MLB Reviews/Previews: Outfield Rankings

Given that there are 96 outfielders minimum starting across the major leagues in a season it is no surprise that it the hitting position which provides most of the action in the offseason. This year the major trades had San Diego acquiring a full outfield group in Wil Myers, Justin Upton and Matt Kemp and Boston shipping Cespedes to Detroit. In terms of free agency Nelson Cruz moved to Seattle, Melky Cabrera signed for the White Sox, Colby Rasmus moved chilly Toronto to roasting hot Houston and finally Arizona signed international free agent Yasmany Tomas. Those eight names are just a few of the moves that happened this offseason and while some of the moves this offseason bear no effect on fantasy values some have a massive effect. Perhaps the biggest questions is how will the moves of Upton, Kemp and Cruz to pitcher friendly parks affect their ability to hit the long ball and how does this worry affect their rankings?

But first let’s take a look back on 2014;

2014 Outfield Top Tens (Only my personal rankings and CBS sports points totals will be used in this article due to ESPN being down for maintenance preventing the comparison with their player rater.)

Roto Points Leagues
Player Points Player Points
Mike Trout 27 Mike Trout 595
Jose Bautista 25 Michael Brantley 577
Giancarlo Stanton 25 Jose Bautista 569
Michael Brantley 24 Andrew McCutchen 538
Carlos Gomez 23 Giancarlo Stanton 530
Andrew McCutchen 22 Nelson Cruz 510
Charlie Blackmon 22 Carlos Gomez 493
Adam Jones 21 Hunter Pence 479
Nelson Cruz 20 Matt Holliday 474
Four Players* 19 Adam Jones 463

*Corey Dickerson, Matt Kemp, Hunter Pence, Justin Upton

I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way right now; Mike Trout is just awesome and is the number one overall pick in any format. So now that is dealt with let’s move onto the rest of the top 10’s from 2014.

Stanton came roaring back from a down year in 2013 putting up superb numbers. The end of 2014 was derailed by him taking a pitch straight to the face and that probably prevented him finishing higher than 3rd and 5th last year. Another well-known name who put up much improved stats in 2014 is Jose Bautista and this is partly due to the fact he was able to manage an extra 100 AB’s in 2014 than 2013. If he can continue to stay healthy then don’t be surprised to see him in the top 10 again in 2015.

Looking at those top 10’s the main names that stand out are Nelson Cruz and Michael Brantley. Cruz’s ADP in 2014 was heavily damaged by the fact he was signed late by the Baltimore Orioles. That signing turned out to be perfect for fantasy owners who swooped on him as he ended up in a hitter friendly park and boy did he make the most of it. However, a top ten season from him wasn’t a complete shock like it was from Michael Brantley who came from nowhere to put up a 20/20 season whilst hitting at nearly 0.330.

Gomez, McCutchen and Jones are no surprise to be present in the top 10 of both formats. Another shock was Charlie Blackmon’s presence in the top 10 for roto due to him being immensely close to putting up a 20/20 season (19 home runs).

Now let’s take a look at who finished top 10 at outfield in each roto category.

 

Runs   Home Runs   RBI   Steals   Average  
Trout 115 Cruz 40 Trout 111 Hamilton 56 Brantley 0.327
Pence 106 Stanton 37 Cruz 108 Revere 49 Santana 0.319
Bautista 101 Carter 37 Stanton 105 Ellsbury 39 Harrison 0.315
Gomez 95 Trout 36 Bautista 103 R.Davis 36 Martinez 0.315
Brantley 94 Bautista 35 Upton 102 Dyson 36 Dickerson 0.314
Span 94 Duda 30 Cespedes 100 Gomez 34 Revere 0.312
Yelich 94 Jones 29 Brantley 97 Martin 31 Jay 0.306
Puig 92 Upton 29 Jones 96 Span 31 Span 0.303
Calhoun 90 ** 25 Duda 92 *** 30 Pollock 0.302
* 89 Holliday 90 D.Young 0.302

 

