he can become. But man, owning him is not for a nervous person, because B.J. has as wide a range of possibilities as anyone in spikes. He makes Alexis Rios look like Matt Holliday. Upton could hit .300, he could hit .230. He could go for 20 big flies, he could hit 10. At least you know you will get plenty of steals from Upton- he’s topped 40 each of the past three seasons. Too much uncertainty to hitch your wagon to B.J., but a fine play if your number one outfielder is a consistent source of numbers.

23.Chris Young (.261, 26 HR, 87 RBI, 86 Runs, 32 SB)

A key component of many title-winning fantasy clubs last year, Young will always strike out too much to ever have a good batting average, and all those K’s will cost him some RBI as well. But he’s a good bet for 20/20 and is always a shot to go 30/30, and that’s valuable regardless of the batting average. Make him a second outfielder and you might just get lucky in his Batting Average of Balls in Play, which would allow Young to put up some truly magnificent numbers.

24.Shane Victorino (.284, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 88 Runs, 31 SB)

Last year we saw a new Shane Victorino, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. For some reason it looked like “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” wanted to replace the flyin’ with the tryin’ for more homers, and left his owners cryin’. I’m thinking Victorino will drop his pursuit of the home run record this year and go back to what makes him valuable to us- a solid batting average, plenty of steals, and a good amount of runs scored.

25.Vernon Wells (.275, 30 HR, 91 RBI, 82 Runs, 8 SB)

His wrist finally healed, look for Wells to make up for some lost time in the power department again this year. He’s got 30 HR thunder in his bat, is going to be in a RBI spot in the Angels lineup, and shouldn’t be under as much pressure in LA as he was in Toronto due to his insane contract. Love his potential this year, and he shouldn’t cost as much as the number two outfielders listed above.

26.Curtis Granderson (.263, 25 HR, 74 RBI, 80 Runs, 10 SB)

Granderson made a pretty significant change to his swing in the second half of last year, and it appeared to help him against lefties, his longtime nemesis. It won’t turn him into Ichiro, but the batting average should move up to at least a decent level, and hitting in the Yankee lineup and home park will keep his counting stats up. Forget about his running, though- his job in New York this year will be clear the table, not set it up.

27.Ben Zobrist (.267, 16 HR, 82 RBI, 83 Runs, 22 SB)

Also qualifies at 2B, Zobrist is a valuable guy to have on your fantasy team. His bat obviously plays best at second, but you can get by with him in your outfield. The quality of outfielders drops pretty significantly after the top 20 or so- everyone else has some sort of serious questions about their game. If you’re going to have to get an outfielder with questions, it might as well be one who can also start for you at second base.

28.Austin Jackson (.293, 10 HR, 58 RBI, 102 Runs, 33 SB)

Yes, the strikeouts are a concern, and Jackson did get more than a bit lucky on his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) last year. But there is a lot to like about his game- he’s young (age 24), already draws some walks, has a nice, sweet, swing, and is fast enough to both beat out infield hits and steal 30 bases. The power won’t be there this year, but 15-20 home run years are coming. I’ll take a young, hard-working, hustling, talent like Jackson over the old guys or injury risks left on the board at this point.

29.Nick Swisher (.253, 28 HR, 82 RBI, 85 Runs, 0 SB)

He’ll never hit over .280 again as he did last year- it just isn’t in his record. But Swisher will take walks, which helps his Runs total. What you see with Swisher is what you get- he’ll help you in HR, RBI, and Runs. Pay for those three categories and you won’t be disappointed.

30.Carlos Lee (.256, 25 HR, 86 RBI, 65 Runs, 2 SB)

Downside first- Lee is getting old and creaky, and his bat has slowed just a bit. Now for the upside- he can still go deep, and we know how chicks (and fantasy owners) dig the long ball. Houston doesn’t have anyone to replace him in the lineup, so Lee will get his swings in, which will lead to decent power numbers. Don’t pay for the .300 hitting Carlos Lee of a couple of years ago. But if your fellow owners think he’s ready for the glue factory, Lee can be a nice source of cheap power.

