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2016 Outfield Prospects and Dynasty Rankings - AL Central Edition

Our division-by-division run down of outfield prospects continues. We've already hit the NL East  and AL East (also catchersfirst base, second base, shortstop, and third base). Let's move inland to the AL Central. I've tabbed 29 players to roster or track. If you're looking to load up on future talent, this is a good place to start.

Beyond the top prospects, this division has several underhyped, mid-20s guys who have the potential to offer fantasy value. It's true that the best dynasty prospects are young - you want a decade of production when you spike a Mike Trout. However, Lucas Duda types can also have sneaky value.

To see more of the same, be sure to also check out our awesome fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. We have tiered rankings and analysis across all positions, more of my MLB prospect rankings, dynasty/keeper league rankings and more.

The statistics reported are for the listed level only.

 

AL East Outfield Dynasty Rankings

1. Byron Buxton (OF, MIN, MLB)
Stats: 138 PA, .209/.250/.326, 2 HR, 2 SB, 31.9% K rate, 4.3% BB rate
Age 22

Arguably the top prospect in baseball, Buxton had a rocky major league debut last season. He performed well in the minors prior to his call up. I wouldn't describe his .283/.351/.489 line in Double-A as face melting. It's a good line, but it doesn't scream major league ready. Scouts insist he'll develop more game power, and he already looks to have a 12 home run floor. He's also an easy bet for 20 stolen bases.

Keep an eye on his strikeout rates. His plate discipline is merely decent, and he swung at a lot of bad pitches out of the strike zone in the majors. Hopefully that's just a sign of nerves. With Miguel Sano moving to the outfield and Eddie Rosario, Orlando Arcia, and Max Kepler also hanging around the roster, Buxton isn't guaranteed to open the season in the majors. Twins management has said as much.

Now is a good time to buy low on Buxton. If he's still on a contender's roster, they should be willing to cash him in for a good mid-tier talent like Kyle Seager (depending on your league depth). There was a time when Buxton was frequently compared to Trout. If that's what you're expecting from him, you're asking for too much. I'm seeing more in common with George Springer - less power, a little more speed, and a more consistent average.

 

2. Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE, AA)
Stats: 214 PA, .219/.313/.374 6 HR, 12 SB, 25.2% K rate, 8.4% BB rate
Age 23

Already, we've reached the "can miss" portion of the list. Zimmer is an impressive fantasy prospect. He has a 25 home run ceiling and swiped 44 bases across two levels last season. Look for around 20 to 25 steals in the majors. So what's the problem?

Strikeouts are an issue for the 2014 first round pick (21st overall). His physical talent and athleticism are unquestioned. However, because he isn't a threat to win home run crowns, he's leaving something on the table with a 25 percent strikeout rate.

Zimmer has just two seasons of professional experience - really one and a half. There's plenty of time for him to have an aha! moment. If everything clicks together, he has a Top 50 player ceiling. More likely, he'll develop into a solid core asset with a few flaws.

 

3. Max Kepler (OF, MIN, AA)
Stats: 482 PA, .322/.416/.531 9 HR, 18 SB, 13.1% K rate, 13.9% BB rate
Age 23

In terms of actual performance, Kepler's Double-A campaign was the best among the AL Central prospects. He walked more than he struck out while also showing some power and base running ability. Scouts never really looked at him as a base thief so don't get too caught up in the stolen base total.

Kepler entered 2015 as a top German prospect. Note the ancestral identifier - top German prospects are very different from top prospects. His breakout season has him nipping the true top prospect lists, but he's not a consensus favorite.

There's a certain lack of ceiling for fantasy purposes that takes away from the attraction. He's maybe a 10 home run, 10 stolen base threat now with the potential to grow into more power. His hit tool offers the most upside with possible plus average and OBP. That combination could lead to a top-of-the-order role which guarantees fantasy utility. The downside is a fourth outfielder.

