2020 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

The Dynasty Guru’s 2020 Top 125 Dynasty League Outfielders, #1-25

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2020 consensus rankings by looking at the 25 best outfielders in dynasty leagues. To the surprise of no one, the good ones are, like, really good.

1) Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 1)

Mike Trout, the reigning AL MVP, stays in our #1 Outfield Dynasty spot again this year and thus the #1 overall ranking. However, if you like the #2 person on our list more, I can assure you that the gap on our internal rankings was as close as it gets. The MLB leader in OBP in 2019 (.438), Trout is a more clear #1 in OBP-leagues. The two arguments against Trout these days seem to be the reduction in stolen bases (11) in 2019, as well as three consecutive years with 140 games played or less. I would counter that Trout also stole 11 bags in 2015, and followed that up with seasons of 30, 22, and 24 SBs. In 2019, Trout was only caught twice, and he is still in the 95th percentile in sprint speed. The injury concerns are valid, but fortunately, none of the injuries have been related and the right foot will be healed for 2020. Trout’s production in only 134 games was outstanding – 45 home runs, 104 RBI, 110 runs, and while his average sat at .291, he was unlucky on his batted balls. Statcast’s expected wOBA put Trout at .455, easily the best of his past five years and well ahead of Bellinger’s second-place .429. At 28, he’s supposed to just be entering his prime and in terms of his floor, you can’t go wrong with Trout in dynasty or redraft formats. (Bob Osgood)

2) Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 3)

Going into 2019, the most debated topic in the first round was where Ronald Acuna should go. Acuna was found going as high as fourth overall in redraft formats, and in some dynasty formats was ranked higher. It was aggressive but paid off as Acuna finished 1st in Razzball’s Player Rater, and 2nd on ESPN, neck-and-neck with Yelich in both. The key was the enormous boost in stolen bases (37, 4th-in-MLB), and the 127 runs (3rd-in-MLB), to go along with 41 HR and 101 RBI, which put Acuna in fifth-place in NL MVP voting, despite leading Atlanta to an NL East title. Tough crowd! Sitting out a few games to get healthy for the playoffs, Acuna’s last steal came on 9/17 and fell three steals shy of becoming the first 40/40 player since Alfonso Soriano in 2006. Acuna did strikeout 26.3% of the time, so his .280 average and .883 OPS has room to improve, but the man turned 22-years-old last month and will continue to carry teams in four categories while shooting for five. Acuna barrels an elite 15% of the balls he puts in play, with a 96th percentile sprint speed, so it is hard to imagine being disappointed taking Acuna first or second in any format. (Bob Osgood)

3) Juan Soto, Washington Nationals (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 5)

No one in this generation has been able to handle “The Moment” better before their 21st birthday than Juan Soto did this past October. However, with Joe Buck contractually obligated to mention Soto’s age in each at-bat all playoffs, you already knew that. From his game-winning three-run double in the wild card game to his three home runs in the World Series, Soto quickly became a household name. In the regular season, Soto hit .349 with a 1.183 OPS in 82 plate appearances in Late & Close situations. Sam Cassell used to have a dance for that quality. With a .282 average, 34 HR, 110 RBI, and 110 Runs in 2019, Soto does everything that Acuna does, except for the steals (5 and 12, respectively in his two seasons). Therefore, it would be difficult to put Soto ahead in standard formats. With a 16.2% walk rate and .403 career OBP in two seasons, the gap is narrowed in an OBP format. An exit velocity of 91.3 mph and a top-10 xWOBA of .407 in 2019, Soto lacks any real concerns in his profile going forward in dynasty formats. (Bob Osgood)

4) Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 7)

Any remaining questions here? The 2018 MVP, Christian Yelich, erased any doubts by equaling or bettering every metric on a per-game format in 2019. Unfortunately, a broken kneecap ended his season after 130 games, also ending any chance at back-to-back MVPs as Yelich finished second to Cody Bellinger. He improved from 36 to 44 HRs, from 22 to 30 SBs, from a league-leading .326 batting average to a league-leading .329, and led all of baseball with a 1.100 OPS, while contributing 97 RBI and 100 runs in 5/6ths of a season. Yelich had the 5th highest exit velocity in all of MLB (93.1 mph), and increased his launch angle from 4.7 to 11.2 degrees while decreasing his strikeout rate. Having just turned 28, the only thing that could derail Yelich is injury, as he also had multiple flare-ups with his back in 2019. The third pick is a beautiful place to draft in redraft formats in 2020, as Trout, Acuna and Yelich are all worthy choices, but Yelich lands at four in our dynasty rankings this year. (Bob Osgood)

5) Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 1B #3)

After a 2018 in which he took a step back in most categories from his rookie season, Cody Bellinger responded with an MVP season in 2019, removing any doubt that he is the player for the Dodgers to build around for years to come. Bellinger swung at fewer pitches outside of the zone (28.3% down to 26.8%) while making more contact on those pitches (62.3% to 69.5%), contributing to a Swinging Strike % that dropped from 12.3% to 9.5%. He improved his walk rate by 3.5% over 2018, struck out 7.6% less often and barreled 4.4% more baseballs. These enormous improvements across the board led to a .305 BA, .406 OBP, 47 HR, 115 RBI, 121 runs, and 15 steals. Also qualifying at first base, Bellinger almost certainly will be the first player off the board at that position. Finishing in the top-3 in Expected BA, OBP, and SLG, along with a sprint speed in the top-10 percent, and entering his age-24 season, he fits in perfectly with this top-5 which easily could be the first five picks in a start-up dynasty draft today. (Bob Osgood)

6) Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 2)

Mookie Betts’s “every other year” approach makes it difficult to evaluate whether he’s a top-10 player in baseball or a future hall-of-famer. 2019 was an example of the former, and his 2020 performance will need to be the latter if Betts wants to make close to Mike Trout money in his impending free agency. What Betts does better than anybody in baseball is scoring Runs. Hitting at or near the top of the lineup, his 129 and 135 runs, respectively, have led all of baseball each of the last two seasons. Conversely, his RBI total has dropped to exactly 80 for two years running now. Surprisingly, his stolen bases plummeted down to 16 after stealing 26-30 in the three seasons prior. Changes to Betts’s profile were pretty minimal from 2018 to 2019, and he likely is a player somewhere in between the two seasons, as his Expected BA per Baseball Savant should have dropped from .314 to .311, compared to the .346 to .295 true BA. Betts had ten fewer extra-base hits last year despite 77 more at-bats. With a .227 career playoff batting average and one home run in 88 at-bats, Betts could use a big 2020 with some Juan Soto-like playoff action to really cash in a year from now. In fantasy, Betts still landed 12th on ESPN’s player rater in 2019 and has a very safe floor in five-categories for years to come. (Bob Osgood)

7) Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 50)

(Note: Alvarez played 10 games in the OF in 2019, and will start the year at DH-only in many formats).

The book on Yordan Alvarez as a prospect was pretty clear. A ton of raw power to all fields, plenty of walks, plenty of strikeouts, with a defensive profile that left something to be desired. Fortunately, when the Dodgers traded Alvarez to the American League Astros in 2016 for Josh Fields, the designated hitter position came into play. The possibility was there that Alvarez would get a call-up in 2019, but there didn’t seem to be a spot for him. Well, he made the Astros find a spot for him by clobbering 23 home runs and 71 RBI in 56 games at triple-A Round Rock. Upon being called up, Alvarez showed all of that power to the tune of 27 HRs and 78 RBI in 87 games, the 14.1% walk-rate, the 25.5% K-rate, and limited appearances in the field. All of this led to Alvarez being the unanimous rookie of the year in the AL. In our current scandalous climate, I’m required by TDG-law to mention Alvarez had a .349 BA at home and .272 BA on the road, but the power numbers were near identical. Alvarez’s 92.2 MPH exit velocity and hard-hit rate of 48.9%, per Baseball Savant, put him in the top-20 overall for both, and he maxed out with a 474 foot home run. A potential OBP monster as well, even if the average comes down into the .280s, Alvarez should contribute significantly in four categories, and makes a huge jump to #7 in our rankings. (Bob Osgood)

8) Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 6)

Aaron Judge dropping from sixth to eighth in the outfield rankings is more of a statement on the incredible talent in the top-10 than it is an indictment on Judge. However, with back to back seasons missing 50+ games, thanks in part to a broken wrist in 2018 and a strained oblique in 2019, there is a bit of hesitancy with Judge entering 2020. His NFBC average draft position is 28th in redraft leagues. To me, this seems like a time to buy as he is only two seasons removed from being the number one player in fantasy during his rookie season. While on the field, the skills are all there. Judge’s exit velocity of 95.9 MPH led the league by far, and playing in Yankee Stadium has contributed to a preposterous 32.5% career HR/FB%, which was 35.1% in 2019. Judge does strikeout a lot (31.6% career) and his RBI of 55 to go with 27 HRs was strangely low last year, but the projection systems are banking on 40/100/100 and I am going into 2020 expecting the same. (Bob Osgood)

9) Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 4)

