The outfield position is absolutely loaded with talent. Here, you will find some of the game’s premier speed/power combinations and plenty of high upside sleepers who will be available late in drafts. Whether you prefer to stock up on elite options early or wait until the mid to late rounds, there are plenty of stats for the taking. In this list, you will find some chalk selections at the top along with some very polarizing players like Matt Kemp and Giancarlo Stanton a little further down.
In making our OF rankings, we each listed our top 60 players. Since there was some substantial variance toward the end of our lists, you will find 75 players ranked in this piece.
For more in-depth analysis, you might be interested in some of the following articles: Kevin Jebens takes a more in-depth look at a few young OFs who could make draft day bargains right here. Kevin also provides suggestions on when to fill your OF spots here. If you are waffling between taking Cargo and McCutchen in your draft, check out this analysis by Jim Finch.
Before we get into the ranks, however, we need to go over a couple of assumptions that we made in determining eligibility.
In order to be eligible, a player needs to meet 1 of the following criteria:
A) 10 appearances at the position in 2013
B) The expectation that the player will be used primarily at a given position in 2014 (example: Miguel Cabrera appears on our 1B list)
These rankings will focus on 2014, and are geared toward traditional 5 x 5 formats. Also, please be aware that there are three pages to this post. You can advance to the next page by clicking on the desired number at the bottom of this screen. Without further ado, here are the assembly’s rankings:
1. Mike Trout, LAA-
Jim: Move over Jordan, there’s a new Mike everyone wants to be like.
Paul: Most complete player on the planet. 30/30 is expected now from this 23-year-old. Insanity!
2. Andrew McCutchen, PIT-
Kevin: He’s a 5-category producer, he’s healthy, and he’s in his prime. Oh yeah, and the Pirates don’t suck anymore.
Peter: 3 straight 20/20 seasons.
3. Carlos Gonzalez, COL-
Peter: When healthy he puts up insane numbers across 5 categories.
Tommy: Cargo had the longest average fly ball distance in baseball last season to go along with 30 steal speed, a colossal K rate and immense injury risk. He has Trout-like upside.
4. Adam Jones, BAL-
Jeff: For whatever reason, the industry tends not to fawn over Jones’s skills as much as those of others. He’s been who we’ve hoped CarGo would be the last two seasons. Yes the BB% is worse than CarGo’s, but the K% is better.
Tommy: Jones is viewed as a safe pick, but beware, you may be paying for his ceiling in production. Low BB rate and high GB% indicates some risk of regression this season.
5. Ryan Braun, MIL-
Jeff: I like Steamer’s projection, but with another 15-20 games of production; thus, high 20’s HRs and high teens SBs with great production elsewhere.
Peter: Draft Day Deal if you get him outside of top 15 picks.
6. Bryce Harper, WAS-
Jim: His injury concerns are almost as high as his talent level. A healthy Harper can be an elite talent, but I wouldn’t pay the price.
Paul: 21-year-old increased his ISO, BB% while reducing his K% in 2013. Don’t get off the hype train now: you’re about to get paid back HUGE.
7. Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY-
Jeff: While I think the Yankees short porch usually gets overstated, I think it can be boon for someone with elite bat skills like Ellsbury. Even if the power stays constant, he can still earn this ranking
Tommy: The short porch in right could help his power numbers, but he has only hit more than 10 HRs once in his career. He needs to hit at least 12-15 to justify this ranking for me, especially considering the injury risk.
8. Yaisel Puig, LAD-
Jeff: I love the adjustments he made (increased BB%) in the second half of his shortened season. I think this ability on top of his ridiculous physical talents makes him a top 10 OF.
Kevin: I won’t rank him as a top-10 OF in redraft formats, because he needs to build up some track record for that; he wasn’t a sustained superman like Trout. The first round is too risky, but I might gamble in the back half of the second round.
9. Giancarlo Stanton- MIA
Paul: Insane power from this 24-year-old. Should approach 40 HR in a time when it just isn’t being done anymore.
Peter: So much raw power, but needs to improve contact rate
10. Jay Bruce, CIN-
Jeff: Slightly overrated because of his consistency and the variability of the other players with similar value.
Jim: He’s averaged 30 home runs, 100 RBIs, 87 runs and 8 SBs the past 3 years. The only down side is he’s a .257 hitter.
11. Carlos Gomez, MIL-
Jeff: I think the batting average ticks down, but the runs jump up because of increased at bats from Braun and Ramirez.
