The Dynasty Guru’s Top 125 Dynasty Outfielders, Nos. 41-75
Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.
We continue our detailed look at outfielders with a guy who is being shopped, and could see a huge change in value if he does move…
41) Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies (Age 28, Previous Rank: 117)
Sure, his numbers last year were inflated by the insane April he had, but his overall season wasn’t all that fluky. From May through September, he posted a sufficient .271/.318/.405 line while going yard for 14 times. Combining that with his 20+ SB ability and the fact that he leads off the powerful Rockies lineup, Blackmon should be considered as a valuable fantasy asset.
42) Mark Trumbo, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age 29, Previous Rank: 13, OF)
Trumbo’s first year as a Diamondback was a disaster, thanks to a fractured foot. Now healthy, he should be back to his pre-injury form, whacking 25+ home runs and driving in 90+ runs. Although his infamous free swinging-ness might kill you in OBP leagues.
43) Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Age 27, Previous Rank: 73)
The former Sun Devil has quietly become a solid contributor. He could come cheap for a guy with the ability to smack 20 dingers and post a .270 average. Oh, don’t forget that he’ll in front of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. He’s a strong candidate to score 100 runs.
44) David Dahl, Colorado Rockies (Age 20, Previous Rank: 48)
In his de facto first full season, the Birmingham, Alabama native tore up class A pitching. Dahl posted a .309/.347/.500 slash line against the competition that was almost 3 years older than him, good for the 8th best batting average in the South Atlantic League before getting called up to High-A.
45) Leonys Martin, Texas Rangers (Age 27, Previous Rank: 44)
With two consecutive 30-stolen base campaigns, Martin has established himself as a threat on the basepaths. The Martin we’ve seen in the past two years is probably who he is, though there’s a room to show some more over-the-fence power.
46) Dalton Pompey, Toronto Blue Jays (Age 22, Previous Rank: NR)
All Pompey did in 2014 was climb up the minors and prospect ladder, making it all the way up to the big leagues. Playing for his native state of Ontario, Pompey is expected to be given a regular role in 2015. He could steal 30+ bags yearly, with some pop, and has more advanced plate discipline than the vast majority of speedsters .
47) Yasmany Tomas, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age 24, Previous Rank: NR)
Things can go any way with the Cuban defector. In the best case scenario, he’ll be Jose Abreu-lite, with 3B eligibility. In the worst case scenario, he’ll look like Mark Trumbo’s identical twin but only 5 years younger. One certain thing is that he’ll hit a lot of dingers.
48) Adam Eaton, Chicago White Sox (Age, 26, Previous Rank: NR)
In his first full season in the bigs, Eaton showed his classic leadoff potential. His .359 BABIP is probably not completely unsustainable considering he’s a fast guy who kills a lot of worms, but some regression is likely. He needs improvement on the basepaths, where he got caught in more than ⅓ of steal attempts. The pair of short stips to the DL are also a tad concerning.
49) A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age 27, Previous Rank: 92)
Pollock’s seeming breakout was cut short by a fractured wrist that kept him sidelined for a half of the season. He only had 287 PA last year, so expecting him to repeat the .302/.353/.498 line is a bit unfair, but he should be good for smashing double-digit long balls and swiping 20+ bases.
50) Brandon Moss, Cleveland Indians (Age 31, Previous Rank 19: 1B)
The step back he took in the second half was caused by a hip injury. Yet his 30 HR potential is still there. If the owner of Moss in your league is selling low on him, go for it. While he had huge platoon splits in the past, Moss hit better against LHP than he did against RHP last year. Given that it was in just 101 PA, sustaining that success seems unlikely.
51) Denard Span, Washington Nationals (Age 31, Previous Rank: 83)
Leading off for the Nationals won’t do bad things for a speedy guy who gets on base at a decent clip. His average and OBP might go down a bit as his 2014 BABIP regresses back, but he should be good for another 80 runs and 20+ swipe campaign.
52) Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals (Age 28, Previous Rank: 77)
Cain made himself well-known for his sensual defense in the playoffs. Alas, it doesn’t matter in the fantasy world. What does most among his tools for owners is the speed that could net him 30 steals. While he’s highly unlikely to repeat last year’s .301 average — which was fueled by a .380 BABIP — he’s good enough to hit .280. Cain has had trouble staying in the field, having missed 167 games over the last 3 seasons.
53) Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age 22, Previous Rank: 103)
After losing most of 2012 to a knee injury, Bell has gotten back on the track. Despite being 2 years younger than league average, the former 1st rounder raked in the Florida State League, where he hit .335/.384/.502 with nine bombs in 363 plate appearances in a pitcher-friendly environment. He may call first base his future home, but wherever he ends up, his offensive profile should work.
54) Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds (Age 21, Previous Rank: 123)
Winker is likely to be a future on-base machine with above-average power. Well, sounds like something the Reds already have in their hands… until 2023. He’s probably a year away from being ready to produce at the MLB level, but one of the safest hitting prospects in the game.
55) Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox (Age 23, Previous Rank: 66)
A broken shoulder forced him to miss the better portion of 2014. When he did play, he flashed a little of his 20/20 potential, and showed better approach at the plate than he did at every stop in the minors.
56) Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NA)
After a down 2013 in High-A, where he put up a weak .236/.310/.382 slash line for a meager .692 OPS with 13 home runs, Mazara was forced to repeat the level in 2014 and fared much better the second time around: .264/.358/.470 for an .828 OPS and 19 home runs. His wRC+ was an excellent 130. He received a late season promotion to AA ball where he upped the ante to an .899 OPS and a 157 wRC+ in 24 games. He was able to improve both his contact and his power while also taking more walks. Not bad at all for a 19-year-old. If all goes well he could reach the majors as early as 2016 and be an impact fantasy hitter a couple years after that. There is definite star potential in his bat.
57) Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 34)
Jennings at one time was an elite prospect destined for superstardom. He was supposed to be the next Carl Crawford (back when Crawford was fantasy gold). Jennings has never lived up to those lofty expectations and he never will. That being said, he can still help your fantasy squad to some degree. He will hit 10-15 home runs and steal about 20 bases. He can score up to 85 runs but won’t help much in RBI. His career .248 AVG is not pretty. He has a knack for spending time on the disabled list, having never played more than 139 games in his career. He is not bad as a 4th outfielder but don’t count on him to be more than that.
58) Raimel Tapia, Colorado Rockies (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 82)
Want to start an argument among prospectors? Bring up Tapia. Some see a future star with preternatural bat-to-ball ability, others see just another slap hitter. He hit .326/.382/.453 (.836 OPS, 134 wRC+) in Low A ball at the age of 21. Tapia has an unorthodox swing but manages to put good wood on the ball frequently. He has raw power and speed too. Skeptics point to his smaller frame as a reason he won’t hit for power as he matures. He will hit for a good batting average with a lot of doubles. He steals a lot of bases but he gets thrown out a ton, although he did improve in that regard last season. The good news is his line drive swing is perfectly suited for Coors Field success. Will he be the next Carlos Gonzalez or the next Dexter Fowler? Tapia has a very high ceiling but a long way to go to get there.
59) Clint Frazier, Cleveland Indians (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 38)
The 5th overall pick of the 2013 draft stands out for his elite bat speed, although that has not yet translated into home run power in games. He managed to hit only 13 home runs in Low-A last year along with some scary strikeout totals. His .266/.349/.411 slash line yielded a 120 wRC+, which is good but not what you expect from such a lofty draft pedigree. His prospect stock has fallen a bit but there is still plenty of time for him to recover. He remains a potential impact player but it may take longer than previously expected to put it all together.
60) Austin Jackson, Seattle Mariners (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 32)
Jackson took a big step backward last year. He managed only four home runs after averaging 13 the previous 3 years. His batting average also took a dive, down to .256 after hitting .300 in 2012. The decreased power and average led to a corresponding decrease in runs and RBI. He did manage to steal 20 bases, which was his most since 2011. Playing in the tough environs of Safeco Field in Seattle does not make for a likely return to his offensive glory days. He might see a slim bounceback this year but if you own him you should hope he moves to a better ballpark soon via trade or free agency.
61) Dexter Fowler, Chicago Cubs (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 47)
Many people predicted Fowler’s stats would suffer when he left Colorado and went to Houston. Those fears were disproven as he produced a very solid .774 OPS and 124 wRC+ as an Astro. Those positive metrics didn’t really translate into upper-tier fantasy production however. His .276 AVG, eight home runs, 61 runs, 35 RBI and 11 steals didn’t take his fantasy owners to the promised land. The move to Wrigley Field should not affect his stats too much. Perhaps the rising tide of young talent in Chicago will float his boat as well. View Fowler as a serviceable 4th fantasy outfielder moving forward.
62) Alex Rios, Kansas City Royals (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 27)
Rios’ season in the nice hitting environment in Texas did not go as planned. In fact it was a huge disappointment. He hit only four home runs after averaging 19 over the previous eight years. He stole only 17 bases after stealing 42 the year before. He accrued only 54 runs and 54 RBI after averaging well over 80 in recent seasons. Rios will now move to Kansas City. Age is catching up to him but expect a nice bounceback season. He is not done yet.
63) Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 41)
Due to injury and a crowded Dodger outfield, Crawford only got 370 plate appearances last year. When he did make it onto the field he played well. He had a .300 AVG with eight homers, 56 Runs, 46 RBI and 23 steals. If you extrapolate those stats over a full season you would be looking at a 5th round fantasy draft pick. Don’t expect quite that much because he is likely to miss time again. Many are touting Crawford as a nice buy-low sleeper for this year. When healthy he is a very productive fantasy hitter.
64) Ben Revere, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 67)
Revere does two things well: Hit for average and steal bases. He has hit over .300 the last two years and owns a .291 career AVG. He stole a whopping 49 bases last year and can be counted on to steal at least 35 if he plays a full season. He hit the first two home runs of his career last year (over 2000 ABs), so don’t count on any power whatsoever. The Phillies’ weak lineup won’t allow him to score nearly as many runs as you hope to get from a leadoff hitter, and his RBI are almost nonexistent. Being good in two fantasy categories and bad in three does not make him the kind of outfielder you want in your lineup on a daily basis.
65) Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 69)
Generated a ton of hype in fantasy circles after his stellar 2013 debut when he hit 11 home runs in 153 plate appearances thanks to a highly inflated 29 percent homerun to flyball ratio. Davis failed to deliver the breakout season many had predicted coming into 2014, but still managed to post a .244/.299.457 line with 22 home runs and four stolen bases.
A huge jump forward in contact rate in the second half of last season (78 percent) could be a harbinger of better days to come in the average department and the power is legitimate. At 27 years old, he’s pretty much a finished product at this point, but he is still a nice source of cheap power in dynasty leagues.
66) Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 33)
Has the hate gone too far? Well, maybe it’s justified at this point. Hamilton has seen his numbers plummet ever since leaving the Texas Rangers as a free agent two years ago. He played in just 89 games last season hitting only 10 home runs in 381 plate appearances. Hamilton turns 34 in May and banking on a rebound after two consecutive disastrous seasons is a risky fantasy proposition.
One encouraging sign is that the Angels have brought on board Jerry Narron, who served as Hamilton’s accountability coach in Texas, which should help his mental state. Hamilton is still one of the most talented players in baseball, but the odds of him ever putting it all back together again get slimmer with each year that passes as evidenced by his 33 spot drop in these rankings from last season.
67) Steven Souza, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)
He’s most known for his diving, perfect game-saving catch for Jordan Zimmerman in the regular season finale last year, but that won’t be the case for long. One of the more intriguing 2015 breakout candidates, Souza has little competition for playing time in the deserted Tampa Bay outfield and will likely bat in the heart of the Rays order. If he can put up numbers like the ones he did in Triple-A last season (.350/.432/.590 with 18 home runs and 26 stolen bases in 346 at bats), he will be an instant fantasy sensation thanks to his unique blend of power and speed. An excellent late-round sleeper to target in dynasty formats.
68) Alex Jackson, Seattle Mariners (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 1)
The number six overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft debuts on this list amidst a crowd of veteran, over the hill batters. Drafted as the top high school hitter in the draft, Jackson will be just 19 years old entering the 2015 campaign. While he is several years away from making a fantasy contribution at the big league level, he profiles as the Mariners everyday right fielder and a future fantasy star. The time to get on board is now before his stock takes off.
69) Curtis Granderson, New York Mets (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 37)
It’s been two years since his magical back-to-back 40-home run campaigns in Yankee Stadium and while the power rebounded a little (20 home runs last season) Granderson’s upside is limited by his advanced age (34) and the fact that he has posted a batting average under .230 in each of the past two seasons. Two very encouraging signs from last season that hint at a potential batting average increase are that he found a way to cut his strikeout rate to 21.6 percent, his lowest rate since 2009 and posted his highest contact rate (75 percent) since 2010. The 40 home run days are long gone, but if you’re looking for some cheap pop in the late rounds, the legendary John Sterling would say, “the Grandyman can…the Grandyman can… “
70) Marlon Byrd, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 37, Previous Rank: 84)
Byrd owns one of the strangest profiles in fantasy baseball today thanks to his late career power renaissance. For a guy who never hit for any power in his entire career, at age 35, Byrd began selling out to hit dingers as a New York Met in 2013 and slugged 21 home runs in just over half a season before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Byrd signed with Philadelphia after the season and followed up his out of nowhere 24 home run season with a stellar 25 home run campaign with the Phillies in 2014. Another year, another team for the veteran who was shipped to Cincinnati this offseason. His power profile should have no trouble adjusting to home run hitters dream that is The Great American Ballpark. How long Byrd can keep this up is anyone’s guess, but until the wheels fall off the wagon, he’s an excellent value in the late rounds of dynasty leagues where un-sexy veterans can often put you over the top.
71) Coco Crisp, Oakland Athletics (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 40)
One of the most talented base stealers in the game, Crisp doesn’t bring a whole lot else to the table at age 35. The oft-injured veteran has trouble staying on the field at times (he missed 39 games last season with a variety of injuries) and he isn’t going to hit for a ton of power anymore. His 22 home runs in 2013 (aided by a 12 percent home run to flyball ratio) look like a complete outlier when you consider that he hasn’t hit more than 11 in a single season since 2005. If you choose Crisp, you’re getting a solid source of runs and steals, but that’s about it these days. As evidenced by hiss fall in our rankings, he’s no longer part of a well-balanced breakfast. Sorry kids.
72) Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 101)
The 13th overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft, Renfroe is not that far away from taking his impressive power profile (21 home runs across two levels in the Minors in 2014) to San Diego, where he projects as their right fielder of the future. He destroyed the Arizona Fall League this offseason and has all the tools necessary to be a fantasy monster because of his ability to hit for power.
73) Nick Williams, Texas Rangers (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 91)
After a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League, Williams, a former second round pick, has showcased the athleticism necessary to make a fantasy impact at the big league level. It most likely will not happen in 2015, however. An excellent contact hitter, Williams has the long-term potential to develop into a .300 hitter with double-digit home runs and stolen bases annually if it all comes together. There is still plenty of swing and miss in Williams game as evidenced by his 32.8 percent strikeout rate in Double-A last season, but he’s still young and a decent gamble if you’re diving this deep in the outfielder pool.
74) Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees (Age: 38, Previous Rank: 30)
After three straight healthy seasons, the injury bug bit him hard in his first season in pinstripes. Coming off elbow surgery, he’s no guarantee to stay healthy at age 38, but a return to 20-plus home runs is not out of the question in the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium. The only issues for Beltran are his age and health, which are huge detractors for dynasty owners. Banking on anything more than one or two more seasons is extremely risky at this point.
75) Michael Cuddyer, New York Mets (Age: 36, Previous Rank: 43)
It should be fairly obvious that the move away from Coors Field is not good for Cuddyer’s fantasy value long-term. There is a ton of risk associated with Cuddyer going forward when you consider that he won’t come close to repeating the .351 BABIP he posted a year ago and he missed nearly three months with three separate disabled list trips as well last season. If both his power numbers and batting average regress away from Colorado, there isn’t much to like with Cuddyer going forward.
Commentary from Kazuto Yamazaki, Nick Doran, and George Bissell