The Dynasty Guru’s Top 125 Outfielders, #51-75
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.
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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2019 consensus rankings by looking at our 51-75 dynasty outfielders.
51) David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks, (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 91)
David Peralta had himself a breakout year at age 30 (lashing .293/.347/.481 and launching 30 homers, just about doubling his previous career high) and seems primed to repeat it. Where Peralta made the most strides in 2018 was his hard-hit rate, increasing it from 36% to 46%, lead by his impressive 91 MPH exit velocity, good enough for top 9% in the league. With a cemented spot in the Arizona outfield Peralta is a great buy going into 2019. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
52) Byron Buxton, Minnesota, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 14)
Rumor has it he’s in the best shape of his life, so there’s that. Besides that, Buxton has failed to live up to lofty expectations. Injuries have caused Buxton to miss significant time both in the minors and the majors and presumably the 20 lbs of muscle he’s put it on is to deter that. I admit it makes the prospects of his 2019 interesting but there’s a reason he dropped from #14 to here and those should be timid about buying in. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
53) Andrew McCutchen, Philadelphia Phillies, (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 32)
Now with his 4th team in 2 years, McCutchen has found a home in Philly. Entering his age-32 season McCutchen has been a pillar of consistency in the outfield with 8 consecutive years of 20+ homers. Recently his average has taken a bit of a hit but his on-base percentage is still up there with the best in the league. He continually barrels at an 8% clip and contributes a hard hit rate in the low 40s. Now in a very friendly ballpark, there’s no reason to suspect this won’t continue. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
54) Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 15 2B)
Once Taylor made some mechanical adjustment to his swing (that I outlined here), he became an extra-base machine. Over the last two seasons Taylor has been in the top 8% of the league in doubles and last season his 9 triples placed him in the top 3% of the league. Taylor’s 20 homer potential coupled with double-digit steals and multi-position eligibility makes him an intriguing target for 2019 (Keaton O. DeRocher)
55) Harrison Bader, St Louis Cardinals, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)
Bader is an interesting target: in many ways, he resembles Taylor’s profile, both with his speed and his hitting. With average exit velocity and above average launch angle, Bader generates a bunch of extra base hits and steals double digit bags with ease. Strikeout rate is a tad high at 29% but in today’s landscape that’s not as bad at looks at face value. If Bader can reign that in there’s easy 20/20 potential in his game. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
56) Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 99)
Soler has been primed for a post hype breakout for what feels like 4 years now. Unfortunately, he can’t stay healthy enough to actually put it together. The underlying numbers are rather impressive: above average exit velocity and launch angle, hard hit rate over 40% barreling at 10% with well above average sprint speed to add plenty of steals. If Soler can ever manage to play a full season he could put up top-20 numbers. That’s a massive IF though, seeing as Soler hasn’t played over 90 games since 2015. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
57) Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 60)
The post hype outfield factory in Minnesota keeps churning. Kepler’s counting stats are pretty decent and thanks to his 71 walks he was able to preserve an OBP of .319 while batting .224. Those 71 walks also produced an impressive 12% walk rate and Kepler made strides in lowering his strikeout rate from 20% to 15% last season. Kepler had a bit of bad luck with a .234 BABIP which should recover some of the batting average he lost. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
58) Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres, (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 75)
Renfroe has become one of the more sneaky power hitters in the game. Posting back-to-back 26 homer season shortened by injury, Renfroe just simply smashes the stuffing out of the ball. Renfroe barrels at at a stupid 11%, double the league average, and holds an impressive hard hit rate over 40%. Putting a full healthy season together Renfroe could reach the 40 homer plateau. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
59) Jesus Sanchez, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 87)
Jesus Sanchez reached Double-A at 20 years old slashing .282/.324/.433. Sanchez has a rather advanced approach at the plate driven by his double digit walk rate and strikeout rate in the mid teens. With ability to hit for average and power and double digit steals Sanchez is sure to continue to rise in our ranks and is probably not far off from his MLB debut. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
60) Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 77)
As a prospect Pederson’s stock was about as high as it could be; since breaking into the majors Pederson has struggled to hit for average which has limited his playing time to a platoon role. Last season was Pederson’s best, hitting .248. Even struggling for average and playing time (142 games played but only 88 starts in 2018) Pederson has been able to display his impressive power and make himself visible in OPB leagues. With age still on his side, Pederson can slowly play himself into more at bats if he continues his advancements on on his average. (Keaton O. DeRocher)
61) Billy Hamilton, Kansas City Royals, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 26)
Always one of the more polarizing players at draft time, Hamilton has seen his numbers decline and his rating here at The Dynasty Guru has as well. Here are his steal numbers, the main reason we draft him, over the last five years:
2014: 56 steals
2015: 57 steals
2016: 58 steals (only caught eight times, that’s 50 net steals for you players that use that as a category)
Do you see a pattern forming?
