by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s obvious who the top options in the league are, with the two top overall players being found in the outfield. After you get past Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, though, things start to become a little bit “murkier”. That’s not to say that there aren’t tremendous options, but the order is debatable. Who are we willing to target? Who could be a bit overvalued? Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:
1) Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
2) Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
3) Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
4) Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
5) Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
6) A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
7) George Springer – Houston Astros
8) Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
9) J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
10) Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
11) Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
12) Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies
13) Yoenis Cespedes – New York Mets
14) Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
15) Justin Upton – Detroit Tigers
16) Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
17) Carlos Gomez – Houston Astros
18) Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
19) Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins
20) Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Power is at a premium and no one has more of it than Giancarlo Stanton, so many will likely question his position on these rankings. Part of the problem has been consistently missing time due to injuries (he’s played in more than 123 games just once in the past four seasons). Last year’s wrist injury would be a concern on it’s own, especially for a player who depends on his power (there’s a risk of any wrist injury suppressing a player’s power). Throw in a consistently elevated strikeout rate (29.9% in ’15), which could limit his average, and there are enough reasons to downgrade him (at least slightly) until he proves he’s healthy.
- George Springer consistently taunts us with his potential, though he’s another player who always seems to be missing time. He only had 388 AB last season but showed an improved strikeout rate (24.2%) while posting 16 HR and 16 SB. If he can stay on the field he’s a near lock to go 20/20, with 30/30 realistic if he can get 500 AB.
- Now that it was Corey Dickerson, not Charlie Blackmon, who was sent out of Colorado you can safely invest in the latter as a borderline OF1. Remember he showed power away from Coors Field (10 of his 17 HR came on the road) and his speed players anywhere.
- Curious as to the numbers we’re expecting from Justin Upton in Detroit this season? Take a look at our 2016 projection by clicking here.
- Lorenzo Cain had a big ’15, but there’s risk of a regression in his strikeout rate (16.2% despite a 36.1% O-Swing%). Obviously his improved power helps to offset that, but it was just a year ago that he posted a meager 248.976 average distance on non-groundballs (269.839 in ’15). He should remain a solid option, but don’t expect any type of improvement on last season’s production.
- Are you considering utilizing an early pick on Starling Marte? While the potential is there, there also is significant risk in making the investment. We took an in-depth look at him explaining the situation, which you can read by clicking here.
*** Want a chance to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with a “Thor” inscription? Find out how by clicking here!! ***
Make sure to check out all of our 2016 rankings: