2020 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

The Dynasty Guru’s 2020 Top 125 Outfielders, #51-75

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2020 consensus rankings by looking at the 51-75 best outfielders in dynasty leagues.

51) Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

With Marcel Ozuna a new member of the Braves outfield and Josh Donaldson joining the Twins the third base job is Riley’s to lose. He can also play (and should qualify for 2020) in the outfield as well, which is why you find him here. He joined the big league roster May 15th and proceeded to mash, ending the first half of the season with 16 home runs and a .257 average albeit only 13 walks compared to 69 strikeouts. He had a poor second half and that’s putting it lightly; two home runs and a.161 average got him benched often down the stretch. Riley’s power is very real and he has shown that he owns Triple-A pitching so there’s nothing left for him to prove there; though if he starts out the 2020 season as bad as he ended 2019 Riley will be back at Triple-A. In Dynasty leagues look to acquire him if his current owner thinks he cannot improve (and you may find that so far a lot do). Use their shortsightedness to your benefit. (Phil Barrington)

52) Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 47)

Making his major league debut at age 21 back in 2017, Verdugo saw 86 plate appearances at the major league level in 2018 followed by a mini-breakout in 2019: a .294 batting average with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and four steals, an .817 OPS with a 7% walk rate and 13% strikeout rate in 377 plate appearances. Many predictions for his 2020 season do not show a marked improvement on those numbers and I cannot fathom why. His skill set, age, and opportunity show Verdugo to be a guy capable of beating this ranking and possibly by a lot. He’s slated to be the right fielder for the Dodgers in 2020 [as I was editing this piece the Betts trade went down- Ed] He’s in Boston now, so expect a lot of RBI if he’s hitting behind Bellinger Boegarts / Devers / Benintendi / Martinez, and a lot of Runs if he’s batting toward the top of the order (he did both last season in LA). None of his numbers in 2019 were out of line with his minors stats, and while he hits Left-handed pitching at a better clip than Right-handed (.306 vs .273 batting average), he’s still good enough to not be platooned. Don’t let prospect fatigue set in for Verdugo and he should be targeted (for the right price) in Dynasty leagues. (Phil Barrington)

53) Christian Pache, Atlanta Braves, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 82)

One of the top prospects in the Braves system, Pache signed out of the Dominican back in 2015. He has worked his way up the minors, showcasing speed, minor power, a good batting eye, and a strong BABIP at every stop. In 2019 he made the jump from Double-A to Triple-A by season’s end and in 2020 will start at Triple-A with an eye toward playing in Atlanta by season’s end. The free-agent signing of Marcel Ozuna may have put a dash on Pache making the 2020 team out of spring training but if he continues his upward trajectory joining the Braves later in 2020 is well within the realm of possibility. Pache has 20-home run, 40-steal upside and we should see him as a starting member of the 2021 Braves. (Phil Barrington)

54) George Valera, Cleveland Indians, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 112)

The Indians top prospect, Valera was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 as a 17-year-old. Interestingly, Valera grew up in Queens, New York and moved to the Dominican at age 13 (find out more about Valera’s interesting and tragic youth in last years’ rankings). He played six games in the Arizona Fall League after signing before spending the 2019 season at Single-A- Mahoning Valley, where he had an .802 OPS, eight home runs, seven doubles and six steals over 188 plate appearances before being promoted to Single-A Lake County for six games. Valera has a high grade of 60 power and 60 hit, the question is whether he can reach those lofty grades, and nothing he’s shown thus far says he can’t. Patience is obviously required with a 19-year-old but the lack of quality options and depth in Cleveland’s current outfield mix (he’s played every outfield position thus far) may mean we’ll see Valera sooner rather than later with 2022 as an optimistic target. (Phil Barrington)

55) Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 66)

June Calhoun (Full name: Willie Shawn Lamount Calhoun Junior) can flat out hit for power. It took getting traded to the Rangers (from the Dodgers) for Yu Darvish in 2017, spending most of 2017, 2018 and the first part of 2019 in the minors, until the Rangers realized he should play every day; once he did, Calhoun finished with 21 home runs, a .269 batting average, and an .848 OPS. Calhoun showed power throughout the minors, and it is a positive sign to see it show at the big league level. He has the left-field job to himself going into 2020 as well as a spot in the middle of a solid Rangers lineup, setting himself up for career highs in home runs and RBI. If you’re looking for guys who can rise up this list, Calhoun is one of those players as him finishing the year as a top-25 outfielder (or better) is likely. (Phil Barrington)

56) Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 21)

Haniger underwent core surgery in mid-January and is slated to be out six-to-eight weeks, which apparently was caused by him over-doing his rehab from a rupurted tesicle (ouch!) back in June 2019. Injury-prone is a non-scientific label, though in Haniger’s case it is more appropriate, as he’s only appeared in more than 100 games once, in 2018. That season showed that, if healthy, Haniger can be a fantasy beast. The Mariners are in the midst of a rebuild and the return Haniger could bring would most likely be substantial, though as an owner of Haniger in a dynasty league, that type of return would be more difficult. In either case if Haniger starts hot both the Mariners and his fantasy owners will look to move him. So factor Haniger being out at least the first month of the 2020 season and then make sure the prediction model you’re using doesn’t have him playing more than 100 games. The upside is still tantalizing just don’t overdue it. (Phil Barrington)

57) Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 60)

Entering his seventh big league season, we have a lot of statistics we can pore over, as we know what type of hitter Pederson is. He is a left-handed, power-hitting, corner outfielder who will be platooned. In 2019 Pederson hit 36 of his 36 total home runs against right-handed pitchers. In fact the Dodgers only gave him 40 plate appearances versus left-handed pitchers in 2019, so they know who they have. Pederson improved on a solid 2018 season, hitting more home runs, scoring more Runs and knocking in more RBI in 2019. His walk and strikeout percentages were in line with previous seasons and bonus his ISO and OPS (of .876) were the highest of his career.

His average has been consistent for three of his last four seasons in the high .240s. Pederson turned some of the doubles he hit into home runs, increasing his home runs from 25 in 2018 to 36 last year while his doubles in 2018 were 16 compared with 27 the prior year. The juiced ball of 2019 may have helped with this but you can still pencil Pederson for 30 home runs in 2020. Pederson often was the leadoff hitter for the 2019 Dodgers and there is no current reason why he will not hit out of that position again. He will be benched versus lefties, and as such a better play in daily leagues. Pederson is a player that is comfortable like hot cocoa; you know it’s going to warm you up, you know what it’s going to taste like, you know it’s good. (Phil Barrington)

58) Heliot Ramos, San Francisco Giants, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 108)

This tantalizing outfield prospect destroyed Rookie ball in 35 games in 2017 after being drafted and this lead him to jump up prospect lists, settling into the consensus top 100. After a slightly disappointing 2018 at Single-A, Ramos started 2019 at Single-A+ before being promoted to Double-AA for the last 25 games of the season. Across both levels, in 2019 Ramos hit 16 home runs, 24 doubles, stole eight bases with a .290 batting average and an .850 OPS, putting him squarely back in the prospect circle of trust. A very poor performance in 17 Arizona Fall League games shouldn’t be used to judge Ramos too much, but the upcoming season will be important for Ramos. Best case, he continues through the Giants system, reaching Triple-A before season’s end, and a promotion in 2021. Worst case, he stays in the minors a few more seasons. For Dynasty leagues he’s a hold, though if another team is interested definitely listen to the offer. (Phil Barrington)

59) Trevor Larnach, Minnesota Twins, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

The 20th overall selection in the 2018 MLB draft, Larnach is climbing the Twins organizational ladder, ending at Double-AA last season. Larnach has a large frame (six-foot-four, 223 pounds) and has big-time raw power in his left-handed bat. A continuously high BABIP has yielded strong batting averages thus far, though the power was not as prevalent in Single-A+ and Double-A as it was in the lower levels, along with a higher strikeout rate. Do not let that scare you off as it appears Larnach was adjusting to the new levels; if he starts at Double-A in 2020 watch him continue to improve. He hit 13 home runs across the two levels in 2019 as well as 30 doubles leading to an .842 OPS, a testament to his power. Larnach is a throwback to the big bopping corner outfielders of yesteryear and those in OBP and OPS leagues should be salivating even more. We may see Larnach as soon as 2020, with a 2021 big league debut likely. (Phil Barrington)

