Top 40 Outfielders (2019): #1-20: Surprising Names Could Join The Elite

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It may feel like the outfield isn’t as deep as it once was, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some players who could emerge in 2019. The position is full of high upside players who could take the next step in their development, many of whom show up in the back half of our Top 20 (not to mention players like Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna, who burst onto the scene in 2018).

With that being said, here are a few things to remember as you review the rankings (and if you want to see even deeper rankings, make sure to order our 2019 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide that includes a Top 30, by clicking here):

  • A player being ranked #3 doesn’t mean you should draft him in that spot. In most cases you shouldn’t have to, it just shows the potential value that he holds.
  • These rankings are based on our projections and expected production for 2019.

Who are the names we should trust?  Who should be ignored? Let’s dive in and take a look:

  1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
  2. Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
  3. J.D. Martinez – Boston Red Sox
  4. Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
  5. Bryce Harper – Free Agent
  6. Christian Yelich – Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees
  8. Andrew Benintendi – Boston Red Sox
  9. Juan Soto – Washington Nationals
  10. Ronald Acuna – Atlanta Braves
  11. Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
  12. Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies
  13. Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies
  14. Khris Davis – Oakland A’s
  15. Mitch Haniger – Seattle Mariners
  16. Marcell Ozuna – St. Louis Cardinals
  17. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
  18. Whit Merrifield – Kansas City Royals
  19. Michael Conforto – New York Mets
  20. Yasiel Puig – Cincinnati Reds

Thoughts:

  • We recently took a look at Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna, explaining why we prefer Soto (by the slimmest of margin), which you can read by clicking here.  It came down to the upside in his average, outweighing the speed advantage that Acuna has, but it is extremely close and we wouldn’t argue if you preferred Acuna.
  • There was a lot of speculation to why Kris Bryant struggled in 2018, with the convenient excuses being the hitting coach and a shoulder injury.  Does it go beyond that?  We tried to answer that question, and there’s a good chance that it does, and you can check out our concerns and 2019 projection by clicking here.
  • Both Michael Conforto and Yasiel Puig have been hyped before, but they haven’t consistently been able to produce.  For both there’s potential in 2019, thanks to a new opportunity (Puig, having been dealt to Cincinnati, now should get full-time AB in a better hitting environment) and health (Conforto may have rushed himself back in 2018).  Don’t overlook the upside of either.
  • You may not currently view Andrew Benintendi as an elite outfielder, but maybe you should.  He has the potential to be a true five-category producer and emerge in short order, and you can find out why here.
  • Mitch Haniger stayed in Seattle as one of the corner pieces of a rebuild, after hitting .285 with 26 HR, 93 RBI and 90 R last season.  While there’s risk of his average dropping (he may not be able to replicate a .336 BABIP, due to being pull heavy) his strong approach and an improvement in his strikeout rate (19.4% in the second half) should overcome it.  Don’t write him off as nothing but a one-year wonder.
  • It was an injury plagued year for Marcell Ozuna, causing his numbers to plummet despite the shift to a more favorable home.  That doesn’t mean he should be ignored and we have already discussed why he’d be a better selection than George Springer (who fell short of our Top 20).  Find out why by clicking here.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

1 COMMENT

  1. I think this is a pretty solid top 20 ranking. Excited to see 21-40.
    But I have a unique question…
    In my league, we have no strictly DH. So Ohtani is eligible as an OF. I’m sure he wouldn’t crack top 20, but where do you think he would rank amongst OFers?
    Also noting that he likely will miss all of April.

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