To help prep you for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, we are helping all fantasy owners get started on their research. Today is the Fantasy Outfielder Rankings. Make sure you stay on top of everything so you are ready as soon as the 2012 season gets underway!
1. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays: Bautista followed up his 54 HR campaign with another 43 long balls. Just as impressive was his batting average improvement to .302 (1.055 OPS).
2. Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees: I was high on Granderson last year and he delivered to the tune of a .262-136-41-119-25 season. If he could improve the average he could challenge for the top spot in AL-Only leagues.
3. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox: I’d say you were lying if you said you saw the power coming. Ellsbury slugged 32 HRs. With a .321 average, 119 runs, 105 RBI, and 39 SBs he was easily one of the most complete outfielders last year. He’s just 28 so there is no reason to think he’ll fall off.
4. Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers: Let’s go with a little risk/reward play. Hamilton can flat out rake. He could be the top option if you didn’t have to worry about injury or his addictions.
5. Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox: Crawford crashed and burned in Boston, and could miss the start of the season. I feel he is too talented not to bounce back though.
6. Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals: After four mostly disappointing seasons Gordon finally figured things out. He posted a .303-101-23-87-17 line. With his pedigree, he should be able to build on his success.
7. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles: Jones does a bit of everything, as evidenced by his .280-68-25-83-12 line. Assuming he can get his run total back around 80 he should be a solid number one AL-Only fantasy outfielder.
8. Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays: Zobrist is nice because you can also use him at second base. Aside from his average, his .269-99-20-91-19 line is rock solid.
9. Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers: Cruz can mash (84 HRs over the past three years), but can he stay healthy (130 missed games over the same span)?
10. B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays: He continues to struggle with his average (.241, .237, .243 over past three years), but he has 52 HRs and 120 SBs over the span.
11. Shin-Cho Choo, Cleveland Indians: Choo was limited to 85 games last year, but he has been a solid across the board contributor the past 2.5 years.
12. Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays: In 63 games he hit 10 HRs and stole 20 bases. His upside is off the charts.
13. Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners: Moving to third in the lineup will likely mean less stolen bases, but he could still steal 25+. You know the average will be there. The runs could decrease, but he’ll have the opportunity to drive in more runs.
14. Nick Swisher, New York Yankees: Swisher has averaged 26.1 HRs over the past seven seasons.
15. Brett Gardner, New York Yankees: He has averaged 48 stolen bases over the past two seasons.
16. Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland A’s: I know he is a bit of the unknown, and not playing in a potent offense, but the power potential is huge.
17. Vernon Wells, Los Angeles Angels: Wells has combined for 56 HRs over the past two years. The Angels could move him, but he should be productive wherever he ends up.
18. Josh Willingham, Minnesota Twins: Smacked 29 HRs last year and has averaged 21.8 long balls over the past six seasons. Coming to Minnesota could sap his power, but he still should approach twenty or more.
19. Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles: He does a bit of everything, he just doesn’t excel in any category.
20. Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels: Hunter has averaged 24.3 HRs over the past 11 years.
1. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers: Matt Kemp was one home run shy of reaching the 40-40 club. Throw in 115 runs, 126 RBI, and a .324 batting average (.986 OPS) and you have the most complete fantasy outfielder in baseball.
2. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers: Assuming that his production won’t dip following his failed test and overturned suspension, he’s a fantasy monster.
3. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies: CarGo was a disappointment, but he still managed a .295-92-26-92-20 campaign despite missing 35 games.
4. Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks: Hard to argue with a .289-105-31-88-21 line, especially from a 24-year old.
5. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins: Slugged 34 HRs last year, and the addition of Jose Reyes should provide more RBI opportunities. He could easily lead the league in HRs and RBI.
6. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates: Had a rough season (.259 average) by his standards, but he saw his power jump to 23 HRs. He should be a solid contributor in all five categories.
7. Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds: The power is definitely there. He slugged 34 HRs last year with 97 RBI. He already has 100 career home runs and he’ll turn just 25 in April.
8. Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols is going to be missed. How could he not be? Still, Holliday is coming off a .296-83-22-75-2 line in 124 games. At 32 he’s not quite ready to lose OF1 status.
9. Hunter Pence, Philadelphia Phillies: Nothing wrong with a .314-84-22-97-8 line. He was even better for the Phillies posting a .324 average and .954 OPS.
10. Michael Bourn, Atlanta Braves: I don’t like overpaying for steals, but Bourn gets you so many. He has averaged 58 SBs over the past three seasons. He should post a decent average and approach 100 runs.
11. Michael Morse, Washington Nationals: He followed up a strong 2010 second half with a .305-73-31-95-2 line. I’m a believer.
12. Corey Hart, Milwaukee Brewers: Hart has averaged 28.5 HRs over the past two seasons, and has hit 20 or more in four of the past five. He’ll also steal you a few bases.
13. Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers: Ethier was a shell of himself last year with 11 HRs. He combined for 74 HRs his previous three seasons though. Health is an issue as Ethier has missed 50 games over the past two seasons.
14. Shane Victorino, Philadelphia Phillies: Fresh off a .279-95-17-61-19 season, you know what you’re getting from Victorino. A solid run total, decent HRs, and nice SBs. It’s a bonus if he can get his average back around .290.
15. Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves: Heyward had a tough year (.227-50-14-42-9). I feel he’s too good not to bounce back.
16. Drew Stubbs, Cincinnati Reds: He’s a power/speed combo guy, but his 40 SBs were more impressive than his 15 HRs.
17. Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres: Swiped 40 bases last year. He will turn 25 this year so he likely just scratched the surface.
18. Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: Werth missed playing at Citizens Bank Park. He still managed 20 HRs and has the potential for more.
19. Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies: Cuddy hit 20 last year for Minnesota, a number that could increase in Colorado.
20. Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals: After injuries cut short his 2009 and 2010 seasons, Beltran rebounded with 22 HRs.
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