2012 Rankings: Top 40 Outfielders (#21-40)

We looked at our Top 20 outfielders earlier in the week (click here to view), so let’s look at the next batch of options.  Outfield isn’t as deep as it once was, but there is still plenty of value available in this group.  Let’s take a look at who is worth targeting and who may not be:

21. Corey Hart – Milwaukee Brewers
22. Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies
23. Michael Morse – Washington Nationals
24. Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers
25. Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
26. B.J. Upton – Tampa Bay Rays
27. Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers
28. Nick Markakis – Baltimore Orioles
29. Michael Cuddyer – Colorado Rockies
30. Lance Berkman – St. Louis Cardinals
31. Matt Joyce – Tampa Bay Rays
32. Chris Young – Arizona Diamondbacks
33. Carlos Beltran – St. Louis Cardinals
34. Nick Swisher – New York Yankees
35. Logan Morrison – Florida Marlins
36. Cameron Maybin – San Diego Padres
37. Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners
38. Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
39. Colby Rasmus – Toronto Blue Jays
40. Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox


  • Call me a glutton for punishment, but I am willing to bet on both Colby Rasmus and Alex Rios as bounce back candidates in 2012.  Would I bet on them as starters in shallower formats?  Obviously not, but the potential is still there (it certainly couldn’t get any worse).  Rasmus was plagued by a .267 BABIP and career worst 8.3% HR/FB and, with some time under his belt in the AL, could become acclimated to his new surroundings.  Rios, meanwhile, had a .237 BABIP, a number that surely will improve.  Maybe it was his toe injury, but we’ll soon find out.  As high-upside gambles they are both well worth it.
  • Cameron Maybin is going to be a highly sought after player, but I would have my reservations about his power developing, especially in San Diego, as well as his RBI/R potential.  To read more about why I’m a bit skeptical, click here.
  • We all know that Ichiro Suzuki is no longer the player that he once was.  There’s no hiding that fact, and his numbers have struggled as the talent around him has fallen off (he hasn’t scored more than 88 runs in the past three seasons).  That said, despite hitting .272 in ’11, he still has the potential to hit well over .300 and steal 35+ bases.  Those numbers just can’t be ignored, especially in the deepest of formats.
  • If Matt Joyce receives full-time AB in the Rays outfield he has the potential to post impressive numbers for fantasy owners.  He has continually shown off his power potential (13.3% HR/FB) and could easily be a 25+ HR source.  With Carlos Pena also back in the mix, the pressure on him to produce won’t be as great as it could’ve been. 
  • We all know that the issues are when it comes to Nelson Cruz.  He has a ton of upside potential, but he needs to stay on the field.  He hasn’t played in more than 128 games in a season, significantly capping his potential.  That has to also limit where he falls on our rankings.
  • While Derek Jeter may open the year in the leadoff spot, it would appear that it’s only a matter of time before the Yankees realize that Brett Gardner is a much better option for the job.  As it is he stole 49 bases and scored 87 runs in 2011, despite struggling to a .259 average (he should produce a much better BABIP with his speed than his .303).  If/when he moves to the leadoff spot 100+ R would be a near lock.

What are your thoughts of the rankings?  Who’s too high?  Who’s too low?

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Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings:


  1. Sawyer says:

    Don’t you think last year was kind of “as good as it gets” for Joyce? I just don’t see him replicating his output, and due to last year he is going to be over-priced…so, where is the value?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      The question with Joyce is if he is actually going to get full-time AB. If he does he has the potential to hit 25+ HR to go along with a solid average. His underlying numbers were all believable (12.3% HR/FB, 42.4% FB rate), why can’t he repeat it? In fact, he reduced his FB rate (had been routinely over 47%), which may show he’s maturing (and allows for the solid average).

      Could he be overdrafted? Absolutely, so I wouldn’t say I’m definitely going to be drafting him. But, if he gets the PT he should be a viable option in all formats.

      • Nick Tenaglia says:

        According to Mock Draft Central, Joyce is being taken as the 39th OF off the board – ADP of 155.

