Top 35 Outfielders for 2010: Take Two

Outfield is one of the toughest positions in baseball to determine the rankings for thanks to “extreme” players.  Where does Adam Dunn and his immense power fall?  What about Ichiro, who has developed into an average machine but is no longer the stolen base source he once was?  Throw in some injury returnees (Carlos Beltran & Grady Sizemore) and some players on the cusp of super stardom (Justin Upton) and it’s an interesting mix.

Keep in mind that these rankings are still preliminary as I continue to fine-tune my projections to finalize things.  With that said, let’s take a look at how things currently stand:

  1. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Carl Crawford – Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury – Boston Red Sox
  5. Carlos Beltran – New York Mets
  6. Grady Sizemore – Cleveland Indians
  7. Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks
  8. Jason Bay – Free Agent
  9. Adam Lind – Toronto Blue Jays
  10. Matt Holliday – Free Agent
  11. Nick Markakis – Baltimore Orioles
  12. Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers
  13. Carlos Lee – Houston Astros
  14. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
  15. Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
  16. Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners
  17. Adam Dunn – Washington Nationals
  18. Manny Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  19. Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees
  20. Bobby Abreu – Los Angeles Angels
  21. Shin-Soo Choo – Cleveland Indians
  22. Jayson Werth – Philadelphia Phillies
  23. Carlos Quentin – Chicago White Sox
  24. Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers
  25. Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies
  26. B.J. Upton – Tampa Bay Rays
  27. Hunter Pence – Houston Astros
  28. Raul Ibanez – Philadelphia Phillies
  29. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
  30. Torii Hunter – Los Angeles Angels
  31. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  32. Jay Bruce – Cincinnati Reds
  33. Nate McLouth – Atlanta Braves
  34. Denard Span – Minnesota Twins
  35. Jason Kubel – Minnesota Twins

Thoughts:

  • It’s easy to simply write-off Beltran, claiming that he’s a huge injury risk after losing a significant portion of the 2009 season.  He had over 500 AB every season from 2001-2008, only twice having less than 554 (not to mention 663 AB back in 1999).  I wouldn’t completely downgrade him because of one year where he was lost due to injury, especially when he was able to return in September (and hit .305 in 17 games).
  • Manny Ramirez is one of the best hitters in the game, though he hit just .255 in the second half and will turn 38-years old during the season.  There’s a lot of risk there, especially with the 50-game suspension looming over him and the fact that you have to make sure you have a viable replacement on the bench.
  • Don’t suddenly push Curtis Granderson well up your draft board simply because he is on the Yankees, though with Johnny Damon (who is outside the rankings for now until he signs since leaving Yankees Stadium will hurt his production) out of the picture he could slot into the #2 spot in the order.  That means increased runs, to go along with power and a better average (as I discussed at the time of the trade, which you can read by clicking here).  He is surely a #2 outfielder, but don’t reach too high for him.
  • Matt Holliday & Jason Bay continue to be difficult to pinpoint their potential value as they remain unsigned.  Once they find a team, things will become a little bit easier and will change a bit.
  • Is Jason Kubel a viable outfielder in all formats?  If he ever learned how to hit lefties, he’d easily be a #2 option.  Against righties he hit .322 with 26 HR in just 366 AB.  While I’d expect a bit of a regression there, he still makes you consider him as a third option, especially in the middle of an order joining Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
  • Where should Adam Dunn fit in the rankings?  He’s a pure power hitter, but the chances of him producing a usable average is unlikely.  I know he hit .267 last season, but it came with a BABIP of .326 (his career mark is .294).  Look for a regression there, but when you can count on 38+ home runs, how can you not like him?
  • It’s easy to point to the ballpark to help explain Ibanez’ 34 HR explosion, but he actually just hit 13 HR at home.  Don’t look for him to be able to repeat that type of production in 2010.
  • Ben Zobrist does get a little bump in value thanks to his flexibility, so keep that in mind when considering his ranking.
What are your thoughts on the early rankings?  Who is too high?  Who is too low?  Who was omitted that shouldn’t have been?

Previous Early Rankings:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

17 comments

  1. TY says:

    I’d bump grady and justin upton ahead of Beltran. Beltran was hurt most of last year and 33 years old. Hopefully he bounces back and if he does he’ll be an absolute STEAL in most drafts, i just wouldn’t take the risk.

    Its a very hard list to make out. I like Lind but flip flopping with Holliday. Glad you bumped markakis down, but he needs to go FARTHER down, i’d rather have CHOO than markakis. I’ve made this statement other places and it usually stirs the pot (which i like to do).

