Roto OF Rankings – Fantasy Baseball

Mike Trout Nolan Arenado

I knew at some point the infield depth would rebound on me and the OF rankings is exactly where that happens. Last year wasn’t a great year for outfielders in general and normally that swings back a little but I am not confident it will. I feel like there are a lot of platoons in the outfield compared to other positions and teams seem to want to rotate outfielders a little more. We also have a lot of younger guys in this group whose success or failure will be the make or break of the outfield position. There are a lot of guys I cannot believe I am ranking in the top 30 but through dint of better options I am. This could be a weird position where 12 or 13 guys go in the first three rounds and then a panic sets in because people see the rush and jump on. If that happens you are going to overpay for these guys as there is far better value in rounds 4-6 in pitching and the infield positions.

This is a more strategy point but I can definitely see myself going hitters in rounds 1-3 and locking up two quality infielders and a decent outfielder and then grabbing two or three pitchers in rounds 4 & 5 before stepping back and seeing how the positions are thinning. For me the guys to target are the ones in the 14-24 tier who are the last left in that tier. As long as it isn’t the 5th round then I may look to grab two and have three outfielders locked in because I know I can find depth in the infield but the mid-range outfield options just do not excite

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C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF| SP | RP

The Monster

  1. Mike Trout, OF, LAA

What can you say about Trout other than he is a monster. 30+ homers, 15ish steals with 200ish combined runs and RBI whilst hitting 0.300 is something you simply cannot project for anyone else in baseball.

The Elite Young Options

  1. Mookie Betts, OF, BOS
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, CHC

These two young studs are probably the only two players at this position who stand any chance of being close to Trout next year. Betts is a 20/20 guy who can hit 0.300 and Bryant can combine 30+ bombs with 10ish steals at a 0.285 average so depending on what you think your plan is in rounds 2-5 I am easy with you going for either of these two young guys. If you plan to load up on power take Betts and lock in steal and average but if your going to look steals and average in the next few rounds then go Bryant.

The Studs

  1. Starling Marte, OF, PIT
  2. Bryce Harper, OF, WSH
  3. Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL
  4. Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT
  5. Trea Turner, 2B/OF, WSH
  6. Nelson Cruz, OF, SEA
  7. J.D. Martinez, OF, DET
  8. Ryan Braun, OF, MIL
  9. Yoenis Cespedes, OF, NYM
  10. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA

This is a group of guys I feel relatively safe taking and bar injury I don’t think they will sink your team. I’m probably not taking any of these guys in the first round but all of them could go in the 2nd or 3rd round and I wouldn’t be surprised. Marte is the 15 homer, 40 steal guy who can hit 0.300. Harper will be in the tier above if he stay healthy all year but expectations have to be lowered given his injury risk. Blackmon is another 20/20 guy who can hit 0.300 but given he will hit atop that order he doesn’t offer the RBI upside of Betts. McCutchen has a down year but I still trust him to be a 25ish homer guy with 10ish steals and something in the 0.285-0.290 average range. Turner broke out big style last year and whilst a sophomore slump does concern me I can’t help but be excited as this is another guy who could join Betts and Bryant next year if he puts up a 15/35 year and retains his 0.280 average in a pretty good Washington line-up. Cruz is only this far down because you have to build in the concern for a guy his age not just crushing it. Worst case scenario is a 30 homer guy who hits 0.260 but still contributes 175ish runs and RBI. Martinez is a guy I love to hit 30 homers and score 100 runs batting second in Detroit. Braun has a duel steals and homer threat at a 0.285ish average but plays in a crappy line-up and that hurts his value a little. Cespedes concerns me that he may relax out of contract year but I still think we will end the season talking about a 30 homer guy who hit at a decent average. Stanton was the contentious one to be ranked here for me because I fear he is on some sort of downward slope. However, he is still relatively young and he can hit 40 homers at an average that doesn’t sink you and that is always valuable.

Astros George Springer

Getty Images

The Tier of Power

  1. George Springer, OF, HOU
  2. Christian Yelich, OF, MIA
  3. A.J. Pollock, OF, ARI
  4. Justin Upton, OF, DET
  5. Matt Kemp, OF, ATL
  6. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL
  7. Mark Trumbo, OF, BAL
  8. Adam Jones, OF, BAL
  9. Ian Desmond, OF, COL
  10. Jose Bautista, OF, TOR
  11. Miguel Sano, OF, MIN
  12. Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC

In the most part this tier is loaded with power but there are a couple of guys with other skill sets. Springer can offer 30/15 numbers but his ceiling is this tier because of the average. Yelich just doesn’t do one thing well enough to go higher than 15th but I feel comfortable pencilling in 15/15/0.295 with decent counting stats. Pollock is the injury risk in this tier but a healthy Pollock is 15-20/30-40 guy who cn get over that 0.280 average mark. My turn around on Upton in the last week or so is amazing but looking at the second half numbers convinced me his first half struggle were a product of switching leagues and the prospect of a 30/10 guy who could get his average over 0.260 is something I am excited for. Kemp is another guy I am excited for this year but mainly because I think he is now in a safe line-up and he has now been healthy for a few years and has worked out his game. Let’s say 25-30 homers at a 0.270 average is what we can expect but the bonus here is I think his floor is high given the health he has shown lately. Gonzalez has this risk of being traded mid-season hanging over his head and if that happens I don’t see him translating well outside Colorado. Think a slightly better Corey Dickerson once he left (shudder).

Trumbo had a monster year last year but there will always be the concern this year with him that he falls back into his old ways of striking out a ton and the power is 30-35 rather than 40+. I am going to be bold on Jones  and say he hits 30 homers whilst batting 0.270 and scoring 100+ runs but I have enough concerns to keep him just outside my top 20. Desmond is another guy who is coming off a great 2016 and add in that he moved to probably the only place that could be an improvement from last year and you should be all set for a great 2017, The only things anchoring him outside the top 20 for me this year is I think 23 homers is his ceiling and I fear he is going to be stuck batting 6th in Colorado which limits his runs and RBI a little compared to being one of the main guys in the Texas line-up last year. Bautista find himself back in Toronto this year and that’s probably the best thing for his fantasy value. Age and wear and tear mean I think 30 homers is perhaps the ceiling and could easily see the next guy bypass him in the ranks very quickly. Sano is my boom or bust man of the tier. I think we could realistically see him hit 40 homers this year and get his average up over that 0.250 mark whilst hitting in the middle of a solid line-up but there is an equal chance he could hit 0.220 and end up hitting 6th or 7th. Cain is another guy who both scares and intrigues me. There is a real chance he could be a 0.300 average guy with a 10/25 stat line but it’s what happens around him for the Royals that’s concerning me. If the power comes out in that line-up he could have monster numbers but if they flop he will be left with little in the way of counting numbers.

The Intriguing Tier

  1. Marcell Ozuna, OF, MIA
  2. Odubel Herrera, OF, PHI
  3. Adam Eaton, OF, WSH
  4. Stephen Piscotty, OF, STL
  5. Khris Davis, OF, OAK
  6. Carlos Gomez, OF, TEX
  7. Carlos Beltran, OF, HOU
  8. Kole Calhoun, OF, LAA
  9. Hunter Pence, OF, SF
  10. Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT
  11. Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN

There are a lot of interesting names in this tier and a lot of variation depending on how your team is shaping up and what you need. Ozuna surprised us all a little last year and I think another 20 homer year backed by a 0.265ish average in a line-up I think puts it together this year will see him make a great third outfielder. Herrera is an intriguing all around talent who should post 10/20 with a 0.290 average. If the Phillies can find some bats around him then he could easily be a top 20 guy come the end of the season. Eaton will benefit hugely from his trade and should have a great shot at 100 runs with a 0.290 average and 10/15ish numbers. Piscotty is a potential 20 homer guy who can hit close to 0.290 which is an extremely nice third outfielder option to have. Davis is the guy who one week will hit five homers and then the next strikeout 10 times in 18 AB’s which will drive you mad but a 30+ homer end of season pay-off is the reward. Gomez will be hoping to do a Desmond and use the Rangers hitter friendly environment to re-build his reputation as a duel threat top of the order guy. If it works he has 25/30 upside but just because Desmond succeeded doesn’t mean you can expect that from Gomez as well.