60) Nomar Mazara, Chicago White Sox, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 24)

One of the most polarizing players in our rankings debate and I’m sure you can find those out there that like him more than me. He’s who we thought he is by this point, which is a usable fourth or fifth outfielder who will most likely be platooned by the White Sox, with a career .231 average versus left-handed pitching and a .271 average versus righties. Texas was obviously done with him as they traded him for a decent prospect with a cool name (Steele Walker). Though still only 24, with four big-league seasons of 19+ home runs, Mazara makes those who like him still see the upside. Yours truly does not. He has dealt with minor injuries each of the last two seasons, is a poor defender, and has seen a minor decline in his walk rate and a minor rise in his strikeout rate in every big league season. Mazara’s career splits also show a much better first half hitter, so if you do draft him in 2020 and he starts out hot you may want to look to move him, or, if you’re a believer, bask in the glory. (Phil Barrington)

61) J.D. Davis, New York Mets, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)

Since the day he started his professional career after leaving Cal State-Fullerton, Davis has exhibited a solid plate approach and good power, though a higher strikeout rate in his earlier years kept him from achieving his potential.  Davis had a breakthrough at Double-A in 2017 that led to significantly less strikeouts. A true breakout season followed in Triple-A in 2018, with Davis putting up an impressive .342/.406/.583 line.  Davis saw limited time at the Major League level in both 2017 and 2018 but was never able to crack a loaded Astros outfield for a full-time gig.  Fortunately, a move to the Mets provided Davis with the opportunity he needed, and he rose to the occasion with a very nice .895 OPS, living up to both the power and OBP promise he demonstrated in the minor leagues, while maintaining a batting average over .300 (.307).  As he enters his peak ages, there is a real opportunity to nab a high-floor sleeper here. (Ross Jensen)

62) Riley Green, Detroit Tigers, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

The 5th overall pick in last year’s draft, many (most?) evaluators viewed Greene as the best high school bat available.  Greene has middle-of-the-lineup potential and the early signs seem to validate the opinions of the scouts.  At just 18 years old, Greene made a mockery of the Rookie level GCL, posting an OPS north of 1.000.  He was moved up to Low-A, where he continued to show off a polished bat, hitting .295 with an impressive .380 OBP.  His bat finally cooled after being promoted again to the Midwest league (an aggressive assignment for an 18 year-old kid).  Early signs show that Greene is living up to enormous expectations that have been placed on his shoulders and he is certainly someone you will want to keep an eye on. (Ross Jensen)

63) Scott Kingery, Philadelphia Phillies, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 19)

Early in his professional career, as a young minor leaguer, Kingery was mostly known for his speed.  That changed in 2017 when Kingery surprisingly developed a heavy bat, belting 26 home runs (his previous high was 5) and flashing 30-30 potential.  The hype that Kingery garnered after his impressive 2017 largely died off in 2018 as Kingery took his lumps as a rookie and limped to a forgettable .226/.267/.338 line.  The power/speed combo he showed off in Triple-A didn’t appear to arrive in the big leagues and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was downright abysmal (6:1).  Kingery appeared to have learned something during that trial, however, and he rebounded nicely in 2019.  Kingery hit 19 home runs and stole 15 bases, showing that the power/speed potential flashed in 2017 wasn’t just a mirage (though we would like to see some more stolen bases).  He still has some work to do with his plate discipline. If he ever manages to figure that out, there is a lot to like about what he can accomplish.  (Ross Jensen)

64) Brennen Davis, Chicago Cubs, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

Ranked #145 in MLB Pipeline’s top 200 draft in 2018 and taken with the Cubs second round pick (62nd overall), Davis was seen as a toolsy, yet raw talent that might take a while to develop.  While it is certainly true that there is still a lot of physical development/projection remaining for Davis (who is listed at 6’4, but only 175 pounds), he also appears to be much more refined in the batter’s box than he was initially given credit for – posting a .907 OPS in his first full season as a 19 year-old in Single-A.  Despite his gangly build (which will fill out over time), Davis also flashed good power with 8 home runs.  Davis already had the arm and the speed; if the bat is as advanced as it looks like it is, watch out! (Ross Jensen)

