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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 125 Outfielders, #26-50

Despite a scorching hot stove (I can’t believe the player you’re thinking of did or did not sign with the team you thought they would!), January and February can be some of the darkest months of the year (figuratively and literally). But fear not, restless readers. The Dynasty Guru is here to the rescue.

While you were celebrating the holidays and ushering in the New Year, our brave group of writers has been ranking, debating, re-ranking, re-debating, and re-re-ranking over 600 players for dynasty leagues. The fruits of our efforts will be filling January and February with the deepest, most thoroughly and painstakingly selected dynasty baseball rankings on the internet. We have top-50s, top-125s, top-200s, top-500s (of course!), and even ultra-deep prospect rankings. PLUS, this season we’re including a “Where They’d Rank” section, that outlines where we would put multi-positional guys if we ranked them at their secondary positions.

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.

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2019 consensus rankings by looking at our 26-50 dynasty outfielders.

26) David Dahl, Colorado Rockies (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 40)

Dahl enters 2019 after two decent MLB seasons, and there’s still room for growth for the soon-to-be 25-year-old outfielder. There’s really nothing special about Dahl’s game to this point, and his power numbers from last season seem to be pretty fluky based on his xStats, but Coors Field provides enough of a boost to make Dahl a strong fantasy asset. Dahl may be able to add some more reliable power and maybe some more speed, but as of now, he’s largely dependent on his context. The context doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon, however, so you can buy Dahl just for the park boost and hope his improvements come later. (Matt Meiselman)

27) Will Myers, San Diego Padres (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 1B-6)

Once a tantalizing prospect, Myers has settled into a much more stable and highly productive fantasy baseball career. As a real-life player, Myers is merely an above-average hitter with minimal defensive value and a 2-3 WAR per season track record. As a fantasy player, however, Myers’ power and speed make him one of the most valuable veteran commodities across the board, and his injury-shortened 2018 season may make him cheaper to acquire going forward. His days of 30 HR seasons might already be behind him, but a top of the lineup hitter with reliable 25 HR/20 SB skills is still hard to replicate. (Matt Meiselman)

28) Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 59)

Hicks doesn’t have the name value of some of the Yankees’ other outfielders, but he’s arguably been just as important to their recent success, and maybe even nearly as valuable to fantasy owners. Over the last two seasons, Hicks has racked up 42 home runs and 21 stolen bases in under 1000 plate appearances, with a 127 wRC+. Hicks also regularly bats at the top of order, which is partly how he’s scored 144 runs in roughly the last 1.5 seasons. There’s no question he benefits greatly from his context, but as long as Hicks stays where he is, he’s an extremely useful fantasy asset. (Matt Meiselman)

29) Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 3B-12)

Castellanos smashed the ball in 2017, but some unfortunate BABIP luck led to merely modest results. 2018 was a different story, as a .361 BABIP carried Castellanos to a .298/.354/.500 triple slash. The true talent level for Castellanos is probably somewhere just below what his results showed last season, and at 27 he’s probably already reached his prime, but he’s as reliable and stable as they come. It seems reasonable to expect much more of the same from Castellanos in 2019. (Matt Meiselman)

30) Justin Upton, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 17)

Yet another veteran in this tier, Upton has continued to post well-above average fantasy numbers into his 30s. Upton isn’t Mike Trout, and he isn’t Shohei Ohtani. He is Justin Upton though, of course, and he’s still very good at both baseball and fantasy baseball. This year should be no different, although it’s probably fair to start worrying about an oncoming decline in dynasty leagues. Nonetheless, Upton is still valuable enough now to offset the fact that he’s older than most of the outfielders in this tier. (Matt Meiselman)

31) Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 34)

After two and a half seasons in the major leagues, we’re starting to get a pretty clear picture of what can be expected of Schwarber.  What he will give you:  plenty of home runs, a healthy dose of strikeouts, a decent clip of counting stats (runs and RBIs), and a healthy walk rate for those in OBP leagues.  What he won’t give you: batting average.  A career .228 hitter, it doesn’t look like Schwarber will ever become useful in that regard. If you can sacrifice some average, Schwarber can definitely help your squad out.  Still just 25 years old, there also remains a chance that Schwarber will have that monster breakout season that many have been expecting of him.  (Ross Jensen)

32) Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)

After missing all of 2017 due to injury, Kirilloff returned to baseball with a vengeance last season.  Kirilloff earned a promotion out of Single-A by blasting 13 home runs in 281 plate appearances.  High-A did not prove to be a challenge for Kirilloff either as he actually increased his batting average all the way up to .362 after moving up.  Combined, he posted a .348/.392/.578 slash line.  The loud statistics have clearly been noticed as Kirilloff has skyrocketed up rankings lists, even cracking the top ten according to CBS Sports and MLB Pipeline.  Kirilloff has firmly established himself as one of the highest-ceiling offensive prospects in the league and is definitely a player that you should keep your eye on. (Ross Jensen)

33) Tommy Pham, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 23)

After hitting an impressive .306/.411/.520 in 2017 with the Cardinals, Pham came back down to earth in the first half of last season.  After being shipped to the Tampa Bay Rays in some second-half maneuvering, Pham appeared to regain form, raking against AL competition.  You may be wondering which Pham you’ll end up getting – the 2018 Cardinals version that hits .250 with limited power or the Rays version that posted a fabulous .343/.448/.622 slash line.  The smart money is likely on something in between, which is a .270-.280 hitter with notable on-base skills and a solid power-speed combination. (Ross Jensen)

34) AJ Pollock, LA Dodgers (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 25)

After crossing the age 30 threshold, it doesn’t look like we’re going to see the Pollock that posted .300+ batting averages in 2014 and 2015.  However, the power and at least some of the speed still looks intact.  What that amounts to is a pretty good ballplayer that will hit somewhere around .260-.270 and has 20-20 potential – that is, if he can stay healthy.  Unfortunately, health has been an issue for Pollock, so tread with caution. (Ross Jensen)

35) Austin Meadows, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 72)

Last year, Dynasty Guru had this to say about Meadows:

There is not a single loud tool in his arsenal that matters from a fantasy perspective. Meadows will be lucky if he is even ranked in a year’s time if that doesn’t change. Not eclipsing 12 home runs in any minor-league season isn’t a good look.

How fortunes can change over a year.  In 2018, despite having a solid campaign, Meadows still did not eclipse 12 home runs (he had exactly 12). However, he did something that a great multitude of minor league prospects are unable to do: translate minor league production into major league production.  Meadows ended up adding 6 more home runs in the major leagues in just under 200 plate appearances, all the while looking like he belonged on a major league roster.  Meadows will need to continue doing so if he intends to earn playing time in a stacked Tampa Bay system. (Ross Jensen)

36)    Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 50)

Winker is becoming a darling of advanced metric analysts throughout the land. He walked more than he struck out. His quality of contact was above average. He allegedly hits enough fly balls to produce 25+ HR power. Still, I believe he’s a contact first OF4 who isn’t a plus or minus in any one area. Couple that with an already crowded outfield with a higher ranked prospect raking in the minors and you have yourself a shaky asset. Could he tap into the power and become a low-end OF2? Sure. But the floor is the much more likely outcome. (Adam Lawler)

37)    Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 39)

Polanco strikes me as the type of player that everyone thinks is one way, but is truly something entirely different. For starters, he’s entering his age 27 season. That in and of itself is not alarming, I keep thinking he’s still very young despite his being with Pittsburgh for 5 years now. Second, I kept thinking Polanco was a higher level stolen base threat. Again, he’s not bad per se, but he’s not very good. Last year, 12 stolen bases and two years before that 17. Now, comes the elephant in the room. What’s his power level? Is it 20+ or is it 10+? My guess is somewhere in between, which in this environment is kinda ho-hum. So now, it’s a 15/15 guy which is serviceable, but not sexy. (Adam Lawler)

38)    Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 38)