 

4. Clint Frazier (OF, CLE, A+)
Stats: 588 PA, .285/.377/.465 16 HR, 15 SB, 21.3% K rate, 11.6% BB rate
Age 21

Frazier, a former fifth overall pick, could easily be ranked ahead of Zimmer or Kepler. His speed has drawn slightly better grades than Zimmer, although that doesn't show in stolen base totals. Frazier's power is a little more predictable too.

Like his future teammate, Frazier also has serious strikeout issues. He made encouraging strides in that regard this season, cutting down from a 30 percent strikeout rate in High-A. He should be headed to Double-A this year. His ability to maintain a roughly 20 percent strikeout rate will decide if he's a top fantasy prospect or just another guy with upside. He doesn't have enough power or speed to get by with Springer's contact rates. His pedigree as a former top pick ensures he'll continue to receive chances.

 

5. Adam Engel (OF, CWS, A+)
Stats: 608 PA, .251/.335/.369, 7 HR, 65 SB, 21.7% K rate, 10.2% BB rate
Age 24

There is plenty wrong with Engel as a prospect, in particular he has very little power and suspect contact skills. Those problems are offset by improving plate discipline and 70 grade speed. The overall profile reminds me of Billy Burns, and he's sneaky valuable in a dynasty setting.

Engel is far from a finished product who figures to be better in the real world than fantasy. He looks like an above average defensive center fielder which should make it easier for him to reach the majors. As a fantasy owner, you may need to wait through some growing pains at the plate before he's a consistent positive asset. Until, use him only for his stolen bases.

He's been old for his levels. Expect him to open the season in Double-A after a fantastic stint in the AFL (216 wRC+). He could reach the majors by the end of the season. There's also a chance he never quite makes it.

 

6. Wynton Bernard (OF, DET, AA)
Stats: 587 PA, .301/.352/408 4 HR, 43 SB, 12.4% K rate, 6.5% BB rate
Age 25

Like Engel, you really don't see many people talking about Bernard. Most of that relates to his age and level, but we can afford to look past that as fantasy players. He had trouble staying on the field in 2012 and 2013. Since joining the Tigers, he's run wild while showing off above average contact ability.

I honestly don't know if the contact skills will translate to the majors, but the statistical profiles massively exceeds the amount of prospect hype he receives. He's not a no-power burner either, he can lay into fastballs if he's challenged. Kiley McDaniel's scouting report mentioned a Rajai Davis comp, and I can totally see it.

 

 

Other Prospect Names To Watch

Christin Stewart (OF, DET, A)

Stewart was the 34th overall pick in the 2015 draft. He popped 10 home runs in about 300 plate appearances across three levels. Look for him to start out in High-A this year. Scouts are hopeful he has 20 home run power, and he could move quickly. His ability to hit for average is a matter of debate. If I had to bet on any player in this section moving onto a Top 100 list, it's him (hence why he's listed first).

Derek Hill (OF, DET, A)

Hill is a burner with borderline 80-grade speed. He also seemingly makes enough contact to use his wheels. The former 23rd overall pick should receive a full season assignment in his age 20 campaign. We're looking to see 60 or more steals. He profiles as a poor man's Billy Hamilton. Hill may be a better prospect than Engel or Bernard. He certainly has the better pedigree (I try to look past that).

Mike Papi (OF, CLE, A+)

The 38th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Papi is described as an advanced bat with a 15 to 20 home run ceiling and a feel for hitting. His .362 OBP in High-A was encouraging, but the floor falls well short of a major league roster.

Bubba Starling (OF, KAN, AA)

When Starling was picked fifth overall in the 2012 draft, he was viewed as a mutant athlete with suspect baseball skills. Those skills are finally starting to come around, but his power and speed no longer grade as stand out tools. He still strikes out in a quarter of his plate appearances. Ignoring the pedigree, I see a fourth outfielder. He's young enough to break out.

Leury Garcia (OF, CWS, AAA)

I name dropped Garcia in the shortstops article. He's ready for a major league utility role. His speedy upside is offset by high whiff rates in the majors. He's done better with those in the minors.