65) Danny Santana, Texas Rangers, (Age: 29, Previous Rank: NR)

Five years ago, Santana had a solid debut campaign that garnered some Rookie of the Year consideration before disappearing into fantasy oblivion.  However, in 2019, Danny Santana made a comeback, perhaps becoming the biggest undrafted fantasy hero in the league by putting together a 20-20 campaign coupled with a healthy .283/.324/.534 slash line, all while gathering eligibility across the diamond and in hard-to-fill positions. Further, the Rangers are reportedly fans of what Santana brings to the table, which bodes well for his playing time.  A word of warning, however, Santana struck out 151 times in just over 500 plate appearances while only walking 25 times.  Unless he can find a way to temper his aggressiveness at the plate, the healthy numbers may not be sustained.  While Santana has the talent to produce another 20-20 season, he may also be better-suited to an off-the-bench role for your dynasty team, rather than an outfield centerpiece. (Ross Jensen)

66) Alek Thomas, Arizona Diamondbacks, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 122)

Another player coming out of the 2018 draft, and drafted one spot below Brennen Davis at #63 (look at how well all these numbers and positions are aligning!), Thomas validated all the high expectations after successfully replicating the sparkling numbers he posted during his 2018 debut at higher levels in 2019.  The power-speed potential was on full display across Single-A and High-A in 2019, as Thomas hit 10 dingers and stole 15 bases while consistently hitting for average.  As a reward for his efforts, Thomas has ascended all the way to #49 on MLB Pipeline’s 2020 top 100 prospects list, where they have stated he garners comparisons to Andrew Benintendi. From my perspective, he won’t give you the same level of plate discipline if you’re in an OBP league, but the power and speed that we’ve seen from Benintendi can easily be matched by Thomas if everything continues to develop according to plan. (Ross Jensen)

67) J.J. Bleday, Miami Marlins, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

What a year 2019 was for J.J. Bleday.  Bleday’s power exploded onto the scene in his junior season at Vanderbilt, and he led the NCAA in home runs with 26 (22 more than he hit during his successful sophomore season).  Vanderbilt went on to win the NCAA championship, in part thanks to Bleday’s big bat.  Bleday went on to become the #4 overall pick in the draft by the Miami Marlins, and ultimately made his professional debut in 2019 as a cherry on top. The Marlins handed Bleday one of the most aggressive assignments for a top draft pick, sending him to High-A to take his first professional swings.  While the numbers didn’t show up immediately, Bleday did finish with a few home runs.  2020 will go a long way towards telling us how well his college heroics will translate to professional baseball.  If they do, we are talking about a middle order bat that will be a franchise cornerstone for the Marlins.  (Ross Jensen)

68) Aristides Aquino, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

So many breakout players in this range of outfielders!  Aquino was a largely unheralded prospect coming into 2019.  Despite flashing solid power, it also came with a weak batting average and piles of strikeouts.  In 2019, Aquino opened his batting stance and added a high leg kick, which apparently unlocked hidden potential and completely transformed his entire career outlook.  Aquino set a career high in minor league home runs in less than 300 at bats (with 28) and then helped savvy fantasy teams during their playoffs run by adding 19 more dingers in the Major Leagues.  Aquino’s strikeout rate remains high and he will have to battle for playing time in the suddenly crowded Cincinnati Reds outfield, so there are reasons to remain slightly skeptical. However, the power is real, and it has already been proven against the highest level of competition.  (Ross Jensen)

69) Hunter Renfroe, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 58)

Another bat with huge power and huge strikeouts, Hunter Renfroe has now tallied 25+ home runs in three straight seasons despite never receiving more than 500 plate appearances in any one of those seasons. Similar to Aquino, Renfroe isn’t going to get on base at a high clip or give you a lot in batting average, but when he is on he can pile up the homers and RBI’s in a hurry.  In the offseason, Renfroe was moved to Tampa Bay, where he will need to compete with a crowded field to finally eclipse that 500 plate appearances threshold (though a strong outfield arm will help his case).  However, you can rely on getting pop from Renfroe when he plays, and if your league isn’t as deep, he will serve as a nice bench piece to plug in when hot. (Ross Jensen)