Over at Pitcher List, I wrote about my concerns regarding Inciarte. In short, it’s not the player, it’s the lineup in the order. Inciarte gets his value from runs and stolen bases.  With Acuna and Albies likely batting 1 & 2 for the next millennia, Freeman & Donaldson sitting 3 & 4, Inciarte will be in bottom third of the order. Last year, he averaged a stolen base 10% of the time during appearances in the 6/7 slot as opposed to the 27.7% clip when batting leadoff. I hope I don’t need to math out the impact being in the bottom half of the order has on run production. Barring injury or implosion from one of his teammates, I’m not too positive on Iniciarte’s future value. (Adam Lawler)

39)   Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: XX)

The other 2019 offseason industry darling. After the Mets were forced to play the former first rounder, Nimmo slashed his way to a .263/.404/.483 line with outstanding underlying numbers (.386 wOBA/.344 xwOBA/119 DRC+) to back up the performance. I am slightly worried about his splits. Against southpaws, Nimmo was a considerably poorer performer. So there are very real possibilities Nimmo will wind up platooned. Still, a 25/10 season coupled with a respectable slash line is a very real possibility, thus Nimmo represents the best value of the bunch. (Adam Lawler)

40)    Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

After a successful 2017, Happ’s 2018 season was a bit of a mess and there’s no better way to demonstrate that than through his xStat’s table:

HappStatcast

Moreover, he declined in his Barrel %, exit velocity, xBA, his xSLG, and his xwOBA from 2017.  More telling is his launch angle decreasing from 14.1 to 12.9.  Listen, I hate narratives as much as the next guy, but I think Happ’s issues stem directly from a tenuous relationship with former hitting coach Chili Davis. Something that his other young and struggling teammate, Willson Contreras, reportedly dealt with too.  Now, that one half of that toxic relationship has been removed, maybe Happ can go back to 2017’s mechanics and plate approach. I’m buying in. (Adam Lawler)

41. Tyler O’Neil, St. Louis Cardinals, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

O’Neil has power when he connects, but the key word there is ‘when.’  He has struck out around 25% of the time through his minor league career, and in a small sample struck out 40% of the time in the majors. Fantasy value equates to skill plus playing time. O’Neil is short on both entering 2019. He is behind Dexter Fowler on the depth chart and needs to improve his plate discipline to merit regular time in right field. He is a very high risk, high reward player if you feel he can put it all together. I, for one, am not betting on him. (Mike Tanner)

42. Taylor Trammell, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 67)

A career OBP near .375 and strikeout rates in the low 20s demonstrate an advanced approach. Trammel is progressing methodically through the lower minors and figures to start early next year in Double-A. His exciting tools will keep him on fantasy radars as a top prospect, but his poor defense in real life will relegate him to left field long term. He projects to be a 20-20 guy and perennial top-75 player. He will enjoy a good home ballpark and likely a fairly strong supporting cast. 2019 will show us if his hit tool is all that we hope it can be. (Mike Tanner)

43. Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 58)

Signed for $26 million in ’17, Robert made some noise in the Arizona Fall League with 5 stolen bases and 2 home runs. The problem is that before hitting in lovely Arizona his season was not pretty. ’18 was riddled with multiple hand injuries that led to a complete lack of power. He also has some swing and miss to his game that is cause for concern. Couple these concerns with the fact that he is probably farther away from the majors than most expect and Robert is a prospect likely to decline in value in ’19.  I love the athleticism long-term, so keep your eyes open for a buying opportunity if you are rebuilding.  (Mike Tanner)

44. Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 110)

Prior to 2018, Smith was a player with elite speed with no path to playing time. Despite this speed, he is somehow a terrible defender. He exploded on the scene in ’18 and the Rays appeared to have sold high on his career season.  He now finds himself with an avenue to full-time playing on a restocked roster in Seattle. He is a two to three category player, and if he hits near the top of the lineup, his ranking will undoubtedly be higher next year. If his defense regresses even a little he is in jeopardy of being relegated to a bench role. He’s only 25, and the underlying numbers suggest he takes a step forward in ’19, but will always be a risky player until he can play average defense. (Mike Tanner)

