2009 Outfield Rankings: #1-20

On Tuesday we took a look at the Outfielders who I ranked #21-40, so today let’s take a look at who made the Top 20.  I don’t think there are any major surprises as to who is in this group, but what do you think?  Is there someone else that you feel should be included here?  Share your thoughts in the comments, but for now, let’s take a look at my thoughts:

  1. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Grady Sizemore – Cleveland Indians
  3. Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
  4. Carlos Beltran – New York Mets
  5. Alfonso Soriano – Chicago Cubs
  6. Matt Holliday – Colorado Rockies
  7. Manny Ramirez – Free Agent
  8. B.J. Upton – Tampa Bay Rays
  9. Carlos Lee – Houston Astros
  10. Alex Rios – Toronto Blue Jays
  11. Carlos Quentin – Chicago White Sox
  12. Jason Bay – Boston Red Sox
  13. Carl Crawford – Tampa Bay Rays
  14. Vladimir Guerrero – Los Angeles Angels
  15. Nick Markakis – Baltimore Orioles
  16. Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners
  17. Curtis Granderson – Detroit Tigers
  18. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
  19. Nate McLouth – Pittsburgh Pirates
  20. Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies
  • Ryan Braun is an absolute beast. He’s hit 71 HR over his first 1,062 AB, to go along with 203 RBI and 183 R. How many other players can claim those types of numbers in his first 2 seasons?
  • Those who have been reading/listening to me over the past year know that I am just not a big fan of Sizemore. I feel like he’s a bit overrated and that the power he showed last season is more mirage then fact. He did hit just 6 HR over the season’s final 2 months of the season… Still, I can’t argue with him as the #2 OF’er in the game right now.
  • Surprised that I have Rios ranked above Quentin? We discussed this at the end of December, where I decided that I’d take Rios, thanks to his 30/30 potential and Quentin’s injury at the end of ‘98. To view the comparison, click here.
  • What happened to B.J. Upton’s power last season? Who knows, but the fact that he hit 7 during Tampa Bay’s march through October should alleviate some of the concerns. If he can take the power of ’07 (24 HR) with the speed of ’08 (44 SB), that’s a scary proposition. That’s a lot to ask for, but he’s got the potential to be a great option in ’09.
  • Matt Holliday has certainly fallen a bit, thanks to his move to Oakland. I don’t think too many people would argue that one. We discussed him earlier this month, which you can view by clicking here.
  • We’ve discussed Carlos Beltran, a 30/30 threat, in a prior Quick Hit, which you can read it here.
  • If Carlos Lee had stayed healthy last season, the numbers would have been monstrous. As it was, he had 100 RBI and his season ended on August 9. He’s a poor man’s Manny Ramirez and a great player for any fantasy roster.
  • Wondering why Ichiro is so low on this list?  I discussed why I’d avoid him here, but the truth is he just isn’t the player he once was.
  • At this time last season I was singing the praises of Nate McLouth as a sleeper option, now I’m not giving him his full respect? Well, I think I am giving him plenty of respect with the ranking I gave him and I don’t think he should be pushed any higher up then this. Remember, he hit just 4 HR over the season’s final two months. Yes, I think he’s a 20/20 player, but would you take him over Granderson, Kemp or Markakis? I know I certainly wouldn’t.
  • What happened to Carl Crawford? It wasn’t fully the injury, as he struggled long before his season came to an end. No, it was just a bad season for a player who hadn’t stolen less then 46 bases in a full season and had hit over .300 for three consecutive years. I’d let the other owners in your league avoid him due to concerns over his sudden demise. I’d take him on my team as a #2 OF’er and hope to reap the benefits of a big-time rebound.
  • Surprised Victorino slipped into the Top 20? You shouldn’t be considering he stole 35 bases and scored 102 runs last season. I don’t think he’s going to chip in the power that some of the names above him will, which is why he isn’t going to be moved any higher.
  • Don’t look for Jason Bay to be what Manny Ramirez was in Boston, that’s just unfair. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a productive player, which he showed after the trade (.293, 8 HR, 37 RBI). The comparisons just wouldn’t be fair, however.

So, what do you think?  Like I said earlier, who do you see that was left off this portion of the list who deserves to be here?

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. Ryan says:

    Great list. I have to say I’m a little surprised by Braun being #1, but he is a beast.

  2. fijis says:

    I’m kind’a jaded on Soriano. I don’t mind using a 1st round pick on 40/40 but his trend the past few years point to a 25/15 season. My $0.02.

  3. Tony says:

    Yeah i def’ly can’t see soriano ahead of Holliday, in Oakland or not. And Beltran is pushing it too. He might steal 10 more bases, but he’ll bat .275 compared to Hollidays .300-.320

    I’ll take Holliday over both, for durability reasons, and I don’t think he falters as much as he’s being hyped to falter!

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    fijis, I certainly wouldn’t recommend Soriano as a 1st round pick. I wouldn’t take Beltran in the 1st round either. I think those two, plus Holliday, are very solid 2nd round picks, however.

  5. C Bass says:

    Maybe its because Crawford did it to me last year, but he looks to high on this list to me. I’d love to see a quick hit on him to see what you project him to do. Markakis in my opinon should be above him at the minimum with his upside, age, and ability to fill it up across the board.

  6. Joe says:

    Have to put Sizemore over Braun. 30/30 is just too rare not to.

  7. Joe says:

    I also think you’re massively underrating Matt Kemp. I’d put him right behind Rios (whose ranking I agree with).

    I had Quentin last year and he was a god, but I’ve been taking Rios and Kemp before him in every mock draft I’ve been in. Speed/power/average players are just way too rare to take what is mostly just a power guy instead.

  8. Rotoprofessor says:

    Looks like there’s a lot of debate here, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. I’m taking note of all the comments and will be analyzing them all soon!

    C Bass, I certainly will do a Quick Hit on Crawford in the not too distant future.

    AS for Kemp, maybe he is a little too low on this list, but I’m also not entirely sold on the SB total. I would project him out in the low-to-mid 20’s, probably right around 25. That would drop his value a bit. Again, I’m going to do a Quick Hit on him shortly to discuss him in much more depth.

  9. Sayid says:

    Man, OF ain’t deep this year. But I guess guys always come along.

  10. big o says:

    i’d like to argue that ichiro and ellsbury should be flipped in your rankings.
    rather than do that, i have decided to wait and let you do it for me, in one year’s time.

  11. Rotoprofessor says:

    hahaha…I’ll hold you to that Big O!

  12. Nate says:

    #6-12 are all screwy to me. Upton, Rios and Quentin ahead of Bay? Bay in Fenway with an OPS of .900-1.000 and in a contract year needs to be ranked higher.

    Holliday is grossly overrated out of Coors and in Oakland, adjusting to a new league.

    Manny is overrated because of the contract push. Knowing Manny, he will produce top 20 numbers in 2009, not top 10.

    I would take McLouth over Granderson, yes.

  13. MikeAbo says:

    How far out of your top 20 would you put Hawpe? He was really hot over the last couple months of last season!

  14. Jase says:

    Are these rankings for a 5×5 Roto league?

  15. Rotoprofessor says:

    Jase, yes, these rankings would be for a 5×5 league

    MikeAbo, Hawpe came in at #31. Yeah, he had a huge stretch, but the numbers just didn’t justify pushing him up any higher then that to me.

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