Adam Eaton and Christian Yelich: Young Outfielders Standing Out Early

Each year a nervous frenzy leads to chaos on the waiver wire at the conclusion of fantasy baseball’s second week; teams that are getting demolished in one category look for a quick fix and teams already in the lead are looking to augment their rosters. The problem, though, is that many of the statistics are mirages and statistically insignificant as the season has hardly begun.

Weeding through some of the short sample sizes is a daunting task (it simply isn’t feasible to believe that Charlie Blackmon will continue to reach base once every two at bats or that Mark Buehrle will continue to post a .86 era); that said, this post should help fill the small gaps in a fantasy roster.

In category leagues one of the most common fatal flaws amongst teams is the lack of a diverse rosters: a team may hit every other ball out of the park but will fail to hit above .200. The grand struggle, then, is to find players who can achieve success across multiple categories, something that young outfielders Adam Eaton and Christian Yelich are poised to do this season.

While many statistics thus far this season are tough to accept as long-term indicators, the numbers put up by the pair is consistent with last season and conveniently diversified between different categories.

Thus far this season Chicago White Sox left-fielder Adam Eaton has hit .327 while batting in one of the league’s most explosive line-ups of the early going. A legitimate outfield option that may still be a free agent in many leagues, Eaton has sprinkled in three doubles, a triple, and a home run into his 17 hits. Though he’s stolen just one base thus far Eaton manifested his baserunning ability in his 14 runs scored in just 12 games.

Eaton’s nine early RBI’s could transfer to more success in the future as well if the White Sox continue to put more batters on base for him; Eaton is batting .286 with runners in scoring position.

Another possibly under-the-radar outfielder putting up respectable numbers across many categories is Miami Marlins left-fielder Christian Yelich. After batting .288 in his first season in 2013 Yelich made the roster out of Spring Training in 2014, and soon thereafter picked up where left off; Yelich is batting .289 in 10 games. With 13 hits and eight runs Yelich has began what should be an exciting 2014 season as many industry experts put his hit tool in the same tier as Xander Bogaerts and Oscar Taveras.

Hitting in front of Giancarlo Stanton should help Yelich reach home, though his three early steals support that Yelich’s baserunning ability is also independent of Stanton’s monstrous power. While Yelich is without a home run and with just four RBI’s thus far his batting statistics should increase as he is batting .375 with runners in scoring position.

Should Yelich and Eaton both be unavailable in a free agency pool New York Yankee Yangervis Solarte is another decent option in part due to his early .359 average and his American League-Leading six doubles. There are, however, other players performing well that may possibly be free-agents. including: Toronto’s Melky Cabrera, Houston’s Scott Feldman’s ERA is marvelously low, and Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez have all had noteworthy stat lines.


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