To wrap up my initial positional rankings, let’s take a look at my Top 30 outfielders for the upcoming season. Outfield is not quite as deep at the top of the rankings, but the positioned is littered with young players on the precipice breaking out. Players like Jason Heyward, Jay Bruce, Colby Rasmus and Mike Stanton could easily take the next step in 2011 and become some of the best options at the position. Where do they stand entering the year? Let’s take a look:
- Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
- Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
- Carl Crawford – Boston Red Sox
- Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
- Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
- Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox
- Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Hunter Pence – Houston Astros
- Jay Bruce – Cincinnati Reds
- Shin-Soo Choo – Cleveland Indians
- Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves
- Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers
- Colby Rasmus – St. Louis Cardinals
- Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Mike Stanton – Florida Marlins
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees
- Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
- Jacoby Ellsbury – Boston Red Sox
- Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners
- Chris Young – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies
- B.J. Upton – Tampa Bay Rays
- Corey Hart – Milwaukee Brewers
- Nick Markakis – Baltimore Orioles
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Carlos Quentin – Chicago White Sox
- Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
- Many people want to take Hamilton’s 2010 performance (.359, 32 HR, 100 RBI) and turn him into a Top 5 outfielder and a first round pick. The problem is he is constantly battling injuries and his 2010 numbers were buoyed by a .390 BABIP. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine him coming close to replicating his success. For more on why I do not believe he is a first round pick, click here.
- Before you disregard Pence’s place as a Top 10 outfielder keep in mind that he should be the Astros’ full-time #3 hitter in 2011. In 292 AB there in 2010 he hit .288 with 13 HR, 49 RBI, 43 R and 9 SB. It is realistic to think that he will push 90/90 again (overall he hit .282 with 25 HR, 91 RBI, 93 R and 18 SB) and there is a shot that he reaches 100/100.
- Will Choo continue to post big BABIP? Over the past three seasons he has posted marks of .367, .370 and .347. If he regresses there, his average could struggle, though I still view him as a great OF2 thanks to his consistent 20/20 production. To view my projection of him for 2011 click here.
- I may be pushing Stanton a little higher than most, but he possesses a skill that is becoming more and more rare in the game today; power. He hit 22 HR in 396 AB in the majors (plus 21 in 240 AB at Double-A). There’s a very realistic chance that he approaches 40 in his sophomore campaign.
- Does anyone really believe that Jose Bautista is going to be able to replicate his 2010 success?
- Ichiro Suzuki can hit, that’s not in debate. He also showed that he can still run, stealing 42 bases in 2010. The problem is that a lot of his value came from scoring runs, which he has struggled with the past two seasons. Formerly a perennial 100+ run option, he has scored 162 runs total since 2009. That’s what happens when you hit atop an anemic offense.
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Whose too high? Whose too low?
**** Make sure to pre-order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here. ****
Make sure to check out our 2011 rankings: