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Key Stats: When Jayson Werth hit 24 home runs and stole 20 bases in only 418 at-bats in 2008, the fantasy world wanted to cry out fluke. Why would LA just let a guy with a terrific power speed combo get away right as he was heading toward his prime? Well in 2009 the world learned that the Dodgers are having their problems. Ownership is in worse shape than a pinyata and Werth proved himself for a second straight year. His speed/power combo was rated fourth best in the NL last season behind only Mark Reynolds, Matt Kemp and teammate Chase Utley.

Skeptics Say: Werth’s home run to fly ball rate was 19.3%. That’s really high, but it’s not as high as it was in 2008. It’s possible that he’s just hit a really good run of good luck and that his HR:FB rate will come back down. Going along with his 36 home runs, Werth had only 26 doubles which is a rather low ratio. He also didn’t have a steady role despite steady production. Werth hit in 4 different spots in the batting order for 11 or more games. The Phillies don’t treat him like a team typically treats a top 40 fantasy player.

Peer Comparison: This price might seem expensive to acquire Werth, but it’s worth it (hooray pun!). He’s a 31 year old with a superb recent health history and two consecutive years of reliable production inside of a lineup that fills in the RBI and runs for a team. If your idea is that this price is still too much and you want the statistical potential of Werth for a lesser price, look no further than Nelson Cruz. In the stats that counted only on the hitters and not on the lineups around them, here’s how Cruz and Werth stacked up.

Cruz – 33 HR 20 SB .260 AVG .856 OPS
Werth – 36 HR 20 SB .268 AVG .879 OPS

Both players could be fairlly classified as late bloomers. Similar to Werth, perhaps Cruz can build on his success last year and boost the numbers shown above after the experience of playing a full season and not wearing down at the end. Also, Cruz came up well short in the runs and RBI categories. If Josh Hamilton and/or Vladimir Guerrero can stay healthy, there’s no doubt that Cruz can put a dent in the run categories too. FB 365 is the only ranking system that really ranks Cruz and Werth in the same tier, but the gap is pretty close.

Lineup Outlook: Werth should hit fifth. That’s what he was hitting in the order toward the end of last year and he is also the most consistent option after Ryan Howard and Chase Utley for run production in this lineup. The great part about hitting fifth in the Phillies lineup is that he actually has decent protection in the order behind him. His fellow outfielders, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino have either driven in or scored 100 runs in two of the last three seasons and will hit 6th and 7th respectively. It’s a good thing the Phillies didn’t bring back Pat Burrell last winter.

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #20 Outfielder; #36 Overall; Yahoo: #12 Outfielder and #49 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #36 Overall; Couch Managers: #44 Overall; FB 365: #8 Outfielder

Projection: The RBI will outweigh the runs hitting in the 5th hole.
87 R 34 HR 103 RBI 22 SB .270 AVG .865 OPS

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6 Responses to Jayson Werth Player Projection No. 39

  1. Anonymous says:

    You have Cruz ranked well down in the rankings, yet with nearly the same statistical output projection. Why?

  2. Anonymous says:

    He was fantasy gold last year! I play in a of specific league and he was qualified for all three positions. Plus he was hot last 5 weeks of yr (h2h playoffs)he and Kemp lead me two the promised land for $1000 bucks. And the kicker is we get to keep one player we drafted previous year after the 10th rd for one yr –guess who im keeping? (drafted in 14thrd)

  3. KOBEshigawa says:

    in our defense, the guy was on the DL for most of his last 2 seasons in LA due to an AJ burnett fastball to the wrist…..but still. dammit.

  4. john says:

    I think Werth is the better player between him and Cruz (and most likely to replicate last year) but it is interesting Mark gave them such close output and had Cruz ranked 86th.

    Though it's worth pointing out that it looks like everyone else has Cruz a good 20-30 spots behind Werth as well.

  5. Schruender says:

    The first reason that Cruz is behind Werth is mainly because of where the market has him going. Even if you felt like Cruz was a better player, it wouldn't make sense to draft him before Werth when you can get him a few rounds later.

    The second reason is that Cruz is not as reliable in the RBI and runs categories as Werth. The Rangers have much more questions up and down the lineup with Vlad and Hamilton's health being the biggest of the questions. You could also include what Chris Davis and Ian Kinsler will show up too. By contrast the Phillies lineup with the possible exception of Rollins has been extremely reliable. That explains why Werth had 23 more RBI and 23 more runs last season.

    That said, I think Cruz will ultimately catch up, and be a better value than Werth for the stats he gets at the pick he's taken at.

  6. David Martin says:

    Jayson Werth shocked me in the playoffs. The guy is an absolute stud. The Dodgers were dumb to let him get away.

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