2017: 59 steals!
2018 was going to bring Hamilton into the 60’s for the first time in his career, 27 years old, prime of his career. He stole 34. His average dropped, his OBP matched 2017 at .299 as did his four home runs.
Cincinnati had seen enough and released him in November, Kansas City picked him up two weeks later, and he will get a chance to play center field for the Royals. The question is, was 2018 an outlier? Will we ever see 50 steal Billy again? I say yes, but maybe only a couple more times. (Paul Monte)
62) Manuel Margot, San Diego Padres, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 31)
Margot was a “buy now” candidate heading into the 2018 season. Hopes of a 20/20 center fielder were flowing. Instead, a bit of a sophomore slump was received. With just ten fewer at-bats than in 2017, he managed to hit fewer home runs (8) and stole fewer bases (11) and was caught stealing ten times. The tools that landed him at 31 for outfielders last year are still present, but San Diego has become full of outfielders. Myers, Cordero, Renfroe, and Jankowski all figure to battle for time. Most projection systems have Margot between 10-12 HRs and 14-15 SBs, not the 20/20 we were waiting on. (Paul Monte)
63) Domingo Santana, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 16)
A year after hitting .278/.371/.505 with 30 home runs and 15 stolen bases, the Brewers’ stand out slugger made it to the end of June before being sent down to the minors. The drop in production surely created massive holes for owners in their lineups. Last year, Tom Werner pointed out that Santana’s profile was volatile and he was right. His K% rose to 32.8% and was no better in Triple-A. The biggest issue was his HR/FB rate which dropped a whopping 17.7% down to 13.2% for the year. The good news is Santana will get a change of scenery. Traded to the rebuilding Seattle should give him some extra time to get things straightened out. (Paul Monte)
64) Drew Waters, Atlanta Braves, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)
Waters will play his full 2019 campaign at just 20 years old. After putting up an impressive 84 games in the Sally League, he received a promotion to High-A where he still held his own, even though he was one of the youngest players in the league. Much like Margot, owners can dream about the 20/20 potential of Waters. He is expected to start 2019 in High-A while fellow Braves centerfield prospect Cristian Pache continues to be one level ahead of him. Pache is the better defender, and that makes the race between the two prospects exciting to watch. For our purposes, this is the one to own of the two. (Paul Monte)
65) Clint Frazier, New York Yankees (Age: 23, Previous Ranking: 63)
The fact that Frazier logged 34 at-bats last year and only fell two slots in our outfield rankings speaks to the talent he possesses in his bat. Frazier crashed into the outfield wall twice in February and suffered through devastating concussion symptoms for months after. He did have a rehab assignment, but it was cut short and his season was over. On January 17th Frazier was cleared by team doctors and plans to be at full strength this season. If you are risk-averse, Frazier may not be for you but prices may be at an all-time low in your league and might be worth checking. (Paul Monte)
66) Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 42)
Calhoun has been a mystery for dynasty owners for several years. We heard how bad the defense was; he was moved from second base to the outfield with the hopes that he could at least survive out there. What we didn’t expect to have to worry about was his bat. Maybe we don’t, but his 35 game stint in Texas left us with a .222/.269/.333 slash, and that’s not good. Listed as an outfielder, he may get a chance to learn under fire as the Rangers’ roster allows for some flexibility and still carries Shin-Soo Choo, who will likely get most of the DH at-bats. (Paul Monte)
67) Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 37)
After a couple of years of being very undervalued, Herrera made some changes, and his value took a step back. After an age-24 season that saw him post an impressive 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases, he has flipped those numbers around. He did hit 22 home runs last year but only stole five bases and watched his average drop 26 points in the process. The stolen bases may be gone forever- he only made seven attempts last year. Playing time also became an issue late last season and would not get any better if either Machado or Harper sign. (Paul Monte)
68) Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 96)
The speed that was on display in the minors did not come through with Teoscar to the majors, but the power did. That pesky K rate came with him as well, though to his credit it did “improve” to a rather ugly 31.2%. Hernandez needs to continue to work on improving that K rate and he could become a valuable hitter. As of now, it looks like he may be sharing the weak side of the platoon in left field as Pillar and Grichuck man the other two spots. A hit in playing time will severely hamper his value. (Paul Monte)
69) Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
