Dynasty American League Outfielders - Top MLB Prospects for Fantasy Baseball

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Welcome back, RotoBallers. I'll be breaking down impact prospects in dynasty leagues by position over the next several weeks. I’ve already covered catchers, first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, third basemen and National League outfielders. Today I'm bringing you my top 10 American League outfielders - dynasty prospect rankings for 2018 dynasty baseball leagues.

As discussed the last time around, outfield is a deep position. It carries plenty of exciting bats. Some that profile as middle-of-the-order power hitters, others that are more leadoff hitters with plenty of speed and some that combine elements from the two and look like promising power/speed guys.

It is tough to crack a top 10 list in the outfield, and those who do show great fantasy promise moving forward. So without any further ado, here is the dynasty positional prospect rankings for AL outfielders.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. Let's Go!

 

Top AL Outfield Prospects for 2018 Dynasty Baseball Leagues

1. Eloy Jimenez (CWS, AA)
Stats: (from A+) 296 PA, .302/.375/.570, 16 HR, 0 SB, 10.1% BB%, 18.9% K%
ETA: 2018
Power, power and more power. Jimenez has what many call light-tower power, ironic because he literally smashed some lights during a minor-league home run derby a la Roy Hobbs. The power is absolutely explosive, and many scouts believe he should be a 30-40-home run threat when he fully develops. He has also steadily improved his patience at the plate and does not strike out as much. Combine that with his lightning-fast bat, and scouts believe he has the potential to also hit for a higher average, giving him a star middle-of-the-order hitter profile. Jimenez’s bat is exciting, and even though he brings little to nothing with his legs, he is still an absolute must-own in nearly all dynasty leagues.

2. Kyle Tucker (HOU, AA)
Stats: 318 PA, .265/.325/.512, 16 HR, 8 SB, 6.9% BB%, 20.1% K% 
ETA: 2018
Tucker might not be able to match Jimenez’s thunderous bat, but he brings a little bit of everything to the table. Tucker has plenty of power and began to really put it on display in 2017 when he crushed 25 home runs between High Class-A and Double-A. But what makes Tucker extra-exciting for fantasy owners is the speed he brings with it. While not a burner, Tucker knows how to use his speed well and should be an annual 15-20 stolen base threat. He also possesses above-average plate discipline and a quick bat, which should keep his bat in the upper-.200s to low-.300 range. Tucker is not the most electric prospect in dynasty baseball, but he does a little bit of everything quite well and should be a well above-average producer when he reaches the majors, presumably at some point this upcoming season.

3. Shohei Ohtani (LAA, NA)
Stats: NA
ETA: 2018
One of the strangest prospects to try and project, Ohtani comes with plenty of upside as a batter, but also plenty of risk. The upside is that scouts see him as someone who could routinely post 20/20 seasons if not 30/30 seasons in the big leagues given plenty of time to swing the bat. And with him expected to play next season for the Los Angeles Angels, he will be in all likelihood one of if not the highest rated hitter at the end of 2018 of any prospects on this list. The risk is that he struck out a lot for a Japanese hitter and he will be pitching quite a bit. If he can’t reduce the strikeouts in the U.S., his batting average could take a serious dive. Plus the fatigue of pitching could also limit him down the stretch and he will not receive as many at-bats as a lot of these other hitters are expected to receive. For owners in leagues where he counts as both a pitcher and a hitter, Ohtani is invaluable, which is part of the reason he is high on this list. In those where he is counted as two separate players, his value will take a bit of a hit until he establishes himself a little bit more and proves he can produce enough at the plate to be a serviceable hitter while still pitching.

4. Luis Robert (CWS, ROK)
Stats: 114 PA, .310/.491/.536, 3 HR, 12 SB, 19.3% BB%, 20.2% K%
ETA: 2020
It did not take long for Robert to show in the minors why scouts had been so excited about him for so long. Though it was only in Rookie League, Robert flashed exciting power, speed and plate discipline, particularly for someone who was only 20 years old. Though he struck out a little over 20 percent of the time, he nearly walked just as often. Robert also showed that he is a true burner on the basepaths with the power potential to match it. He still has plenty of development left before he is ready to prove that he is on pace to be an elite fantasy prospect, but the comparisons to Yoan Moncada do not seem unwarranted. And if he can keep the strikeout rate down, there’s a chance he will become an even better fantasy prospect than Moncada.