Beltran has landed in a nice location in Houston where his power will play well for 20+ homers and he should get plenty of opportunities to drive in Springer, Altuve or Correa. Calhoun should put up similar numbers to Beltran but without the fanfare because LA will suck and Trout will be amazing and that’s all we will remember come 2018. Pence doesn’t have the power of Beltran and Calhoun but he makes up with a little better average. Polanco is a 15/20 guy but his 0.250ish average hurts just enough to keep him outside the top 30. Hamilton is another boom or bust type. He could easily steal 60+ bases and bat atop the order in Cincy but equally he could end up batting 8th and then it will be something like 45-50 steals with 60ish runs and nothing more and that would be the weirdest stat line ever.

Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Otto Greule Jr – Getty Images

The Gambles

  1. Andrew Benintendi, OF, BOS
  2. David Dahl, OF, COL
  3. Byron Buxton, OF, MIN
  4. Jose Peraza, SS/OF, CIN

I just cannot predict which way these four will go and that is scary. All four have huge upside and all four have the young player unpredictability factor. Benintendi was useful in a limited role last season but we haven’t seen him flex his muscles or run wild as a pro (in his defence he was drafted in JUNE 2015 so he hasn’t had much chance) and so it’s hard to project those numbers right now. Dahl was also useful in limited time last year and has legitimate 20/20 talent but he has to win the job, keep it and then perform which is a lot of variables right now. Buxton is starting to worry me because he doesn’t seem to be able to stay healthy. He did go 10/10 last year and he looked good late as he finally got settled. Another guy with 20/20 upside but a ton of injury risk also. Peraza is a guy who may just keep climbing these rankings every day as his role becomes more defined. Right now he is pencilled in to be 8th in the Reds’ line-up but he could easily be atop that order and steal 50+ bases whilst scoring 80+ runs and that is a mouth watering prospect.

The Injury Risks

  1. Michael Brantley, OF, CLE
  2. David Peralta, OF, ARI

This is the big question mark tier because both of these guys have the potential to be really good if they can put a full season together. Brantley had a great 2014 and was in the midst of a good 2015 when injury hit. He managed just 11 games last year with no homers and one steal. Even if he plays 160 games, which is unlikely, I cannot believe he is going to be a 20/20 guy but 15/15 with a 0.290-0.300 is very feasible. We only have one full season out of Peralta and he wasn’t the same hitter as Brantley but he still has 15/10 potential with a 0.300 average if we can get 130 games out of him.

The All-Arounders

  1. Dexter Fowler, OF, STL
  2. Kevin Kiermaier, OF, TB
  3. Yasmany Tomas, OF, ARI
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, CHC
  5. Brett Gardner, OF, NYY
  6. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, NYY
  7. Ender Inciarte, OF, ARI
  8. Rajai Davis, OF, OAK

This is another mixed tier but whereas power was the prominent part of the last intriguing tier speed is the main commodity here. Fowler has 15/15 potential if he gets the chance to be a full time guy in St. Louis. I was high on Kiermaier last year and injuries derailed him but he still put up a 12/21 year and I think he can go 15/25 whilst getting his average back into the 0.260 region this year and really make a push to be considered a #3 outfielder. Things clicked for Tomas last year as he went from 9 homers in 2015 to 31. The question is can he repeat and add to it. I think there is some regression into the 20s hence this ranking. I wrote about Zobrist and the fact he isn’t the same threat anymore in the 2B rankings but he still can offer 15 homers, 5 steals at a solid average whilst offering positional flexibility. Gardner and Ellsbury are both on the downside of their career but each can offer 10/20 potential at around a 0.260 average and whilst that isn’t exciting it will do as a low end 4th outfielder/solid 5th option. Inciarte has the potential to be a 20+ steals who hits 0.290 and score 90+ runs but the injury risk and the chance Atlanta sell pieces does limit my upside on him. If Davis plays full time he has the potential to be a 50 steal guy but owners will pay for that with a worse average from facing more lefties more regularly. The bonus is he can add 10ish bombs meaning he isn’t a completely one dimensional player.

