Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Outfield
Seriously, was there any doubt who the top outfielder is? No, and not for the next 5 years. It’s Mike Trout until at least 2019. Last year’s NL MVP is the unanimous #2 OF, and after that, things start getting a little fuzzy. Check out our top 75 and be sure to read the more detailed preview of the top 10 outfielders.
Top 10 Fantasy Outfielders
Mike Trout (LAA) – This one is kind of obvious. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and a guaranteed top 2 pick in all of fantasy. He’s averaged 10.4 WAR over his first 2 full seasons in the majors. No reason to think that changes now. I’m out on the strongest limb of being all in on Trout.
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – The 2013 NL MVP McCutchen is a top 5 in fantasy player. He’s arguably the number 3 player. In his 5 major league seasons, McCutchen has never had an OPS+ under 120, and over the past 2 years he has an OPS+ of 160.
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) – Cargo has some serious trouble staying healthy. He’s dominated when he’s in the lineup, but he’s averaged only 129 games over the past 4 years. I have some serious concerns as he’s going to be manning the more physically demanding centerfield for the Rockies this season.
Ryan Braun (MIL) – Braun is coming off his 65 game suspension last season, but I don’t expect him to suffer any ill effects. He’s power numbers were down last year pre-suspension. He’s coming into his age 30 season, so should be in his power prime.
Adam Jones (BAL) – I’ve been a huge believer in Jones for years now. He’s got 2 seasons in a row of over 30 HR. Pair that with his mid-teen stolen base production in a lineup that scored the 5th most runs in MLB last season and you have a fantasy stud.
Bryce Harper (WSH) – I’m higher on Harper than anyone else here on the site. The time he spends in the training room is my only concern with Harper. His all out playing style leads to injuries. I think that as he matures, he will learn how to slow himself down and not play the game like his Macklemore hair is on fire. If we take his stats over his 2 seasons and put them in a per 162, his fantasy line would be 107 R, 27 HR, 74 RBI, 19 SB with a .272 AVG.
Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) – I really don’t know what to think about Ellsbury. He’s a good player for sure, but I think he falls short of being an elite fantasy player. I think his speed is his one elite skill and his others are question marks. He’s shown ability to hit for a high average and get on base, but not really at an elite level. He’s only had an OPS+ over 100 in 3 of his 7 seasons, although of the years that he’s played more than 100 games (4 seasons) 2 of those have seen his OPS+ over 100.
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) – To go with his elite power, he has elite on base skills. That’s partially due to the fact that the Marlins don’t boast the strongest lineup and opposing pitchers can pitch around Stanton. Another guy who’s missed serious time due to injury. If Stanton was on a team that could put runners on ahead of him, and have hitters behind him, his fantasy value would grow, but as it stands he’s at the tail end of the top 10.
Jay Bruce (CIN) – I’ve slept on this guy for too long. He’s hit 30+ bombs for 3 years running and posted an OPS+ of 119 over that stretch. There’s nothing particularly sexy with Bruce but he delivers consistently. Last season he hit a career high 43 doubles. 2014 is Bruce’s Magic Unicorn Age 27 season. He’s entering his power prime and some of those doubles will likely translate to home runs this season.
Carlos Gomez (MIL) – Gomez took his game to the next level in 2013. He sported a robust OPS+ of 126 while putting up career highs across the board. Gomez has struggled to stay healthy. He’s not the most dependable option. I don’t really expect him to keep hitting at the .284/.338/.506 clip that he did in 2013. I would expect a slight drop off in his AVG, OBP, and SLG. Probably not all the way down to his career averages (.255/.303/.406). You’d be safe to split the difference.