Recently I covered the top 74 outfielders for 2014, but upon its completion the list seemed to be lacking something. Then it occurred to me, I listed the players but I did not specify what spot in the outfield each player occupied. For most of us this does not matter, as long as your player is listed as OF you could care less. But there are leagues that divide the outfielders up into their rightful positions so I’ve prepared a special list just for you.
Some players qualify for multiple positions so these players are listed multiple times and are highlighted in red. I’ve also listed several first basemen here who qualify for the outfield and they are denoted with an Asterix *. Finally in order to cover all leagues qualifying rules I’ve set the standard at 20 games played at each position. For an in-depth look at each player, check out the top 74 for 2014 rankings for outfield.
We’ll start things off with a look at Center Field
|01||Mike Trout||17||Ben Revere|
|02||Andrew McCutchen||18||Adam Eaton|
|03||Adam Jones||19||Dexter Fowler|
|04||Jacoby Ellsbury||20||Brett Gardner|
|05||Matt Kemp||21||Will Venable|
|06||Carlos Gomez||22||Coco Crisp|
|07||Shin-Soo Choo||23||Angel Pagan|
|08||B.J. Upton||24||George Springer|
|09||Curtis Granderson||25||Colby Rasmus|
|10||Billy Hamilton||26||Andre Ethier|
|11||Desmond Jennings||27||Denard Span|
|12||Austin Jackson||28||Drew Stubbs|
|13||Michael Bourn||29||Justin Ruggiano|
|14||Leonys Martin||30||Chris Young|
|15||Alejandro De Aza||31||Michael Saunders|
|16||A.J. Pollock||32||Dustin Ackley|
Now as you can see, center field is plentiful, but it is also top-heavy in elite talent. There are a few players outside the top 8 that can give you good numbers, but it’s the top 8 players that you want. Trout will be one of the first players taken, but the fact that he qualifies for left field increases the value of his already hefty resume. There are 8 other players not including Trout that will qualify for multiple outfield positions next year. These players can be extremely useful when trying to cover for an injured player and give you some flexibility.
Of the 32 players listed, only Billy Hamilton’s position lies in question. He only played 7 games in center field last year so depending on your league rules; he may not even qualify for a position at the beginning of the season. Along with Hamilton you have other young players like Pollock, Eaton and Springer who have upside, but their inexperience makes them a risk. You may not end up with a stud in center field, but with the names above you should at least be content with your choice.
Now let’s move along to Left Field
|01||Mike Trout||15||Carl Crawford|
|02||Carlos Gonzalez||16||Adam Eaton|
|03||Ryan Braun||17||Michael Brantley|
|04||Bryce Harper||18||Darin Ruf|
|05||Justin Upton||19||Eric Young|
|06||Matt Holliday||20||Jason Kubel|
|07||Yoenis Cespedes||21||Khris Davis|
|08||Starling Marte||22||Carlos Quentin|
|09||* Allen Craig||23||Daniel Nava|
|10||Domonic Brown||24||Oswaldo Arcia|
|11||Alex Gordon||25||Dayan Viciedo|
|12||Christian Yelich||26||Rajai Davis|
|13||Alfonso Soriano||27||Chris Young|
|14||Alejandro De Aza||28|
Just like center field, left field is top-heavy in elite talent but the talent pool is a little thinner. If you’re the guy who’s lucky enough to land Mike Trout, his value lies more in left than it does in center. There are 8 duplicate players here so you have a few decent flex players to anchor your bench with. Allen Craig is listed here as well, and while he makes a good option for first he could have even more value to you as a left fielder. There are also a few young players like Yelich, Arcia and Eaton that could outperform their rankings. You shouldn’t have to reach here, but you might not want to wait to long either if you want a dependable player.
Last but not least we have right field.
|01||Jay Bruce||20||* Brandon Moss|
|02||Jose Bautista||21||* Nick Swisher|
|03||Giancarlo Stanton||22||Darin Ruf|
|04||Justin Upton||23||Eric Young|
|05||Yasiel Puig||24||Will Venable|
|06||Alex Rios||25||Norichika Aoki|
|07||Hunter Pence||26||Nick Markakis|
|08||Shin-Soo Choo||27||Josh Riddick|
|09||* Allen Craig||28||Oscar Tavares|
|10||Jason Heyward||29||Andre Ethiere|
|11||Wil Myers||30||Daniel Nava|
|12||* Mark Trumbo||31||Oswaldo Arcia|
|13||Jayson Werth||32||Cole Calhoun|
|14||Carlos Beltran||33||Rajai Davis|
|15||Josh Hamilton||34||Drew Stubbs|
|16||Shane Victorino||35||Chris Young|
|17||* Michael Cuddyer||36||Michael Saunders|
|18||Nelson Cruz||37||Delmon Young|
You’ll find a lot of stability here, but you won’t find much star power. Upton gives you flexibility as does Choo once he qualifies for right field again. There are some lower ranked guys like Ruf, Young and Venable that would make good bench players for the same reason. Unlike the other positions, the talent level is deeper in right. You can rank them in any order but I’m sure most of us would be happy with most of the players ranked 1 – 18 so there is no need to jump on the position early.
So looking at all three fields, left field seems to be the thinnest as far as the player pool is concerned. There are some good option there but you don’t want to be the last person drafting at this position. There are some decent players to gamble on, but none of them come with a guarantee on what they will bring to the table.
Center field not only has more player choices but has more elite choices. Just like left field things get a little thin after the top 10 are off the board so you monitor the players closely. The same warning applies here from left field, there may be a few more names to choose from but there is no guarantee on what kind of numbers you’ll get from them.
Right field is the meat and potatoes spot so don’t jump and waste a high pick on one of the top guys. Guys like Puig, Bautista can give you power but so can Trumbo or Myers. Rios and Choo will give you a power speed combo but so could Victorino and to a lesser extent so could Werth. You may get a decreased batting average from some of the lower ranked players, but they could match (or come close) to the power of the guys near the top.
Now things could open up and change depending on your league rules for eligibility. Granderson is listed under centerfield, but he did play 13 game in left field and 14 games in right. Victorino primarily played right field but he did play 15 in center. Yahoo leagues only require 5 games started or 10 games played at a position to qualify and in those instances, the final choices for left and center field could improve but the overall message stays the same. Don’t wait too long for left and center field and leave right field as long as you can (unless the value is too good to pass up at your draft position). For a more indepth look at where to draft your outfielder, check out this piece from Kevins Jebens Draft Timing: When do you fill your OF slots?
Be sure to check out the entire Top 24 for 2014 Series.