There are plenty of Right Fielders to go after in a 2009 Fantasy Baseball Draft. Some tried and true veterans like Ichiro will give you steady production all year long, and even aging players like Vladimir Guerrero will still put up good stats. Yet if you are playing in a keeper league, you may want to draft players between the ages of 21-26 who will produce for you this season, but whose better years still lay ahead of them. Here then are the top five young Right Fielders to consider when drafting for a keeper league in 2009.
Corey Hart (Brewers)
Hart is 26, and has produced back to back 20-20 seasons, and judging from the number of extra base hits he had in 2008, a 30-30 season in the near future is not out of his reach. The fact that he plays on a young talented team will also help his numbers. Hart is coming of a season in which he hit 20 homers, stole 23 bases and collected 93 RBIs. Look for a slight increase to those numbers this year.
Nick Markakis (Orioles)
Though Baltimore did not have much to cheer about in 2008, Markakis (age 25) was certainly a bright spot on the team. Markakis followed a tremendous break out year in 2007, where he hit .306 with 23 homers, 113 RBIs and 18 steals, with a season that saw him hit .306, with 20 homers and 106 runs. There is no reason to believe that Nick could not become a steady .300/30/100 producer for years to come.
Hunter Pence (Astros)
Pence(age 25) the Astro’s second round draft pick in 2004, had an excellent rookie season in 2007, hitting .322 with 17 homers and 11 steals. Proving his rookie year wasn’t a fluke, Pence put up 25 homers, 83 RBIs and 11 steals in 2008. Look for Pence’s power to continue to increase and for his homerun output to go over the 30 mark over the next few seasons. He should be a five category producer in fantasy baseball for years to come.
Jay Bruce (Reds)
Bruce is young (21), full of potential, and coming off a rookie season which saw him hit 21 homers in only 108 games. Before he got his call up to the majors, Bruce hit .364 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs on just 49 minor league games. In the minors, Bruce also flashed the ability to steal bases, collecting 41 steals over a limited minor league career. Bruce will be an All-Star in the big leagues, and he will be playing in a hitter’s ballpark. Get him now in your keeper league before he fully blossoms.
Justin Upton (Angels)
The first pick overall in the 2005 draft, 21 year old Justin Upton has a ton of potential. Last season in 108 games for the Angels, Upton hit 15 homers with 42 RBIs. Those numbers will steadily go up over the next few season, and there is no reason why Upton can’t hit 25-30 homers in the near future. In the minors, Upton hit .288 with 33 homers and 36 steals in 231 games. If he is available late in your fantasy draft, take him.