31.Carlos Quentin (.253, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 74 Runs, 2 SB)

Was this guy born injured? Is he made out of balsa wood? I honestly think that Quentin could think himself into a DL stint. But like I said, the outfield just isn’t as deep as it has been in the past. Try for a discount and hope you get 500 AB’s from Quentin. If that happens, you will be happy with the power numbers.

32.Juan Pierre (.281, 1 HR, 44 RBI, 97 Runs, 62 SB)

He is Juan Pierre, and he has always been Juan Pierre, so you know what you’ll get- a pretty good average that will fluctuate depending on the park (his dying quails get caught more often in smaller parks like Comisky), no power at all (if he played in a park the size of a decent junior high field, he wouldn’t hit any), lots of runs scored (he does walk a good deal), and an aircraft carrier-load of stolen bases. Pierre is as good a bet as any to swipe 60 this year and, with his history of run scoring and helpful batting average, is an underrated three-category helper.

Number Three Outfielders- If you can get help in two categories out of these guys, then they are worth the money you spent.

33.Michael Bourn (.278, 3 HR, 41 RBI, 87 Runs, 59 SB)

One of these years, Bourn is going to wake up and realize that his upside is to become the next Juan Pierre. When he does this, he will never again swing for the fences, take a few more walks, bunt for hits twice as often, and we will love him more. He’s shown flashes of realizing this the past couple of years, so perhaps this is the season that he fully embraces his destiny.

34.Adam Jones (.287, 22 HR, 74 RBI, 83 Runs, 11 SB)

Slow and steady wins the race, and that looks like it might be the career path of Adam Jones. Let’s look at his last couple of years. Two years ago, nice stats for 500 AB’s, so he proved he could play. Last year he had pretty much the same numbers, but it took about an extra 100 AB’s to get them. Some say this is bad- to me, I say it shows he can stay healthy for 600 AB’s. Combine the positives of the last two years- production in 2009, health in 2010- and you have a serious breakout candidate. I’m willing to spend a couple of extra bucks to see if my theory holds up, but maybe you won’t have to.

35. Drew Stubbs (.253, 21 HR, 73 RBI, 85 Runs, 32 SB)

For the sake of honesty, I’ll admit this up front- I don’t like Drew Stubbs. Don’t like his swing, don’t like his approach, and I don’t think he should get major league starting at-bats. In fact, I think there is at least twenty guys listed further down who would be better than Drew Stubbs if they got those at-bats. But my likes or dislikes are irrelevant here- Dusty Baker seems to like him, and Baker’s the guy who sets the lineup. So as long as Dusty keeps trotting Stubbs out there, he will hack and whack his way to around 20 bombs and 30 steals, which is all we fantasy owners care about, anyway. The only legitimate reason I have for ranking him this low is he hasn’t shown any concept of what the strike zone is, which is a failure that has torpedoed many a career.

36. Delmon Young (.296, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 80 Runs, 8 SB)

Many were shocked at how productive Young was in 2011, and I have to wonder why. They only thing that jumps out at you from his stat line is the power bump, as he topped the 20 HR mark for the first time, which helped increase his RBI numbers. But aside from that, Young did what he does basically every year. He hit for a good average, didn’t swipe many bases, and was in all respects a playable fantasy outfielder. So how will he do this year? Pretty much the same as last, I expect. He does have upside, as he is just now entering the prime of his career. That upside is tempered by Target Field, which just doesn’t yield that many homers. So if you have power coming from other spots, move Young up a bit and grab him for his consistency.

