Top 35 Outfielders For 2011: An Extremely Early Look

Outfield has become a surprisingly unpredictable position to rank for 2011.  There are numerous players who have underperformed, overperformed or missed significant time with injuries.  The fact is, this list, more then any of the others we’ve done, is unstable.  Consider players in the same area fairly interchangeable, as values will change dramatically depending on second half production.

With that said, let’s take a look at how things currently look heading into next season for those of us who are rebuilding (remember, these can, and probably will, change dramatically by the end of the season):

  1. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Carl Crawford – Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
  7. Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks
  8. Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers
  9. Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox
  10. Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
  11. Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves
  12. Jason Bay – New York Mets
  13. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  14. Shin-Soo Choo – Cleveland Indians
  15. Jayson Werth – Philadelphia Phillies
  16. Carlos Beltran – New York Mets
  17. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
  18. Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners
  19. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
  20. Vladimir Guerrero – Texas Rangers
  21. Adam Dunn – Washington Nationals
  22. Grady Sizemore – Cleveland Indians
  23. Jacoby Ellsbury – Boston Red Sox
  24. Hunter Pence – Houston Astros
  25. Jay Bruce – Cincinnati Reds
  26. Colby Rasmus – St. Louis Cardinals
  27. Nick Markakis – Baltimore Orioles
  28. Denard Span – Minnesota Twins
  29. Carlos Quentin – Chicago White Sox
  30. Mike Stanton – Florida Marlins
  31. Chris Young – Arizona Diamondbacks
  32. Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies
  33. Corey Hart – Milwaukee Brewers
  34. Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees
  35. B.J. Upton – Tampa Bay Rays

Thoughts:

  • For how unpredictable the outfield position has been in 2010, it’s amazing that the top four remain constant.  Those are the elite of the position and that doesn’t appear likely to change.  After that, however, the field is wide open and will likely change dramatically over the next few weeks and months.
  • I know Jason Bay has not lived up to expectations, but it’s not like he has been awful either.  Given his track record, a bad three months isn’t enough to drop him outside of the Top 12.  If the power doesn’t return in the second half, however, he will quickly plummet down the rankings.
  • If Nelson Cruz could ever remain healthy for an entire season, he’d likely be a Top 5 option.  Unfortunately, we have still yet to see that happen.  Still, he’s proven that even with missing a little bit of time, he’s one of the best the position has to offer.
  • For as good as Vladimir Guerrero has been, does anyone really believe that he can keep it going for the rest of the second half, yet alone into 2011?  Still, with his first half resurgence, he has to be viewed as a number two outfielder (assuming he has eligibility in your league).
  • Despite the injury that now has him on the sidelines, Shin Soo-Choo proved that he has the potential to go 20/20 every season and sooner or later, could develop into a 30/30 threat.  That makes him one of the better options in all formats.
  • Jayson Werth is likely to change teams, so depending on where he lands we’ll have to adjust his value, either up or down.
  • I’m a big believer in Nick Markakis, but yet again he appears to have failed to take that next step forward.  There’s still time, but at this point it appears impossible to consider him a Top 15 outfielder for next season.  As a low-end number two option, maybe, but nothing more then that.
  • Does anyone really believe that Adam Lind is this bad?  He’s got to turn it around sooner or later and will likely rebuild his value for 2011.  I’m not giving up on him yet and see him as a great buy low candidate for the second half (you can view my five second half buy low candidates by clicking here).
  • Grady Sizemore and Carlos Beltran are both extremely tough players to rank at this point, given the injuries that have plagued them of late.  At least we’ll get a good idea if Beltran will be able to return to the player he once was in the second half.  With Sizemore, it’s all a matter on if you believe he can rebound or not.
  • Domonic Brown has the potential to crack this list, if he makes an impact before year’s end.  For more on him, check out my recent Prospect Report by clicking here
  • Mike Stanton’s early struggles have suppressed his potential value, but you can see the power starting to come around.  He certainly has the potential to fly up these rankings if he proves his power will translate to the Major Leagues.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who is being overvalued?  Who is being undervalued?

