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2021 Outfielder Rankings - 5x5 Mixed Leagues

Mike Trout - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, DFS and Betting Picks

We now move on to the outfielder position in our mixed-league rankings analysis series. If you missed them, here is our review of CatcherFirst Base, Second Base, Third Base and Shortstop.

RotoBaller's rankers, JB Branson, Pierre Camus, Nick Mariano, and Ariel Cohen have updated our 2021 Mixed League rankings once more based on early spring training action.

You can also find our other draft rankings for all sorts of league formats, continually updated throughout the preseason, right here in our main fantasy baseball Rankings Wizard tool. Also, make use of all our premium resources with our MLB Draft Kit.

Be sure to check all of our preseason fantasy baseball rankings for Roto, Points, H2H, dynasty, best ball, prospects and more:

 

2021 Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Rankings

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, and Ariel Cohen was the top ranker in 2019. In addition, ATC Projections by Ariel Cohen were the #1 most accurate projections system in 2019. Be sure to follow their updated rankings and projections all season long!

Ranking Tier Player Position
1 1 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF
2 1 Juan Soto OF
3 1 Mookie Betts OF
4 1 Mike Trout OF
5 1 Christian Yelich OF
6 2 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF
7 2 Bryce Harper OF
8 2 Eloy Jimenez OF
9 2 Kyle Tucker OF
10 3 Marcell Ozuna OF
11 3 Luis Robert OF
12 3 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF
13 3 George Springer OF
14 3 Starling Marte OF
15 3 Aaron Judge OF
16 3 Yordan Alvarez OF
17 4 Randy Arozarena OF
18 4 Trent Grisham OF
19 4 Michael Conforto OF
20 4 Teoscar Hernandez OF
21 4 Nick Castellanos OF
22 5 J.D. Martinez OF
23 5 Cavan Biggio 2B/3B/OF
24 5 Brandon Lowe 2B/OF
25 5 Austin Meadows OF
26 5 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. OF
27 5 Eddie Rosario OF
28 5 Charlie Blackmon OF
29 5 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF
30 5 Alex Verdugo OF
31 5 Tommy Pham OF
32 5 Mike Yastrzemski OF
33 5 Jorge Soler OF
34 5 Wil Myers OF
35 6 Dominic Smith 1B/OF
36 6 Byron Buxton OF
37 6 Michael Brantley OF
38 6 Joey Gallo OF
39 6 Ramon Laureano OF
40 6 Kyle Lewis OF
41 6 Anthony Santander OF
42 6 Ryan Mountcastle 1B/OF
43 6 Victor Robles OF
44 6 Max Kepler OF
45 6 Dylan Moore 2B/OF
46 7 Dylan Carlson OF
47 7 Tommy Edman 2B/3B/SS/OF
48 7 Andrew McCutchen OF
49 7 Nick Solak 2B/OF
50 7 AJ Pollock OF
51 7 Trey Mancini 1B/OF
52 7 Clint Frazier OF
53 7 Jesse Winker OF
54 7 Kole Calhoun OF
55 7 Leody Taveras OF
56 7 Randal Grichuk OF
57 7 Kyle Schwarber OF
58 8 Ian Happ OF
59 8 Hunter Dozier 1B/OF
60 8 Raimel Tapia OF
61 8 Austin Hays OF
62 8 Mark Canha OF
63 8 Andrew Benintendi OF
64 8 Brandon Nimmo OF
65 8 Mitch Haniger OF
66 8 J.D. Davis 3B/OF
67 8 Lorenzo Cain OF
68 8 Jurickson Profar 2B/OF
69 8 Garrett Hampson 2B/SS/OF
70 8 David Peralta OF
71 9 Victor Reyes OF
72 9 Nick Senzel OF
73 9 Aaron Hicks OF
74 9 Jarred Kelenic OF
75 9 Manuel Margot OF
76 9 Alex Kirilloff OF
77 9 Bryan Reynolds OF
78 9 Daulton Varsho C/OF
79 9 Adam Eaton OF
80 9 Jon Berti 2B/OF
81 9 Alex Dickerson OF
82 9 Scott Kingery 2B/OF
83 9 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF
84 10 Joc Pederson OF
85 10 Corey Dickerson OF
86 10 Willie Calhoun OF
87 10 Austin Slater OF
88 10 Josh Naylor OF
89 10 Hunter Renfroe OF
90 10 David Dahl OF
91 10 Justin Upton OF
92 10 Avisail Garcia OF
93 10 Yasiel Puig OF
94 10 Jo Adell OF
95 10 Franchy Cordero OF
96 10 Jackie Bradley Jr. OF
97 11 Robbie Grossman OF
98 11 Adam Duvall OF
99 11 Jason Heyward OF
100 11 Cristian Pache OF
101 11 Stephen Piscotty OF
102 11 Myles Straw OF
103 11 Shogo Akiyama OF
104 11 DJ Stewart OF
105 11 Sam Hilliard OF
106 11 Kike Hernandez 2B/OF
107 11 Roman Quinn OF
108 11 Oscar Mercado OF
109 11 Yoshi Tsutsugo 3B/OF
110 11 Jahmai Jones OF
111 11 Tyler O'Neill OF
112 12 Kevin Kiermaier OF
113 12 Michael Chavis 1B/2B/OF
114 12 Kevin Pillar OF
115 12 Andrew Stevenson OF
116 12 JaCoby Jones OF
117 12 Cedric Mullins II OF
118 12 Harrison Bader OF
119 12 Adam Engel OF
120 12 Michael A. Taylor OF
121 12 Miguel Andujar 3B/OF
122 13 Gregory Polanco OF
123 13 Mike Tauchman OF
124 13 Harold Ramirez OF
125 13 Spencer Torkelson 1B/OF
126 13 Jared Oliva OF
127 13 Monte Harrison OF
128 13 Jose Marmolejos OF
129 13 Edward Olivares OF
130 13 Ian Desmond OF
131 13 Jake Bauers 1B/OF
132 13 Jay Bruce OF
133 13 Julio Rodriguez OF
134 13 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/OF
135 13 Derek Fisher OF
136 13 Ender Inciarte OF
137 13 Nomar Mazara OF
138 13 Nick Markakis OF
139 13 Lewis Brinson OF
140 13 Aristides Aquino OF
141 13 Chas McCormick OF
142 13 Jordan Luplow OF
143 13 Tim Locastro OF
144 13 Brett Gardner OF
145 13 Taylor Ward OF
146 13 Tony Kemp 2B/OF
147 13 Dexter Fowler OF
148 13 Sam Haggerty OF
149 13 Bradley Zimmer OF
150 13 Ryan Braun OF
151 13 Josh Lowe OF
152 13 Adam Haseley OF
153 13 Christin Stewart OF
154 13 Josh Reddick OF
155 13 Jake Cave OF
156 13 Daniel Johnson OF
157 13 Anthony Alford OF
158 13 Jake Fraley OF
159 13 Brandon Marsh OF
160 13 Drew Waters OF
161 13 Magneuris Sierra OF
162 13 Cole Tucker OF
163 13 Jarren Duran OF
164 13 Taylor Trammell OF
165 13 Mallex Smith OF
166 13 Yairo Munoz OF
167 13 Tyler Naquin OF
168 13 Steven Souza Jr. OF
169 13 Jose Martinez 1B/OF
170 13 Daz Cameron OF
171 13 Lane Thomas OF