45. Michael Brantley, Houston Astros, (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 89)

If Brantley had not endured so many injuries the previous two seasons, then he would likely be ranked 20 spots higher on this list. He is still getting drafted later than he should and is consistently undervalued in dynasty circles. Keeping in mind that most injured players can be substituted in fantasy baseball mitigates the risk of owning Brantley. He has elite plate skills and just upgraded his lineup to one of the best in the league. He might be old, but he’s got a few solid years left to contribute to your dynasty teams. (Mike Tanner)

46. Stephen Piscotty, Oakland A’s, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 76)

Piscotty ranked 25th two years ago on this list. It’s funny how a younger player who performed almost exactly the same as he did in ’18 is so much sexier. We always hope for another gear or a new level of talent. For Piscotty, a solid performance in four categories is pretty much what you can expect. Now in his prime, he is an outstanding player who should produce around 25 home runs, 80 runs/RBI, and a good, but not a high average. He is a solid accumulator, but not likely a star. He has signed a very team-friendly rate through 2022 making his playing time even more secure.  He’s not the prettiest girl at the party, but he’s a solid fourth outfielder. (Mike Tanner)

47. Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 65)

Verdugo has been near the top of the Dodgers prospect list for what seems like forever. Verdugo is likely a better real-life player than fantasy monster. He is a bit lite on power but makes up for it with excellent defense, a patient approach, and high batting average. If you’re hoping Verdugo turns into a guy who smashes 30 bombs, you’re going to be disappointed. If you can live with (good) Nick Markakis output, you’ll be rewarded.  The Dodgers tend to platoon a lot of their lefty-heavy lineup, which adds a little more risk to his future value. In dynasty formats his name likely carriers a lot of value and it may be the perfect time to sell for a player with more upside. (Mike Tanner)

48. Adam Eaton, Washington Nationals, (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 33)

Injuries, injuries, and more injuries. In the past you could count on Eaton for a solid, if not great, average, some stolen bases, and lots of runs. The average will likely remain high, but the speed is declining and staying on the field has become the real challenge.  Eaton’s value has fallen from 23 to 33 to 48 on this list. Further decline seems likely as father time creeps in and the young talent on the Nationals minor league roster makes more and more noise.  With Soto, Robles, Turner, Rendon, and others, it’s no guarantee Eaton hits high in the lineup much longer. It may be time to move. (Mike Tanner)

49. Franmil Reyes, San Diego Padres, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Reyes is a very intriguing Dominican prospect. He’s only 23. He’s always been a very patient hitter, and the guy has power. At 6’5” and 275 it almost doesn’t seem fair to hit such a little ball. The only reason he isn’t much higher on this list? Playing time questions. The Padres have too many outfielders and too many more in the minors.  I’ll bet on Reyes beating out Hunter Renfroe for the right field job. If he gets 600 plate appearances, he’s got easy 35 home run power. He’s a young player with a very high upside who needs very little to go his way to get playing time. Invest now, his price is only going to rise. (Mike Tanner)

50. Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 71)

Alvarez is really best suited to split time at first base and DH. Despite that profile, he spent most of his time in the outfield in ’18, likely having more to do with the Astros current needs that his true position. He is precisely the type of player you want in a first baseman. He gets on base and hits for power. A lot of power.  He probably doesn’t make his debut until early to mid-2020. But when he does arrive, he likely hits in near the middle of a tremendous lineup in Houston. He is a top 20 prospect and arguably in the top 3 first base prospects. (Mike Tanner)

The Author

Adam Lawler

Adam Lawler

3 Comments

  1. Scott Ross
    January 31, 2019 at 5:11 am — Reply

    Re: Inciarte and leadoff, a tweet nine days ago from MLB.com Braves’ beat writer Mark Bowman: “Anthopoulos said Snitker is now leaning toward his lineup starting like this: Inciarte, Donaldson, Freeman, Acuna, Markakis” https://twitter.com/mlbbowman/statuses/1087830748479012864

  2. Chris
    January 31, 2019 at 10:22 am — Reply

    Margot went from 31 last year to the edge of oblivion. Geez, the 24 year old’s dynasty value is apparently non-existent.

  3. Justin
    January 31, 2019 at 1:29 pm — Reply

    Given the concerns with Nimmo’s platoon splits, would you be looking to buy, sell, or hold?

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