With the competition that is going on with Fansided blogs to see which division can come up with the best fantasy team (you can see my post “Time to Show Some AL East Pride” for more clarification), I wanted to state my case as to why Nick Markakis is the best right fielder in the AL East.
The starting lineup consisting of the best possible AL East team will be announced soon and we will be sure to post here on Birds Watcher who made the final cut. In the meantime, I am making a case for Nick Markakis starting in right field.
Markakis brings two things to a team that most people don’t always notice initially. He plays every day and he plays great defense. I don’t care who wins the Gold Glove every year, because we all know that award is a joke. Markakis is a gold glove right fielder. He makes very few errors, has a strong accurate arm that guns runners down, and he covers good ground. Since coming into the league in 2006, Markakis hasn’t played less than 147 games! It says a lot in this day in age to have a player who you can count on to play a full season.
Markakis hasn’t hit less than .291 (his rookie season) and hasn’t had an on base percentage less than .347 since coming into the league. He actually had a down year last season as a power hitter, but Markakis is still good for 15 to 20 home runs a year and 80 to 100 RBI’s on a good team. He can also hit virtually anywhere in the lineup and he is one of those hitters who you can always count on to give your team a good at bat.
A lot of what Markakis brings to a team goes beyond the statistics, but I think even his consistent ability to put up solid numbers makes him the best right fielder in the AL East.
The other projected right fielders this season for the AL East teams are as follows: Nick Swisher for the Yankees, Travis Snider for the Blue Jays, JD Drew for the Red Sox, and Ben Zobrist for the Rays. JD Drew had better power numbers last season, but I would take Markakis and his better average, defense, and consistent play any day. The only other player who had a better statistical season last year was Nick Swisher. Swisher has always hit for better power, but I still think Markakis is more of a sure bet to produce next season.
It is probably just because I am an Orioles fan and this is an Orioles blog (and Markakis is my favorite player) but I will take Nick Markakis as my AL East right fielder. He plays hard, he plays every day, and he plays the game right.