Our number two Outfielder only two years ago, Harper has dropped to ninth while still in his mid-twenties. After an MVP season in 2015, Harper has delivered four seasons in a row that, while solid, have not delivered the outcomes that owners were expecting with where they selected him. I wrote late last May, “From 2016-2018, Harper averaged 139 games, a .267 BA (.391 OBP), 29 HR, 91 RBI, 13 SBs, and 94 runs, with a .897 OPS. This season, the power numbers are consistent with the past three seasons, but with only two steals and a .230 average. His age 23, 24, 25, and 26 seasons are simply not first-round caliber in fantasy, and Harper cannot continue to be drafted in that range.” I mentioned that I wouldn’t blame owners who were frustrated with Harper to try to sell for equal value and move on. Fortunately, he did respond with a .275 BA from that date forward, counting 26 of his 35 HRs, 80 of his 114 RBI, and 13 of his 15 SBs. Part of the rough start may have been pressing in Philadelphia, trying to live up to a new contract. However, the expectations need to be tempered at this point, and that finally seems to be the case as Harper is going right next to the aforementioned ADP for Aaron Judge, who is also 27 years old. The one caveat is that Harper, along with Judge, should receive a significant bump in OBP-leagues, as his 14.5% BB-rate in 2019 is right in line with his career numbers. (Bob Osgood)

10) Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 12)

With all of the hype surrounding Vladdy entering 2019 drafts, Eloy Jimenez’s debut flew a bit under the radar and presented great value 50-75 picks later. When all was said and done, Jimenez had the better rookie season, blasting 31 home runs, with 79 RBI, and 69 runs over 122 games. Jimenez sat in the top-40 in barrel rates, top 13% in Exit Velocity (91.2 mph) and the top 8% in Hard Hit % (47.9%) for a solid foundation in his age-22 rookie season. Jimenez’s slash line of .267/.315/.513 has plenty of room for growth. At every level of the minor leaguers, Eloy hit well over .300, including a .355 clip over 228 PAs at triple-A in 2018. The 26.6% strikeout rate in his rookie season contributed to this, which will likely trend closer to the 21-22% he showed in the minors. As most rookies do, Jimenez demonstrated a tendency to chase with a 36.7% O-Swing %, and a 56.5% O-Contact %. I would expect this to improve this year, and with a much-improved lineup around him helping with runs and RBI, Jimenez will be a four-category contributor in 2020, and beyond. (Bob Osgood)

11. Austin Meadows, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 35)

What a year it was for Austin Meadows. The Rays swindled Pittsburgh out of Meadows at the 2018 deadline in a trade that made people wonder whether or not the Pirates even realized what sport they were playing. Then, Meadows exploded into the upper echelon of outfielders in 2019 after launching 33 HRs with 12 steals and a .291 average. And he looks primed to repeat based on his expected stats: his xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA were in the 84th, 90th, and 88th percentiles, respectively. This was no fluke, y’all. There might even be room for a few more steals if he can improve his thievery (63% SB success rate). Meadows is a 5-category contributor you can build around. Pirates fans, I’m sorry, but this one is going to sting for a while.  (Joe Drake)

12. Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 23)

The scene opens with the camera panning to Jo Adell gliding up the dugout steps onto a SoCal baseball field flooded with morning sunshine and high-fiving his new partners in crime: Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. Insert “Soon” gif here. After a bit of a rocky 2019, the Angels’ star prospect is primed to make his MLB debut… even if it’s not out of the gate in April. While we aren’t exactly sure when LA is going to sic him on MLB pitchers, it’s a forgone conclusion that Adell is going to be a mainstay in the Angels’ lineup for the next 6 years. He’s a tooled up, athletic freak that you might mistake for an NFL wide receiver if he wasn’t in Angels gear. While Adell’s prodigious power can be counted on like summer rain in Florida, how much he’ll run is very much in question. He has plus speed, but only 30 career MiLB steals. Either way, he’s going to be a boatload of fun to watch.  (Joe Drake)

13. Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 14)

The man, the myth, the masher. Monster? Monster masher? Sorry, I got a little carried away there. Joey Gallo has mastered the art of hitting for power. He launches baseballs into the stratosphere with ease and looks good doing it. At just 25, he’s going to be around for a while longer and will continue to be a cornerstone for your lineup. His batting average had an unexpected bump last season into unexplored territory (for him, at least), but the underlying metrics say not to believe it (.229 xBA). Play it safe and expect the same loveable slugger and the same unlovable batting average. Pray for health (he’s never played 150+ games) and watch him rain baseballs all over Texas. (Joe Drake)

14. Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 34 SS)

Well, that escalated quickly. Ron Burgundy would be proud. Marte transformed himself from an aging prospect that might never be an impact fantasy player to one of the best in the league. Suddenly, the power was unlocked and Marte started putting baseballs over the fence at a surprising rate and the statcast data backs it up. His exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were “only” above-average, but the xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA were all 86th percentile and up. Despite what we may have thought based on his minor league stolen base numbers, it’s looking less and less likely that Marte is going to swipe 20 bags in the majors. He ran just 12 times in 2019 compared to the 25-30 attempt seasons of his youth. That’s okay, though, you can still lock him in as a 4-category producer. (Joe Drake)

15. J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox, (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 10)

You may have heard that J.D. Martinez had a down year in 2019. Well, I suppose, but a down year for him is still a year that most major leaguers would sell their soul for. He settled for a .304/36/98/105 line and even chipped in 2 steals. Now, he is 32, so he’s starting to feel the effects of agism in dynasty leagues, but that shouldn’t scare you off. Martinez stays fresh by spending the majority of his time on Bostons’ bench as the DH. He’s still as steady as they come and is a statcast darling, nearly maxing out every one of their hitting sliders — other than sprint speed, but, hey, you can’t have it all. Martinez isn’t showing any signs of slowing down and you should be rostering him with confidence. (Joe Drake)

16. George Springer, Houston Astros, (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 16)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Springer is back at number 16 for the second year in a row despite coming off an absurdly productive year. He notched a 156 wRC+ with a .292/39/96/96/6 line and his statcast page is painted red. So, what gives? Some things are out of his control. He turns 30 this year and everyone gets a slight tick down when they cross that threshold. He’s also been passed by some younger players who are entering the prime of their careers. And perhaps the biggest question mark is just how much he may or may not have been benefiting from Houston’s extracurriculars the past few years. We’ll call it the trash can tax that all Astros are likely to pay this season. Obviously, Springer is a supremely talented player, but I think most of us are a tad more skeptical of repeat success than we normally would be. (Joe Drake)

17. Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 43)

Luis Robert might just be the most polarizing player in fantasy baseball coming into 2020. While just about everyone agrees he could be a fantasy star in the near future, there’s less common ground on what his 2020 production will look like. Some feel Robert is going to hit the ground running, literally, and contend for a stellar 30/30 rookie season. Others are concerned by the aggressive approach and elevated swinging strike rate. If Robert finds success right away in the majors, you almost can’t rank him too high on any list. There are very few players in baseball with true 30/30 ability. The trouble is that the floor is so low, that you don’t have to squint to see a scenario in which he hits .220 and is sent back to AAA to work on his plate skills. Yes, the floor for 2020 is low, but we might be looking at a top 5 dynasty outfielder as soon as next year. (Joe Drake)

18. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 9)

The bigger they are, the harder they fall — and Giancarlo Stanton is freaking big. The Yankee slugger took quite a tumble in 2019. He suffered through several injuries and managed just 72 plate appearances on the year. He was okay when he did play, 3 HRs and a .288 AVG, but what kind of stock should we put in that? The overwhelming fear with Stanton is that his injuries are going to compound now that he’s 30 and he’ll be a major health risk the rest of his career. I understand the worry, but let’s not forget that he missed 7 games combined through all of 2017 and 2018. Yes, a lost season is always scary, but the upside here is still tremendous and very much worth taking a chance on. If you need a refresher, just peruse his statcast page and you’ll find that he had the #1 max exit velocity for 3 straight years prior to 2019 and was top 6 each year in average exit velocity. He is the epitome of a Bronx Bomber. (Joe Drake)

19. Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

Julio Rodriguez is best described in one word: wow. His ascension up prospect lists puts space shuttles to shame. NASA should be studying him for ways to improve shuttle launches — THAT is how good Rodriguez was in 2019. He began the year as a prospect to watch and suddenly he’s in the top 20 of dynasty outfielders. Julio was given a very aggressive assignment last year, full-season A ball at 18 years old, and he hit it out of the park. His 145 wRC+ suggests that he probably should have been teaching the class. He earned a late-season promotion to A+ where he turned on the jets and hit .462 with a pair of dingers over 72 PAs. 18-year olds just don’t have that kind of success in full-season professional baseball. I would guess that he’ll start the year in A+, but it’s possible Seattle decides to double down on their aggressiveness with him and send him straight to Double-A. If he hits like he did last year, he could be in the majors by September.  (Joe Drake)