37. Bobby Abreu (.260, 16 HR, 75 RBI, 84 Runs, 21 SB)

The end is coming for one of fantasy baseball’s all-time stars. Abreu spent over a decade being a five-category horse, and many an owner rode that pony to fantasy baseball titles. But Father Time catches up to all of us eventually, and it looks like Bobby is in his crosshairs. He can still help your team- he’ll score a good amount of runs, even with the declining batting average, due to his exceptional eye at the plate. He is a very smart baserunner, so 20 steals is still likely. But the power and batting average are on the wane, and so with them will go the RBI. This may be the last year Abreu ranks as a starting outfielder. If it is, thanks for the ride, Bobby- you’ll be missed.

38.Michael Cuddyer (.272, 18 HR, 86 RBI, 84 Runs, 6 SB)

He will qualify at both outfield and first base in your league, and fills the same role at either spot- that of a low-level starter who won’t hurt you, but won’t earn you a Yoo-Hoo shower at the end of the season, either. The vastness of Target Field is a drain on the home run totals of any Twins hitter not named Justin Morneau, but the Twins still get lots of guys on base, and Cuddyer is a solid, line-drive, hitter who will get them home. A smart play with Cuddyer is to get him, pick up a comparable guy as your number four outfielder (which frees Cuddyer up to be your backup first baseman, if you need him), and then go after a Brandon Belt or similar big-upside prospect at first. If the prospect comes through, you’re sitting pretty. If he doesn’t, you can still plug Cuddyer in at first in case of injury.

39. Jason Bay (.260, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 66 Runs, 8 SB)

While he has been a steady and, at times, superior, producer over the years, Bay is getting old before our eyes. The move to Citi Field doesn’t help- it’s the NL’s version of Target Field, and has the same effect on power. Compounding that effect on Bay’s power was his concussion last year, which must have been a granddaddy of a concussion, as it continued to be a problem over the off-season. Now back playing, Bay headed directly to the DL with a strained oblique, the sort of injury that can linger for half a season or more. Just way too much uncertainty for me to call Jason Bay anything more than a third outfielder, and you want to be certain to back him up with someone who can help in a couple of categories. Don’t spend high here.

40. Brett Gardner (.275, 4 HR, 42 RBI, 88 Runs, 42 SB)

If Michael Bourn should aspire to become Juan Pierre, than Brett Gardner should aspire to become Michael Bourn. Despite showing an ability to get on base throughout his minor league career, last year’s OBP of .383 isn’t sustainable- this isn’t Rickey Henderson we’re talking about. Best guess is pitchers begin to pump their best fastballs in on Gardner for strikes and try to knock the bat out of his hands, since he’s no threat to go yard on them. His speed is legit, and the Yankees do let him run, so pencil Gardner in for about a .350 OBP and 40 steals. The risk here is real- last year was a best case outlier, but he’s a Yankee, so his price could get inflated. Be aware that he could get pounded right back to the bench.

41. Torii Hunter (.273, 22 HR, 84 RBI, 72 Runs, 7 SB)

A remarkably consistent fantasy asset over his career, the bell is beginning to toll on Hunter. The tread on his wheels is wearing thin, and that takes away the assets of 20+ steals and 80+ runs away, as well as costing him some points on his batting average. He will still get his 20 taters, his RBI count will help, but the only direction for Torii to go now is down. Don’t bid on his past, bid on his present, and there is no need to kick in the extra buck to have a hold on his future.

42. Denard Span (.283, 5 HR, 62 RBI, 91 Runs, 27 SB)

A safe play at your third outfield spot, Span will hit somewhere between .275 and .295, drive in about 60, and score around 90, give or take. There’s no power to be found here- Target Field took care of that. But Span won’t hurt you, he’ll get you 25-30 steals, and has some upside being only 27 years old. If you’re risk-averse, he is a good choice for you, even if he is boring.