    Markakis is not a 30/20 guy. I dont think he can hit 30 HR’s. Everyones been waiting for 2-3 years now for him to do it yet he’s not hit over 25. He’s a 20/10 OF’er that hits .300.

    CHOO 20/20 .300

    Markakis might have some more upside, BUT i’m not paying a 4th round pick to get him when i could take choo in the 7th….

  2. TY says:

    just some nitpicky small discrepencies…. overall good list. Past #20 I really like choo, adam jones, and Mccutchen. I like Bruce for power. Those guys could all easily outperform their ADP and your rank.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    TY, I don’t necessarily disagree with bypassing Markakis and targeting someone like Choo later on (in my first mock I bypassed him only to get Beltran in Round 6). Still, I don’t think I can rank Choo above Markakis, especially since I’m not sold on Choo’s average. The last two seasons he’s been aided by BABIP of over .370. Sooner or later, that luck is going to run out.

  4. TY says:

    Maybe. But CHOO batted .292 first half last year and .310 second half. He was even stronger down the stretch. Ranking choo ahead of Markakis on paper probably wont happen anywhere, but when all is said and done i see them as very equal and would probably take choo later and spend the pick i’d have to spend on markakis and snag someone else.

  5. E K says:

    I think Coghlan is going to continue to surprise people as I do not believe is average was a fluke. Plus, assuming they do trade Uggla he should get some time at second base. And assuming he bats in the top two spots in the order he should produce a lot of runs given 600 at bats.

  6. I’d expect ManRam to be a little higher this year without the distractions. After Hamilton’s fall last year, I would probably bump him down a bit.

    Very well put together list.

  7. Miles says:

    Agree with Ty’s assessment of Beltran plus Mets new stadium appeared to be a pitcher’s park last year.

    If you believe in the 27 year old breakout season theory, I guess Markarkis might be your guy. Definitely a solid fantasy player, but how much better will he be? My concern is he’ll face Yankees/Red Sox staffs 36/162 games next year with who batting behind him?

    I also like Coghlan, don’t think he’s a top 35 guy yet.

    Manny(18)ranked higher than Werth (22)? Watch Manny and Dodgers games and he wasn’t the same player after suspension. Will he return to Manny of old at 38? Werth is 31 and I’d take him before Manny.

  8. Jimmy says:

    I personally think Ellsbury is a bit too high. To have him slotted behind Crawford – who does a lot more than just steal bases, is almost a knock on Crawford’s value. I’d say two or three spots lower for Ells.

  9. paul says:

    with 36 hr 99 rbi and 20 sb i woulda thought jayson werth would be a top top 10 outfielder closer to the top 5 i know his avg was kinda bad but his #22 ranking just doesnt do him justice. in my opinion thats the only major flaw i see some of the youngins i think could be moved up a lil like mccutchen is gonna be an absolute stud, and markakis is probably the most over rated player ever jayson werth is immensely more talented than him

  10. Kevin says:

    Carlos Beltran at number 5??! Even before the surgery that would have been a joke? After last year and his chronic health condition. What year is this 2007?

  11. Miles says:

    Kevin and anybody willing to weigh in. I was offered Beltran for Rios today. Would you make this trade?

  12. BLAZE says:

    Manny missed a 3rd of the season. He should get a break for being rusty after missing 1/3 of the season. Im sure he’ll be back to being Manny.

    Im thinking 300-30-100.

  13. BLAZE says:

    Holliday will be elite in STL. Upton will pass Crawford/Ellsbury. Beltran needs to drop alot. Sizemore should be back after being banged up. Lind over Bay for me on Avg purposes. Manny/Choo/Upton should all be higher.

  14. Rotoprofessor says:

    Blaze, remember this list was posted before Holliday resigned with the Cardinals and Beltran was injured. Both of those things will be reflected when the rankings are updated.

  15. Miles says:

    Blaze – like your thinking with exception of Manny. Maybe he was rusty, but I’m leery of him and would not draft him as high as he’s being ranked. As you stated, Beltran currently is overrated because of knee issues from last year and recent surgery. Despite his knee problem, I decided to take a gamble on his recovery and made the trade of Rios for him.

  16. Keith says:

    Not nearly enough love for Adam Jones!!

  17. Alex says:

    Why does everyone leave out Dexter Fowler form the Colorado Rockies. 1.000 fielding percentage and League leader in triples. Lets see your Beltran or Braun pull that off….

Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>