 

Tier One

Three years ago, Ronald Acuna and Juan Soto emerged on the scene at two of the best rookies of all now. Now, they are arguably the two most valuable fantasy players in the league. Acuna gets the slight edge because of his advantage in baserunning (32 projected steals to 16 steals), but Soto, who is coming off an absurd 201 WRC+ season, has a strong argument as the best hitter in baseball.

Right behind them are Mookie Betts, who someone got better in his first season in Dodger Blue, setting a career-high in sweet spot percentage and home run rate. It's scary to think that Betts might still be improving, as his well-rounded game (Projected .297 avg, 35 HR, 20 SB) already made him one of the safest picks in baseball. 

Once the unanimous best fantasy player in baseball, Mike Trout has slipped a bit due to less aggressive baserunning (just one steal last year) and a "down" 2020 (career-low 162 WRC+). That being said, Mike Trout is Mike Trout, and even in a down season, he still improved his exit velocity by almost 3 mph.

Finally in Tier 1 is Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich. Yelich had a pitiful 2020 season, but upon closer look, there are signs that it might have been a short season fluke. Like Trout, Yelich still managed to have a career-high exit velocity in a down season, a total that landed him in the 99 percentile among major league hitters. The culprit appears to be a career-high 30.8% strikeout rate and a wildly unlikely .259 BABIP. There are safer options available, but it's far more likely that Yelich's down season was more attributed to unluckiness and small sample size than an actual decline of skill. 

