Fantasy Baseball Fix: 2011 Vernon Wells Projections


If you missed the previous entries of the Fantasy Fix click below.

The Fantasy Fix rolls on. We’re down to the # 3 most fantasy relevant Angel , and ranking there is none other than the newest Halo Rocker, left fielder Vernon Wells. 2010 was a bounce back season for Wells , he clubbed over 30 home runs and slugged higher than .500  for the first time since 2006. Wells’ acquisition by the Angels was hotly debated this off season , but now , on the eve of opening day its time to for Wells to let his play either silence or amplify the critics. Lets take a look at what’s in store for Wells in 2011.

Wells will be immediately thrust into the Angels middle of the order in 2011. It appears that he will start the year hitting in the 5 spot which could mean ample RBI opportunities for Wells’ owners.  One criticism that was prominent when the Wells trade went down was how poorly Vernon hit away from Rogers Centre  last year.  In 80 games last year Wells amassed just a .227/.301/.407 slash line in games outside of Toronto. When you consider his line for the full season was .273/.331/.515 it’s clear Wells was godly at home. It’s likely that some of Wells success can be attributed to how hitter friendly Rogers Centre was last season and some of it also to the fact that the majority of players ( in most sports) simply perform better at home. Simply put there isn’t any logical scenario you could put together that would predict Wells to have just a .708 OPS at Angels Stadium this year. What is more likely in fact , is that Vernon develops a comfort level for Angels Stadium and the hitters eye and again post home park trending splits in 2011.

Another reason for optimism for Wells owners is the move from center to left field and from artificial turf to natural grass  and the impact that it will have on Wells’ health in the second half of the season. Center field is a physically demanding position and turf is unforgiving , look for Wells to have a lot more life in his legs during the second half of the season.

The Hangout View:Vernon Wells was bashed all winter long. Most critics failed to address Wells the player but instead focused on Wells and his hefty contract. Dollar amount aside, Wells remains an immensely talented hitter. His power is  real and raw. Vernon posted his highest career ISO  last year  at .242  which proves that once  fully healthy from a nagging wrist injury Wells drove the ball like never before. The Angels lineup once and if Kendrys Morales returns to form should be plenty deep providing Wells with numerous Runs scored and RBI opportunities. Add in the emotional component of playing for a team that should be competing for a post season birth and I think you will see a supremely motivated and  healthy Vernon Wells in 2011.  As such, Wells should be drafted in the middle rounds and used as a solid #2 outfielder with the potential to produce #1 OF totals. I’m calling the following line for Wells in 2011:

  • .287/.343/.521/ 30  Home runs, 104 Rbi’s , 84 Runs, 10 stolen bases