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Bernie On The Scene: Grading the Outfielders

Bernie Pleskoff

Bernie Pleskoff

Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.

Last week I began a series that looks at the power shortage in baseball.

I began with the corner-infield positions. I am concentrating on the most common starting lineup for each club and then looking at the top prospects for the position.

In some cases, the teams are employing a platoon. In that case, I will list all the viable players.

This week I look at the outfielders with special concentration on power.

All grades are for the current situation (the guy that will start the second half) and the future does not take into account any trade or player movement. Grades are weighted towards power contribution but are not based solely on that tool.

# - I am particularly bullish about the power potential of this prospect
^ - less power potential than those marked #, but some promise

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
LF B/C+
CF C+/C+
RF B-/C+

LF - Jason Kubel - has brought surprising power and solid defense.
CF Chris Young - struggles at the plate, but power is available.
RF Justin Upton - huge disappointment but power exists.

LF prospect = Bobby Borchering C+ (2013) #
CF prospect = A.J. Pollock C+ (Sept 2012)
RF prospect = Adam Eaton C+ (2013)
OF prospect = Marc Krauss C- (2013) #

ATLANTA BRAVES
LF B/C
CF B/C
RF C/?

LF - Martin Prado - outstanding hitter, but little power.
CF - Michael Bourn - fantasy gem, but lacks power.
RF - Jason Heyward - overrated for me, but coming along.

LF prospect = Adam Milligan ^
CF prospect = Matt Lipka
CF prospect = Todd Cunningham
CF prospect = Mycal Jones
RF prospect = can't identify another corner outfield prospect

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
LF D/C
CF A/C
RF B-/C

LF - Ryan Flaherty
CF - Adam Jones - this is now the guy the Orioles traded for.
RF - Nick Markakis - really hasn't done it yet, but dangerous.

LF prospect = L.J. Hoes (2013)
CF prospect = Xavier Avery (has already played this season)
CF prospect = Glynn Davis (2015)
RF prospect = Roderick Bernadina (2014)

BOSTON RED SOX
LF C/B-
CF B+/ C
RF C/B

LF - Carl Crawford - we'll have to wait and see.
LF - Daniel Nava - finally getting playing time.
CF - Jacoby Ellsbury - still a very good fantasy option.
RF - Cody Ross

LF prospect = Brandon Jacobs (2014)
CF prospect = Jackie Bradley (2013)
CF prospect = Kolbrin Vitek (2015)
RF prospect = Bryce Brentz (2013) #
RF prospect = Juan Carlos Linares (late 2012 or 2013)

CHICAGO CUBS
LF B/B-
CF C-/B
RF C/C

LF - Alfonso Soriano - Power can't be denied.
CF - Tony Campana - he can fly if he can get on base-no power.
CF - Joe Mather - not much power here
CF - Reed Johnson - good fourth outfielder
RF - David DeJesus

LF prospect = Brett Jackson (possibly late 2012)
CF prospect = Brett Jackson
CF prospect = Matt Szczur (2013)
CF prospect = Jae-Hoon Ha (2013)
CF prospect = Dave Sappelt (2012)
RF prospect = Reggie Golden (2014)

CHICAGO WHITE SOX
LF B-/?
CF B-/C
RF B/B-

LF - Dayan Viciedo - has had good spurts with more to come.
CF - Alejandro De Aza - good hitter with a little pop.
RF - Alex Rios - candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.

LF prospect = none really available for left corner
CF prospect = Keenyn Walker (2015)
CF prospect = Jared Mitchell (2013)#
RF prospect = Trayce Thompson (2013) #

CINCINNATI REDS
LF C+/C
CF C/C
RF B/C+

LF - Ryan Ludwick - has occasional pop and is dangerous at home
LF - Chris Heisey - has not been the player expected
CF - Drew Stubbs - stolen bases and little else
RF - Jay Bruce - a complete player with power

LF prospect =
CF prospect = Ryan LaMarre (2013)
RF prospect = Yorman Rodriguez (2015)

CLEVELAND INDIANS
LF D/D
CF B-/C-
RF B/C-

LF - Johnny Damon - done, thank you.
LF - Shelley Duncan - has power, but can't hit for average/brutal outfielder.
CF - Michael Brantley - finally showing he can play-took a while.
RF - Shin-Soo Choo-complete player, but not a huge home-run threat.

