06 Feb 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings
I have caved to the pressure. I foolishly thought I could just provide a list of players in the order I have them ranked, and it would be enough to be helpful for some, if not all. But your voices and criticism were loud, and they were heard. It is for this I repent, and humbly ask for your forgiveness. Welcome to my 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings. I have added blurbs for this list of Outfielders, and will go back and add them for the other positions as well. Additionally, I will take into account players eligibility and rank those qualified in the positions that apply.
What you have below is the Top 25 Outfielders for 2020, which will be added to until the list reaches 100. For context, I play all formats but my preference is for Points leagues. Does that mean these are weighted for Points vs Roto, no. At least I do not see it that way. You know the format, I do not. These are who I would be drafting ahead of the next guy, and I tier them in twelves, as in 1-12 is your starter. I am also a Dynasty enthusiast with deep roots in the prospect game. My main components in these rankings is prior year performance + weighted run projection + age + my own gut instincts. I am a firm believer of the age 27-32 window as well.
Don’t forget to check out the Turn Two Podcast for even more Fantasy Baseball content, like this episode breaking down Prospects with Ben Badler of Baseball America. Once again, these are just based off projected depth charts, utilizing CBS and Roster Resource.
1. Ronald Acuña, Atlanta
You don’t just flirt with 40/40, especially at the age of 21, and find yourself too far down the rankings. Now 22, what is Acuña’s realistic ceiling? He’s proving to be a true 5-tool player with enough consistency to think it is legit, and unseat the incumbent Mike Trout in my 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings.
2. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee
Amazingly, Trout is jumped by not one but two players this year. If you thought Yelich had the pedigree most in the prospect community believed he did, you knew the move from Miami to Milwaukee was going to pay big dividends. It’s also a testament to my belief in the age 27-32 window, which can sometimes be forgiving by a year or two on either side. He should probably be #1 Overall based on the consistency and fact he is still stealing bags. If you’re conservative take him first.
3. Mike Trout, Los Angeles (A)
He’s done nothing wrong! The Meteorologist may just have the best surrounding team in his career, but has slowed in the steals department enough to be the very best four category contributor. I was shocked to not have him higher in these 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings, but that just shows how much talent is currently in the game.
4. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles (N)
Bellinger has every bit as much of a claim to pull an Acuña or Yelich and jump ahead of Trout. However, his batting average made such a monstrous climb in 2019 that I would like to see him do it again, or come close, for at least one more year. The dual eligibility between the Outfield and First Base could be enough to offset that gamble, and justify him being #1 Overall. Arguably the best consolation prize in Fantasy Baseball history.
5. Mookie Betts, Los Angeles (N)
I get that we live in a world built on recency bias. I get that his move to the West Coast atop the Dodgers lineup could pace him for 200 runs. I do not get placing him any higher than 5th, especially for the reasons listed for the players above. He is absolutely capable of topping this list, but even with a great season it is likely to be just a few steps shy of achieving it.
6. Juan Soto, Washington
He is a wildcard here, but just proof of how dynamic the top of the Outfield ranks are this year. A legit .290+ hitter with power, production, and possibly now speed? Just like no one saw his meteoric breakout across three levels in 2018 to reach the pros, I am positive no one saw him reaching double digit steals last year. He showed his unnatural swagger and confidence on a national stage in the Nats World Series run, so the sky is the limit – as is with Acuña.
7. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia
This is absolutely a personal pick. For the past few years, you would be surprised to see Harper this low. Now it probably comes as a shock to see him this high. I’m taking the psychological route with this and saying Bryce has a humongous chip on his shoulder after everything that happened to him in 2019. He’s had a little bit of a chance to lurk in the shadows, and my optimism is saying this is the career year we’ve been waiting for. Oh, and by the way, his production has not been bad at all, despite the general feeling.