Steven Moya (OF, DET, AAA)

Moya blasted 35 home runs in 2014 and another 20 bombs in 2015. He also struck out at a 30% rate in both seasons. A lefty hitter, he could be a powerful platoon bat in the near future. The contact issues will make it hard for him to stick in the majors.

Courtney Hawkins (OF, CWS, AA)

Hawkins has flashed 20 home run power and 10 stolen base speed - the combination would be valuable to to fantasy owners. Massive contact issues hold back the overall profile. He's been young for his levels so don't give up on him quite yet.

Dorssys Paulino (OF, CLE, A+)

Paulino was a big bonus international signing back in 2011. He's moved slowly through the system but could be poised for a breakout. Upon finally reaching High-A as a 20-year-old, Paulino posted the best power and plate discipline numbers of his career.

Reymond Fuentes (OF, KAN, AAA)

Fuentes appeared briefly for the Padres in 2013. Now entering his age 25 season, he has 10 home run power and 20 to 30 stolen base speed. He figures to be a league average hitter whose speed makes him better for fantasy purposes. He's on the 40-man roster, but he isn't in line for an opportunity.

Mike Gerber (OF, DET, A)

You don't hear much about Gerber from prospect mavens, but he has the raw tools of a fantasy asset. He wasn't a highly touted prospect in the draft due to a poor plate approach. That critique doesn't quite hold water based on his first two seasons of experience. He's on the old side of age appropriate for his levels, meaning he needs to continue to prove it against better competition.

Jorge Bonifacio (OF, KAN, AA)

In his third attempt at Double-A, Bonifacio finally brought the whammy stick (17 home runs). There was once hope he could be an above average corner outfielder, but he's running out of time for his big breakout. He's quickly trending towards Quad-A territory.

Jason Coats (OF, CWS, AAA)

The scouting reports on Coats don't exactly scream dynasty asset. However, he's described as the type of player who can get the most from his raw tools. His best tool is power, and it's barely above average. He still manages to steal bases despite below average speed. I'd feel better about him if he was a utility prospect. Alas, he has no infield experience.

Adam Brett Walker II (OF, MIN, AA)

Big power, big strikeouts, some speed. That's the summary of Walker's tools. He popped 31 home runs in Double-A last year but also carried a 34.8 percent strikeout rate. Despite the homer totals, he doesn't have Chris Carter quality power.

Tyler Naquin (OF, CLE, AAA)

Naquin has some speed, a little pop, and the potential to post a solid average. Players like Naquin occasionally go on to become useful major league regulars. Usually, they do not.

James Ramsey (OF, CLE, AAA)

Once a top Cardinals prospect, the luster has worn off Ramsey. Entering his age 26 season, he's shown 10 to 15 home run power and little else. A fantasy relevant major league future isn't entirely out of the question. It is, however, mostly out of the question.

Lane Adams (OF, KAN(NYY), AAA)

Adams is no longer with the Royals, but let's just talk about him here. The Yankees recently DFA'd him, and it seems likely somebody will claim him. Last season, he hit 16 home runs, stole 31 bases, and posted decent plate discipline numbers split between two levels. He had a lowly .239 BABIP in Triple-A which could be a sign he was overmatched. If he lands on the right roster, he's a stealthy candidate for a fifth outfield job.

Micker Adolfo (OF, CWS, R)

Adolfo was a big international signing back in 2013. He's been overmatched in his first two exposures to professional play, but scouts still love his raw tools. Look for him to play more this season.

Travis Harrison (OF, MIN, AA)

Harrison's stand out skill is walks. He has some power and contact ability, but neither of those are a carrying skill. If he becomes a major leaguer, it's because he consistently reaches base at a high clip. The problem with this profile is that he still needs enough power to scare major league pitchers. I'm not sure he has it, leaving him with a Quad-A ceiling.

Carlos Moncrief (OF, CLE, AAA)

A former pitcher who converted to hitting after a couple seasons, Moncrief has the raw tools of a regular, but he strikes out too much. He's entering his age 27 season, but the late transition to hitting is cause for patience.