Make sure to check out our other extremely early 2011 rankings:

25 comments

  1. E-Z says:

    Isn’t it 95% likely that Crawford ends up at Yankee Stadium next year? Wouldn’t you see him being top 2 rather than top 4, hitting in that lineup, in that ballpark?

  2. john says:

    I love the list, although to be honest I do feel Josh Hamilton is a bit high with his 1. luck this year (look at babip, hr/fb%) and 2. injury history

    I wonder how Beltran will look now that he’s (supposedly) healthy

  3. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Ok I need some trade advice…. typically I don’t do this, but this is a toughy…

    I am in 15th out of 20th place in my main Dynasty League, and I plan on finishing in the bottom 5 (I have traded away any semblance of a legitmate team on purpose). One of the top 3 team’s has been talking to me about trading for Jeremy Hellickson…. He essentially proposed it like this:

    I give up Michael Taylor and one of these guys: Coghlan, Bard, Dan Hudson or Scheppers
    I get Jeremy Hellickson and (fill in the blank)

    Seeing as how I need 1B help (only have Logan Morrison right now) I filled in that blank with Chris Davis (his only other 1B is Miggy Cabrera).

    So are Hellickson/Davis worth Taylor + 1?

    Couple Notes that will affect your decision:
    #1. Current SPs (worth Keeping): Tom Gorzelanny, Anibal Sanchez, John Ely, Dan Hudson, Tanner Scheppers, Mauricio Robles, Zack Duke
    #2. Current OFs (worth keeping): Chris Coghlan, Franklin Gutierrez, Shin Soo-Choo, Lastings Milledge, Ryan Sweeney, Dom Brown, Michael Taylor, Kyle Blanks

    So clearly I need more SPs, but it makes it tough to give up 2 OFs too (need 5 OF starter positions)

  4. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Another note about that trade….

    Should I just forgo Chris Davis, and try to draft Eric Hosmer with my Top-5 draft pick?

  5. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Ummmm in regards to the top 35 Oufielders….

    Colby Rasmus only at #26????? Are you NUTS?!?!?!?!

    His is top 15 EASILY! Maybe even top 10!!! How many of these guys are realistically 30/30 players:
    Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
    Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
    Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
    Carl Crawford – Tampa Bay Rays
    Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers
    Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
    Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks
    Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers
    Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox
    Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
    Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves
    Jason Bay – New York Mets
    Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
    Shin-Soo Choo – Cleveland Indians
    Jayson Werth – Philadelphia Phillies

    Rasmus is a realistic 30/30 player next year – making him better than Werth, Bay, Rios, McCutchen and Hamilton….

  6. Slevin Kelevra says:

    1) Braun will not be n.1 after his crappy season

    2) Rasmus to steal 30 bases ??

    lol

  7. Rotoprofessor says:

    Lots of different things to touch on here, so let me try to respond in quick format:

    – For a down year, Braun is still hitting .286 with 11 HR, 51 RBI, 50 R and 11 SB. Seeing him reach 30/20 and 100/100 is still a very realistic possibility, so I wouldn’t be downgrading him quite yet.

    – In regards to Rasmus, I do think 30/30 is a bit extreme for him. He only has 9 this season and has never had more then 28 in a year during his minor league career. Maybe some day he’ll get there, but I wouldn’t expect it to be 2011. That said, it is likely he gets bumped up a bit as the season progresses.

    – Until Crawford signs with the Yankees, I can’t assume he’s going to go there. A lot can change between now and then, but regardless of where he is, he’s a Top 4 option.

  8. Rotoprofessor says:

    Davis is a tough player to judge right now, because you have to wonder if he’s going to be traded or if he can excel in the major leagues. Still, he’s closer to the majors the Hosmer is (obviously) and with the way the Royals have brought along prospects, who knows with him.

    I think your need for quality pitching is bigger then your need for an outfielder. With Fra-Gu, Choo & Brown, you have a top three to build around and finding an outfielder to fill out the team will be much tougher then finding a pitcher with Hellickson’s ability.

    While I wouldn’t include Hudson in the deal, getting the positions you need for Taylor and a spare part makes sense to me.

  9. Tuco says:

    I don’t see Bobby Abreu on that list. Am I missing something?

  10. Chuck says:

    Josh Hamilton will have a bigger year than all of them. In 2010 and in 2011. Hopefully I can get him in the 6th again next year the way you guys are talking…

  11. EW says:

    I’m pretty sure Vlad needs to be on this list somewhere.

  12. dale says:

    question to the rotoprofessor…because of delmon youngs outburst would you put him on this list?
    i know it was created very early before he went on his tear and thats why hes not here now but id personally put him in my top 20

  13. Rotoprofessor says:

    dale, the bottom of this list is very fluid and subjective. With the breakout he’s having, it certainly would seem like he belongs to have a spot on this list. The only number that may not be believable is his strikeout rate, currently at 12.0%. Otherwise, it would just appear that he is finally developing into the player we have all heard about the past few seasons.

  14. carlito says:

    out of these 4 outfielders… who would you keep for next year?

    choo
    stanton
    pence
    quentin

    put them in order… best to worse

  15. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Choo
    Pence
    Stanton
    Quentin

  16. carlito says:

    quentin a keeper if i can keep all 4?

  17. Rotoprofessor says:

    Carlito, what are the keeper rules? Are any salaries involved? That does play a role.

    If all else is equal, Choo and Pence are def. the top two. The other two are a coin flip, but either could be kept depending on the other options and the roster rules (if it’s three outfielders, keeping four makes little sense).

  18. carlito says:

    salary league with 3 of’s

    all 4 are very low salaries. stanton is in my minors so i get to keep him regardless.
    lots of the outfielders in the top 25 will be kept meaning would you rather have a guy like quentin at a low cost over the sorianos, ibanez, vicorino, dunn types who will cost a lot.

  19. Rotoprofessor says:

    I like Quentin, but a lot would depend on how he does over the next two months. The other three are locks, but if the salary is low enough and he is strong over the final two months, he could be worth it as well.

  20. Delmonfan says:

    You’ve neglected to include Delmon Young on your list. He’s young, he’s having a career year, and he’s a No. 1 draft pick. He may finally be putting it all together. But for the stolen bases and I’d rate him right up there with Justin Upton. His numbers pretty much mirror Upton’s except for SBs. And he has more doubles than Upton, also.

  21. Matt says:

    A lot of this list I swear is praying for people to reach their potential over the reality of it happening.

    Bruce has been top 50 on these lists ever since he came into the bigs and he has yet to ever be a top 50 outfielder. He has never hit 30 home runs, always struck out a lot , and hits for an extremely low average. And this year he is below Delmon Young in all major categories.

    Stanton is not as good as Brown. He has yet to prove he will be or even could be. He’s younger and may hit more home runs but his strikeouts, and low average will keep him below Brown in the long run just like Brown is more of a steals threat than Stanton. And seriously who is gonna get more runs and rbis? A guy like Brown playing in Philly or a guy like Stanton playing in Florida?

    Yeah Bruce and Stanton should be left off this list and be replaced by Young and Brown. Young at worst should be top 20.

  22. Rotoprofessor says:

    Keep in mind of when this was posted. Young has 4 HR and 24 RBI since this was originally posted. Needless to say, when this is updated Young will be on here and in a good spot.

    It’s one of the disadvantages of doing an early list, because things are very, very fluid.

  23. carlito says:

    stanton is gonna be better then brown. brown I think will be a rich mans denard span. stanton will hit 40 homers very soon… possibly by 2012. many will be picking stanton in round 1 or 2 very soon. brown will be a nice 3rd outfielder.

  24. Kevin says:

    this list needs Jose Bautista on it. Bigtime.

  25. Cesc says:

    Justin Upton over Carlos Gonzalez? Really? I agree, Nelson Cruz is a top 5 talent but the injuries are going to dissuade me from grabbing him early. Let him be someone else’s problem. No Juan Pierre? Surprising.

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