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2020 Offseason Outfield Rankings (Part 1) - Fantasy Baseball Mixed Leagues


It's never too early to start looking ahead to the next baseball season, so here we deliver our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to those of you looking to scratch your fantasy itch. Whether you're already eliminated from fantasy football contention, or you're getting a head start on next year's keeper selections, RotoBaller has got you covered. We've assembled a collection of stout minds, including the #1 ranked expert from 2018, Nick Mariano, to help you get a jump start on your competition for the upcoming season.

With the Winter Meetings approaching and free-agency starting to materialize, there will be plenty of movement with these rankings before the draft season gets into full swing. Be sure to check in frequently during the offseason as we'll have updated rankings as soon as big names begin to change places.

Today we'll analyze the top tiers of the outfield position. You can check out part two of our outfield rankings and analysis for tiers 6-13 as well. This position has the broadest range of talent and contains the top-four names on our overall list. Several players from past seasons have maintained their value, but with another influx of young players emerging in 2019, some new names may surprise you on the list. There's nothing like a clean slate, and we begin to paint your fantasy picture with some analysis of our 2020 rankings.

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Outfield Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (December)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season.

Rank Tier Player Position Nick Nick G Riley
1 1 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF 2 1 1
2 1 Mike Trout OF 1 3 2
3 1 Christian Yelich OF 3 2 3
4 1 Mookie Betts OF 4 4 6
5 1 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 5 6 4
6 2 Juan Soto OF 13 12 13
7 2 J.D. Martinez OF 21 22 16
8 2 Bryce Harper OF 18 20 26
9 2 Aaron Judge OF 19 29 21
10 3 Charlie Blackmon OF 32 23 27
11 3 Starling Marte OF 22 28 35
12 3 Yordan Alvarez OF 36 37 25
13 3 George Springer OF 35 34 30
14 3 Giancarlo Stanton OF 41 44 47
15 3 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 42 43 55
16 3 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 48 47 48
17 4 Ketel Marte 2B/SS/OF 52 56 40
18 4 Joey Gallo OF 49 54 53
19 4 Austin Meadows OF 60 50 63
20 4 Eddie Rosario OF 67 55 56
21 4 Eloy Jimenez OF 54 52 81
22 5 Jorge Soler OF 85 81 85
23 5 Michael Brantley OF 88 90 76
24 5 Michael Conforto OF 87 98 71
25 5 Tommy Pham OF 77 84 105
26 5 Marcell Ozuna OF 98 86 93
27 5 Nicholas Castellanos OF 92 105 84
28 5 Victor Robles OF 100 66 125
29 5 Andrew Benintendi OF 96 87 111
30 5 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 103 109 101
31 5 Max Kepler OF 120 89 106
32 5 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF 115 93 113
33 5 Yasiel Puig OF 93 107 124
34 5 Ramon Laureano OF 104 122 109
35 6 Danny Santana 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 113 113 161
36 6 Mitch Haniger OF 143 139 108
37 6 Kyle Tucker OF 99 115 181
38 6 Oscar Mercado OF 135 141 128
39 6 Aristides Aquino OF 146 158 117
40 6 Kyle Schwarber OF 149 129 149
41 6 Franmil Reyes OF 140 137 152
42 6 Luis Robert OF 114 120 200
43 6 Willie Calhoun OF 174 135 126
44 6 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 2B/OF 170 127 141
45 6 Khris Davis OF 109 151 182
46 7 Andrew McCutchen OF 151 #N/A 153
47 7 David Dahl OF 153 179 142
48 7 Hunter Dozier 1B/3B/OF 164 166 154
49 7 Lorenzo Cain OF 182 148 155
50 7 Justin Upton OF 160 177 151