LF prospect = Nick Weglarz I value him higher than Indians value him #
CF prospect = Luigi Rodriguez (2014) #
CF prospect = LeVon Washington (2015)
RF prospec t= ? the cupboard is bare

COLORADO ROCKIES
LF A/C
CF B-/C-
RF C/C

LF Carlos Gonzalez - a great park for his swing.
CF Dexter Fowler - can surprise with power.
CF Eric Young, Jr.
RF Michael Cuddyer - I sure expected more at Coors.

LF prospect = Charlie Blackmon (late 2012)
LF prospect = Corey Dickerson (2014) #
CF prospect = Rafael Ortega (2014)
RF prospect = Tim Wheeler (late 2012) #
RF prospect = Kent Matthes (2013) #
RF prospect = Kyle Parker (2014) #

DETROIT TIGERS
LF B-/C
CF B/C+
RF C-/C+

LF - Quintin Berry - great surprise.
LF - Delmon Young - streaky at best, but has some pop.
CF - Austin Jackson - what a year-big comeback.
RF - Brennan Boesch - career has been streaky so far.

LF prospect= Tyler Collins (2014)
LF prospect= Danry Vazquez (2015)
CF prospect= Tyler Gibson (2016)
CF prospect= Daniel Fields (2014)
RF prospect= Avisail Garcia (2014)

HOUSTON ASTROS
LF B/?
CF C/B-
RF C/B-

LF - J.D. Martinez - a really good looking young player w/power upside.
CF - Jordan Schafer - speed without power.
RF - Brian Bogusevic - no power for a corner outfielder.

LF prospect = none
CF prospect = George Springer (2014) #
RF prospect = Domingo Santana (2013) #
RF prospect = Ariel Ovando (2015)

KANSAS CITY ROYALS
LF C/C
CF C/B (only with Sterling)
RF C/B

LF - Alex Gordon - power we saw last year is now gone.
CF - Jarrod Dyson - a speed demon with little to no power.
RF - Jeff Francoeur - We are seeing the real Jeff Francoeur.

LF prospect = David Fletcher (2014)
LF prospect = David Lough (2013)
CF prospect = Bubba Starling (2014) #
CF prospect = Brett Eibner (2014) #-
RF prospect = Wil Myers (2012 late or 2013) #
RF prospect = Jorge Bonifacio (2015)

LOS ANGELES ANGELS
LF A/A
CF A/C
RF B-/C

LF - Mark Trumbo - amazing season with huge power. +
CF - Mike Trout - not enough words to describe his present and future.
CF - Peter Bourjos - speed with little power, but some.
RF - Torii Hunter - still can get loft on ball.

LF prospect =? (Trout or Bourjos move there next year)
CF prospect = Jeremy Moore (2014-out with hip injury now)
CF prospect = Travis Witherspoon (2014) ^
RF prospect = Ronald Grichuk (2014)

+2013 we could see Trumbo at 3B, Trout in LF, Bourjos in CF and Hunter in RF

LOS ANGELES DODGERS
LF C/B
CF A/C+
RF B/C

LF - Juan Rivera
LF - Bobby Abreu - fits well in platoon.
CF - Matt Kemp - power will return.
RF - Andre Ethier - centers the ball with authority.

LF prospect = Joc Pederson ((2015)
LF prospect = Scott Van Slyke (2012) ^
CF prospect = James Baldwin (2015)
RF prospect = Alfredo Silverio (2015) # (out indefinitely after car accident)
RF prospect = Jonathan Garcia (2014) ^
RF prospect = Alex Castellanos (2013)

MIAMI MARLINS
LF C+/A-
CF C/C-
RF A-/B

LF - Logan Morrison streaky - we haven't seen the real power yet.
CF - Justin Ruggiano
RF - Giancarlo Stanton - mammoth power-watch out when he returns.

