The Dynasty Guru’s Top 125 Dynasty League Outfielders, Nos. 61-80
It’s been over two months since the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, ending the 2016 baseball season. But if you’re like most fantasy baseball owners, those two months probably feel like two years. Considering it’s still another month until Spring Training even starts, late January has to be the worst time to be a baseball fan. It’s too late to reflect on last year, but next season is too far ahead to look forward to. Luckily, with a little help from The Dynasty Guru, the next month is survivable, as we’ll be ranking and commenting on a whole lot of players over the next six weeks.
The Dynasty Guru’s hard-working staff has spent countless hours crafting these rankings, and we hope you enjoy and continue to support our efforts by showing your appreciation through this link or via the splendid ‘donate’ button located on the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated.
You can view our rankings for previous positions, and the dates future rankings will come out, by clicking the link to TDG’s 2017 Consensus Dynasty Baseball Rankings splash page. With that, let’s dive into the next part of our outfield rankings, starting with a Quad-A hitter who may still be a Quad-A hitter, but also might not still be a Quad-A hitter.
61) Adam Duvall, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 28, Previous Rank: NR)
Duvall got a late start to his big league career, logging only 149 major league plate appearances before his breakout 2016 season. He hit 33 homers, which is great. He also struck out at a 27 percent clip, which is not great. An optimist would point to Duvall improving both his strikeout and walk rates in the second half. A pessimist would point to his relative power outage, as he only hit 10 of his 33 home runs after the All-Star Break. If you’re looking for cheap-ish pop, Duvall isn’t a bad option.
62) Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 90)
Kiermaier is a defensive wizard. While the leash for defensive wizards at the plate is usually pretty long, he also showed serious signs of improvement in 2016. Even battling through injuries, Kiermaier managed career highs in both homers and stolen bases, while also more than doubling his walk rate. A full season worth of stats could help the center fielder once again set new career highs, and if his plate discipline improvements are real, a breakout could be in the cards.
63) Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 60)
Inciarte is considered “a poor man’s Kevin Kiermaier” by some for real-life purposes, and this valuation could prove relevant in fantasy as well. The Venezuelan native steals about as much as The Outlaw, and should get on base more often, though the power output of Kiermaier gives him a slight edge in these rankings to Inciarte.
64) Josh Reddick, Houston Astros (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 54)
Last season Josh Reddick Josh Reddicked. He battled injuries and he mashed righties. He hit .322/.386/.485 against right-handed pitching last season in his west coast tour as an Athletic and Dodger. His .155/.212/.155 line against lefties was less than inspiring, but even if he maxes out as a strong-side platoon option in the Astros’ lineup, he should be good enough to score and drive in lots of runs.
65) Keon Broxton, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
There’s a lot to like with Broxton, and he has the tools that suck you in as a fantasy owner. He stole 23 bases in his first stint with the Brewers last season, and was only caught four times. He launched nine homers in 244 plate appearances and drew walks at Votto-ian 14.8 percent clip. The problem: the swing and miss. Broxton fanned in 28.4 percent of minor league plate appearances, followed by a 36.1 percent rate in the big leagues. He’s got skills, but he might not get to use them.
66) Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 50)
Judge is a large, large man. At 6’7”, he’s one of the tallest players in the league, and he has the raw power to match. The problem, as with many young sluggers on this list, is the whiffs. In Judge’s 95 plate appearance cup of coffee in the Bronx last season, he fanned at a 44.2 percent rate. Mark Reynolds would even object to that kind of strikeout rate. The good news, however, is that he’s shown a tendency to improve as he repeats levels. He will need to, or else he’ll never get to shown off the large, large power.
67) Blake Rutherford, New York Yankees (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
Once a candidate to be drafted with the 1st pick of the 2016 draft, Rutherford fortuitously (for the team anyway) fell to the Yankees with the number 18 pick. A hamstring injury cut his first professional season short, but his first taste was mighty impressive. A .382/.440/.618 line for the Pulaski Yankees in the Appalachian League put everyone on notice that Rutherford has all the potential in the world.
68) Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 34)
Ellsbury had a perfectly meh season in 2016, hitting .263/.330/.374. At this point, you’re really only rostering Ellsbury for his stolen base potential. Sadly his 20 steals last year was the lowest total in a healthy season for his entire career. At 33 years old, it’s safe to say the best is behind him. We’ll always have those 32 homers in 2011, though.
69) Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 39)
Choo continued his game of “good season, bad season” last year with an aforementioned “bad season”. His season was plagued with injuries and he struggled to the tune of .242/.357/.399. The days of Choo being a monster asset are probably over, but even at 34-years-old, he still can pop 20 homers if healthy, and his top-shelf plate discipline can still be useful in OBP leagues.
70) Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)
Known for his power out of college, the 11th overall pick in the 2016 draft hit the ground running in his first season as a pro. The Mariners started the slugger in Low-A Everett and he responded by hitting .299 with a .915 OPS in 135 plate appearances. Alas, his breathtaking debut was cut short by a torn ACL in June. According to Lewis and the team, he is well ahead of schedule with his rehab, which is always better than the alternative. Hopefully he can regain the huge potential he exhibited this summer, because as a college hitter with pop, he could move quickly.
