2018 Preseason Rankings: Top 40 Outfielders (#1-20): Youngsters Bolster An Already Deep Group

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Outfield is never going to be seen as a shallow position, but with players like Rhys Hoskins, Cody Bellinger, Nick Castellanos and Tommy Pham gaining eligibility and emerging in ’17 the depth has gottn that much better.  Who are the top options that you want to target?  Let’s kick off our rankings with #1-20:

1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
2. Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
3. Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
4. Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies
5. Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees
6. Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
7. George Springer – Houston Astros
8. Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies
9. J.D. Martinez – Free Agent
10. Christian Yelich – Milwaukee Brewers
11. Andrew Benintendi – Boston Red Sox
12. Yoenis Cespedes – New York Mets
13. Khris Davis – Oakland A’s
14. Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
15. Marcell Ozuna – St. Louis Cardinals
16. Nick Castellanos – Detroit Tigers
17. A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
18. Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels
19. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
20. Tommy Pham – St. Louis Cardinals

** ORDER ROTOPROFESSOR’S 2017 DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Thoughts:

  • Nick Castellanos is a Top 20 outfielder? That may be among the bigger surprises on these rankings, but the 26-year old showed off his power last year (36 doubles, 10 triples, 26 HR) and a 30+ HR season is very realistic.  He also showed growth in his contact rate (11.8% SwStr% in the second half) and has always proven capable of hitting the ball hard.  If the strikeout rate is in the 20-24% rate, with his power he’s going to bring the total package as he’s slotted in the middle of any lineup.
  • We’ve already discussed the idea of Rhys Hoskins being among the better selections in ’18, and a better fit than Cody Bellinger, so make sure you check out that article by clicking here.
  • A.J. Pollock carries significant risk, as he’s continuously struggled with injuries (12 games played in ’16, 112 games played in ’17). There’s no questioning the value he brings when he’s on the field, as a potential 20/30 producer, but if you aren’t on the field it’s impossible to produce numbers.
  • Tommy Pham was one of the biggest surprises last season (.306, 23 HR, 25 SB), and while he did benefit from some luck (.368 BABIP) and could see a regression in his power (51.7% groundball rate) the good far outweighs the bad. He improved his plate discipline as the season progressed, cutting the strikeouts and improving the walks.  He also maintained an elevated HR/FB, but even if there is a reduction he should come close to .295/25/20.
  • Don’t believe that Andrew Benintendi is already a borderline Top 10 outfielder? That’s something we recently discussed in detail, so find out why he already belongs there by clicking here.

** ORDER ROTOPROFESSOR’S 2017 DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catchers01/02/1802/02/18
First Basemen01/08/1802/09/18
Second Basemen01/15/18--
Shortstops01/22/18--
Third Basemen01/29/18--
Outfielders1-20: 02/05/18

21-40: 02/07/18
--
Starting Pitchers----
Relief Pitchers----

2 comments

  1. Chris says:

    Take the Castellanos notes above, add 8-12 SBS, drop the strikeout rate a little and change the name to Eddie Rosario. If I can get Castellanos for 3B, great! But for OF, Rosario may come cheaper but give you better production in a potentially stronger lineup.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I do like Rosario, but there are some obvious risks involved. Here’s an excerpt from our Draft Guide that highlights the “concerns”:

      “He showed an improved strikeout rate (18.0%), but still didn’t show impressive plate discipline (11.9% SwStr%, 37.6% O-Swing%) which was “improved” but “poor” throughout the season (11.6%, 38.1% in the second half). That is going to call into question his ability to maintain his average and it’s also possible that the power started to get into his head (42.0% fly ball rate in the second half). If he’s going to swing for the fences more, with the risk of an increased strikeout rate, he could be looking at a poor 2018 campaign.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *