Matt Holliday is the #10 outfielder according to the RotoBaller.com 2013 Outfield Rankings, and with good reason, too, since he finished 2012 as the #8 OF overall. He is sandwiched between Justin Upton and Jason Heyward in the ranks, but what you need to notice is that despite the company he's keeping in the rankings, Holliday's average draft pick is 30 picks after Upton and 16 picks after Heyward. What we try to do is to find the players that other managers are sleeping on, the guys that you can target. Holliday is a player you can target a couple of rounds after some other bigger name outfielders and get the same or better production. After all, Holliday has put up 3-4 years that were better than Upton's and Heyward's best season. If I'm a betting man (and I am), I'm going with Holliday to do it again.
A lot of things need to be considered for scenarios like this to work out, but if you do your draft preparation, getting value for your draft picks is how you win your league.
Back to Holliday. Over the last eight seasons, Holliday has averaged almost 27 HR per season, which also happens to be his total for 2012. He missed some time in 2011 due to injury, but in three of the last four seasons he still knocked in over 100 runs. It should be noted that in 2012, only nine hitters had a better BA and more HR than Holliday. So before we continue further, let’s take a look at his career averages over the last 8 years so we can get an idea of just how great this guy has been.
Career Average: .313-27-101 with 97 runs scored
So why is Holliday being drafted so much lower than a guy like Justin Upton? Is it because Holliday doesn’t steal bases anymore? Maybe, but the truth is that any ground Holliday loses in the SB category, he more than makes up for in BA, RBI and overall consistency. The truth is we don’t need to answer these questions in detail, because it's a silly exercise; we just need to use this to our advantage on draft day.
The numbers you see above reflect a top fantasy player. Matt Holliday is a model for consistency, a player you get a little while later and will pay you dividends where you get him. If you are in the third round of your draft deciding between Ian Kinsler, Hanley Ramirez or Bryce Harper, fill up that 2B or 3B spot because you can get outfield production a round later with Matt Holliday. Just don't wait too long, or some other savvy owner might beat you to it!