Jose Martinez (OF, KAN, AAA)

Martinez really isn't a prospect. The 27-year-old did hit .384/.461/.563 (.434 BABIP) in half a season at Triple-A. He also hit 10 home runs and stole eight bases. I don't have a scouting report so who's to say if the bat can play in the majors. It's certainly murdering the Triple-A crowd. Like several of the real Royals prospects, I don't see how he'll get an opportunity to play. At least he's on the 40-man roster.

Brett Eibner (OF, KAN, AAA)

Eibner wasn't as good as Martinez, but he did hit 19 home runs with 10 stolen bases and a .303/.364/.514 slash in 431 plate appearances. It wasn't BABIP-fueled either. He's also on the Royals 40-man roster. He cut a third of his strikeouts last season.

Daniel Fields (OF, CWS, AAA)

Fields looks like a fifth outfielder who you might consider streaming in the odd matchup. He's a lefty hitter with decent speed. It's possible he could produce some value as the strong side of a platoon. Unlikely but possible.

Luigi Rodriguez (OF, CLE, A+)

Rodriguez is currently serving an 80 game suspension for PEDs. Cynics in the crowd will note his 12 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 399 plate appearances coincided with his drug use. If he can maintain the power and speed without the PEDs, he could be a future major leaguer with fantasy relevant skills. He was old for his level last season.

Jason Krizan (OF, DET, AAA)

Krizan is entering his age 27 season, was solid in Double-A, and terrible in Triple-A. The only reasons I mention him are 10/10 upside with the potential for more walks than strikeouts. The bat isn't special.

Bryson Myles (OF, CLE, AA)

Myles isn't a touted prospect, but he tripped a stat search. In 433 Double-A plate appearances, he had nine home runs and 25 stolen bases. He walked over 10% and struck out under 20%. Those are the stats of a guy who could come out of nowhere to be somebody. It just doesn't happen often for a 26-year-old.

 

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Joey and Dave reveal their must-have running backs for 2022 fantasy football drafts - players who are potential league-winners. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210,... Read More


Tyler Allgeier - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

Must Have Running Backs for Later Rounds: Fantasy Football Breakouts Tyler Allgeier, Ty Davis-Price, Kenyan Drake

There's no "best" way to win in fantasy football, but there are some good ways, and one of those good ways is to draft good players in the late rounds. Sounds easy, right? Not really! How many times have you spent a 14th-round pick on a player and then dropped him after Week 2 because... Read More


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Running Backs Targets for Zero-RB Drafts

There are so many different fantasy football draft strategies nowadays, but no other strategy comes with as much scrutiny and judgment as the zero-running back strategy. For the longest time, the running back position was widely accepted as the most important position in fantasy football. For some, that’s still very much the case. However, with... Read More


2022 Fantasy Football Sleeper: D.J. Chark

Urban Meyer may have turned Tim Tebow into one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of college football, but he did nobody any fantasy football favors when he “coached” the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. DJ Chark looked like he was going to be Jacksonville’s No. 1 receiver for several seasons after he posted a... Read More


Desmond Ridder fantasy football rankings sleepers NFL draft quarterback

Is Desmond Ridder Going to Start for the Falcons?

The Atlanta Falcons selected former Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder with the 74th pick in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Atlanta chose him over Malik Willis and Matt Corral as the second quarterback off the board behind Kenny Pickett. We can assume the Falcons' front office believes Ridder has real upside, but it’s... Read More


Fantasy Football Busts: Ep. 95 of The Operating Room

Kev Mahserejian (@RotoSurgeon) is joined by high-stakes fantasy player Sammy Reid (@SammyReidFI) to discuss fantasy football busts in 2022. Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel SiriusXM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, Saturdays from 3-5 PM, and Sundays from 3-5 PM. You can also find new weekly shows on YouTube, Spreaker, Spotify, iTunes, and on the... Read More


Is Jameis Winston Healthy? Is He The Saints Starting QB?