*McCutchen, Stanton, Cespedes all tied for 10th

**McCutchen, Kemp, Byrd, Moss all tied for 9th

***Marte, E.Young, Schafer all tied for 9th

  • Two of the 30+ home run hitters worry me going into 2015, Chris Carter is as unreliable as they come and is only eligible at DH to begin the 2015 season. Nelson Cruz’s move from hitter friendly Baltimore to pitcher friendly Seattle could see him struggle with power similar to how Robinson Cano did last season. (Cano’s home runs halved in 2014 compared to 2013!)
  • If Hamilton and Revere play a full season in their respective outfields then they should once again be top 2 in steals. Ellsbury’s age means I wouldn’t be stunned if he was nearer 30 steals in 2015 than 40
  • Rajai Davis and Jarrod Dyson may struggle to see full playing time but they are worth a late flyer in deep leagues because when they are playing they should put up steals at a great rate.
  • Pence, Span and Puig should be locks to put up 90+ runs given their speed and where they bat in their line ups. Yelich and Calhoun could see themselves moved around a little and there runs numbers may suffer but that should be replaced with other category production
  • If Corey Dickerson can get close to a 0.300 average with full time at bats then he has top 5 potential playing in hitter friendly Colorado.

My Early Outfield Rankings:

  1. Mike Trout, LAA
  2. Andrew McCutchen, PIT
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
  4. Jose Bautista, TOR
  5. Carlos Gomez, MIL
  6. Adam Jones, BAL
  7. Yasiel Puig, LAD
  8. Michael Brantley, CLE
  9. Bryce Harper, WAS
  10. Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY
  11. George Springer, HOU
  12. Matt Kemp, SD
  13. Corey Dickerson, COL
  14. Ryan Braun, MIL
  15. Justin Upton, SD
  16. Hunter Pence, SF
  17. Nelson Cruz, SEA
  18. Matt Holliday, STL
  19. D. Martinez, DET
  20. Starling Marte, PIT
  21. Billy Hamilton, CIN
  22. Alex Gordon, KC
  23. Melky Cabrera, CWS
  24. Carlos Gonzalez, COL
  25. Ryan Zimmerman, WSH
  26. Jay Bruce, CIN
  27. Christian Yelich, MIA
  28. Josh Harrison, PIT
  29. Yoenis Cespedes, DET
  30. Jason Heyward, STL
  31. Jayson Werth, WSH
  32. Mookie Betts, BOS
  33. Charlie Blackmon, COL
  34. Jorge Soler, CHC
  35. Wil Myers, SD
  36. Rusney Castillo, BOS
  37. Marcel Ozuna, MIA
  38. Gregory Polanco, PIT
  39. Yasmany Tomas, ARI
  40. Mark Trumbo, ARI
  41. Kole Calhoun, LAA
  42. Michael Cuddyer, NYM
  43. Danny Santana, MIN
  44. Ben Revere, PHI
  45. Denard Span, WAS
  46. Brandon Moss, CLE
  47. Steve Pearce, BAL
  48. Joc Pederson, LAD
  49. Ben Zobrist, OAK
  50. J. Pollock, ARI
  51. Shin-Soo Choo, TEX
  52. Brett Gardner, NYY
  53. Leonys Martin, TEX
  54. Steven Souza, TB
  55. Curtis Granderson, NYM
  56. Avisail Garcia, CWS
  57. Marlon Byrd, CIN
  58. Torii Hunter, MIN
  59. Michael Morse, MIA
  60. Khris Davis, MIL
  61. Adam Eaton, CWS
  62. Oswaldo Arcia, MIN
  63. Alex Rios, KC
  64. Carlos Beltran, NYY
  65. Carl Crawford, LAD
  66. Josh Reddick, OAK
  67. Josh Hamilton, LAA
  68. Austin Jackson, SEA
  69. Angel Pagan, SF
  70. Lorenzo Cain, KC
  71. Coco Crisp, OAK
  72. Desmond Jennings, TB
  73. Arismendy Alcantara, CHC
  74. Domonic Brown, PHI
  75. Nick Markakis. ATL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>