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Dynasty National League Outfielders - Top MLB Prospects for Fantasy Baseball


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, third basemen and shortstops. Today I'm bringing you my top 10 National League outfielders - dynasty prospect rankings for 2018 dynasty baseball leagues.

One of the only two positions that will be extended more than just the standard 10, outfield is unsurprisingly as deep as it comes regarding position players. Most of the top fantasy up-and-comers are in the outfield, and most of them appear to be on the verge of debuting.

Today, we are going to be taking a look at the top National League outfielders. This list has the most toolsiest outfielders in baseball, and most of the top prospects appear to have the potential to have 20/20 seasons. And while the depth of NL outfielders is not quite as good as the American League depth, there is certainly a case to be made that it is better at the top. Without any further ado, here is the dynasty positional prospect rankings for National League outfielders.

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Top NL Outfield Prospects for 2018 Dynasty Baseball Leagues

1. Ronald Acuna (ATL, AAA)
Stats: 243 PA, .344/.393/.548, 9 HR, 11 SB, 7.0% BB%, 19.8% K%
ETA: 2018
Heading into the year, it was a debate whether or not Acuna was a top prospect in the Atlanta Braves’ system, let alone all of baseball. But Acuna did everything he needed to do at every level. He crushed pitchers at Advanced Class-A and earned a promotion to Double-A. He actually seemed to improve at Double-A, and so was promoted to Triple-A. There, he again seemed to do even better than he did in Mississippi. Before the year, all he had was raw power, some speed and a hit tool strong enough to help get him to the majors. Now, he grades out as well above-average nearly across the board. Between the three levels, he slashed .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs and 44 stolen bases with a 7 percent walk rate and 23.5 percent strikeout rate.

Scouts knew before the season began that his speed was at least 60-grade. Now it appears to be one of the best speed tools in the minors. He couples that with a power tool that is now also looking to be one of the best in the minors. Scouts think that he still has a little more development to go before he can be called a 30/30 future player, but it would appear he is on that track. His hit tool is probably his weakest tool at this point, and scouts believe it is not necessarily a given he will hit above .300. But given his rapid improvements at such a young age, he should be able to reach that at some point as well. His advanced pitch recognition for someone so young and ability to consistently drive the ball to all fields gives him a seemingly limitless ceiling. Acuna is the top fantasy prospect in all of baseball and has a chance to open the year in the majors as a 20-year-old for the entire year. He is an exceptional prospect, and one who appears destined to be the next great Major Leaguer.

2. Victor Robles (WAS, MLB)
Stats: (from AA) 158 PA, .324/.394/.489, 3 HR, 11 SB, 7.6% BB%, 13.9% K%
ETA: 2018
Viewed almost unanimously as the top outfield prospect heading into the 2017 season, Robles did nothing to diminish his status. It’s just Acuna did enough to leapfrog him in the rankings. That should not make Robles any less exciting for dynasty owners. The 20-year-old prospect took to the upper levels of the minors with ease, demonstrating that he was not just taking advantage of weaker pitchers. His hit tool stands out as one of the best in the minors, with many believing it will lead to consistent .300-plus batting averages in the majors. While the power does not appear to be destined to be another plus-plus tool, he should do enough to hit 15 home runs per season. His speed, however, is certainly a plus-plus tool for him. Scouts believe he has the potential to swipe 25-35 bases per season with the chance for even more if he really focuses on knowing when to steal and when not to. He will not open the season in the majors, instead debuting at Triple-A, a level he skipped in 2017. But it should not be long before he ascends to the majors and takes over for Jayson Werth in the outfield. He might not have the ceiling of Acuna, but he still has the potential to be one of the most valuable outfielders year in and year out when he finally gets consistent time in the majors.

