Spring Training Watch: Out of Left Field

Yonder Alonso , Dayan Viciedo and Michael Brantley are under the radar LF options. As a guy that is a huge advocate for individual outfield positions for fantasy baseball instead of just general OF spots, I want to give a shout out to those of you that need to field LF CF RF spots.

Left Field may be the toughest position to fill this year.  If you don’t get Ryan Braun, Matt Holiday, Josh Hamilton or Carlos Gonzalez, you may find yourself reaching for such guys as Alex Gordon, Carl Crawford or Desmond Jennings. 3 guys that I am watching this spring are Dayan Viciedo, Yonder Alonso, and Michael Brantley.

Dayan Viciedo will most likely be the starting left fielder in Chi-town.  After last season you may be worried about picking up a White Sox on your team. However, those situations are where you find the bargains, and who among us doesn’t like a bargain at left field.  Viciedo is a guy that could also work his way into the 3 spot of a weak lineup.  A .280 hitter in the 3 spot can certainly bode well for your fantasy team.

Yonder Alonso has been toted as a top hitting prospect for 2 seasons now, but was always blocked on the Reds because of their MVP first baseman, Joey Votto.  During last year the Reds tried to move Alonso to left field to get him in the lineup and although it didn’t work out as well as they had hoped, it did gain Alonso LF eligibility.  With him now looking to take the starting first base job in San Diego he should be primed for a breakout season.  He certainly could be this year’s Jesus Guzman.  Guzman tore it up last year at 1B while having SS eligibility (because of a glitch in some fantasy baseball providers).

Michael Brantley is going to start this season batting leadoff for the Indians like he did at the end of last season.  Batting leadoff in front of Asdrubal Cabrera and a healthy Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Santana is a great place to call Brantley a sleeper to open the season.  In 451 at bats last year he tallied 7 home runs and 13 steals, with half of those at bats from the leadoff spot as he also battled through a few minor injuries.

With Grady Sizemore beginning the year on the DL Brantley will assume his spot in the field and in the order, and it appears that he has the confidence of his manager to do so:

“He’s well mature beyond his age. He’s always been that way,” Acta said of the 24-year-old Brantley, who was drafted by Milwaukee out of high school in 2005 and acquired from the Brewers as part of the CC Sabathia trade in 2008. “He comes from a good baseball background. He’s a guy that every day works hard at his craft. We can see him getting better.”

Brantley has both LF and CF eligibility (for those who need that), and is definitely a guy I will be watching early in the season.

In fact, keep an eye on all three of these guys this Spring, and be ready to take them late in the draft if you are looking for a cheap left fielder.

Tags: Left Field LF Outfield Spring Training Yonder Alonso

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