5. Jesus Sanchez (TB, A)
Stats: 512 PA, .305/.348/.478, 15 HR, 7 SB, 6.3% BB%, 17.8% K%
ETA: 2019
Dynasty owners interested in Robert will almost certainly love Sanchez. Just like Robert, Sanchez has demonstrated in his time in the minors the speed and power that make prospects exciting from a fantasy perspective. Scouts grade both Sanchez’s power and speed as above-average. But what makes Sanchez stand out from many others like Robert is the plate discipline he has shown at the higher levels of the minors. Two months younger than Robert, Sanchez posted a sub-20 percent strikeout rate at Class-A, and scouts believe that that eye combined with his quick bat should help him maintain a high batting average as he ascends through the minors. Scouts are divided whether he puts on more muscle and becomes more of a middle-of-the-order power hitter with a high average or a speedy leadoff hitter with pop, but most believe that he will certainly be a very productive outfielder in the majors.

6. Austin Hays (BAL, MLB)
Stats: (from AA) 283 PA, .330/.367/.594, 16 HR, 1 SB, 4.6% BB%, 15.9% K%
ETA: 2018
The first player from the 2016 Draft to reach the majors, Hays has shown an impressive display of tools throughout his journey. His bat grades out as well above-average, and his power is also viewed as a plus tool by evaluators. Scouts see a prototypical No. 2 batter in Hays, a hitter who hits for a high average and adds 15-25 home runs every season. He is fast, but his speed does not translate as well to the basepaths, meaning he is probably only a five stolen base outfielder at the max. But owners will gladly take that if he is able to produce as many scouts think he will, especially given that he might start 2018 in the majors.

7. Leody Taveras (TEX, A)
Stats: 577 PA, .249/.312/.360, 8 HR, 20 SB, 8.1% BB%, 15.9% K%
ETA: 2020
Taveras is all in the projections. He is about as toolsy as anyone on this list, possessing well above-average speed and the raw power and bat speed to be a legit power threat as well. Scouts also believe he has what it takes to hit for a high average given his keen eye at the plate and that aforementioned bat speed. What will separate him from a potential five-tool fantasy outfielder and a slightly less exciting, powerless leadoff hitter will be the power. His eight home runs last season were a promising step forward, but he will need to increase that total in 2018 to keep his fantasy stock high. The ceiling is high, however, and he is a prospect worth holding onto in plenty of dynasty leagues.

8. Estevan Florial (NYY, A+)
Stats: (from A) 389 PA, .297/.373/.483, 11 HR, 17 SB, 10.5% BB%, 31.9% K%
ETA: 2019
The tools jump off the page when looking at Florial, much as they do with Ohtani. Like Ohtani, Florial possesses a ton of raw power and is extremely fast on the basepaths. It is clear to see with the Yankees’ 20-year-old outfielder that the potential to be a 20/20 future player in the majors is present. But like Ohtani, he has demonstrated a lot of issues swinging and missing. After striking out 31.9 percent of the time at Class-A, he struck out 27.6 percent of the time in 87 plate appearances at Advanced Class-A. That strikeout rate will need to go way down before he can really continue to climb up prospect rankings. But should he manage to cut into that strikeout rate, his power/speed upside could make him an extremely productive prospect to own in dynasty leagues.

9. Anthony Alford (TOR, MLB)
Stats: (from AA) 289 PA, .310/.406/.429, 5 HR, 18 SB, 12.1% BB%, 15.6% K%
ETA: 2018
Once believed to be a future five-tool outfielder for Toronto, Alford has not developed the way some expected him to. It was long believed he would develop above-average power, but that has not happened. However, this should not disappoint fantasy owners too much. Alford might not have much thump in his bat and might only top out at 10 home runs per season, but he has plenty of speed to make up for that. He remains one of the top speedsters in the minors and should be able to easily rack up 25-40 stolen bases every season he is healthy. His patience and ability to make consistent, solid contact should allow him to record at least a .270 batting average every season. This makes him an ideal top-of-the-order hitter moving forward. Alford dealt with injuries in 2016 and 2017, the latter of which prevented him from continuing his time in the majors, but he should be able to open the 2018 season in the majors or at least make his way there quickly.

10. Kyle Lewis (SEA, A+)
Stats: 167 PA, .255/.323/.403, 6 HR, 2 SB, 9.0% BB%, 22.8% K%
ETA: 2019
A knee injury at the early stages of a prospect’s development status usually does not bode well. But when the prospect comes in already fairly advanced and having college experience under his belt like Lewis, the injury’s impact is a little lessened. Lewis might end up losing some speed because of it, but he was never known to be a burner. The 22-year-old outfielder has been regarded as having one of the most powerful up-and-coming bats, and some scouts see him as a potential 30-homer hitter. He combines the power with an all-fields approach that should allow him to hit for a respectable average as well. He swings like a power hitter, and as such he tends to strikeout a fair amount. But if he can cut down on that just a smidge as he continues his way up to the majors, he should be able to post respectable batting averages in the big leagues. The Seattle Mariners don’t have a long track record of producing great homegrown talent, but Lewis could break that trend and be a middle-of-the-order power threat for them as early as September 2018.

 

More 2018 Dynasty Baseball Strategy