51 7 Byron Buxton OF 180 156 180
52 7 Joc Pederson 1B/OF 186 161 172
53 7 Nick Senzel OF 156 168 209
54 7 Mallex Smith OF 148 183 208
55 7 Garrett Hampson 2B/SS/OF 197 186 171
56 7 Shin-Soo Choo OF 202 169 216
57 7 Ryan Braun OF 203 174 220
58 8 Bryan Reynolds OF 234 150 238
59 8 J.D. Davis 3B/OF 198 228 203
60 8 Tommy Edman 2B/3B/OF 181 245 205
61 8 Domingo Santana OF 220 222 193
62 8 Mike Yastrzemski OF 216 207 215
63 8 Adam Eaton OF 194 192 277
64 8 Jo Adell OF 225 185 257
65 8 A.J. Pollock OF 212 210 248
66 8 Scott Kingery SS/3B/OF 224 214 236
67 8 Brett Gardner OF 215 205 266
68 8 Hunter Renfroe OF 238 265 192
69 8 Avisail Garcia OF 242 220 234
70 8 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF 227 #N/A 245
71 9 Randal Grichuk OF 250 281 191
72 9 Trent Grisham OF 244 237 244
73 9 Ian Desmond OF 218 263 267
74 9 Hunter Pence OF 209 215 325
75 9 Jose Martinez OF 267 253 233
76 9 Kyle Lewis OF 273 225 273
77 9 Kevin Pillar OF 279 248 246
78 9 David Peralta OF 313 261 211
79 9 Leury Garcia SS/OF 261 244 293
80 9 Austin Riley OF 315 #N/A 218
81 9 Brian Anderson 3B/OF 271 259 288
82 9 Stephen Piscotty OF 248 255 316
83 9 Alex Verdugo OF 363 #N/A 187
84 10 Wil Myers 1B/OF 222 258 357
85 10 Jesse Winker OF 286 #N/A 276
86 10 Corey Dickerson OF 270 268 306
87 10 Gregory Polanco OF 280 287 #N/A
88 10 Raimel Tapia OF 284 #N/A #N/A
89 10 Anthony Santander OF 289 #N/A 280
90 10 Alex Dickerson OF 266 251 349
91 10 Kole Calhoun OF 321 270 307
92 10 Eric Thames 1B/OF 359 #N/A 241
93 10 Nomar Mazara OF 344 295 274
94 10 Alex Gordon OF 264 272 380
95 10 Ian Happ 2B/3B/OF 306 #N/A #N/A
96 10 Manuel Margot OF 291 274 354
97 11 Jurickson Profar 2B/OF 309 #N/A #N/A
98 11 Brandon Nimmo OF 416 209 #N/A
99 11 Nick Markakis OF 314 #N/A #N/A
100 11 Clint Frazier OF 305 #N/A 326
101 11 Austin Hays OF 316 #N/A #N/A
102 11 Jason Heyward OF 336 #N/A 317
103 11 Steven Souza Jr. OF 341 #N/A #N/A
104 11 Matt Beaty 1B/3B/OF 342 #N/A #N/A
105 11 Tyler O'Neill OF 348 #N/A #N/A
106 11 Kevin Kiermaier OF 378 #N/A 319
107 11 Jackie Bradley Jr. OF 339 #N/A 362
108 11 Brandon Belt 1B/OF 351 #N/A #N/A
109 11 Teoscar Hernandez OF 408 #N/A 301
110 11 Josh VanMeter 1B/2B/OF 366 #N/A 345
111 11 Dylan Carlson OF 364 #N/A #N/A
112 12 Mike Tauchman OF 404 #N/A 359
113 12 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/3B/OF 382 #N/A #N/A
114 12 Josh Reddick OF 386 #N/A #N/A
115 12 Adam Jones OF 419 #N/A 355
116 12 Sam Hilliard OF 388 #N/A #N/A
117 12 Yoshitomo Tsutsugo OF 450 #N/A 334
118 12 Josh Rojas 2B/3B/OF 394 #N/A #N/A
119 12 Harrison Bader OF 395 #N/A #N/A
120 12 Yoenis Cespedes OF 396 #N/A #N/A
121 12 Josh Naylor OF 397 #N/A #N/A
122 13 Harold Ramirez OF 414 #N/A #N/A
123 13 Jarrod Dyson OF 532 #N/A 297
124 13 Ender Inciarte OF 417 #N/A #N/A
125 13 Shogo Akiyama OF 475 #N/A 365
126 13 Cameron Maybin OF 422 #N/A #N/A
127 13 Alex Kirilloff OF 426 #N/A #N/A
128 13 Dwight Smith Jr. OF 431 #N/A #N/A
129 13 Derek Fisher OF 432 #N/A #N/A
130 13 Aaron Hicks OF 528 #N/A 339
131 13 Drew Waters OF 442 #N/A #N/A
132 13 Travis Demeritte OF 446 #N/A #N/A
133 13 Delino DeShields OF 448 #N/A #N/A
134 13 Bradley Zimmer OF 451 #N/A #N/A
135 13 Adam Duvall OF 527 #N/A 377
136 13 Greg Allen OF 462 #N/A #N/A
137 13 Nick Martini OF 465 #N/A #N/A
138 13 Christian Pache OF 469 #N/A #N/A
139 13 Brian Goodwin OF 474 #N/A #N/A
140 13 Victor Reyes OF 479 #N/A #N/A
141 13 Dexter Fowler OF 488 #N/A #N/A
142 13 Brandon Dixon 1B/OF 497 #N/A #N/A
143 13 Randy Arozarena OF 501 #N/A #N/A
144 13 Odubel Herrera OF 512 #N/A #N/A
145 13 Roman Quinn OF 523 #N/A #N/A
146 13 Gerardo Parra OF 524 #N/A #N/A
147 13 Christin Stewart OF 526 #N/A #N/A
148 13 Phillip Ervin OF 531 #N/A #N/A