Traded by the Mets along with four other players for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, Seattle thought that package was, you guessed it, nice. [ Nice- Ed.] Hailing from Wisconsin, he chose to skip out on High School baseball altogether. Instead, he played travel ball and for the Team USA squad where he flashed his five-tool ability. Drafted 6th overall, he carried that same dominance with him to rookie ball before being promoted to the Appalachian League, where he briefly struggled before finding his stroke. 2019 could see a big jump from him in the rankings as he gets to play his first full season of professional baseball. (Paul Monte)
70) Estevan Florial, New York Yankees (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 51)
One of the hottest names on the prospect scene entering the 2018 season after posting a .298/.372/.479 stat line in 2017, Florial took a step back. There was some slight improvement in both the K rate and the walk rate in 2018, but a hamate injury that eventually required surgery in May sapped most of his power after his return. Our own Dr. Mike Tanner recently chimed in on Twitter to say that power is indeed sapped for the short term but does not a long-term concern after a hamate injury. 2019 will be a big year to see if he can recover some of that helium and climb back up the outfield list. (Paul Monte)
71) Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 30)
Although the Mets have said that they expect Cespedes to contribute this season, there is a chance that he will be limited and might even be pushed back in his recovery. Recent reports from the front office have stated the reason they have not pursued Harper and Machado this offseason is because of the money (4 years, $110 million) that is locked up with Cespedes. The 35 bomb seasons seem to be a thing of the past, but Cespedes can still hit when he is healthy. If things go as planned and if he does come back at the All-Star break, .265 with 12-15 home runs and 35-40 RBI is not out of the question. Worth a flier in the late rounds in redraft leagues and if the owner in your dynasty league is ready to jump ship, Cespedes can be acquired for the equivalent of a washing machine. (Nic Yonter)
72) Nick Williams, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 70)
Perhaps no one is as anxious about the Bryce Harper saga as Nick Williams. As of right now, Williams will be the Opening Day right fielder for the Phillies. “Nicky Dubs” proved to the Phillies what he could do with close to 450 at-bats and why he was one of the main trade chips for Cole Hamels. 17 home runs and 50 RBI showed that his power looks to be legitimate, but with so much riding on his at-bats, it is difficult to trust Williams for this season. If Harper signs elsewhere, obviously his value rises. Still a very good dynasty player with the possibility of rising up this list by 15-20 spots with another season under his belt. (Nic Yonter)
73) Corey Ray, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)
What a difference a year can make! A lot of buzzwords associated with Corey Ray. Power-Speed combo, fifth overall draft pick, top prospect, bust, and now… Brewers Minor League Player of the Year and non-roster invite to Spring Training. The batting average might not ever be great and he does strike out too much due to holes in his swing, but Ray does have the kind of raw power and speed that will make dynasty owners salivate. In Double-A last season, the Louisville Cardinal product slugged 27 home runs, 32 doubles, 7 triples, 74 RBI, and 37 stolen bases. All huge numbers, but the .239 BA and 176 strikeouts show there is still a lot of work to do. Milwaukee has a crowded outfield, but Ray should be forcing the Brewers to make room sooner rather than later. (Nic Yonter)
74) Randal Grichuk, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 97)
A healthy jump for the outfielder that was selected one spot ahead of a guy named Mike Trout. Many fantasy baseball enthusiasts know that, but always a great bit of information to share with your league! Randal Grichuk has been one of the kings of exit velocity since his days in St. Louis and he took a few steps forward in Year One of his time in Canada. Still relatively young at 27, Grichuk had his home runs, RBI, BA, OBP, SLG, and runs all seeing increases while his strikeouts took a bit of a dip. Toronto is showing confidence in their young outfielder and he is a prime sleeper candidate coming into the year. A slight downgrade would be in place if Joc Pederson finds his way to the Blue Jays as one would assume Grichuk would see some of his at-bats taken away. (Nic Yonter)
75) Corey Dickerson, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 52)
Is it possible to have an unexciting hitter that will get on base at a .300 clip and has suddenly figured out how to avoid striking out? If so, Corey Dickerson is your man. He will be hitting in the middle of a better-than-expected Pirates squad that will have one of the better rotations in baseball this year. If Dickerson came with more pop, he would be much higher on this list (although he does have three seasons of 24+ home runs). At this point in his career, he is what he is, but you can do a lot worse at this point in the draft. Dickerson is the perfect glue guy for an outfield with some risky picks. (Nic Yonter)