 

Tier Two

The first three hitters in Tier 2 could all conceivably lead the MLB in home runs. Cody Bellinger's stock slipped a bit following a down 2020, but there's just too much talent there for him to slide even further. Bellinger's contact and strikeout rates barely moved, so the main culprit appears to be a .245 BABIP. Expect Bellinger to return to his MVP form this season.

Bryce Harper may never reach his 2015 MVP pinnacle again, but his ability to hit for power, get on base, and drive in runs will always make him a valuable fantasy player. Harper looked far more comfortable in year two in Philadelphia, increasing his walk rate by four percent and cutting his strikeout rate by nine. His best Philadelphia days may be in front of him.

One of the most hyped prospects of the past decade, Eloy Jimenez had a relatively disappointing debut in 2019, even though a 116 OPS+ is nothing to complain about. Last year, Jimenez made exactly the kind of strides you want to see in a young player: A lower strikeout rate, a nearly thirty-point increase in average, a higher average exit velocity, and a massive spike in home runs. His pitiful 5% walk rate leaves a lot to be desired and prevents him from being in that upper echelon of hitters, but if he's hitting 40 and 120 every year, I'm not sure fantasy players will mind too much.

Kyle Tucker is the first big surprise on this list, as he makes a Tier 2 appearance after just 108 up-and-down career major league games. It's easy to see where the hype comes from: He had nine homers and eight steals in just 58 games last year, and he will rack up the runs and RBIs in a stacked Astros lineup. There is elite potential here, but there's obvious risk to drafting him ahead of some of the established players we have in Tier Three. 

 

Tier Three

First up in Tier Three is Marcell Ozuna, who turned the best season of his career into a contract extension with the Braves. Everything about his 2020 was promising: A career-high exit velocity and hard-hit percentage, both ranking in the top 5 percentile of all qualified hitters, a three percent increase in walk rate, and a massive power surge. Ozuna is only entering his age 30 season, and while he won't produce much value in the field or on the bases, there's no reason to believe he won't continue to produce MVP level offensive numbers for the foreseeable future.

Luis Robert didn't quite meet the massive and unfair expectations placed on him in his rookie season, but an above-average OPS and 20 combined home runs and steals showed his immense potential. To reach the top tier of outfielders, Robert needs to improve his terrible plate discipline, as he struck out nearly four times as often as he walked last year. Robert has the speed to be atop the steals leaderboards every year, but that skill is limited if his on-base percentage is hovering around .300. Even with his question marks, Robert's speed and power combo as well as the talent surrounding him in the White Sox lineup makes him a top-15 outfielder. 

At this point of his career, you know exactly when you are getting out of Whit Merrifield: an average of around .280, around 12-15 home runs, and nearly 200 hits. The big question is whether he can continue his elite baserunning into his early 30s. Merrifield led the league in steals twice from 2017-2018 but was held to just 20 steals in 2019, his first season after turning 30. Merrifield's stealing ability is the difference between him being a solid, dependable mid-draft option and from him being one of the best fantasy outfielders in the game.

George Springer put together another fine campaign in 2020 and turned his 131 career OPS+ and reputation as the best active postseason hitter into a massive contract with the Blue Jays. Health is always the main concern with Springer: Entering his age 31 season, he's only played more than 140 games once. He is no longer any threat on the bases, and his average exit velocity last year was the worst of his career. Springer will always be a risky pick, but his elite power will always keep him near the top tier of outfielders.

Similar to Springer, Aaron Judge's value all comes down to health. He has not played more than 70 percent of his team's games since 2017 and has not reached the heights of his monstrous rookie season since. Last year was particularly concerning, as his exit velocity and barrel percentage fell by eight percent and four percent, respectively. Yes, you can chalk that up to small sample size and rib and calf injuries, but there is no denying that none of his rate stats have been the same since 2017. Don't fall for the name recognition: Aaron Judge should not be at the top of draft boards, and he has to prove he can be both healthy and productive before he moves out of Tier 3.

With all Marte went through last year on and off the field, it seems unfair to give him any serious evaluation of his 2020 performance. What he did prove is that he is still an elite 5-tool player, and while he doesn't possess the power of a Judge or Springer, he is a sneaky good pick at this point of the draft. 