70) Trent Grisham, San Diego Padres, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Coming into 2018, Grisham was a toolsy outfielder that had shown good plate discipline, speed, and defense, but hadn’t been able to put it all together at the plate.  That changed in his age 22 season (seems like a bit of a pattern here) and Grisham impressed fans and scouts alike with his .300/.407.603 line across Double-A and Triple-A.  Grisham was rewarded with a callup to the big league club, and while those numbers didn’t fully transfer, Grisham put together a respectable line for a rookie in 183 plate appearances.  As was the case early in his minor league days, speed, defense, and plate discipline were his primary Major League contributions.  After a costly rookie error which may have helped bring his season with the Brewers to an end, Grisham was traded and will have a fresh start with the Padres in 2020.  At 23, Grisham has the potential to be a star if everything comes together for him in the big leagues like it did in the high minors last season. (Ross Jensen)

71) Justin Upton, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 30 )

And the Upton decline continues. This marks his third year of a drop of at least 15 in our rankings (#17 in 2018), and this most recent slide is by far the biggest. His 2019 was severely shortened by injury; Upton played only 63 games, his lowest total since 2007 (and the first time he played under 145 since 2010). And those 63 games weren’t pretty, amassing a DRC+ (Deserved Runs Created plus, Baseball Prospectus’ all-encompassing batter metric) of 91, his lowest since his debut in 2007. Monitor his health this spring- he should be a value in the A’s new lineup if he can make it on the field. Just don’t expect many stolen bases out of the 32-year-old. (Ian Hudson)

72) Jesse Winker, Cinncinati Reds (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 36)

Winker is a guy that I’ve been a fan of for a while- I loves me a hit tool. But a drop in walk rate (14,7% in 2018 to 9.9% in 2019) and BABIP (.336 to .286) ended up undermining what was expected to be a great season (judging by our rank last year).  ATC, Depth Charts and Steamer all project similar numbers for Winker this year- walk rate around 11%, strikeout rate around 16%, an “average” slash line of .280/.372/.462 over around 100 games. With the Reds adding Nick Castellanos and Shogo Akiyama this off-season, plus Winker’s career .176 average against lefties (147 PA, but still) I don’t see Winker as someone to rely on any time soon, but if he can work on that platoon split the 26-year-old may still figure it out. (Ian Hudson)

73) Taylor Trammell, San Diego Padres (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 42 )

Trammell was drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 draft (35th) by the Reds. At the beginning of 2019, he was the 11th ranked prospect according to Baseball Prospectus, and that pedigree landed him a trade to San Diego in a three-team deal involving Yasiel Puig, Trevor Bauer, Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen, and Victor Nova. His prospect stock has taken a bit of a tumble after some Double-A struggles, but who’s to say he won’t make adjustments? He’s still only 22, and there’s a lot of potential here. (Ian Hudson)

74) Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 44)

Smith’s third season in the majors (2018) was his best (118 wRC+). But Tampa Bay apparently saw some writing on the wall and shipped him off to Seattle for 2019. There, Smith crashed back down to Earth (74 wRC+). His very bad batting average (.227) was paired with a BABIP of .302, and while that doesn’t appear to be bad, it’s a drop from previous years of .366 and .347 (and appropriately high batting averages of .296 and .270). Of note- Smith saw a precipitous drop vs. righties (.213 in 2019 v. 285 in 2018), so as long as he doesn’t have to face any right-handed pitchers he should be fine. (Ian Hudson)

75) Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR )

Carroll was taken in the1st round of the 2019 draft and finished the season at short-season A-ball. Fangraphs ranks him as the 6th best prospect in the Diamondbacks system; Baseball Prospectus ranks him 5th. Carroll is listed at 5’10” and 165 lbs and does not project for a ton of power, but has good bat speed and can knock the occasional tater. He’s got great speed and should stick in center. The Arizona outfield is crowded, but that’ll be a concern for several years from now. Carroll is worth keeping an eye on. (Ian Hudson)

The Author

Phil Barrington

Phil Barrington

Fantasy player since 1999, specializing in OPS leagues. Accountant by day, fantasy writer by night. Spreadsheets are life.

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