 

Tier One

Be sure to also read part two of our outfield rankings analysis, tiers 6-13.

After years of sitting in a tier of his own, Mike Trout finally has someone to challenge him as the undisputed number one player for fantasy baseball. It's a neck and neck race for me personally between the reigning AL MVP and Ronald Acuna Jr., but I give the edge to the latter for a couple of reasons.

If it wasn't for a small groin strain in the final week of the regular season, we may be talking about Acuna Jr. being the first 40/40 player since 2006. He finished three steals shy of this prestigious club after clubbing 41 homers in 156 games, and he would have been the youngest player ever to join at age-21. It's also easy to believe that Acuna Jr.'s 127 R, 101 RBI, and .280 BA have potential for more with natural progression in the league and an excellent lineup around him.

Despite winning the AL MVP for the third time in 2019, Trout is coming off his third consecutive injury-shortened season. He's proven he doesn't need to play a full 162 games for owners to benefit, but the fact that he's averaged 129 games played since 2016 is a bit concerning. Trout's 11 thefts in 2019 also tied a career-low, and I wouldn't be surprised if he finished in single digits in 2020 to help limit the injury risk. We're splitting hairs at the top of the rankings board, but give me Acuna Jr. for the upside 5x5 production.

Mookie Betts' slow start to the 2019 season left owners disgruntled, but his year-end numbers ended up surprisingly comparable to his 2018 MVP campaign. He led the league in runs for the second consecutive year (135), which was six more than the year previous. Betts also matched his RBI output (80) last season while finishing three homers shy of his 2018 mark with 29 HR. His .295 BA and 16 steals lagged, but if these numbers resemble a floor for the recently turned 27-year-old, he's a safe first-round selection no matter who he plays for in 2020.

 

Tier Two

Tier two is a small drop off in fantasy talent, mainly because of the lack of elite speed for these power bats. Juan Soto has the youngest legs of the bunch, and has arguably the most potential heading into the new decade. His 34/110/110/12/.282 roto line is salivating for a player who just turned 21-years-old during the World Series, and there's still room for growth. His 20.0% K-rate and 16.4% walk rate are also commendable for such a young bat, making the ceiling sky-high for "Childish Bambino."

J.D. Martinez is a player I'm a bit higher on than my fellow rankers. It's clear he had a step back from his remarkable 2018 season, but a 36/98/105/2/.304 season is nothing to scoff at either. His BABIP was unusually high in his first year in Beantown (.375), so his BA dropped .026 points last season when his more genuine .342 BABIP fell near his lifetime mark (.346). Martinez also had an expected batting average (xBA) of .309, which was ninth-best in the majors, and he set a career-high in K-rate with a 21.0% K%. Batting in a hitter-friendly division and as a part of the potent Red Sox lineup, I'll gladly take Martinez' mix of reliable power and average.

On the flip side, Bryce Harper is a player that is lower on my list. While he nearly put together his second straight 100 R and 100 RBI season, his lack of production in the BA category downgrades him from the rest of the outfielders in this group. After hitting .260 last season, the $300 million man has eclipsed this mark just once since 2015, and his plate discipline metrics keep trending in the wrong way. Harper's K-rate dropped for the fourth consecutive season to 26.1%, the lowest mark since his rookie campaign, while his 68.3% contact rate and 15.1% SwStr% finished at bottom-seven levels league-wide. I'm more bearish than most on Harper, even with his improvement in the second half.

 

Tier Three

Charlie Blackmon continues to put up sterling fantasy numbers aided by his favorable home ballpark. In 2019 he slashed .379/.435/.739 at home compared to .256/.299/.432 away from Coors Field, and for his career, the results aren't much different. These vast splits are something I tend to stay away from when drafting a player, but after Blackmon's longevity at producing at a high rate, he's hard to ignore. He did, however, steal just two bases last year, so it appears he's becoming a four-category contributor.