20. Victor Robles, Washington Nationals, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 15)

To the Victor go the spoils. What? He’s a World Series champ, I can say that. It may appear that Mr. Robles had a disappointing year based on his slide down the OF rankings year over year, but that has more to do with the explosion of other prospects than his performance. Robles was impressive in his rookie year and even more so for fantasy players. He swiped 28 bases on 37 tries to go along with 17 dingers and a .255 average. And did I mention he was only 22? His statcast page leaves a little to be desired, but he’s proven he can barrel up the ball and he should only get stronger with age. Couple that with his blazing speed and spectacular defense, which will keep him in the lineup as often as possible, and you’ve got yourself a bonafide fantasy stud even if the batting average doesn’t improve (but I think it might).  (Joe Drake)

21) Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 19)

Marte has been a consistent five-category force for the last 5 years, with the lone black mark on his resume being his 80 game PED suspension and subsequent poor performance in 2017. But at age 31, Marte is at or near career highs in almost all categories including Runs, Home Runs, RBI, Expected Batting Average, Exit Velocity, Barrel-rate, K-rate, ISO and Slugging. The only concern with Marte is his age and what will happen with his speed. His Statcast Sprint Speed was his fastest since 2015 but he is ever-so-slightly slowing down from home to first each year. An injury or lack of effort on a terrible team could cause a steep drop in stolen bases, and his usefulness will follow the stolen bases downward.  (Britt Engelbrecht)

22) Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 56)

Hold onto the hype! If you followed him in the minors you knew the potential was there for a breakout after a 24 home runs in 273 Triple-A at-bats in 2017. As a late draft pick or waiver claim, he went on to win leagues by leading the AL in home runs with 48. His Exit Velocity jumped from career norms of 89.5 miles per hour to 92.5. This led to career highs across the board as he managed to stay healthy and play all 162 games. It’s the first time he has really stayed healthy and maybe it’s the first time his body has been truly right. He might be able to hold off regression and the tough Kansas City ballpark if he can stay healthy and maintain or continue to improve his underlying top 10 power metrics. (Britt Engelbrecht)

23) Michael Conforto, New York Mets (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 13)

The shoulder injury in 2018 seemed to sap the life out of Conforto’s 2017 breakout season. What was left was a good-to-pretty-good fantasy producer. His 90 run, 33 home run, 92 RBI seasons won’t win you any fantasy leagues, but it does appear to be sustainable. He’ll likely never reach the 13th rank we placed on him in 2017, but he feels like the kind of guy that can hang around this area or just below until he hits 30 years old. He is not fast and his seven 2019 stolen bases will most likely be his career-high. He doesn’t have special power, speed, or contact skills, while everyone around him on this list dabbles with at least one of those. Find your league’s Mets fan and trade him away for someone with more upside. (Britt Engelbrecht)

24) Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 18)

The Astros are too smart to do something sloppy like grooming their minors system to steal signs, right!?! So let’s assume his 162-game pace of 44 home runs and 39 stolen base performance at Triple-A is a telling sign that this guy has the potential to be a fantasy monster akin to the breakout of Yordan Alvarez last year. Tucker’s 16° launch angle, 92 MPH Exit Velocity and 8.3% Barrel-rate were very similar to Yordan’s 13/92/10 in the same categories. But in two small sample size years his Sprint Speed has been league average so we maybe can’t expect much in stolen bases. For reference, after being on a 54 stolen base pace for the Astros in the minors, George Springer has had over nine steals only once. Playing time is everything here but MLB has swept out most of the team’s decision makers so Kyle Tucker should get a shot to be the fresh face after the scandal. (Britt Engelbrecht)

25) Andrew Benintendi, Boston Red Sox (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 8)

Still only 25, there is still a lot of time for a re-breakout like his 20 home run and 20 stolen base season in 2017. But he has below-average power and is average in just about everything else. Benintendi is a good contributor for 25 years old but he needs to add a significant amount of power to his game as he enters his prime to ever be ranked close to the top ten again. He’ll likely will be much closer to the 13 home runs and 10 stolen bases of 2019 going forward rather than the 30/30 threat we all envisioned. His extra lineup value will diminish if he starts creeping to the back of the lineup in the future as he spent 39% of his plate appearances at fifth and sixth in the order in 2019. (Britt Engelbrecht)

The Author

Ian Hudson

Ian Hudson

Ian is an editor for The Dynasty Guru and a bowtie enthusiast. If you guessed one of those things about him you could probably guess the other.

He's also an attorney in Tampa, Florida.

Go Rays.

1 Comment

  1. steve
    January 27, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Re: betts, is a perennial top 10 player in baseball not a future hall of famer?

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