43. Travis Snider (.264, 23 HR, 68 RBI, 81 Runs, 5 SB)

We have been hearing about Snider for three years now, and a cursory check of his career stats gives us reason to ponder if we’re all nuts. He hasn’t done much in the three major league seasons he’s had, but a closer examination of the record is intriguing. In those three years, he has basically completed one full MLB season of 600 AB’s over a 162 games. His line? .255, 22 HR, 66 RBI, 79 Runs, 6 SB. If Snider was a rookie who hung that stat line up in his first season, we would be talking about him in the same breath as Jason Heyward and Michael Stanton. Am I saying he is as good a prospect as those two? No- but I am saying that he isn’t far behind, he has more MLB experience than either, just turned 23, and you should take full advantage of this knowledge to grab Snider and then use him to beat your fellow owners over the head.

44. Magglio Ordonez (.304, 14 HR, 73 RBI, 77 Runs, 0 SB)

Mags is getting’ long in the tooth, but he has settled into a pretty nice little groove in his elder days. He can still give you a .300 batting average and a good OBP, which is nice from a third outfielder, and he has Miggy Cabrera and Victor Martinez hitting behind him, so he will score runs. He won’t deliver the long ball for you, and he couldn’t steal more than one base this year unless he was armed, but for a minimal investment, you’ll get good value. The wild card is his RBI, which are totally dependant on the Tigers’ first two hitters in the lineup. If Austin Jackson and whoever hits second can get on base, Ordonez can get them home, which would be a pleasant little bonus for his owner. The injury/age risk is the only reason Ordonez is ranked this low.

45. Carlos Beltran (.272, 17 HR, 71 RBI, 68 Runs, 2 SB)

Forget about Beltran ever getting back to near he once was- those injuries are scary, and he never really was as great as his image, anyway. Buy him now and you are paying for number three outfielders power numbers. If you can get him for under what you what you budget for that, go ahead and take him. Don’t pay your budget, and make sure you don’t pay over- he won’t be worth it. If you’re going to do that, go with someone with more upside…

46. Logan Morrison (.285, 16 HR, 68 RBI, 76 Runs, 3 SB)

…like young Mr. Morrison here. In his MLB debut, Morrison showed the skill set we have heard about while he was in the minors- a discerning batting eye, line drive doubles power, and a good approach at the plate. He has yet to grow into his power, so don’t rely on him for home run help in 2011. What you can look for from Morrison is a steady batting average, decent counting stats, and the prospect of having the rights to him again next year.

47. Jason Kubel (.264, 20 HR, 84 RBI, 70 Runs, 0 SB)

Like so many Twins, Kubel is boringly predictable, with little upside. Yet that predictability has value, as you know Kubel with give you around 20 jacks and 80 RBI. His batting average will flail around depending on how many lefthanders he has to face (he isn’t very good against any decent southpaw), but the rest of the stat line will be there. A worthy third outfielder in a 16-team league.

48. Grady Sizemore (.263, 23 HR, 71 RBI, 67 Runs, 7 SB)

Coming back from microfracture knee surgery, Sizemore is a wild card for 2011. The procedure is still new, so we don’t have a track record of how players respond to the work. Best guess is Grady will still have 20+ home run power, but you can forget about double figure steals, at least for this year. He’s running OK in spring training , which make him a worthwhile gamble here. If someone else in your league is willing to bet more than you, don’t go all-in for Sizemore. The risk is too great, the likely reward too small.

49. Aubrey Huff (.254, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 58 Runs, 3 SB)

Huff has had some surprising years in the past, but noting beats last season. That production came totally out of the blue, and anyone who expects a repeat is certifiably nuts. That said, Huff does have some advantages as a fantasy player- he qualifies at both first base and the outfield, he usually hits double figure HR’s, and…er, well, that’s about it. He’s a fourth outfielder to me, and I suggest you bid accordingly.

50. Jose Tabata (.287, 8 HR, 44 RBI, 89 Runs, 33 SB)

The latest in the Juan Pierre/Michael Bourn/Brett Gardner line, Tabata carries some potential that separates him from his fellow speed demons. He has some power potential- double figure home run seasons are in his future. He’s starting out at a younger age (22 years old), so he has time to learn. He plays in Pittsburgh, which seriously reduces the pressure on him during his learning period. All added together makes Tabata a great chance to take as your number four outfielder. He is one of the guys with whom you could get real lucky.