Starling Marte quietly had his best all-around season in 2019 despite playing just 132 games. He set career-bests in HR (23), R (97), and RBI (82), while posting an admirable .295 BA with 25 SB. Good health has always eluded Marte, but he's a reliable 5x5 contributor when he's on the field.

Yordan Alvarez is an impressive hitter that I'm more bullish on, and one who could catapult himself into a first-round value after the 2020 season. The AL Rookie of the Year had a phenomenal 87 games clubbing 27 dingers and 78 RBI while slashing .313/.412/.655 as the primary fourth or fifth batter for the Astros. Alvarez notably struggled in the postseason after seeing a heavy dosage of breaking balls, but he started to adjust in the World Series with a more disciplined approach. In the regular season, however, the 22-year-old's top-10 Barrel% (17.2%) was no fluke as he's mashed at every level of ball coming through the farm system. "Air Yordan's" talent is for real, and his teammates don't need to bang on a garbage can for him to prove it.

After stealing 45 bases in 2018, Whit Merrifield's 20-SB total last season was dissatisfying to say the least. His 2020 outlook doesn't appeal to me either as he enters his age-31 season with new manager Mike Matheny, whose Cardinals teams from 2012-17 finished 29th overall in thefts.

 

Tier Four

An injury-shortened season capped what could have been a career year across the board for Joey Gallo in 2019. His elite 52.3% Hard Hit%, 26.4% Barrel%, and 150-game pace (47/116/105/9/.253) would have all finished as career-highs, making the 26-year-old a potential draft-day steal with his stock currently underpriced.

After years of getting stashed away in the Pirates system, Austin Meadows emerged into the fantasy limelight with the Rays in 2019. Swiping 12 bases with 83 runs and 89 RBI in 138 games, the All-Star surprised the most by swatting 33 big flies. Meadows never hit more than 12 home runs in any minor league year, but his 17 round-trippers over the final two months of the season suggests he's figured out his power stroke. He achieved this feat by pulling nearly 14% more of his fly balls in the second half, a recipe for tremendous home run success. Look for Meadows to put up huge numbers in 2020 with a full healthy season.

Eloy Jimenez had a productive debut campaign in the majors with a 31/69/79/0/.267 roto line in 122 games for the White Sox this past season. Despite his tremendous success, his inclination to hit the ball on the ground makes me more bearish on the former Cubs prospect. His 47.9% GB% was over 5% higher than the league average, and only one other player with this many worm-killers was able to hit more than 30 homers last season (Jose Altuve). Jimenez also struggled to hit breaking balls and off-speed pitches with an xBA of .220 and .226, respectively. The 22-year-old has a bright future ahead of him, but I won't be paying for his name at face value in 2020 drafts.

 

Tier Five

Fantasy players have waited years for Jorge Soler to develop a premium big-league bat, and 2019 was finally the year he stayed healthy and put it all together. His full 162 game season helped him lead the AL in homers (48) while finishing tied for second in RBI (117) and fifth in SLG (.569). Like Jimenez, Soler struggled to hit anything other than a fastball, which aided his 26.2% K% to fall in the AL's bottom-10. Although when he did make contact, it was to a top-10 finish in Hard Hit% (49.9%). It almost seems ludicrous to have this kind of power bat ranked so low, but Soler needs to put together another healthy and productive campaign before he can climb the board.

Once Nicholas Castellanos got some lineup protection with the Chicago Cubs, he transformed into a second-half MVP candidate. His 37 extra-base hits led baseball in the final two months while he finished second among outfielders with 43 runs. As long as Castellanos doesn't land in Miami this offseason, he'll produce 25-30 HR and 180 R+RBI with ease.

Many analysts, including myself, believed Andrew Benintendi would produce a profitable 5x5 roto line in 2019, but his results were nothing short of disappointing. The 25-year-old took a step backward in his third major league season, hitting .266 with 13 HR, 72 R, 68 RBI, and 10 steals. All of these numbers were career lows after he began the year as the team's leadoff hitter before getting ultimately moved down as the Red Sox fifth hitter in the second half. His second straight 40-double season was laudable, but it appears that's more his niche, and we shouldn't expect a ceiling higher than 20 HR.

Yasiel Puig continues to put up middling numbers, but yet his draft value seems to elevate every season. He's averaged 25/69/74/16/.265 over the past three campaigns, which doesn't equate to a top-100 pick for me. Puig's potential landing spot this offseason could bump him up a few ticks, but he failed to produce at a higher rate in 2019 even with an improved home ballpark.

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