        So he’s being priced as a 4th OF

        • Will says:

          It felt like last year TB wanted to give him fulltime AB but his complete inability to hit lefties restricted that – meaning is 2011 the ceiling for Joyce’s abilities…

  2. Ian says:

    Where is Jason Heyward ?? I know he was hurt last year, but for me, he’s almost Top-20. His power is still developing, and remember he’s only 22. I’m taking him over Jennings, who is overrated.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I actually just wrote an article on Heyward, which I’ll be posting in the next few days. However, the quick answer is that I believe that Heyward has a long ways to go to be considered a top outfielder. Injury or not, he continues to drive the ball into the ground (over 50% of the time), so it’s hard to imagine him hitting for much power with that type of rate. If he’s not going to hit for power, how much value is he going to have?

      You also have to throw in the fact that, instead of hitting third, he could easily hit 6 or 7, with Freedman ultimately replacing Chipper Jones in the 3 hole. There are too many questions on Heyward for me to trust him right now.

  3. MJ says:

    I agree with Ian, J-Hey ie easily a top 25 outfielder and someone that I am going to draft early in my keeper league. I’m looking for a huge bounce back year from him if he can stay healthy.

    Also, Lucas Duda is being undervalued. Maybe he won’t drive in a bunch of runs in that line-up, but his avg/on-base/slugging should be very good. I’m taking and trusting him over Joyce.

    • Ross says:

      Im surprised that d. Stubbs didn’t make the top 40. Sure the guy hits for a crappy average and strikes out a ton, but that speed and power combo is hard to find. he’s a 20/40 guy in his sleep. If he learn to put the ball in play alittle more you might see 25/45. Sounds like top 40 to me

      • Rotoprofessor says:

        He literally just missed, because I don’t think you can chalk him up as a lock for 20/40 by any stretch, especially since he’s never done it. If you want to say he can go 15/30 I can by it, but if he does that hitting under .250 his value is going to be capped.

        What also hurts is that he is not going to hit near the top of the order, capping his potential to score runs. He has a lot of potential value, but he needs to put it all together.

        • Frank says:

          Ridiculous not to have Stubbs here. He’s a four category guy. He’s better than Swisher and Werth. Just to name 2 major oversight here

          • Rotoprofessor says:

            I think to call him a 4 category performer is a major stretch. Could he be one? Absolutely, but he could just as easily be a 1 or 2 category contributor.

            The fact of the matter is that he strikes out way too much to post a very good average. I know we aren’t counting that as a category for him, but it has an effect across the board because it will keep him from hitting atop the order.

            If he’s not hitting leadoff, he’s not scoring enough runs to consider him a contributor.

            He hit 22 HR in ’10, but has never shown that much potential before. His 15 from ’11 is far more believable. We want to believe that, if he hits lower, he’s going to be a prime source of RBI. However, if he’s not hitting for more than 15-20 HR power and a poor average, how many RBI can we really expect?

            I am going to look at him in much more detail next week, but he is an extremely big risk and far from a lock to produce in anything but SB.

  4. Jay says:

    I just can’t believe how many of you are so sold on Heyward. Sure he was so highly touted in the minors and came out blazing in the pros but how many other guys could we say that about? He’s so high risk injury wise and combine that w the ground ball rate and the very real possibility to hit in the bottom middle of the order potential… I feel some will target him as an OF3 or even a 2. In that position you could get that 25 and 85 w/o the risk. But hey, if a guy in my draft wants him that early thats cool w me.

  5. Got Andre Ethier way down there. He’s motivated by Kemp and his leg is fixed. He may pout his way to .300 30 Hrs and 100 runs and 100 RBI’s. His streaks are about as good as they get, if he’s healthy, watch out.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It’s impossible to expect those types of numbers for Ethier because he’s never done it. He’s never scored over 100 runs. Only once has he had more than 82 RBI. Only once has he hit more than 23 HR.

      Does he have the potential to produce big numbers? Absolutely, but it’s more likely that he falls well short of those lofty expectations.

  6. Ted says:

    One bad year and Carl Crawford is no longer a top 40?

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