Jameis Winston entered last season as the heir to Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees. Winston was on track for a nice season, until suffering a torn ACL (knee) in Week 7. The Saints were forced to patchwork together starters, utilizing Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian, and even rookie Ian Book in Week 15. This experiment was very... Read More


Will Davante Adams Be The Fantasy WR1?

In a blockbuster deal in the offseason, the Green Bay Packers traded star wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders for a first and second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 29-year-old finished as fantasy's WR2 in PPR formats in 2021. He caught 123-of-169 targets for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns over... Read More


Elijah Mitchell - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Running Back Rankings for Fantasy Football PPR Drafts: Isiah Pacheco, Dameon Pierce, Kareem Hunt, J.K. Dobbins, Josh Jacobs

Welcome back RotoBallers to our fantasy football draft rankings series! The NFL season is creeping up on us, and we're back with our updated 2022 fantasy football running back rankings for PPR leagues. Our running back fantasy football rankings are put together by Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Scott Engel and Brandon Murchison. Below you will also see... Read More


Fantasy Football Injury Report for NFL WRs: Preseason Updates on Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tim Patrick, Michael Gallup, James Washington

Below you will find our latest fantasy football injuries report for wide receivers throughout the first week of August. The injury statuses for various NFL receivers are up in the air during training camp, including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tim Patrick, Michael Gallup, and James Washington. With draft season soon approaching, these are some key... Read More


james cook fantasy football rookies rankings running backs draft sleepers NFL draft

Is James Cook the Starting RB for the Bills? Where To Draft Cook for Fantasy Football

Buffalo Bills running back James Cook was drafted 63rd overall in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft. He was the third running back off the board behind Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker III. This is significant draft capital for a position in which we so frequently see later-round success. Especially for a player... Read More


Velus Jones Jr. fantasy football rankings NFL rookies draft sleepers wide receivers

How Every NFL Rookie Wide Receiver Impacts Their Offense for Fantasy Football (Round 3)

Each year, we see a handful of incoming rookie WRs finish as a WR2 or better in fantasy football. While the best rookies are typically those who are drafted in the first round (Odell Beckham Jr., Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase), there are also numerous recent examples of Day 2 and 3 picks who also had... Read More


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Fantasy Basketball - Veteran Free Agency Losers (Part 2): Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez, Otto Porter Jr.

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some veterans that entered Unrestricted Free... Read More


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A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some veterans that entered Unrestricted Free... Read More


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Fantasy Basketball - Veteran Free Agency Winners (Part 2): James Harden, T.J. Warren, JaVale McGee

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some veterans that entered Unrestricted Free... Read More


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Fantasy Basketball - Veteran Free Agency Winners (Part 1): Patty Mills, John Wall, Ricky Rubio

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some veterans that entered Unrestricted Free... Read More


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NBA Summer League Losers - Forwards: Nikola Jovic, Trevelin Queen, Caleb Houstan

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some potential busts and sleepers that... Read More


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NBA Summer League Winners - Forwards: Keegan Murray, Quentin Grimes, Moses Moody

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some potential busts and sleepers that... Read More


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NBA Summer League Winners - Centers: Chet Holmgren, Day'Ron Sharpe, James Wiseman

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some potential busts and sleepers that... Read More


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NBA Summer League Losers - Centers: Charles Bassey, Luka Garza, Santi Aldama

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some potential busts and sleepers that... Read More


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A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some potential busts and sleepers that... Read More


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NBA Summer League Losers - Guards: Johnny Davis, R.J. Hampton, Shaedon Sharpe

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NBA Summer League Risers and Fallers

With the NBA Summer League over, it's time to take a look at some numbers and see if anything from Summer League will end up mattering for this upcoming NBA season. Warning: don't read too much into Summer League. For every Damian Lillard and Blake Griffin that win Summer League MVP, there's a Josh Selby... Read More


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NBA Rookies in Best Spots After Free Agency

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