8. Austin Meadows, Tampa Bay
Meadows was a high level prospect with Pittsburgh who was only missing power from his arsenal to be a true 5-tool beast. While the speed hasn’t matched the pace, the power has arrived. This position might seem generous, but he is not a flash in the pan. This was the expectation, and even more reasons why the Chris Archer deal was so horrendous.
9. Charlie Blackmon, Colorado
Since “Charlie Hustle” is taken, how about “Charlie Consistent”? So what he doesn’t have the healthy feet (or age) to keep being a threat on the base paths. All Blackmon does is continue to put up fantastically balanced seasons. I don’t see that changing this year.
10. George Springer, Houston
The most amazing part to Springer’s 2019 season was what he amassed in just 122 games. He would have hit 50 bombs over the full season, and like Bellinger, he spiked his batting average to a career high .292. He has always teased us with tantalizing talent, but he’s already 30, and time does start to take its toll. I don’t dislike Springer, but the volatility makes me want to look elsewhere.
11. Yordan Alvarez, Houston
What in the hell did we just witness?! Has anyone actually seen Alvarez’s birth certificate? This is still a child for goodness sakes. He’s shown in short order that he had special potential, but did anyone truly believe it would happen this soon and on this scale? At the risk of over-drafting him in 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings, he hasn’t shown this is the ceiling and may very well be the floor. He didn’t slow down at any point throughout the season, and doesn’t seem to be phased one iota by major league pitching. There’s also a ton of excitement in having him on your roster.
12. Jorge Soler, Kansas City
You cannot just mash 48 homers be forgotten. He was an absolute stud in 2019. Do not discount it. Hey, did you notice it was his age 27 year, wink wink. Did everyone forget this was once the jewel of the Cubs system. He finally got a place to call home, and he broke out in a big way. I wouldn’t expect a carbon copy of 2019, but I also wouldn’t view the season as an outlier.
13. Nicholas Castellanos, Cincinnati
Two years ago, I made sure to acquire Castellanos in every dynasty league I could, just ahead of his age 27 season. A batter with the tools to challenge for a .300 average, who was perennially producing twenty homer seasons. The power was coming, and he was languishing in obscurity in Detroit. A late season completely changed his fate, bankroll, and outlook. Landing in Cincinnati means the threat of 40 homers plus all the other goodies. I’m a fan, and excited for an encore.
14. J.D. Martinez, Boston
It seems as though a mild decline has begun, and turning 33 in August, Martinez is at the tail end of his prime window. I wouldn’t expect it to completely fall off the rails, but I do expect a dip in the production we have become accustomed to. Enough so to make me not want to pay at his ceiling price in what could be a questionable season.
15. Starling Marte, Arizona
So the power never materialized to what we once thought it possibly could. But he is still a terrific run producer, and the move to the desert is exciting on many levels. As the 15th Outfielder (OF15) he starts the run on what I consider to be second Outfielders, or OF2. He’s right on the cusp of being in the top twelve, and his consistency plus new ballpark present a phenomenal buying price if you can get him any later than this.
16. Aaron Judge, New York (A)
Admittedly, I am an Old School Yankee fan. I hated when the team created the Judges Chambers. Not only did it piss off Gary Sanchez, but it broke all traditions the Yankees are known for. I am surprised facial hair and last names still haven’t followed. I do believe Judge is good enough, and level headed enough to carry the Captain’s torch. The profile looks exactly the same as it did in his magical rookie season. He just needs to stay healthy.
17. Luis Robert, Chicago (A)
I’m leery of putting too much pressure on players too soon. While I have no doubts Robert will eventually be in the Top 5 Overall players drafted annually, I am not completely convinced it happens right out of the gate, or for these 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings. I just don’t want to miss the boat if it does, because he is something special. We recently had Ben Badler on the Turn Two Podcast who essentially confirmed this statement. You’re swinging for the fences, but he is capable of delivering.
18. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago (A)
Two young White Sox studs back-to-back speaks to how talented the Chicago system is becoming. In most other outfields, Jimenez would be the team’s top player. A masher who can also hit for average, there is a ton of run production in this bat. He got off to a slow rookie season mired by some injury hiccups, but the talent will outproduce his ADP, and he is a draft day bargain. Look at how he finished the year in September for a better representation of what his future is –> .340/19/9/15/0 in 24 games.