3. Lewis Brinson (MIL, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) .331/.400/.562, 13 HR, 11 SB, 9.4% BB%, 18.2% K%
ETA: 2018
A legit case could be made that Brinson is a more exciting fantasy prospect than Robles. Though not as fast and lacking the same hit tool, Brinson’s power is legit and could net him 30 home runs once he fully develops. And while he is not as fast as Robles, Brinson is arguably a better baserunner in the eyes of many and could steal 30 bags per season. The hit tool though, is often times a concern. Many have expressed concerns that he could be the next Keon Broxton: toolsy, but strikes out too much to remain consistent. He did an excellent job silencing some of those concerns in 2017 by hitting for a high average, raising his walk rate and bringing his strikeout rate to below 20 percent. He will never be one to maintain a .300 batting average, but as long as he continues to show improvements with the ability to make contact and take the walks when they’re given to him, he could maximize his power and speed. If all goes well for him, he could be a future 30/30 hitter with a .275-plus batting average.

4. Austin Meadows (PIT, AAA)
Stats: 312 PA, .250/.311/.359, 4 HR, 11 SB, 7.7% BB%, 16.0% K%
ETA: 2018
Meadows’ profile is quite similar to Robles’. They both possess exception hit tools with advanced plate discipline and pitch recognition, and their second best attributes are their speed. Both also possess above-average power, but are probably only 15-20 home run hitters at their best. The difference is that injuries have prevented Meadows from ever having much of a chance to put his tools fully on display. Since being drafted in 2013, he has just one season in which he has played in at least 100 games. Last season, hamstring and oblique injuries prevented him from putting up big stats and playing a lot. Scouts believe hidden behind the admittedly less-than-impressive numbers is a player ready for major-league action if only he can stay healthy. He should get his chance to play in the majors this season, especially if the Pirates end up trading Andrew McCutchen. If he stays healthy, Meadows has the chance to be a 20/20 hitter with a high batting average to match. But with every given year, that is continuing to look like a bigger and bigger ‘if.’ Still, owners should treat Meadows as one of the top fantasy prospects in the game because there are still few who can match his upside and proximity to the majors.

5. Juan Soto (WAS, A)
Stats: 96 PA, .360/.427/.523, 3 HR, 1 SB, 10.4% BB%, 8.3% K%
ETA: 2020
The second Nationals prospect to land on this list, Soto is another exciting outfielder who should follow in Robles’ footsteps in making quick work through the minors. His plate discipline and pitch recognition for someone of his age and scouts believe that combined with the 19-year-old’s ability to barrel up the ball should allow him to consistently hit for a high average. The power has not jumped out yet, but scouts believe that given time, Soto will start to demonstrate 15-20 homer power with the chance to increase that total. The power will likely be counted on by fantasy owners as he is not particularly swift on the basepaths. His hit tool makes him extremely mature for his age, but owners will probably have to remain patient with him as he continues to develop his power. The end of his road through the minors could result in a star fantasy performer if the power comes as some expect it to.

6. Taylor Trammell (CIN, A)
Stats: 571 PA, .281/.368/.450, 13 HR, 41 SB, 12.4% BB%, 21.5% K%
ETA: 2020
Like Soto, Trammell is a prospect with tons of upside and the potential to start to rise over the next season. Right now, his best tool is his speed. He looks like someone who could swipe 30-plus bags every season. But scouts expect him to start to grow into his frame, which will cost him some speed but add to his already above-average power. If that happens, he starts to look like a 20/30 threat every season. While his speed is the standout tool, Trammell is also given major props for his advanced approach at the plate, which has scouts excited for his future. They believe that he has the chance to develop his hit tool into an above-average attribute and that he might be able to hit .275-plus in his future. His ceiling is as high as anyone on this list.

