Widgets Magazine

2013 Fantasy Outfielders 1-50

Written By on 23rd January, 2013
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper lead an infusion of young baseball stars into Major League Baselll

Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are some of the best — not to mention youngest — outfielders in the game

If you missed the previously outfield rankings from 51-101 you can view them here. You can also see our first base rankings here, as well as second base and third base here
The guys listed at the top will combine to make up a fair percentage of the first round for many drafts. In my opinion there is not only the number one overall pick, but four other players who should go off the board in the first round. The consensus number one overall pick, Mike Trout, put up one of the greatest fantasy performances we’ve seen. The fact that it was in his rookie season is even more amazing. We saw Trout contribute across all five categories in 2012. Looking ahead to 2013 — even with some expected regression in his batting average — a full season of counting stats can more than make up for any losses encountered there. You could make the argument for taking Braun or Miguel Cabrera over Trout and I wouldn’t be able to disagree too strongly, but the speed that Trout provides over those two pushes him over the top for me. These rankings, like the 51-101 ranks last week and the rest of this series are designed for mixed-league 5×5 redraft leagues.

Ranking

Player

Team

1

Mike Trout

Los Angeles Angels

2

Ryan Braun

Milwaukee Brewers

3

Matt Kemp

Los Angeles Dodgers

4

Andrew McCutchen

Pittsburgh Pirates

5

Giancarlo Stanton

Miami Marlins

6

Carlos Gonzalez

Colorado Rockies

7

Adam Jones

Baltimore Orioles

8

Jason Heyward

Atlanta Braves

9

Justin Upton

Arizona Diamondbacks

10

Josh Hamilton

Los Angeles Angels

11

Curtis Granderson

New York Yankees

12

Jose Bautista

Toronto Blue Jays

13

Matt Holliday

St. Louis Cardinals

14

B.J. Upton

Atlanta Braves

15

Jay Bruce

Cincinnati Reds

16

Austin Jackson

Detroit Tigers

17

Alex Gordon

Kansas City Royals

18

Yoenis Cespedes

Oakland Athletics

19

Jacoby Ellsbury

Boston Red Sox

20

Melky Cabrera

Toronto Blue Jays

21

Mark Trumbo

Los Angeles Angels

22

Allen Craig

St. Louis Cardinals

23

Michael Bourn

**Free Agent**

24

Shin-Soo Choo

Cincinnati Reds

25

Bryce Harper

Washington Nationals

26

Desmond Jennings

Tampa Bay Rays

27

Ichiro Suzuki

New York Yankees

28

Carlos Beltran

St. Louis Cardinals

29

Alex Rios

Chicago White Sox

30

Josh Willingham

Minnesota Twins

31

Ben Zobrist

Tampa Bay Rays

32

Nick Swisher

Cleveland Indians

33

Norichika Aoki

Milwaukee Brewers

34

Michael Morse

Seattle Mariners

35

Carlos Gomez

Milwaukee Brewers

36

Brett Gardner

New York  Yankees

37

Jason Kubel

Arizona Diamondbacks

38

Josh Reddick

Oakland Athletics

39

Martin Prado

Atlanta Braves

40

Dexter Fowler

Colorado Rockies

41

Chris Davis

Baltimore Orioles

42

Andre Ethier

Los Angeles Dodgers

43

Jonny Gomes

Boston Red Sox

44

Ben Revere

Philadelphia Phillies

45

Hunter Pence

San Francisco Giants

46

Nelson Cruz

Texas Rangers

47

Cameron Maybin

San Diego Padres

48

Corey Hart*

Milwaukee Brewers

49

Angel Pagan

San Francisco Giants

50

Jayson Werth

Washington Nationals

*These rankings were done before Corey Hart was reported to have undergone knee surgery. He is slated to miss at least three months plus rehab time. With a perfect procedure, no complications, and a flawless rehab, he could be back by early May.
A Player to Grab: Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher
I can understand the hesitancy around drafting Cabrera after his suspension for PED’s last season. Furthermore, I don’t think he’ll replicate his .346 batting average from last year (helped along by a career high .379 BABIP), even with some regression he has the potential to easily put up an average above league average. What is in Cabrera’s favor is moving from power killing AT&T Park to the homer friendly Rogers Centre. That he is getting to (presumably) bat in front of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion can only help his ability to score runs. To address the 800 pound gorilla, I don’t think being clean will drop Cabrera’s production that heavily. In 2012 he was able to raise his walk rate back to 7.3%, right around his career average, something that doesn’t have to do with PED usage. Additionally, his Line Drive Percentage last season was right in line with what it had been the previous several seasons (20.9%, 19.0%, 20.3% and 21.8% since 2009), while hitting much fewer balls in the air than he had previously. A higher ground ball rate will produce a higher BABIP, and as such more ground balls can lead to him making the best of his speed. Last season Melky did post a career high ISO, but the aforementioned ballpark switch can help to negate any power decline that might be conceived as being juicing related.