LF prospect = Christian Yelich (2013) #
LF prospect = Kyle Jensen (2014) ^
CF prospect = Scott Cousins (2013 if ever)
CF prospect = Kevin Mattison (2012)
CF prospect = Jesus Solorzano (2015)
RF prospect = Marcell Ozuna (2014)

MILWAUKEE BREWERS
LF A/C
CF C/C+
RF B/D-

LF - Ryan Braun - For me, probably the best pure power hitters in baseball.
CF - Nyjer Morgan
CF - Carlos Gomez
RF - Corey Hart - I still like what he brings but he's inconsistent.
RF - Norichika Aoki

LF prospect = Caleb Gindl (2012 late or - 13)
LF prospect = Kentrail Davis (2013)
LF prospect = Kris Davis (2013)
CF prospect = Logan Schafer (2012 late)
RF prospect = Michael Reed (2015)

MINNESOTA TWINS
LF B/?
CF C+/C
RF C/C+

LF - Josh Willingham - would love to see him in hitter - friendly park.
CF - Denard Span - nice overall game, no power.
RF - Ben Revere - see Denard Span.

LF prospect = none
CF prospect = Aaron Hicks (2014)
CF prospect = Max Kepler (2015)
RF prospect = Joe Benson (2012 late)
RF prospect = Oswaldo Arcia (2014)

NEW YORK METS
LF C/C
CF C/B-
RF B-/B-

LF - Scott Hairston
LF - Kirk Nieuwenhuis
CF - Andres Torres and Nieuwenhuis
RF - Lucas Duda - I thought he would show even more home run power.

LF prospect = Juan Lagares (2013)
CF prospect = Brandon Nimmo (2014)
CF prospect = Matt den Dekker (2013)
CF prospect = Darnell Ceciliani (2014)
RF prospect = Cesar Puello (3013)
RF prospect = Cory Vaughn (2014) ^

NEW YORK YANKEES
LF C/B-
CF A-/C
RF B-/C-

LF - Raul Ibanez
LF - Andruw Jones - has a new career off the bench in NY.
CF - Curtis Granderson - a fabulous source of power.
RF - Nick Swisher - still can take the ball deep.

LF prospect = Ramon Flores (2014)
CF prospect = Mason Williams (2015)
CF prospect = Ravel Santana (2015)
CF prospect = Slade Heathcott (late 2012 or 2013)
RF prospect = Zoilo Almonte (2013) ^

OAKLAND ATHLETICS
LF C+/C-
CF B-/B-
RF B/B with Choice

LF - Seth Smith
LF - Jonny Gomes
CF - Yoenis Cespedes - kills fastballs - why throw him one?
RF - Josh Reddick - what a great surprise - power is real.

CF prospect = Michael Choice* #
CF prospect = Grant Green
CF prospect = Jermaine Mitchell
CF prospect = Aaron Shipman
RF prospect = Michael Choice* #
RF prospect = Michael Taylor ^
*could play CF, RF or 1B

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
LF C/C
CF B-C
RF A-/C

LF - Juan Pierre
LF - John Mayberry, Jr.
CF - Shane Victorino
RF - Hunter Pence - a really underrated power hitter.

LF prospect = Larry Greene (2015)
LF prospect = Leandro Castro (2013)
CF prospect = Jiwan James (2014)
CF prospect = Carlos Tocci (2016)
RF prospect = Aaron Altherr (2015)

PITTSBURGH PIRATES
LF C-/C+
CF A/C
RF D+/B

LF - Alex Presley
CF - Andrew McCutchen - incredible season with home run power.
RF - Jose Tabata - yet to produce as a corner.

LF prospect = Robbie Grossman (2013)
CF prospect = Starling Marte (2012 late) #
RF prospect = Josh Bell (2015)

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
LF B/D
CF C/C
RF B+/A-

LF - Matt Holliday - storming at the plate lately - still has pop
CF - Jon Jay
RF - Carlos Beltran - still hitting home runs

LF prospect = Lance Jeffries (2016)
CF prospect = Charlie Tilson (2015-currently out with injury)
CF prospect = C.J. McElroy (2016)
CF prospect = Adron Chambers (2013)
RF prospect = Oscar Taveras (2013) #

SAN DIEGO PADRES
LF B/C
CF C-/C
RF C/B+

LF - Carlos Quentin - big time power in a bad hitters' park.
CF - Cameron Maybin - A huge disappointment at the plate.
RF - Will Venable
RF - Chris Denorfia - a very underrated player but little power.