7. Jesse Winker (CIN, MLB)
Stats: 137 PA, .298/.375/.529, 7 HR, 1 SB, 10.9% BB%, 17.5% K%
ETA: 2018
The question with Winker has always been whether or not the power will follow the plate discipline and batting average. Scouts have never thought Winker would fail to reach base at a high rate. His plate discipline rivals any player in the minors and he has long been pegged as someone who will hit over .300 on an annual basis. But the power never really seemed to show up. Fantasy owners need that power to appear. He has no speed and is otherwise an outfielder with an outstanding hit tool and nothing else, which is not as valuable as it could be. But if the power Winker showed in the majors of 2017 is for real — it might be given he will call Great American Ballpark home — then he could be an annual 20-homer hitter with one of the higher OBPs and batting averages in baseball. Throw that in with the probability of him leading off or at least batting second ahead of Joey Votto, and he becomes a guy with average, on-base percentage, home runs and plenty of runs scored. And with the Reds currently trying to clear up space for him to start in 2018, fantasy owners could start to reap the benefits this season. With his high floor and fairly high ceiling, he could be quite the bat to own in dynasty leagues.

8. Adam Haseley (PHI, A)
Stats: (from A-) 158 PA, .270/.350/.380, 2 HR, 5 SB, 8.9% BB%, 17.7% K%
ETA: 2019
When people talk about impressive two-way college players, it seemingly starts and ends with Brendan McKay. But Haseley was also a very successful two-way player, both being Virginia’s best hitter and its best pitcher in 2017. As a batter, he slashed .390/.491/.659 with 14 homers and 10 stolen bases. Unlike McKay, he will not pitch professionally, instead focusing on honing his skills at the plate. Scouts don’t picture Haseley as a tremendous power threat, but they do view him as a guy who should be able to hit around 15 home runs per season. He should also be able to post solid stolen base numbers every season, settling in the 10-15 range. What will no doubt be the driving factor in owning Haseley in dynasty leagues is his hit tool. He drives the ball to all fields and has a keen eye at the plate, as evidenced by his 44 walks and just 21 strikeouts while at UVA. He is not an overly exciting fantasy prospect, but his combination of high floor, moderate ceiling and what should be a quick path to the majors makes him a valuable prospect in many dynasty leagues.

9. Monte Harrison (MIL, A+)
Stats: 252 PA, .278/.341/.487, 10 HR, 16 SB, 5.6% BB%, 27.4% K%
ETA: 2019
A healthy season for Harrison seemed to be all he needed to firmly re-establish himself among the top prospects in the nation. Injuries in both 2015 and 2016 limited him to just 154 over the two years. But he was able to play in 122 games in 2017 between Class-A and Advanced Class-A. Between the two levels, he slugged 21 home runs and swiped 27 bags, putting his impressive athleticism on display. Scouts have long raved about the power/speed upside in his bat and believe that production in 2017 could become a trend for the 22-year-old. His biggest issue throughout his time in the minors has been struggling to rein in his swing. Though scouts said his pitch recognition is starting to improve, he still swings and misses far too much thanks to a long swing. But the upside is there for an explosive player, and if he can show improvements in his 2018 season, he could continue his ascension up dynasty prospect lists.

10. Alex Verdugo (LAD, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 495 PA, .314/.389/.436, 6 HR, 9 SB, 10.5% BB%, 10.1% K%
ETA: 2018
Verdugo is quite the opposite of Harrison. He is not a super high-ceiling prospect, and is not going to at any point overwhelm fantasy owners with production. Verdugo’s best attribute from a fantasy perspective is his eye at the plate, which allows him to consistently take more walks than strikeouts. He also makes plenty of contact and tends to drive the ball to all fields. His problem is that he has not ever had a real knack for driving the ball over the wall, and he is not fleet enough of foot to steal over 20 bases in a season. His ceiling is probably a 15/15 hitter with a .300-plus batting average. But owners of Verdugo aren’t looking for a ceiling. They look at his high floor. Even if the power never really translates to home runs, he should always be able to reach base at a high rate and post consistently high batting averages. For those concerned about taking a risk on high risk/high reward batters like Harrison, a low risk/medium reward batter like Verdugo who will probably spend much of the upcoming season in the majors is worth an add.

 

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