Top 30 Outfielders For 2011: Keeper Leagues

Outfield may be the toughest position to rank for keeper league owners, because the rules play such a huge impact on how we view certain players.  If you can keep someone indefinitely, how much better does someone like Jason Heyward appear?  If we are talking about only two or three years, it’s tough to bypass established players for uncertainty, isn’t it?  Keep that in mind when looking at these rankings:

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

Thoughts:

  • Some people may want to see “CarGo” ranked in the top spot for keeper leagues, but I have him second in the regular rankings and there is no reason to make a change here.  It’s not like Braun is an old veteran, just two years older than Gonzalez (27-years old vs. 25-years old).
  • It’s not that Andrew McCutchen is 24-years old that moves him up in these rankings.  It’s that I would project him out to soon become one of the elite players in the game.  There is too much potential upside not to consider him just a shade below the elite in the outfield.  In fact, it could probably be debated to move McCutchen even further up your draft board.
  • Jason Heyward has the potential to be among the elite outfielders in the game, but did he show enough in 2010 to push him into the Top 10?  I’m not so sure about that.  Depending on your format and how long you can keep him really would ultimately help establish his value in your league.
  • Keeper league…  Non-keeper league…  The threat of injury continues to hurt Nelson Cruz from what could be.
  • How many people show the type of power potential that Mike Stanton does?  I love him in keeper formats, as he has the potential to be an absolute beast.  He has to be considered one of the best keepers, depending on your league rules.  However, as long as you have him locked in for at least another year or two, it’s hard to go wrong.
  • Thinking past just 2011 certainly helps Brett Gardner, doesn’t it?  While he’s a good play in ’11, thinking about the potential of him hitting atop the Yankees lineup and scoring 110+ runs routinely has to be appealing (and now we learned that it may actually be a reality in 2011).  Throw in 40+ stolen bases and it’s hard not to like him in keeper formats.
  • Outfield is a deeper position, stocked with potential young superstars.  It makes it difficult to include players like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Domonick Brown and Desmond Jennings, though all could become fixtures on this type of list as soon as 2012.  Consider them all great selections, but they should be considered reserves on draft day.

**** Make sure to 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:

9 comments

  1. MJ says:

    If the rumors are true and Granderson has figured out lefties…..watch out! His September numbers from 2010 tell me he is going to have a big 2011 season. For him to be below BJ Upton is a joke.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      MJ, a couple of spots, especially among OFers, is subjective. Plus, I can’t base the rankings on “rumors”. Until we see him consistently hit lefties, it’s hard to buy into it. I do like Granderson, especially in that ballpark, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him outproduce Upton in ’11. I just need to see it first.

  2. afsasfas says:

    Quentin needs to be on there at the end! Even with 130 games he is a lock for 25HRs and 85 RBIs.

  3. Chuck says:

    It’s an insult to common sense to continue to see Josh Hamilton slip down your rankings. As well publicized as your preferences are, the fact is he is the second coming of Babe Ruth and doubters will see the light.

  4. Herb Urban says:

    Heyward flirted with an .850 OPS, a .400 OBP and 20 HR as a 20 year old. That is enough to rank him above Alex Rios, Matt Holiday and a very injury prone Josh Hamilton in dynasty leagues.

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    It’s funny that one person is arguing for Hamilton to be higher on this list and another is sayinf that Jason Heyward should be ranked above him. That just gives us an idea of how split many people are when it comes to him.

    I think Heyward is a terrific player, but the injury risk as well as the threat of a regression (his BABIP was extremely high in ’10), does keep me from ranking him too high.

    As for Heyward, I do want to see him do it again before we get too excited. He’s a great selection, but I would keep expectations in check.

  6. Crash says:

    What about Drew Stubbs?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He was right on the border, honestly. I’m not sure we can believe in his power, which is why he would come in somewhere between 25 and 35 for me. If he replicates it in 2011, you can be certain he’ll fly up these rankings.

  7. ClayHenry says:

    McCutchen is not a shade below the elite… he will be the elite. *Salivating*

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>