On Saturday, I highlighted a few big performances from infielders in the early going and considered whether they were headed for breakout seasons or whether the early big lines would be revealed as fakeouts. It's time to do the same with outfielders, including Charlie Blackmon, Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera.
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon was one of the hottest hitters in the league over the first week of the season, going 13 for 24 with one home run, six RBI and two stolen bases in seven games. He started two of his team's first four games before going 6 for 6 Friday, and he's been atop the team's lineup for four games straight. The six-hit game has elevated his overall numbers, but he's just 1 for 8 over his last two games, including an 0-for-4 performance Monday. The Rockies have plenty of options in center field if he struggles, but Blackmon has turned in pretty good numbers when given the chance, hitting .309/.336/.467 in 246 at-bats last season. I can envision another quality batting average with 15/15 marks in home runs and stolen bases, making Blackmon a candidate for a small breakout.
Giants outfielder Angel Pagan has leapt out to a fast start, posting a .419/.455/.613 line in 31 at-bats over seven games. He's coming off an injury-marred 2013 campaign but has exhibited the ability to be a useful fantasy commodity in the past, stealing 98 bases from 2010 through 2012 and posting averages of .306 (2009), .290 (2010) and .288 (2012) in his career. Leading off for the Giants, Pagan has nice run potential as well. If he stays healthy, he could see a return to 2012's numbers, when he hit .288 with eight home runs, 29 steals and 95 runs. Call that his ceiling, and the reality likely lays quite a bit lower for the 32-year-old, making him more of a fakeout than a breakout.
Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera has parlayed a fantastic spring line into an excellent early performance, hitting .323 with three home runs over 31 at-bats in the early going. Considering he posted a .405/.423/.595 line during spring training, Cabrera has done all he can to pique the interest of fantasy owners heading into the second week of the season. After dealing with a bad back last season, Cabrera appears to be healthy, but I still see him as a longshot to provide positive fantasy value this season. He's never been a strong power hitter, and 20 home runs would be expecting a lot, even with his early power surge. At best, he'll be a quality average and run producer while providing a handful of home runs and steals. At worst, he'll battle injuries yet again. Consider him a fakeout, and look to cash in on trade value he builds up while he remains healthy.