Similar to shortstop, outfield is where you will see tons of high upside toolsy players. A lot of prospects will be drafted or signed by major league teams that have raw power and speed; then you will hear that if they could just learn to make more consistent contact they could be 25/25 type players.
So often these types don’t work out. Hitting a baseball is hard. Raw ability gives players upside, but it still comes down, obviously, to how much the player can put the ball in play. The safety in someone like Mickey Moniak who already has a great hit tool but is just projection for everything else versus the speedy and powerful Michael Gettys that we still aren’t sure can hit enough to be on a major league roster.
There are probably another 20-30 outfielders I could list that would be worth owning in deep leagues that are completely under the radar. Because of that, there will be a second post for outfielders next week that just includes underrated players, just so some players don’t go unnoticed.
If you have any questions on any players feel free to ask about them in the comment section below or on Twitter Follow @TheSportsGuy40
Note: Just because a player isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean I like or dislike them; I just feel like their current value falls in line with what it should be, or the guys I chose were more underrated or overrated than the ones I left off.
If you are looking for the top-30 prospect outfielder rankings click here. We will continue to have prospect rankings on Friday’s and my values the following week.
Kyle Lewis: Heading into the draft, Lewis might have been my favorite hitter, and possibly favorite player. What has him at the back-end of my top-40 outfielders would be some of the uncertainty because of his knee injury. You might see him ranked around number 40 on other lists, but as an overall ranking.
Lewis got just 135 plate appearances before tearing his ACL, MCL and LCL in a collision at the plate. He was forced to miss the rest of the season, and I would be pretty surprised if he does much before July this year – and that might be early.
Lewis was a college draftee that was supposed to be fairly close to the majors, possibly making an appearance, in 2017 before suffering the injury. Between the seriousness of the injury and the expected developmental time, his ETA has been bumped back to probably July of 2018. The extra year hurt his value to me. No only that, but he still has to show he can handle minor league pitching while recovering from the injury.
The questions I keep asking are:
- Will the injury sap some of his power and
- Will his average steals potential turn into a borderline non-existent steals potential.
I still like Lewis a lot. He will continually move up my lists as he gets closer and closer to a return.
Mickey Moniak: The number one pick in the draft might not even have been in my top-five hitters from the draft.
Moniak is one of those safe hit tool guys that scouts hope to develop more power as they move through the system. The hit tool is going to be plus by just about everyone who has scouted him, and there is a potential .300 average in his future. The problem is, everything else you want is all projection.
We might never see Moniak hit 20 homers, I would expect 10-12, and we may never see him steal 30 bases; look for 18-22.
The numbers that Moniak will be able to help out with are the batting average and runs, assuming he is in a good enough lineup.
He is just 18, and the Phillies aren’t anywhere near contending yet so the road for owning Moniak will be a long one – probably at least 3-4 years. Points leagues might be his best format because I think he will be able to hit a lot of singles and doubles that aren’t a huge help in roto or categories formats.
Ronald Acuna: The big name from the 2016 out of (pretty much) no where guys. It depends on where you look on Acuna on if I really think he is overrated or underrated. For the most part I think he is overrated. I have seen him in the top-40 in a handful of places or completely unranked, like MLB.com. Acuna hit .312/.392/.492 last year as an 18-year-old and .269/.380/.438 as a 17-year-old in 2015.
He did miss a lot of time last year with an injury so the counting numbers were expectedly low. In his 97 career games he has eight homers and 30 steals. The potential five category production is what really has everyone interested. I like to have a little caution, as I did with Robles last year, with guys who have a good season, in his case half season, before even making AA. It would have to take a lot to convince to move someone like Acuna to my top-50. I think there is a lot of potential here and he will easily make my top-100.
With guys with so much youth and so little track record I have a hard time going all out ranking him. It might make me miss out on the Victor Robles of the world, but it might also have me miss out on the countless 18 year olds that show flashes in rookie and A-ball that flame out and never make the majors.
Michael Gettys: Just listing him here again in case you didn’t read the rankings. For the sake of getting more guys in here, you can read about Gettys here.
Raimel Tapia: In a cup of coffee in the majors last year Tapia hit .263 with no homers, but I am not all that worried by the small sample. Tapia has hit for a great average every year since 2012, including a .357 average in his first year in the US and a .328 average across AA and AAA last year before his MLB stint.
The downside for Tapia is there isn’t much power. It looks like he would be about a 10-15 homer type player with upside for 25 steals, and most years ending up hitting around a .290-.300 average.
The good news is he gets to play his home games in Coors Field. That should add a few homers to the total making him a 15-18 homer player with even a few more ticks on the batting average.
Tapia has a lot of potential in every format. In roto he can fill out decently in all the categories, and in points league there will be plenty of extra base hits and runs scored.
Derek Fisher: Fisher’s power and speed stayed in line with his breakout 2015, but for the second straight year he saw his average fall at least 20 points. While the batting average dip does concern me, he looks like a real 20/20 contender compared to a lot of the other guys that might be able to do it. Most years he probably wont reach 20 steals, but 15 plays well too.
And while I noted his average took a dip again, his on base percentage has gone .386 (in just 42 games)/.364/.367.
His walk and strikeout rates both went up, and it might have to do with becoming a more patient hitter. I don’t think the .255 he hit last year will be a norm for his future. I think he can stay above .255 most years, but I wouldn’t ever be expecting .280.
If you have any questions or players at a position I haven’t gotten to yet also leave them in the comment section below and I can do some digging and maybe they will be included when I get to that position.