Few players are as consistent in fantasy baseball as Adam Dunn (4 straight seasons of exactly 40 homers), or Manny Ramirez (527 lifetime homers), both who play left field. But Dunn will drag your team’s batting average down and Ramirez is 36, hardly the best keepers you can find for the position. Here then are the top five left fielders you would most want to take in a keeper league.
Ryan Braun (Brewers)
Braun, who’s still only 25, is a rising star and a top 10 fantasy draft pick. He is in select company when it comes to what players makes for a good keeper. Over two season spanning only 264 games, the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, has hit .301 with 71 homers, 203 RBIs and 29 steals. You will not find many players of his caliber in a fantasy draft. If you have a chance to take him, do so, he will be the cornerstone of your team for years to come.
Matt Holliday (A’s)
Holliday is making the switch from the thin air of Colorado to the bay area of Oakland, which will hurt his numbers, after all he is a career .357 hitter at Coors field; his power numbers also diminish away from the hitter friendly park of his past employer. Still, there is a lot to like about Holliday who not only can hit, and hit for power, but who stole 28 bases in 30 tries last season. Even in Oakland, one can expect the 28 year old Holliday to be a 20/100/.300 hitter for some time to come.
Carlos Quentin (White Sox)
It took all of 130 games in 2008 for 26 year old Carlos Quentin to signal his arrival as a rising young star in the major leagues. In that span of time, Quentin hit .288 with 36 homers and 100 RBIs. Spread those totals over a full season and you have an MVP candidate. Quentin is no fluke, hang on to him if you get lucky enough to draft him.
Carl Crawford (Rays)
Yes, Crawford’s numbers were off in 2008 due to injury, but he is all of 27 and has produced steady numbers since 2003, hitting over .300 three times and stealing over 50 bases four times. He also has enough pop in his bat to hit over the 50 extra bases a season with regularity, which translates to both runs and RBI opportunities. Look for a return to past glory, Crawford will hit, steal, and score for some time to come.
Jason Bay (Red Sox)
Bay split his 2008 season between Pirates and the Red Sox, and adjusted well to American League pitching. Overall, the 30 year old hit .286 with 31 homers, 111 runs, 100 RBIs and 10 steals. Tucked away in a solid offensive lineup, look for Bay to continue to provide the same type of out put for 3 or 4 more seasons.