Because dynasty league rankings are relatively league-dependent, I set up parameters for ranking the players below (and the ones who will follow at other positions). The list here presupposes a 16-team standard dynasty format, where there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever and owners have minor league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2015 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or only formats.
We’re finally at the point of the positional series where the number of players ranked goes from cute to daunting. One hundred and twenty-five souls grace this list, everything from bona fide superstars to aging veterans, from bounce-back candidates to teenage prospects with big upside, and from back-end options to, well, more back-end options. It’s a deep list, what do you want?
Outfield remains a strong position for both major league value and prospect currency—as is evident from the very top of the list on down. And with such a bulky position, there’s really very little need for a detailed introduction. The only think I will note is that we did not rank players at outfield who were ranked at other positions—so if you’re looking for Mark Trumbo, Arismendy Alcantara, or Javier Baez (who isn’t looking for that guy?), check a different list, as they won’t show up here.
And now, your top 125 outfielders in dynasty-league formats:
No real shockers up here. Trout remains the gold standard in fantasy, even with declining stolen base totals. Stanton rebounded in a big way in 2014, but ended up with a thud—the batting average may not be something we should be expecting going forward, but the power remains huge and the double-digit steals gives him a real boost compared to other sluggers. McCutchen is an all-around stud and, despite being the elder statesman of this tier at 28 years old, should continue to garner attention in all five categories for the foreseeable future.
There’s still nothing but almost-limitless upside with the 22-year-old, as he heads into his fourth season—and this ranking reflects that. He carries his fair share of injury risk, as he hasn’t played in 120 games either of the last two seasons, but the potential for a 40-homer bat with value surrounding it is still too bright for him to fall further than this.
In this tier, you can choose between two 29-year-old players who have current first-round grades on their fantasy value, or a 24-year-old who in a “down year,” hit .296/.382/.480 with double-digit steals. Just because Puig didn’t take a step forward from his incredible rookie season, it doesn’t mean that he’s not a surefire OF1 for the better part of the next decade.
The heavy hitters continue here, as this group features a few previously top-shelf options at the position. Braun finally had surgery to correct the nerve issue in his thumb, and while the talk has been positive so far this off-season, it was an experimental procedure and we haven’t seen him in game action. Upton gets the misfortunate of being cast off to Petco for at least 2015, but it’s not nearly the death knell that many make it out to be. Bautista had his strongest season since his epic 2011 campaign, but is already 34 and had played 210 games total in his previous two seasons. Gonzalez had always carried a reputation for being injury prone, but took it to a new level in 2014—though having a growth removed from his finger is unexpected, even for him. Springer could be the outfielder most likely to go 30/30 over the next couple of years, or he could hit .220 and disappoint.
And once you get through the exciting names above, it’s onto a handful of yawn-inducing players in dynasty leagues. Of course, that shouldn’t be the case. Pence is the third-round version of Adam Jones, in that he won’t single-handedly win you a league, but he’s money in the bank. He hasn’t played fewer than 154 games since his rookie campaign, and he’s even added back some of the stolen base potential he started his career with. Brantley is a divisive player, as there are plenty who will point to different areas of his performance in 2014 and cry that he’s a fluke. And while he may have played over his head, if he hadn’t, he’d be in the top-tier of outfielders on this list. Even if he’s a .300 hitter with 15 homers and 15 steals going forward, that’s incredibly valuable in this depressed offensive environment.
15) Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins
16) Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
17) Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins
18) Jason Heyward, St Louis Cardinals
19) Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
20) Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres
21) Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees
The wonderful thing about the outfield list is that the names continue to be super interesting as you move down. Buxton has all the potential in the world, but he’s played exactly one game at the Double-A level. Hamilton gets a lot of heat for not being a great hitter, but it’s just not that important in rotisserie leagues. That speed is a game changer, and can almost single-handedly win you a category. Yelich is one of my favorite hitters in the game today, and only the question of how much he taps into that power is holding him back from being a top-10 option here. There’s no shortage of upside with both Heyward and Kemp, but they both have to prove their doubters wrong in different areas.
This may be my favorite tier of this whole list, as the grouping could go in any number of directions from this point forward. Betts is the hotshot prospect with the shine, and while he performed admirably in his debut, there’s still some question as to what his ultimate upside is. Polanco is the hotshot prospect coming off a more standard rookie season—one of struggles and benching—though he did hit seven homers and steal 14 bases in just 89 games. Myers is the highest profile post-hype prospect at the position, and still has plenty of time and opportunity to become the player many though he would be when he was “stupidly” traded for James Shields. Then there’s Dickerson, the potential Coors Field mirage, who mashed his way towards being a top-20 outfielder in 2014 after hitting .323/.379/.597 in five minor-league seasons. You could talk to 24 people and get these four names ranked 24 different ways.
26) Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
27) Jorge Soler, Chicago Cubs
28) Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit Tigers
29) Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
30) Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers
31) Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
There’s no shortage of power in this tier, with the former consistent 30-homer Bruce and the two Cuban imports, Soler and Cespedes. Pederson should be given every opportunity to win the center field job in Los Angeles this season, and could be a 20/20 threat in time. Blackmon was the top fantasy outfielder in Colorado last season, and has even more to prove than either of his counterparts. Even if he replicates his last four months of 2014, that can still be a top-20 outfielder going forward.
32) Matt Holliday, St Louis Cardinals
I will take any opportunity I can to single out Holliday in dynasty formats. The beginning of the 2014 season was not his finest moment and he turned 35 in January, but he hit .280/.371/.502 with 15 homers and 51 RBI over the season’s final three months. That’s vintage Holliday. He’s readily available in many dynasty leagues, and even though he has the stink of age on him, he makes for a strong target.
33) Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins
34) Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
35) Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
36) Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox
37) Yasmany Tomas, Arizona Diamondbacks
38) Rusney Castillo, Boston Red Sox
39) Brett Gardner, New York Yankees
40) David Dahl, Colorado Rockies
This tier features the two most recent Cuban signees, Castillo and Tomas. The Diamondback gets the edge because of age, but Castillo should be the better player right out of the gate. Cruz will set out to prove that Safeco does not inhibit extreme right-handed power, but it’s tough to see his value going anywhere but down. Gardner will set out to prove that his power spike in 2014 was real—and his fantasy owners certainly hope it was, as he’s not the stolen base threat he used to be. He’s also one of those players who is always older than you think he is, even when you’ve looked it up on Baseball Reference 10 times before.
Werth is another one of those Matt Holliday All-Stars, but his shoulder surgery knocks him down this list a bit. Choo had a tough season readjusting to the American League, but is just one year removed from a .285/20/20 season in Cincinnati. Pompey looks to have the centerfield job in Toronto locked up, and could provide speed from the get go, while growing into his potential double-digit power. It’s a bit jarring to see Martinez this high on a dynasty list a year after being cut from the Astros, but the adjustments he made really allowed him to tap into the dormant power. The average won’t continue at that rate, but the dingers can be sustainable.
45) Leonys Martin, Texas Rangers
46) Ben Revere, Philadelphia Phillies
47) Oswaldo Arcia, Minnesota Twins
48) Adam Eaton, Chicago White Sox
49) Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels
50) Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays
51) A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks
52) Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox
This group is filled with upside plays without superstar potential. Sure, Revere could steal 40-plus bases again, Arcia could hit 25 homers and Pollock could go 15/15, but no one here is likely to be a savior for your fantasy team. The prospect of Eaton hitting atop a potentially improved lineup in Chicago is attractive, but with six homers in 211 career games, he’s not making the most of playing half his games in U.S. Cellular Field.
53) Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates
54) Rymer Liriano, San Diego Padres
55) Raimel Tapia, Colorado Rockies
56) Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds
57) Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers
58) Clint Frazier, Cleveland Indians
And here are all the prospects. Bell and Liriano are the closest to contributing at the major league level, and both could see time in 2015, depending on what happens to the depth chart ahead of them. Winker and Mazara had brief glimpses of Double-A last summer, but they’ll both return there eyeing a 2016 debut. If Tapia feels like he could hit .300 falling out of bed, it’s because there’s a good chance he could—and he’s headed to the California League, where pitchers may just cry uncle. No one needs to hear me talk about Frazier anymore, so let’s just move on.
59) Denard Span, Washington Nationals
60) Dexter Fowler, Chicago Cubs
61) Nick Williams, Texas Rangers
62) Alex Rios, Kansas City Royals
63) Curtis Granderson, New York Mets
64) Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
65) Michael Taylor, Washington Nationals
66) Alex Jackson, Seattle Mariners
67) Albert Almora, Chicago Cubs
68) Michael Cuddyer, New York Mets
69) Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres
The 2014 season was awfully kind to Span, but he’s more likely to be the solid fantasy asset he was prior to the season than the top-20 option he ended up as. After all, he hadn’t hit .300 since 2009 or stolen 30 bases since never. The trio of Judge, Taylor and Jackson puts a lot of thump into the middle of this group, and Renfroe keeps it going at the bottom. With the exception of Taylor, they could all be 30-homer hitters at the major league level. There is some value in the Mets’ outfield these days, as Granderson and Cuddyer both make for solid options towards the end of your outfield, and are generally not being treated as such.