Nick Swisher is probably the least sexiest name that I could recommend to draft, but sometimes security is much more valuable than upside. To help prove this point are these numbers: 22, 24, 29, 29, 23, 24. Those are Swisher’s home run totals dating back to 2007 across three different teams and three wildly different ballparks. I could perform the same exercise with Swisher’s batting average numbers, but you can pretty much pencil in at least a .260 average to go along with those 25 home runs that he’ll provide your team. Moving from the Yankees lineup to a less stacked Indians squad will hurt his counting statistics a notch by virtue of having fewer opportunities to both drive in runners and well as score runs. It might not be as exciting as unearthing the next big thing, but there is a reason that Swisher was able to score a big contract this off season  and that thing is consistency.
A Player to Pass: Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier
As Ron Shandler famously said, “once you display a skill,  you own it”. Therein is precisely the issue surrounding Jacoby Ellsbury. In 2010, he proved that he is capable of going 30/30 while hitting for an excellent .320 batting average. If Ellsbury is that player in 2013, then his current ADP of 30 via Mock Draft Central is a massive bargain. What makes me leery of him is that Ellsbury has also missed 233 games over the past three seasons. If the injury bug hits again, then that same ADP of 30 turns from a bargain to a borderline waste of a third round pick. As Ellsbury in currently sitting in the “A Player to Pass” section of these rankings, you can guess where I stand on this particular risk-reward situation. One might argue that in a walk year, Ellsbury might be more likely to play through injuries to show off his value to teams looking to sign him in the off season, but the possibility that he might push through injuries that he usually wouldn’t could take a toll on his performance on the field. Succinctly put, its not a risk I would take with my third pick, and not one I can recommend anyone else take.
Andre Ethier will be playing everyday due to the fact that he is owed $13.5 million this year and over $17 million on average over the next four. The issue is that his salary won’t help to him to hit left-handed pitchers. Ethier had a .222/.276/.330 line against lefties last year, while hitting .325/.398/.546 against righties. It doesn’t take too much analysis to figure out that if lefties are pitching, Ethier should not be hitting, but that didn’t stop Don Mattingly from running him out there for over 200 at bats last year. That is over 200 ABs in which he performed about 25% worse than league average. If you’re in a daily league, and can strictly play the match ups with Ethier than he would be worth a late round pick. But I’m willing to bet that someone will see his total batting line from last year (a respectable looking .284/.351/.460), and pop him a few rounds before I’d be willing to spend my pick on a player who should be a straight platoon guy.
Michael Curtis
Michael Curtis
About Michael Curtis

Michael helps to cover the fantasy side of baseball at Bullpen Banter. He was born into tortured group that is New York Mets fandom and like most his age owes a huge debt of gratitude to Rob Neyer.

2013 Fantasy Rankings, Articles, Fantasy, Features, Rankings

5 Comments on "2013 Fantasy Outfielders 1-50"

  1. Profile Photo
    geo January 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm -

    Alex Gordon plays for the Kansas City Chiefs?

    • Profile Photo
      Steve Fiorindo January 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm -

      He could probably help them out. ..