Once again, I present to you my monthly update of the AL Outfield Tiers. As always, these are my rest of the season ranks for the position. There is a month to in the regular season and as the clock runs out for the regular season it becomes harder and harder to do these ranks. Value at this point depends on what you need in your league. A player like Jarrod Dyson may not be as valuable as Ian Desmond all things being equal, but if you are searching for speed then he may be to you. So, keeping this in mind I have done my best to give ranks that best reflect my value while giving a boost within tiers to players like Dyson that may offer elite production in singular categories for those needing to make up last minute points in roto formats.
You can check out previous versions of this list as well as Alex Chamberlain’s NL versions here:
This will most likely be the final list for this season since by the time the end of September rolls around, there will only be a few days left in the season. However, this could change if I get ornery and decide to mess with you guys and put out an update in alphabetical or random order.
Speaking of being ornery, I have decided to name my tiers this month by random NL outfielders or non-outfielders that commenters have asked about their whereabouts on these lists throughout the season. Their placement has no correlation to anything about their value in fantasy baseball.
Tier 1: Bryce Harper
I finally have just added Betts to Tiers 1 along with the hot hitting Martinez. This is pretty much the “I was wrong tier,” as I was the lowest on both Betts and Martinez prior to the season as well as a big advocate of taking Paul Goldschmidt over Trout. Never Again!
Tier 2: Curtis Granderson
Davis with a K is having a breakout season. He has contributed great counting stats while not killing you in the average department. Like Davis with a C, Trumbo and Cruz, he has the power to make a difference down the stretch if you need a boost in those categories, but still isn’t getting the same respect in fantasy circles.
Cain is hitting .294/.342/.412 with six stolen bases in the month of August and is finally healthy. He will probably pretty undervalued coming into next season due to health concerns. I still think long term this is a guy that can go 20/30 with a .300 average.
Bautista is appears to be getting back on track since returning from the DL. The Blue Jays appear to be content with him leading off. While he is no asset in average, he is not a .226 hitter. It would be justifiable to put him in Tier 3, but I believe Joey Bats will finish strong as Toronto attempts to stay in the playoff hunt.
Tier 3: Jay Bruce
Maybe I am just fooling myself, but J-Up seems to be finally turning things around. Since August 20th, he has hit five home runs and is slashing .342/.405/.816. His walk and strikeout rates are more in line with his career norms. Considering how putrid he has been this year, a hot final stretch could have him finishing with 25+ home runs and double digit stolen bases. I still believe even if I shouldn’t.
Sano and Miller would be in this tier if there was a two or three months to go in the season, but their power potential and multi-positional eligibility give them upside and provide roster flexibility that can be real useful near the end of the season.
Tier 4: Odubel Herrera
Cameron Maybin has been hot since returning from the DL, but reinjured the same thumb that landed him there in the first place. It isn’t considered serious, but it is definitely worth monitoring over the course of the next few days. I originally had him in Tier 4, but with the limited schedule left, any missed time could drastically change a player’s value.
Since getting a few days off in a row, Dickerson has been hot. He has been slashing .341/.357/.585 since August 19th. Like Upton, I still believe in his talent and a hot rest of the season could give people reason to be excited by him coming into 2017.
I love Max Kepler and have been driving that bandwagon since before the season started, but he has been cold as ice since that power surge in late July/early August. He is slashing .208/.282/.240 since August 3rd and hasn’t hit a home run either. Rest of the way he doesn’t offer a ton of upside in any particular category and plays on one of the worst teams in baseball. I love him long term, but rest of this year not so much.
Tier 5: Justin Verlander
Melvin Upton Jr
Crisp being moved to the Indians could be really interesting from a real life standpoint rest of the way. He has a $13 million option for 2017 that could vest with 550 plate appearances. If he can produce down the stretch, he could potentially get there. From a fantasy standpoint, he could potentially offer some better counting stats in a better lineup and park.
Nick Franklin has quietly become a really nice piece in deeper formats. He is hitting .308/.373/.533 with five home runs and six stolen bases while offering multi positional eligibility. He should get some more chances to see what the former prospect can do in September for the Rays.
Tier 6: Miguel Sano (Pre-OF Eligibility)
Just when you thought that injuries to Shin Soo Choo and Prince Fielder finally opened things up in Texas to get guys like Profar and Delino DeShields Jr. extended looks, Carlos Gomez ruins you one more time.
Benintendi injury costs him a ton of value this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox elect to shut him down for the season considering his worth to the organization’s future. I was surprised how seamlessly he adjusted to the Majors after skipping triple-A. He will be a polarizing player in drafts next year.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.