Yordan Alvarez is a player I really like at this spot. With all the controversy surrounding the Astros the last few years, it's easy to forget just how dominant he was in 2019. Alvarez wasn't just good for a rookie, he was the best hitter in baseball not named Mike Trout or Christian Yelich, as his OPS+ would have been third in the majors had he qualified. The advanced stats back it up: He was in the top 10 percentile in just about every batted ball category. His playoff performance left a lot to be desired and we only saw two games of him last year, but the player we saw in 2019 was a Tier 1 player, so to get him in this spot is an absolute steal. Assuming he is healthy, of course. Beware his positional eligibility, as he qualifies at DH/UTIL only in some formats. 

 

Tier Four

What to make of Randy Arozarena? On one hand, he was excellent against major league pitching as a rookie during the regular season and then hit like Babe Ruth during the postseason. On the other hand, he was a 25-year-old career minor leaguer, and 43 games are far too small a sample to make an accurate judgment on what kind of player he will be moving forward. If you're willing to deal with the risk, Arozerana could turn out to be the steal of the draft. Or, he could be in minors by July. 

Another risky player with a small sample size is Trent Grisham. Grisham showcased his flashy tools during the shortened season, reaching double digits in both home runs and steals. Likely leading off in a stacked Padres lineup, he will rack up runs, so even if he doesn't match his 122 OPS+ of 2020, his speed and on-base-skills make him a great option at this point of the draft. 

Lost in the shuffle of more famous teammates Pete Alonso, Jacob deGrom and now Fransico Lindor, Michael Conforto is a damn good baseball player. There were only seven players with an on-base percentage higher than Conforto's last year, and only four of those seven could match his .412 on-base percentage. Hitting in an absolute stacked lineup, Conforto's ability to get on base and hit for power will make him one of the most valuable fantasy hitters in baseball. 

Last year was Teoscar Hernandez's breakout season, as he set a career-high in average by 60 points and improved his already good home run rate from one every 16 at-bats to one every 11.8 at-bats. The advanced numbers back it up too: He was in the 98th percentile and 97th in expected slugging. He'll never walk much or provide and value on the bases, but his power in the Blue Jay's stacked lineup is too tantalizing to pass up. 

For the first two weeks of the 2020 season, Nick Castellanos was the best player in baseball, hitting .340 with a 1.251 OPS over his first 14 games. For the remaining three-quarters of the season, however, he hit .190 with a .644 OPS. This is a concerning trend for a player who's really only had half a season of elite fantasy value in his entire career. He is also hitting in a lineup that was 24th in the majors in on-base percentage, which limits his ability to drive in his runs, his most valuable fantasy statistic. There are many more valuable players in Tier 4 than Castellanos. 

 

Tier Five

Tier 5 is filled with bounce-back candidates and high-risk/ high reward players. The chief among them is J.D Martinez, the former best hitter in baseball who is now trying to recover from a disastrous 2020 season. Martinez showed an obvious decline in back speed last year, as evident by his nearly 13o point drop in batting average on fastballs, but he is just two years removed from a .304/.383/.557 season, so it's hard to completely give up one. Also trying to bounce back from a lost 2020 season is Austin Meadows, who battled through an injury-plagued campaign in which he hit just .204 with 4 home runs. The last time we saw Meadows play a full, healthy season, he was an All-Star, and at 26, his best baseball may be in front of him. 

 There are many players who caught my eye in Tier 5. I really like Jeff McNeil at this spot. He's had an on-base percentage above .380 in each of the last three years, and with all the talent he is surrounded by in the Mets lineup, he will rank near the top of the NL in runs scored. Mike Yastrzemski is another player I like here. Because of the team he plays for and the lack of flash in his game, he flies under the radar, but he was an absolute superstar last year. Just to put his excellence in context: His 165 OPS+ was higher than all the hitters in Tier 2.

Jorge Soler is one of the most interesting players on this list. He famously set the Royals home run record in 2019 but fell off the table in 2020. Nothing really changed in his underlying statistics besides a slight increase in strikeout rate, however, so he is a strong bounce-back candidate. If you are looking for a cheap power source, Soler is the way to go. 

 Then there are the players I don't love taking at this spot. One of those players is Charlie Blackmon. His exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were in the bottom 20 percent of hitters, and after his smoking hot, BABIP induced start, he hit just .216 with a .610 OPS. This all resulted in the worst season of his career, and at 34, it's clear his best days are behind him.