These three are a tier just because their first names are similar and I like the symmetry. Jackson and Ackley are safe bets to return value in 2015 and beyond, but poor bets to make you particularly thrilled to own them. Meadows needs to stay healthy, but is capable of contributing across the board in fantasy leagues—which makes up for his lack of a carrying category.
73) Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers
74) Josh Reddick, Oakland Athletics
75) Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels
76) Stephen Piscotty, St Louis Cardinals
77) Manuel Margot, Boston Red Sox
78) Steven Souza, Tampa Bay Rays
79) Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets
80) Marlon Byrd, Cincinnati Reds
81) Michael Saunders, Toronto Blue Jays
82) Coco Crisp, Oakland Athletics
83) Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees
84) Drew Stubbs, Colorado Rockies
85) Norichika Aoki, San Francisco Giants
Lots of names here, and lots of yawns. Hamilton might as well be the plague at this point in dynasty leagues—as I’ve seen him being shipped off for mid-round draft picks in some leagues. Of course, the recent injury news doesn’t help. Saunders and Aoki should benefit from new environments in 2015, as should PECOTA’s lovechild, Souza. Piscotty and Margot are on very different trajectories as prospects, but don’t let the fatigue get you down with the former or the excitement let you get too carried away with the latter.
86) Jake Marisnick, Houston Astros
87) Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves
88) Bradley Zimmer, Cleveland Indians
89) Michael Bourn, Cleveland Indians
90) Tyrone Taylor, Milwaukee Brewers
91) Michael Conforto, New York Mets
92) Shane Victorino, Boston Red Sox
93) Angel Pagan, San Francisco Giants
94) Derek Fisher, Houston Astros
95) Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers
96) Anthony Gose, Detroit Tigers
97) Colby Rasmus, Houston Astros
98) Lewis Brinson, Texas Rangers
99) Juan Lagares, New York Mets
The trio of 2014 college draftees (Zimmer, Conforto, Fisher) should continue their climbs towards fantasy relevance in earnest during 2015—though none have any realistic chance of making the majors before mid-2016. After a few years of getting partial opportunities, Gose should have all the playing time he can handle in Detroit, and while there are plenty of potential pitfalls, there’s also a chance he turns into a 30-40 steal threat. Rasmus and Davis are both strong plays in the power department at the end of your active roster, but it’s pretty likely that both of them are just not very good at hitting—which will hurt their fantasy potential.
100) Billy McKinney, Chicago Cubs
101) Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers
102) Derek Hill, Detroit Tigers
103) Travis Snider, Baltimore Orioles
104) Seth Smith, Seattle Mariners
105) Torii Hunter, Minnesota Twins
106) Gerardo Parra, Arizona Diamondbacks
107) Aaron Hicks, Minnesota Twins
108) Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays
109) Jon Jay, St Louis Cardinals
110) B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves
111) Monte Harrison, Milwaukee Brewers
112) Gabriel Guerrero, Seattle Mariners
We’re finally getting there. Once you hit the tier with Aaron Hicks and B.J. Upton, you can be certain that you’ve jumped the shark. Ethier had a very down season in 2014 and is staring at a fourth outfielder job at this point, but a change of scenery could see his fantasy value jump up without him actually having to do anything. The two speed-based options here in Hill and Harrison are names worth watching as they advance towards full-season ball. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they could eventually offer more than just speed.
113) Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies
114) Michael Choice, Texas Rangers
115) Brett Phillips, Houston Astros
116) Domingo Santana, Houston Astros
117) Randal Grichuk, St Louis Cardinals
118) Carlos Quentin, San Diego Padres
119) Jarrod Dyson, Kansas City Royals
120) Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres
121) Jorge Bonifacio, Kansas City Royals
122) Jackie Bradley Jr, Boston Red Sox
123) Roman Quinn, Philadelphia Phillies
124) Leonardo Molina, New York Yankees
125) Teoscar Hernandez, Houston Astros
There’s no better way to end this list than with a Leonardo and a Teoscar. All of the major leaguers in this group are on the outside looking in at playing time in 2015 at this point, and the prospects all have their warts. But on the bright side, they’re better than Steven Moya.
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