There are your top 50 outfielders. While not deep in four and five category beasts, you can find a lot of help throughout this list. Mix and match to fill the needs you have on your squad, and don’t be afraid to walk away from the table on most of the players in the bottom twenty or so- there is redundancy in the skills those players bring to your club.

I’ve mentioned this in my other articles, but I’m not proud, so I’ll do it again- if you enjoy my work, please consider picking up a copy of my new ebook, “Who Da Man? The Quintessential History of the NBA Draft 1947-2010”, now available on and In the book, I break down each NBA draft since 1947 by slot, list each player picked at each slot, and choose a best and featured player for each slot. Each player selected has a recap (there are some fascinating stories in there), and the top 30 slots have a top five players drafted at each. There is also my ranking from worst-to-first of each NBA draft. Thanks for reading my stuff, and I will get that second baseman article out toot sweet!

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings- Starting Outfielders

2011 Fantasy Baseball Issues: What to Do About Aging Vets?

The 2010 fantasy baseball season was one that saw a large number of veteran players on the wrong side of 30 have poor seasons that caused many to wonder if they were done being contributors to our fake game. Guys such as Carlos Lee, Derrek Lee, and Derek Jeter all showed signs of age and decline and so one has to wonder if they are worthy of fantasy baseball consideration for 2011. Lets take a look at some of these names and find out whether they are worth another shot.

Derrek Lee: Lee fell flat on his face last season with only 19 home runs while hitting only .260. This was a far cry from the 35 home run bonanza of 2009 but that season was the anomaly for Lee. Looking back at his last five seasons, 2009 was the outlier. Lee was the victim of a poor BABIP last season so his average will come back up but expecting more than 20-25 home runs is unrealistic. He signed with Baltimore in the offseason and at 35 Lee is the same age as Paul Konerko so he could have one more decent but not great season in his body.
Get Him or Leave Him: GET HIM

Derek Jeter: Jeter no doubt is the most talked about superstar coming off a down year with his contract negotiations becoming very public this offseason. Jeter has been down this road before with a poor 2008 season causing some to question his ability but he came right back and had a huge 2009 season. You cant count out someone with as much pride as Jeter and in this lineup he is at least guaranteed to put up huge runs with a solid average. The shortstop position is so shallow that Jeter is still worth your attention.
Get Him or Leave Him: GET HIM

John Lackey: That free agent signing didn’t go as planned for the Sox as Lackey has his worst season by far since coming up with the Angels as a kid. No doubt the move from the poor hitting AL West to the monstrous AL East could be the main reason but Lackey also showed a decline in his K-rate which proved deadly. The division is a beast and Lackey is another year older for someone who hasn’t had great health in his career.
Get Him or Leave Him: LEAVE HIM

Carlos Lee: This one hits me hard as Lee was a one of “My Guys” that I owned seemingly every season. I sensed before last season it was time to get out and I was proved prophetic as his batting average plummeted to .246 and his home runs declines for the fourth season in a row. Big guys such as Lee don’t age well but this is still a pretty professional hitter who suffered from a very low BABIP in the first half of 2010. Lee’s season after April was more in line with what he had done his last few seasons and he now has added 1B eligibility. This is a decent backup OF to stash in case of injuries.
Get Him or Leave Him: GET HIM

Lance Berkman: The bottom fell out for Berkman who looks like a platoon player now due to extreme struggles against lefties. His power also fell off the map as injuries have seemed to sap his strength. He takes his bat to St. Louis now to play the outfield so increased risk of injury is in play for this fading star.
Get Him or Leave Him: LEAVE HIM

So there you have it. Certainly some of these guys have some value left for owners to use for 2011 but some need the fork stuck in them for sure. Be careful here but if the price is right than take a shot.

Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Issues: What to Do About Aging Vets?

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