Alex Verdugo is a player who is much more valuable in real life than in fantasy. His defense, intensity, and arm make him an All-Star caliber player, but he doesn't hit for enough power or steal enough bases to provide any significant fantasy value. Eddie Rosario is another player I wouldn't draft at this spot. In today's game, there are a million hitters you can get who can give you a cheap 20 home runs, and Rosario doesn't get on base enough, steal enough bases, hit for a high enough average, or play in a good enough offense to warrant anything more than a backup selection.

  

Tier Six

Two defense-first players lead the Tier 6 pack, as Ramon Laureano and Byron Buxton are both more valuable in real life than fantasy. Buxton is the riskier pick, as he has only played more than 100 games once in his career, but he provides more power and baserunning ability than Laureano. Even during his struggles last year, Laureano still managed to put together a .338 on-base percentage, and he is just one year removed from hitting .288 with 24 home runs and 13 steals. 

Another player whose main value lies on defense is Victor Robles, but his offensive ability is far behind Laureano and Buxton. Robles doesn't hit for average or power, and while he can steal the occasional base, his sub .300 on-base percentage limits that skill.

For a player who actually provides value on offense, look at Ryan Mountcastle. The former top prospect excelled in his rookie season, hitting .333 with a 140 OPS+. 53 games are too small a sample size to make any grand judgments, and his batted ball rates don't quite back up the standard numbers, but Mountcastle is a solid bet to hit in the high .200s with 20-25 home runs.  

At this point, we know who Joey Gallo is: He'll hit home runs, hit some more home runs, and provide literally nothing else. Not only does he not hit for average or steal bases, but his average and supporting cast are so weak that it hampers his ability to drive in runs despite his massive power. 

Dominic Smith and Anthony Santander are two players looking to build on breakout 2020 campaigns. Smith is the player I like more going forward, as he's shown a more consistent ability to hit for average and get on base. He also hits the ball much harder than Santander. He was in the 66th percentile in exit velocity and 83rd percentile in hard-hit percentage, while Santander was just 45th and 38th respectively. This is not to say Santander is a bad player. He made a clear effort in 2020 to get the ball in the air, increasing his launch angle by almost 10 points, and it resulted in a massive spike in home run rate. He doesn't have much help in the lineup, but playing time is guaranteed and if you can get a guy with a .575 slugging percentage at this stage of the draft, you're not complaining. 

Max Kepler is someone I like at this spot. He had a disappointing season last year, but his xBA was in line with his breakout 2019 season, where he hit 36 home runs and 98 RBI. With the amount of talent surrounding him in the Twins lineup, his floor is 30 home runs and 100 RBI, making one of the safest picks at this stage of the draft.

An absolute sleeper in Tier 6 in Kyle Lewis' Mariners teammate, Dylan Moore. There's not much to go one, but he's shown a clear ability to hit for power and steal bases at the big league level, the starter kit for a valuable fantasy player.

A player I don't like is Michael Brantley. He is only middle of the pack in terms of exit velocity and hard-hit percentage, making him extremely reliant on BABIP luck. He doesn't hit for power and he doesn't steal bases, and at 33, his best days are behind him. Grab him for the floor he provides in average and RBI but the upside isn't there.



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Goes Into Enemy Territory At UFC Mexico City
Ricky Turcios4 days ago

A Big Underdog At UFC Mexico City
Raul Rosas Jr.4 days ago

Set For Fourth UFC Appearance
Brian Ortega4 days ago

Ends Layoff At UFC Mexico City
Yair Rodriguez4 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Mexico City
PGA5 days ago

Seonghyeon Kim Looks To Continue A Steady Run Of Play
Jhonattan Vegas5 days ago

Showing Signs Of A Return To Form
Justin Suh5 days ago

Taking A Volatile Run Of Form South Of The Border
Jake Knapp5 days ago

Proving To Be A Compelling Korn Ferry Prospect
Brandon Wu5 days ago

Looking To Carry Over His Immaculate Mexico Open History
Alex Smalley5 days ago

Brings Tee-To-Green Struggles To Mexico
Nate Lashley6 days ago

Struggling Outside Of Putting Aberration
Maverick McNealy6 days ago

Trending Upwards Ahead Of Mexico Open
Michael Kim6 days ago

In Good Form Heading To Mexico
Davis Thompson6 days ago

Set For Mexico Open Debut
Cameron Champ6 days ago

Looks To Continue Success In Mexico
Aaron Rai6 days ago

Heads To Mexico In Poor Form
Thomas Detry6 days ago

Looking For Driver To Deliver
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1B
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OF
SP
RP

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