Welcome to the most loaded position in fantasy baseball. Four of my top five in my overall top-500 dynasty rankings are outfielders and eight of the top-15. Four of those eight are under 25 and Christian Yelich serves as the elder statesman of the group at 29 years old. This position isn’t just loaded at the top either. The amount of talent and depth at this position is astonishing and that extends down into the minors as well. All this talent makes these dynasty outfield rankings very intriguing throughout.
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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Outfield Rankings
|2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||OF||ATL||23||NL|
|24||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||OF||TOR||27||AL|
|81||Robert Hassell III||OF||SD||19||NL|
|138||Jackie Bradley Jr.||OF||MIL||31||NL|
The top-7 here has pretty much gone unchanged over the last couple of seasons. But is that about to change? As I discussed recently, both Kyle Tucker and Luis Robert have the skills to break into this elite tier in 2021. Will they rise to Soto/Acuña/Betts level? Probably not, but getting into tier-2 is certainly possible. Yordan Alvarez has that upside too. You need to be an elite four-category contributor (Arenado 2015-2019 levels) to rise that high in rankings, but Yordan certainly has the offensive capabilities to do so. This is one of the few .300/100/40/100 bats in baseball. Alvarez has the 2nd highest wOBA in baseball since his 6/9/19 debut.
Another one that might not be too far behind is uber-prospect, Jarred Kelenic. The 20-year-old Seattle outfield prospect is a five-category fantasy stud in the making that should be gracing an MLB diamond near you early in the 2021 season. The hype around him is out of control at the moment, but Kelenic has the skills to warrant the buzz.
Two Tampa Bay outfielders find themselves in the back-end of my top-20, each trending in opposite directions. Both are also clear examples of sell-high and buy-low targets in dynasty leagues. Austin Meadows was coming off a stellar .291/83/33/89/12 line in 2019, but was hampered by COVID right before the season and admitted to never feeling right after that. I’m a believer in what Meadows did in 2019 and the metrics back his performance up. Meadows finished with a 72nd percentile exit velocity, 73rd percentile hard-hit rate, and 88th percentile or better in xBA, xSLG, XwOBA, and barrel rate.
On the flip side, I’d be selling high on Randy Arozarena. Is he talented with significant upside? Definitely. But he’s struggled against non-fastballs and his price tag might never be higher than it is right now coming off his postseason heroics.
Another couple of young outfielders I might consider selling in dynasty leagues are Dylan Carlson and Jo Adell. Both possess substantial power potential but also have hit tool concerns with questions surrounding how much speed they’ll supply. If each is around .260 and 5-10 steals to pair with 30-plus homers, that’s certainly still valuable, but would fall short of expectations.
Without question, Jasson Dominguez was the hardest to rank here for me. The raw tools are off the charts but we’ve yet to see him perform in games. As I’ve mentioned before, right now is a great time to sell high on him in dynasty leagues as the hype around him can likely net you a solid return.
Can Byron Buxton just freaking stay healthy? Is that too much to ask? Yeah, it probably is. Last season was an odd one for Buxton. On one side, Buxton cranked 13 homers in 39 games while posting career-bests in exit velocity, hard-hit rate, SLG, xSLG, barrel%, wOBA, xwOBA, and xwOBACON, but walked only two times to 36 strikeouts. That’s concerning, but Buxton has never been a big walk rate guy. As long as he can return to his career levels and maintain his power gains, 2021 could be Buxton’s best season yet. But then again, we’ve said that same thing numberous times before.
Victor Robles, WAS: Are we in store for a Victor Robles bounceback in 2021? The former top-5 prospect has fallen from grace lately, but we need to remember a few things. First, Robles is still only 23 (24 in May). This isn’t the age where you give up on a player with this type of former prospect pedigree. On top of that, Robles had a 17/28 season in 2019 and looked very impressive in spring training, slashing .296/.371/.574 with three homers and five steals in 62 plate appearances. While he’ll likely never be a statcast darling, I’m still a believer that Robles can settle in as a .270/15/25 type of player.
Clint Frazier, NYY: For a while, I wasn’t a passenger on the Clint Frazier hype train. Now, I’m at least traveling in coach sipping a jack and coke. Frazier has hit .267 in each of the last two seasons with a combined 20 homers 406 plate appearances. And while the statcast data doesn’t jump off the page at you, Frazier was above-average in most offensive metrics last season while increasing his walk rate exponentially. If he can keep his OBP around .350, Frazier’s bat in a potent Yankees lineup and hitter-friendly ballpark could do some real damage.
Ian Happ, CHC: There’s a lot to like in Ian Happ’s profile. He’s always posted impressive walk rates with an above-average hard-hit rate, exit velocity, and barrel rate. On top of that, he’s basically locked into the leadoff spot in Chicago with guys like Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, and Javier Baez hitting behind him. With Happ’s OBP skills, flirting with 100 runs scored is in play along with 25-plus homers annually.
Jo Adell, LAA: It pains me to put Jo Adell here. And let me first say that I still think he’s going to be a very good fantasy asset long term. That’s why he’s still inside my top-100 overall. However, the hit tool and speed likely won’t be as robust as we had hoped, thus limiting his overall ceiling a bit. Still, Adell has .260+/35/10+ potential and that still carries plenty of value in fantasy.
Nick Senzel, CIN: Will he ever perform up to expectations? Will he ever stay healthy? I’m not sure the answer to either of those is yes. The 12/14 line in his rookie season was promising, but Senzel can’t seem to stay on the field long enough to make a real fantasy impact. The upside is here to push 20/20 annually, but there’s too much risk in this profile for me to invest in dynasty leagues right now.
Kristian Robinson, ARI: The upside with Kristian Robinson remains quite intriguing, but as I mentioned with Adell above, the contact skills and approach are a concern. I’d be looking to sell high before these issues become more prominent during game action.
Media Credit: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire
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