We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2017 rankings. In addition to the rankings we will pose a number of questions to our panel covering topics such as reaches and targets, players to avoid and late round impact players.
Taking part in our rankings will be Kevin Jebens, Jim Finch, Ron Vackar, Josh Coleman, Andy Singleton, Mike Sheehan and Neil Kenworthy. Our seven “experts” each ranked their top-75 outfielders for the 2017 season. Players marked N/R were not ranked inside the top 75 by that particular person.
If you feel we overlooked someone or would like to debate a player’s ranking, feel free to do so in the comment section below.
|2||Mookie Betts||Red Sox||2||2||2||2||2||2||2|
|22||Jose Bautista||Blue Jays||21||23||28||23||31||18||27|
Who is your top outfield target if you don’t
take Trout, Betts or Harper in round one?
Jim: George Springer and Giancarlo Stanton are being taken (on average) in round three – that’s terrific value if they fall here. More than likely I’ll target Ryan Braun and Nelson Cruz who may slip due to their age – everyone loves the new and shiny toys.
Kevin: Charlie Blackmon is already putting up elite numbers, but he doesn’t seem to bring the hype that other top-5 OF get. Also, Nelson Cruz gets ignored because of his age, but in redraft leagues there’s no reason to discount him.
Ron: JD Martinez doesn’t get the same respect as other power hitters, but he hits the ball just as hard, has a tolerable K%, and will cost less on draft day, allowing you to lock him up as a legit number one outfielder while filling other positions with your first four or five picks.
Andy: Trea Turner has all the upside of what Mookie Betts has become, and as Betts used to offer, gives you positional versatility. I’ve dubbed him ‘The Philanthropist’, and you can learn the background for that in our coverage of him on The Baseball Show.
Josh: In a deeper format I feel Charlie Blackmon is worthy of a 1st Round pick. At 31 I don’t see another 40 SB season, but a clean bill of heath could get him into the mid 20’s. 82% contact rate atop of an excellent lineup all but guarantees 100+ Runs. Coors Field effect plus solid road splits make .310/23/110/70/25 a reasonable expectation.
Mike: I’ll been waiting on AJ Pollock and/or JD Martinez as my first outfielder or pair of outfielders. Love the value they’re coming at in mocks so far, though that may change as we get closer to draft day.
Neil: Despite missing 40+ games with an elbow injury last year, J.D. Martinez still managed to hit .307 with 22 HR and 68 RBI. Add to that his average season the last three years has him hitting .299 with 28 HR and 82 RBI which makes his NFBC ADP of 51 sound like a bargain.
|28||Jackie Bradley Jr.||Red Sox||28||32||32||45||24||32||22|
|29||Andrew Benintendi||Red Sox||30||27||33||35||35||28||31|
|Page 2: Players 51 to 75 – plus honorable mentions|
Which outfielder(s) do you plan on avoiding in the draft?
Jim: I’m not touching Christian Yelich. Despite a .185 ISO and 38% hard hit rate, I don’t see another 21 home runs with a 20% fly ball rate and 5.6% infield fly ball rate. Stolen base total & success rate dropped, and contact percentage fell for the second straight year.
Kevin: I’ve been saying it for two years: Giancarlo Stanton. The elite HR potential doesn’t offset his injury risk and low AB totals. You can’t pay a top-10 OF price for someone who has proven he can’t stay on the field.
Ron: Yoenis Cespedes is my top avoid as I see little difference between him and guys like Kemp, Upton, and Bautista going 25 to 45 picks later in early drafts. Count me out on Billy Hamilton too. Single category wonders are not appealing to me until I get to the Rajai Davis/Jarrod Dyson price range. Finally, I don’t think Adam Duvall comes close to 33/100. He hit 4 or fewer home runs in 4 of 6 months, and his K% will tank your batting average and could lead to a lower spot in the lineup or a platoon.
Andy: I would gladly take Ryan Braun if I woke up and he was on my roster. But for that to happen, I’d likely also have a bad headache, an achy stomach, an empty wallet, and be in some cheap motel in Milwaukee. He’s going as a Top 10 Outfielder (right on the verge at least), but that’s a risk I’m not willing to bet a 33-year-old with a bad back can handle.
Josh: I like what Starling Marte offers, but I’m just not willing to pay the price. Big ground ball lean suppresses HR totals and a .380 BABIP could have been the biggest reason for the .300+ AVG. Marte doesn’t walk or hit enough to suggest he clears 90+ Runs or RBIs. A .290/15/85/75/35 slashline doesn’t do it for me with an ADP of 23.
Mike: No shot I’m getting Kyle Schwarber. I get the appeal at catcher (on Yahoo), but why reach for him with the injury risk and the fact that he’s a defensive liability on a stacked team? The Cubs will bench him if he doesn’t produce; just ask Jorge Soler.
Neil: A healthy Kyle Schwarber is something all baseball fans should be excited about, but I’m taking the cautious approach. He will he not be catcher eligible in 2017 (other than Yahoo), and the Cubs’ lineup flexibility presents plenty of scenarios for Javier Baez to get some time in left field making Schwarber seems like a risk to provide top-25 OF numbers which is where he is currently being drafted.
PAGE 2: Players 51 to 75 – plus honorable mentions