LF prospect = Jaff Decker (2013) ^
CF prospect = Blake Tekotte (2014)
CF prospect = Raymond Fuentes (2014)
CF prospect = Donavan Tate (2014)
RF prospect = Rymer Liriano (2014) #

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
LF A/D
CF C/C
RF C/C

LF Melky Cabrera-another great season
CF Angel Pagan
RF Gregor Blanco

LF prospect= Leonardo Fuentes (2016)
CF prospect= Gary Brown (2113)
CF prospect= Chuckie Jones (2015)
CF prospect= Jesus Galindo (2015)
RF prospect= Francisco Peguero (20013)
RF prospect= Jarrett Parker (2014) ^

SEATTLE MARINERS
LF C+/C+
CF B-/D+ ++
RF C/C

LF - Casper Wells - has some power, but bad park for his swing.
CF - Michael Saunders - tremendous improvement this year.
CF - Franklin Gutierrez (now injured)
RF Ichiro Suzuki

LF prospect = Vinnie Catricala (2013)**
LF prospect = Guillermo Pimentel (2015)
LF prospect = Jaban Blash (2014) ^
CF prospect = none
RF prospect = Phillips Castillo (2016) #
RF prospect = Chih-Hsien Chiang (2013)
RF prospect = Johermyn Chavez (2013)

** could also play 3B and 1B
++ current Major Leaguer Carlos Peguero may figure here

TAMPA BAY RAYS
LF C/C
CF C/C+
RF B/C

LF Desmond Jennings - hasn't produced
CF B.J. Upton - has spurts, but disappoints again
RF - Ben Zobrist - starting to come around - even w/power

LF prospect = Brandon Guyer (2012-has already played)
CF prospect = Mikie Mahtook (2013)
CF prospect = Kes Carter (2016)
RF prospect = Drew Vettleson (2014)
RF prospect = Brandon Guyer (2012-has already played)

TEXAS RANGERS
LF A/B
CF C/C
RF B/C-

LF - Josh Hamilton - if healthy, he's amazing (especially in Texas).
LF - David Murphy
CF - Craig Gentry
CF - Leonys Martin
RF - Nelson Cruz hits his homers in streaks - waiting for one this year.

LF prospect = Mike Olt #
CF prospect = Jordan Akins (2016)
CF prospect = Angel Beltre (2013)
RF prospect = Jake Skole (2015)

*Olt is now playing OF, 1B and 3B

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
LF C/C
CF B-/C
RF A/C

LF - Rajai Davis
CF - Colby Rasmus - much improved over last season.
RF - Jose Bautista - now injured, but homers are his game.

LF prospect = Dwight Smith, Jr. (2016)
CF prospect = Anthony Gose (2012)
CF prospect = Jake Marisnick (2013)
RF prospect = Moises Sierra (2012) #
RF prospect = Jacob Anderson (2015)

WASHINGTON NATIONALS
LF C/C
CF B/C
RF B

LF - Stephen Lombardozzi
CF - Bryce Harper - we haven't seen what he is capable of producing.
RF - Mike Morse - when healthy he's just getting better and better.

LF prospect = Destin Hood (2013)
CF prospect = Brian Goodwin (2014) ^
CF prospect = Michael Taylor (2014)
CF prospect = Eury Perez (2013)
RF prospect = was Bryce Harper

MY CONCLUSIONS

If I am building a fantasy team, I strike quickly and select those few proven outfielders with power. Currently they are few and far between.

The scarcity of power hitters becomes more acute in "only" leagues.

The future of power hitting outfielders is not bright. Granted, the # and ^ above are only my opinion. However, I have very few players noted as having power.

Some teams have virtually no power hitting prospects in their pipeline.

Fans of a team that know their prospects better than I know them can argue my conclusions. However, even if there are more than 10% more power hitters than I have listed, the number is still very low.

Outfielders are not the only source of power on a team. However, corner outfielders were once a very good source of power. That is no longer the case with every club.

Follow me on Twitter @BerniePleskoff and at MLB.com in the Voices section.