Mar 13, 2015; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts (50) doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The number before each outfielder’s name represents their overall rank in the 2015 Fantasy Baseball Rankings.
Due to the fact that I ranked 75 outfielders versus 25 players at each infield position, I will be lumping the OF’s into groups of 15 and the breakdowns will generally be more concise. Please feel to comment if you want me to expound more on a certain player.
31. #99 J.D. Martinez Detroit Tigers
After being one of 2014’s breakthrough players, J.D. Martinez is highlighted as a regression candidate. Yes, I admit that he will probably not repeat his .315 batting average or .389 BABIP, but the power is for real. Martinez changed his swing from his Houston days. I am hoping for an .800+ OPS and 25 homers in a stacked Detroit lineup.
32. #100 Billy Hamilton Cincinnati Reds
You must think I have forgotten to rank Billy Hamilton or that I am projecting 100 steals, but I am just off the train. I would much rather have Dee Gordon who plays a thinner position and is just as fast. In the second half, Billy Hamilton was just absolutely brutal. He was the worst hitter on one of baseball’s least effective offenses in 2014 that included Zack Cozart. Go get a cheaper SB option.
33. #107 Yasmany Tomas Arizona Diamondbacks
I propped Tomas up pretty high on my rankings, but I have listened to some not very encouraging news about him on the RotoGraphs podcast (great for your commute). Eno Sarris thinks that he could be Dayan Viciedo 2.0 and the most positive player comparison I have heard so far is Mark Trumbo. While I would be happy with Trumbo-like results, I am tempering my expectations.
34. #109 Brett Gardner New York Yankees
If I was writing for Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks last year, then I would have been hyping Brett Gardner quite a bit. I fully believe in a power spike, but I think he is more of a 12 homer guy rather than the 17 he had in 2014. His floor is 80 runs, 10 homers, and 20 steals, but he could also score 100 runs , hit 15 HR’s, and steal 30+ bases.
35. #110 Wil Myers San Diego Padres
Like Yasmany Tomas, Eno Sarris was not wildly positive of Wil Myers either because he apparently has not been very receptive to listen to coaching. I certainly ranked Wil Myers too high if he is not going to make the necessary adjustments to build off his 2013 rookie campaign. When you think about it, why would Tampa trade away a young bat with five years of control?
36. #119 Marcell Ozuna Miami Marlins
Ozuna is the oft-forgotten piece of the Marlins’ excellent outfield, but he could be a better fantasy pick than Christian Yelich. Marcell Ozuna is good for 20 to 25 homers even if it comes at a slightly lower average than Yelich. I would have no problem grabbing the 24 year-old CF who could very easily go 80/25/90/5/.270.
37. #120 Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox
My biggest concern with Mookie Betts is definitely playing time. The Red Sox have about 93 outfielders on their roster, so I am fearing platoons and pinch-hitters galore. The fantasy community certainly wants Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo in the outfield, but the overcrowded outfield is going to have me stay away even if Betts is a stud.
38. #121 Oswaldo Arcia Minnesota Twins
The one thing I look for in fantasy players is power because HR’s give you a run and at least one RBI as well. A homer is easily the best play in fantasy baseball, so I am investing in a 20 homer bat who is not even 24 yet. I think Arcia will be very similar to Marcell Ozuna’s fantasy output, but I would assume he comes at a cheaper price.
39. #133 Ryan Zimmerman Washington Nationals (also 3B eligible)
I wrote about Ryan Zimmerman in the article called Fantasy Third Base 10-17.
40. #134 Melky Cabrera Chicago White Sox
The Melkman falls into the Alex Gordon type of fantasy players in that they contribute across the board without superstar numbers. However, Cabrera is also a good bet for a .300 average and 15+ homers would not shock me as well. Melky Cabrera is hardly ever the pick that disappoints opponents when you grab him, but you should be happy to slot him into your outfield.
41. #135 Charlie Blackmon Colorado Rockies
I think I fell into the trap of hating on Charlie Blackmon because his production seriously declined over the course of the season. However, that was just a lazy assumption on my part. Projection systems give him about 75 runs, 15 homers, 65 RBI’s, 20 steals, and a .275/.325/.425 slash line. That is worth more than the 135th pick. I should have ranked him accordingly.
42. #143 A.J. Pollock Arizona Diamondbacks
Pollock may be a victim of the hype train going too far because he is often being drafted around some proven options. I do not like the fact that he more or less only has a 75 game sample size of a strong profile, but you are paying for the upside. The ideal scenario is 15 homers and 25 steals, but I would be content with 10 and 20.
43. #148 Shin-Soo Choo Texas Rangers
Choo was all aboard the Texas injury train in 2014 in his first year as a Ranger, but there is certainly the possibility of a strong rebound campaign. In Choo’s contract year with the Reds, he had the fourth best OBP in all of baseball. He is not far removed from elite numbers or from being a premier outfielder.
44. #153 Alex Rios Kansas City Royals
Like Choo, Rios is another veteran who does not have that new car smell or fanfare of a young player with promise, but the numbers do not lie. Prior to last season on the walking wounded Texas Rangers, Rios had played in 145+ games from 2007 to 2013. Alex Rios has stolen 23+ bases in five of the last seven years including a career-best 42 steals in 2013. I would be surprised if Rios does not return to his previous levels of being a respectable five category contributor.
45. #156 Gregory Polanco Pittsburgh Pirates
Out of all of the young studs, Polanco could be the best value because he “flopped” in 2014, so all the prospects hounds are now drooling over Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, and Carlos Rodon. Last year, Polanco got valuable experience with 312 MLB plate appearances, and I believe that his 2015 ceiling could be as high as Starling Marte’s level of production.