Kevin: He’s a good power and speed guy, sure. But I worry that his price will still be too high with that BABIP-inflated average from 2013. He’s not a first-round pick,so don’t get sucked into the post-breakout craze.
12. Jose Bautista, TOR-
Jim: I see 2013 as his floor so bid on that and hope for good health and better numbers.
Kevin: Wrist surgery always worries me, but a healthy Joey Bats means a solid fantasy producer.
13. Justin Upton, ATL-
Jeff: Zone contact rate dropped 830 basis points causing his K% to jump to 25%. I believe that is cause for concern.
Tommy: 2 month super slump impacted Upton’s final line in 2013. He still has upside, but his actual production has just been good, not great.
14. Alex Rios, TEX-
Jim: He’ll only hit around .280, but the thought of the rest of his numbers over a full year with Texas is intriguing.
Paul: I will never trust Rios!! I’ll also never reap the benefits of 15 HR 30 SB
15. Shin-Soo Choo, TEX-
Kevin: I like him at the top of any lineup, but Texas was an ideal spot for him to land. Expect more of the same.
Tommy: Choo is a safe bet for near 20/20 with a solid BA, but the move to Arlington could increase his SB potential and will increase the RBIs.
16. Hunter Pence, SF-
Kevin: He doesn’t get the respect he should. My biggest nitpick is his relatively low FB% and high GB%. Has speed when he chooses to run, but you can’t assume another 20+ when setting your price.
Tommy: Pence is as durable as they come. Given his consistent ability to hit 20+ HRs and his awesome success rate on the basepaths in 2013, (22/25) he is a great bet to produce in all 5 categories.
17. Matt Holliday, STL-
Kevin: He misses time here and there, but he’s such a professional hitter with solid BA, HR, and RBI that his redraft value is still high.
Paul: I always think he’s over 40 and every year he reminds me that that’s me! Still consistently producing solid numbers. 90/20/90/.290
18. Yoenis Cespedes, OAK-
Jim: You’re drafting him for home runs, runs and RBIs and hoping for the best in stolen bases and average.
Paul: Likely always an AVG drain, with his poor K rate. Cespedes still has awesome power and can chip in 25-30 HR with close to 10 SB.
19. Wil Myers, TB-
Paul: Some K issues, but he is a really good young power hitter. Should be good for 25 HR and even 7-10 SB
Tommy: The small sample size seems pretty consistent with Myers’ minor league numbers. His high BABIP does not seem to match his batted ball profile, but he had similar success on the farm. 25 HRs with healthy run production seems like a reasonable projection.
20. Matt Kemp, LAD-
Jim: I don’t expect more than 10 stolen bases or 26 home runs, but I see a BA close to .290 with 90 runs and RBIs.
Peter: Injury recovery makes me nervous.
21. Starling Marte, PIT-
Paul: It’s hard to steal 40 bases with a 4% BB rate. If his AVG drops to .260 with a lower BABIP it’ll be hard enough to steal 30. I like him to beat the odds though. 13 HR 35 SB with good runs.
Tommy: The high K rate, low BB% and high number of CS drives his value down. Marte puts up numbers, but not very efficiently. At some point, that could hurt him.
22. Jason Heyward, ATL-
Kevin: I just can’t get excited about him at this point. Random little injuries piling up in his history, he hits a lot of grounders, and some people still see him as a top-15 OF. If you buy at his ceiling prices, you’re going to take a hit in 2014.
Paul: Just 24 years old, Heyward has increased his BB%, cut his K rate, and could easily hit 25 HR with 15 SB.
23. Alex Gordon, KC-
Jim: He’s a poor man’s Shin-Soo Choo, steady numbers in every category but nothing to write home about.
Peter: 20 HR and 10 steals, only 14 OF did this in 2013.
24. Allan Craig, STL-
Jim: Better than average source of runs, RBIs and batting average with double-digit power.
Kevin: I would put him higher than #25 if I expected 550 AB from him. As it is, the power slipped and he can’t stay on the field.
25. Carlos Beltran, NYY-
Jeff: No spring chicken (not even a spring human), but he has played in at least 142 games each of the last 3 seasons. I believe the DH slot helps him continue that streak. He is also very good at hitting.
Tommy: Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch looks like a great fit with Beltran’s skills. If he can stay healthy, he is a great bet to hit 25+ HRs with a high average.