A couple weeks ago, we updated the National League outfielder rankings. This week, we update a couple players that weren’t even on those rankings.
Jason Bourgeois, Houston (1% owned in Yahoo, 0.8% in ESPN)
Jason Bourgeois has no power, like none at all. His career ISO (.065) would put him at 19th-worst in the category among qualified players this year and his minor league power rates don’t suggest that he has much upside beyond. He also dodesn’t walk a ton. His 7.4% career rate is below average, he hasn’t walked in 36 plate appearances so far this year, and his best minor league walk rate in a season with more than 200 plate appearances was almost exactly average – 8.0% in Double-A with the Mariners in 2006. There also isn’t much to get excited about in terms of pedigree or prospectitude. He’s 29 years old and has been shuttling between Triple-A and the majors for four years now. He’s your typical fourth or fifth outfielder – not really a center fielder according to defensive metrics, but without the power you’d expect from a corner outfielder. Here’s the thing though. He has speed (30 stolen bases between Triple-A and the majors for the Astros last year) and doesn’t really strike out much (13.6% career, 11.1% this year). Oh, and Carlos Lee has a rib contusion, so he may have a bougie last name, but he also has some playing time coming. Deep leaguers that need steals, take note.
Xavier Paul, Pittsburgh (0% owned in Yahoo, 0.1% in ESPN)
Another flawed player stuck without the profile of either a traditional center fielder or corner outfielder, Xavier Paul has turned up where all failed prospects eventually tread: Pittsburgh. Now that Jose Tabata may need some time to rest his hamstring, Paul is in line for more playing time. Paul has shown a little more power away from Los Angeles, but is also striking out about two-fifths of the time. Most likely, he strikes out less and his .500 BABIP returns to earth, and the two effects cancel each other out to an extent. Expect an okay batting average with a handful of steals in the next couple weeks, but it’s unlikely that Paul unseats anyone. Garrett Jones and Matt Diaz fit together like a glove because of their platoon splits, and Andrew McCutchen is not going anywhere. Paul is more of a deep league injury replacement than a speculative pick because his lack of power and centerfield glove are flaws he may not overcome.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.