I don’t want to get into a large spiel about this player. More and more people are acknowledging what he did in 2009, and his unbelievable talent, so he’s beginning to get his due.
Franklin Gutierrez. Know the name well. He’s the best defensive center fielder in all of the majors. Well, at least he was in 2009. No one came close to Gutierrez in the field…so I was surprised to hear that he didn’t win a “gold glove award” this past year. Confusing, ain’t it?
“Gutz” is simply an across the board contributor in fantasy. He clubbed 18 homers in his first full-season as a starter last year. It is legitimate power, and the sky is the limit on it’s potential. He also efficiently swiped 16 bags, and has the talent to greatly improve on that number. Patience is most certainly not his game, but he has shown the ability make enough contact to lessen that blow. Batting average-wise (which alone can be a very misleading statistic, mind you), Franklin shouldn’t be a drain. Honestly, he may actually be an asset in this category by the year’s end.
According to MockDraftCentral.com, his average draft position in their fantasy baseball leagues was 243rd. Yes, you read that right. That is unbelievably late for someone coming off a slightly notable little season.
Franklin will be one of 2 things in the 2010 baseball season, barring injury. He could be an above average contributor as a late-round outfielder pick with serious upside. That’s on the negative-side. His upside? A very good player with across the board statistical contributions who can carry your fantasy squad for big parts of the season. Think Matt Kemp-lite. You see, Kemp is going in the top 10 of every fantasy draft, for good reason. Gutierrez a similar-style of player, although not yet on that high of a plateau.
You could draft him at his very late point right now and still have a steal. Yet I wouldn’t be afraid to pounce on him 2-3 rounds early, if you feel you have some savvy members of your league.
Gutierrez may very well become a main-stay as a fantastic outfielder for many years to come. Don’t miss out on this potentially fast-rising star.