Rangers Shin Soo Choo

AP Photo – Tony Gutierrez

The Unexciting Safety

  1. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, TEX
  2. Matt Holliday, OF, NYY
  3. Curtis Granderson, OF, NYM
  4. Alex Gordon, OF, KC
  5. Melky Cabrera, OF, CWS

This tier is just a bit boring because we know who these guys are and they aren’t exciting but they can do a  job. Choo gets to top a decent line-up in Texas and should have good run totals to add to his 20ish bombs. Holliday will benefit from being in hitter friendly New York and should get somewhere between 15 and 20 homers whilst hitting a solid average. Granderson could well end up hitting 25 homers but it could come at a cost to your average. Gordon can also get close to 20 homers but when he’s only hitting 0.250ish that isnt enough to make him more than a 5th outfielder. Melky Cabrera doesn’t do anything great but he does a little of everything well, except steals, and that is why he is valuable. He can hit 10+ homers and hit 0.290 and I am hoping being in Chicago doesn’t kill his counting stats but

The Gambles II

  1. Adam Duvall, OF, CIN
  2. Jorge Soler, OF, KC
  3. Jose Ramirez, 3B/OF, CLE
  4. Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD
  5. Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, BOS
  6. Manuel Margot, OF, SD
  7. Hunter Renfroe, OF, SD
  8. Travis Jankowski, OF, SD
  9. Keon Broxton, OF, MIL
  10. Jason Heyward, OF, CHC
  11. Nomar Mazara, OF, TEX
  12. Randal Grichuk, OF, STL
  13. Aaron Judge, OF, NYY
  14. Steven Souza, OF, TB
  15. Brandon Drury, 3B/OF, ARI
  16. Michael Conforto, OF, NYM
  17. Joc Pederson, OF, LAD

I am going to enjoy gambling in this tier. We have the power upsides of Duvall, Soler, Souza, Grichuk and Drury. We have the ex-high end guys trying to prove they still have it in Yasiel Puig and Jason Heyward. We then have the prospects trying to make their names; Conforto, Judge, Pederson and Mazara. We have the young San Diego outfield guys who could be a lot of fun to watch this year in Margot, Renfroe and Jankowski. Lastly we have the speed gamble of Broxton who can hopefully show what he has in a full year.

The Guy Who’s Only Here Because He’s a Catcher

  1. Willson Contreras, C/OF, CHC

I think this tells you what I think of catchers. How can I rank Contreras higher when I don’t see him playing more than 110 games?

The Prospect and the Speed

  1. Tyler Naquin, OF, CLE
  2. Leonys Martin, OF, SEA

I am not ure how much time Naquin gets in the bigs this year and Martin can steal bases, should play plenty but could be batting 9 a lot this year with the Dyson addition

The “Meh I’ll take it”

  1. Howie Kendrick, 2B/OF, PHI
  2. Nick Markakis, OF, ATL
  3. Cameron Maybin, OF, LAA
  4. Kevin Pillar, OF, TOR

This is like the baby version of the Choo and Holliday tier. None of these guys are going to make you excited because they don’t have great power or speed. Kendrick gets the bump because of the eligibility.

Playing Time Concerns

  1. Scott Schebler, OF, CIN
  2. Jay Bruce, OF, NYM
  3. Jarrod Dyson, OF, SEA
  4. Corey Dickerson, OF, COL
  5. Denard Span, OF, SF
  6. Jarrett Parker, OF, SF

I like all of these guys but I would like them a lot more if I thought they were playing 140 games. If they can shake their platoons then they will definitely move up and these are the main 6 I can see having a shot of doing that.

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