Fantasy Baseball Preview: Outfielders

Adam Beard

Last time, I previewed shortstops. Now, let’s head to the outfield to round out our hitter previews.

Which outfielder should go off the board first?

Mike Trout (LAA) – There is no question that Trout is the number one outfielder in fantasy baseball. Trout is in a tier of his own, as he batted .323 with 27 home runs, 97 runs batted in and 33 stolen bases last year. The 22-year-old is going to do it big again this year, and you should have no fear in going all in on Trout.

Who is making a comeback from a disappointing 2013 season?

Josh Hamilton (LAA) – Texas Rangers fans rejoiced last season, as Angels fans and fantasy owners of Hamilton were frustrated by his production. The former American League MVP had 21 home runs, just 79 runs batted in and hit a career-low .250 after getting a fat contract from the Angels. I expect Hamilton to come back strong this season and prove the naysayers wrong.

Don’t sleep on this guy

Curtis Granderson (NYM) – Granderson only played in 61 games last year for the New York Yankees and was rather disappointing. However, he is getting a fresh start with the New York Mets. He is being ranked in the late 30’s and early 40’s, which I believe is way too low for Granderson. The guy hit 43 home runs in 2012 and 41 home runs in 2011. With exceptional power and potential to steal some bases while knocking in a lot of runs, I think he’ll have a good year. He isn’t hitting in the greatest lineup or the friendliest ballpark, but he is healthy and excited to be a member of the Mets.

Bound to bust

Ryan Braun (MIL) – After a stint on the disabled list and a season-endingsuspension for violating baseball’s drug policy and lying to the public, Braun is being ranked as high as 4 or 5 on most 2014 pre-draft outfielder rankings. It is tough togauge how Braun will perform this season, knowing that he was using performanceenhancing drugs en route to his past success. Now that he is clean, or at least claims to be, I’ll side with Braun being a bust.

My Pre-Season Rankings: Outfielders

  1. Mike Trout (LAA)
  2. Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
  3. Carlos Gonzalez (COL)
  4. Bryce Harper (WAS)
  5. Adam Jones (BAL)
  6. Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)
  7. Yasiel Puig (LAD)
  8. Carlos Gomez (MIL)
  9. Justin Upton (ATL)
  10. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
  11. Jose Bautista (TOR)
  12. Shin-Soo Choo (TEX)
  13. Josh Hamilton (LAA)
  14. Ryan Braun (MIL)
  15. Yoenis Cespedes (OAK)
  16. Curtis Granderson (NYM)
  17. Jay Bruce (CIN)
  18. Alex Rios (TEX)
  19. Matt Kemp (LAD)
  20. Starling Marte (PIT)
  21. Matt Holliday (STL)
  22. Allen Craig (STL)
  23. Wil Myers (TB)
  24. Hunter Pence (SF)
  25. Mark Trumbo (ARI)

I’ll leave you with this…

As always, the outfield is strong. The top ten outfielders will probably be taken within the first three rounds of all fantasy drafts, and outfielders tend to go quickly since you need three of them in most standard leagues. It also doesn’t hurt to have extra on the bench and for your utility spot. Considering the position is so deep, you are kind of on your own as to how you want to approach it.

Each week, Adam will give his two cents about the players at each position, naming a clear-cut number one, a comeback player, a sleeper/breakout, a bust, his full rankings and a little advice as to what to do in your draft and throughout the season.