19. Ramón Laureano, Oakland
I know this is going to seem plenty generous, but what Laureano brings to the table, not many players can offer. He was an afterthought in the MLB Draft as a 16th round pick out of JUCO by the Houston Astros, but he hit the minors running and has not looked back. The average is believable, coupled with 30/30 upside in a player still getting his feet wet as a 25 year old. The balance of the profile is one I am willing to pay up for.
20. Victor Robles, Washington
Here is to hoping he’s figured it out. The Washington OF was supposed to be Harper, Robles, and Soto. That is scary to think about. Robles was supposed to be the second best talent, but he’s had a rough go of things since he’s hit the majors. He will only be 23 this year, so I am not worried about the speed at all. I’m not desperate for power from him either, because it isn’t void. What concerns me most is the average and to that end he was really good down the stretch – playoffs not included. Over his 51 final regular season games he batted right around .280, which is the profile we were hoping for. This is the year to be back in on Robles.
21. Michael Conforto, New York (N)
Professional Hitter. That has been my title for Conforto since he was drafted by the Mets in the 1st Round out of Oregon State. A gap to gap power lefty bat, I always saw him as more of .290 type with 30 homer potential. The power has grown, and the average is rising. Oh, and he’ll be 27 in March. This is a great time to buy in.
22. Eddie Rosario, Minnesota
Feels like no one ever truly wants to buy into Rosario, but at the same time, no one wants to miss out. He is in one of the better lineups in the game, and Minnesota to me is a Final Four team. While the numbers have fluctuated a little over the past three seasons, he is still offers a high average and above board run production. There is no reason to not see that continuing.
23. Giancarlo Stanton, New York (A)
I don’t know where to go with Stanton. I’m likely one of the lower guys on him, but I just cannot see how he deserves to be any higher in these 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings. It isn’t even the health that concerns me, but rather the fit. I was a fan long before he landed in the Bronx, how could you not be. But the Bronx is not an ideal place for him, and it isn’t going to get any easier. He presses too hard and succumbs to that pressure. He is a former MVP, and world class athlete, and capable of righting the ship. I need to see it first before I can buy in, and he is one of my bigger avoids in 2020.
24. Joey Gallo, Texas
There is not a ton I want to love about Gallo, but no matter how or what numbers I use, he keeps coming up roses. Arguably the most powerful bat in the majors, which inherently comes with a lot of swing and miss, this is an all or nothing approach. I highly recommend being fully aware of the settings in your league before considering rostering him. He is great for some, and not so much for others.
25. Trey Mancini, Baltimore
My guy (and co-host on Turn Two) John Laghezza has sold me on Mancini. And the Athletic Fantasy was sold on John, so Mancini is my six degrees of separation. My main fear is that he won’t produce or score enough runs in the anemic Baltimore lineup. But I love that bandbox, and he will get his 30+ homers, so that is at least 30 RBI. He also can flirt with .300 in the batting average, which is good. So maybe he is just a 2.5 category contributor, of which he will be very good for those categories.
Make sure to check back for the rest of the 2020 Fantasy Baseball: OF Rankings, and still to come is Pitching and the Overall Rankings. In the meantime, you can catch how I have things sorted on FantasyPros in their ranking system of industry analysts with this link: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Expert Rankings Consensus.
Andy is a jack of all trades in the Fantasy Sports industry, covering football, baseball, and the NFL Draft. He has written, edited, podcasted, and produced over 1,000 videos for his various series, in addition to dozens of guest appearances and collaborative pieces.
A top ranker on Fantasy Pros for both Football (23rd in 2018) & Baseball (7th in 2018), avid fan of mining for MLB prospects, and former D1 College hoops player, Andy is a native New Yorker, who has served as a firefighter in the FDNY for the past 18 years and counting.