Dynasty Outfielder Rankings Part 1: January 2019

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Continuing with our offseason dynasty rankings, today here are the first 30 outfielders ranked and separated into tiers (there will be a second article released with the next several tiers). The rankings represent relative value in a dynasty league by taking into consideration immediate value vs. years of possible relevance left. As always, these rankings should be manipulated to match the league type you play in so take all rankings with a grain of salt. See below the rankings for thoughts about how the rankings were created:

1 Mike Trout – 27 Tier 1: Elite
2 Mookie Betts – 26
3 Ronald Acuna – 21 Tier 2: Next Best
4 Bryce Harper – 26
5 Christian Yelich – 27
6 Juan Soto – 20
7 Aaron Judge – 26
8 JD Martinez – 31
9 Andrew Benintendi – 24
10 Cody Bellinger – 23 Tier 3: Great Options
11 Giancarlo Stanton – 29
12 Rhys Hoskins – 25
13 Eloy Jimenez (P) – 22
14 Charlie Blackmon – 32
15 George Springer – 29
16 Victor Robles (P) – 21
17 Michael Conforto – 25
18 Mitch Haniger – 28
19 Khris Davis – 31
20 Marcell Ozuna – 28 Tier 4: Speedy Vets
21 Whit Merrifield – 30
22 David Dahl – 24
23 Yasiel Puig – 28
24 Kyle Tucker (P) – 22
25 Starling Marte – 30
26 Aaron Hicks – 29
27 Tommy Pham – 30
28 AJ Pollock – 31
29 Lorenzo Cain – 32
30 Justin Upton – 31

Tier 1: The most self-explanatory tier you’ll ever see, Trout and Betts are the top two assets in all of dynasty baseball right now. They each carry five category production for many years to come, so let’s not discuss this further.

Tier 2: Acuna slots in at #3 before he even reaches 500 plate appearances in the Majors. As a 21-year-old with power, speed and an improving hit tool, the sky’s the limi. Even after a “down” year, Harper still ranks #4. Don’t worry dynasty owners, it’s a good thing when a “down” year consists of 34 home runs, 13 stolen bases and a .393 OBP. Yelich, still only 27 years old, is 5th on my rankings due to the immense upside we saw in 2018. The groundballs will always be prominent, but as long as he’s hitting the ball hard I don’t care if 50% of them are on the ground. In fact, that should probably allow him to sustain a BABIP above .350. Soto did what no 19-year-old should ever be able to do in the Majors. He should only get better from here with near elite plate approach and power. Judge and Martinez slot in at 7th and 8th. Both provide huge power, and while Martinez has an obviously higher floor when it comes to batting average Judge gets the slight nod due to age. Benintendi closes out this tier and while he may not be as flashy as the names above him, hitting atop the Sox lineup with the ability to go 20-20 while batting near .300 is very valuable in a 24-year-old.

Tier 3: I even surprised myself by ranking Bellinger ahead of Stanton. As a 23-year-old with immense power, some speed and improving contact skills (up from 69% in 2018 to 72% in 2019), Bellinger could make a leap. His stock may be at an all-time low so I’m trying to acquire him in all dynasty formats this offseason. Stanton does have elite power and he will be one of the best power hitters in baseball for many years to come, but I’d be lying if I told you he hadn’t peaked already. Two young guns, Hoskins and Jimenez, come in at #12 and #13. While they could be interchangeable, Hoskins gets the slight nod because he’s more of a known commodity. Jimenez could overtake him early on in the year if he impresses upon his debut. Blackmon, Springer and Khris Davis reside in this tier and while on the older side, continue to impress and provide plenty of value. Despite not being totally convinced of Robles’ power, I think the approach and speed will propel him into being a great fantasy asset for years to come (if the power develops even more, I’d bump him up near Bellinger). Haniger and Conforto might be some surprising names in this tier and while I originally ranked them lower, I couldn’t help but give them some love. Conforto looks to be almost all the way back from his injury and with a little more BABIP luck would’ve put up numbers close to what he showed in 2017. Haniger’s batted ball profile is beautiful and with the power and speed he brings to the table he deserves all the hype he’s been getting.

Tier 4: Despite a down year Ozuna still hit .280 with 23 HR. His hard contact rate was north of 45% and his contact rate improved to 76.6%. I’m buying again and hoping he can put up Haniger-like numbers with more power and less speed. I’ve talked about Merrifield in the second base rankings and truly love the speed and batting average he brings to the table, while fifteen home runs won’t hurt you either. While I’ve always been a skeptic, David Dahl impressed late in 2018 and proved the worth of his prospect pedigree. The power/speed combo looked as good as ever and his walk rate even increased to 7%. With a bit less swing and miss, Dahl could move up near his outfield teammate very quickly. I’ve written an article about Puig before so definitely check that out. I’ve been very high on him for a while now and that’s only grown with his switch to Cincinnati. A better ballpark with everyday playing time… Yes please!

Kyle Tucker, while he certainly hasn’t shown much in the Majors, has too appetizing of numbers to not rank in this tier. He’s about to turn 22 and has the upside to rival Dahl in both power and speed. Starling Marte, Tommy Pham, AJ Pollock and Lorenzo Cain reside in this tier and all have some combination of power, speed and batting average. While they’re all getting up there in age, I’m not opposed to acquiring them for a couple more years of solid production. Aaron Hicks is an interesting guy to talk about in this tier as he was once a top prospect but seemed to lose his way once he debuted for the Twins. If, and it’s a big if, Hicks can stay healthy, he has 30-15 potential with an OBP north of .370. I’m very interested to see if he can take another step forward in his age 29 season. Justin Upton closes out Tier 4, and despite being 31 should still hit 30 home runs with a handful of stolen bases. A couple more years of that production is still worth it in my book.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Won my keeper league last year and I’m in a position to have a solid keeper group again. However after this year, my players salaries will be prohibitive (all players get $5 raises each year).

    I’m trying to look at remaining just as competitive this year but with an eye on the future too.

    I have and plan on keeping Verlander and Kluber ($36 and $35) among others.

    Other teams have players such as Severino ($14), Snell ($15), Beuhler ($20) and Bauer ($21).

    Should I look to explore the possibility of trades that would result in not keeping Verlander and Kluber in favor of 2 of the lower prices pitchers, or would the potential drop in 2019 value not be worth the longer term upside?

  2. I would look into deals for those lesser priced pitchers but I’m sure they will be hard to get consider their youth and lower price. In my opinion, the 4 younger pitchers you mentioned aren’t too much of a downgrade from JV and Kluber even in 2019.

    • Yea, that’s basically my thought process. He’s shown us the same skills for the past three seasons and I’m not sure how much upside is left. His hard contact rate has luckily increased each year but his groundball rate skyrocketed to 55% last year at the cost of line drives and flyballs. You’ll still see him in the next tier when Part 2 is released but I’d like to see more significant improvements going forward.

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