71) Anthony Alford, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 82)
In 2015, Alford broke out as an impact prospect, hitting .298/.398/.421 in 487 plate appearances across two levels. He failed to replicate that success in 2016, while spending a full season at High-A Dunedin. His .236 average can be traced in part to a near 30 percent strikeout rate, which is troublesome at such a low minor league level. We always repeat the mantra “prospect development isn’t linear”, and injuries can be to blame for the rough campaign, so don’t lose too much faith in Alford. The raw tools still remain, but Alford will need to make a little more contact to truly utilize them.
72) Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 103)
In his first full season as a professional, Tucker flashed the promise that made him the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft. He had a .287 TAv in 428 plate appearances at Class-A Quad Cities, stealing 31 bases in the process. He finished the season with a taste of High-A, hitting .339/.435/.661. In a perfect world, Tucker would have a little more pop in his bat, but he’s young enough that there’s still plenty of time to develop, and with the way he’s hitting at this point, that’s a pretty nitpicky request.
73) Mickey Moniak, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR)
As the number one overall pick in the 2016 draft, there were lofty expectations on Moniak heading into his first taste of pro ball. According to many evaluators, he offered a very high floor for a draftee, thanks mostly to his advanced hit tool for a high school bat. He didn’t disappoint. In his first 194 plate appearances, Moniak hit .284/.340/.409, chipping in 10 stolen bases. For an 18-year-old, this is an awfully good start.
74) Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 29)
Dickerson seemed to be a test case for what would happen when a slugger is taken out of Coors Field, and the results were, um, not great. He hit .245/.293/.469 with the Rays, all three numbers career lows. He suffered two major problems: 1) he slugged .315 against lefties and 2) he hit .213/.273/.377 at the cave known as Tropicana Field. Dickerson’s 2016 was likely the nightmare scenario, but until he hits for a little more power against left-handed pitching, he might be best utilized as a platoon bat.
75) Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 42)
Gardner continues to be a useful enough bat, albeit without much pop. He is also in very clear decline. These two things aren’t mutually exclusive. His stolen base totals, which were once his calling card, have dwindled in every season since 2010. His TAv has been trending in the wrong direction incrementally since 2012. Gardner is fine, and still useful even, but he’s not someone to build a future around.
76) Curtis Granderson, New York Mets (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 62)
Granderson again provided fantasy owners with solid two category value while mostly leading off for the Mets in 2016. He added a little more pop than year’s past, as did nearly everyone in the majors, finishing the year with 30 home runs. On the flip side, he posted his lowest stolen base amount in his career. Granderson isn’t going to help your batting average, and leading off is going to limit his RBIs, but if he continues to hit first for the Mets, he should still be a solid contributor in runs, while providing a little power. That would be useful, even if the steals don’t return.
77) Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 79)
Cabrera’s stats are never going to jump off of the page, but year-to-year he has been a consistent contributor to fantasy owners who smartly don’t overlook him. The career .286 hitter again flirted with .300, also adding at least 70 RBI and runs for the third straight year. There’s no speed to speak about, and he has hit more than 15 homeruns only once, but the consistency is enough to grab Cabrera as your fourth or fifth outfielder in most fantasy leagues.
78) Tyler O’Neill, Seattle Mariners (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
In 2016, O’Neill again showed the power that dynasty league owners have been salivating about, this time in Double-A. He also continued to steal double-digit bags and walked a decent amount. That’s where the compliments stop. For the third straight year, O’Neill struck out over a quarter of the time, while staving off a less than stellar batting average because of an unsustainable BABIP. The power is real, but unless he can fix a few of the holes in his swing, he’s not going to become an MLB regular.
79) Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 75)
Renfroe teased dynasty league owners and Padres fans alike in his first Major League stint in 2016, mashing four homeruns in just 11 games, after crushing 30 bombs in Triple-A. Renfroe’s power has never been questioned, what has is his ability to limit strikeouts against MLB pitching. Renfroe hasn’t been striking out as much as O’Neill, but hasn’t been walking at his rate either. Similar to O’Neill, there’s questions about his hit tool as he faces Major League pitching, but if he can limit the strikeouts, he can be a solid fantasy outfielder for years to come.
80) Carlos Beltran, Houston Astros (Age: 39, Previous Rank: 93)
Despite turning 40-years-old less than a month into the 2017 season, Beltran has continued to defy the odds and provide solid value for fantasy owners. The speed is long gone, and there’s considerable injury concerns, but if healthy, Beltran provides solid values in the four remaining categories. Houston is expected to have him DH more than he did in 2016, which may allow him to stay off the disabled list and in fantasy lineups a bit more this season. It’s easy to overlook Beltran in dynasty leagues because of his age, but savvy owners may test just how much he has left in the tank.
Comments by Mark Barry and Jesse Meehan