I had no idea how I was going to follow up my extremely well-received article from last week, but then I realized it is the last Wednesday of the month which means it is time for my AL Outfield Tiers! Hooray! As always, these are my rest of the season ranks for the position and you can check out my previous versions below as well as Alex Chamberlain’s NL versions.
I have named my tiers based on the top television shows, movies, and YouTube channels that I wish my daughter would stop watching.
Tier 1: Inside Out
This is a great movie the first 20-30 times, but at some point enough is enough. My daughter is so obsessed with this movie she wants to move to Minnesota because that is where the main character is from. She couldn’t care less that in the movie she moves to San Francisco, where we are from!
Still the best in the game, but Mookie is closing the gap.
Tier 2: Chase’s Corner
This is a YouTube station with videos of a family that plays a lot of video games and does “challenges”. DO NOT let you kids watch this!
Of my upper tier ranks, I was probably the most wrong on Betts. I knew he’d be good, but not this good. He has become an elite outfielder on one of the best teams in baseball. He probably deserves his own tier, but I still love Springer and Bautista has been fantastic as well in spite of his poor average. I figured it is better to just create this second mini-tier.
Tier 3: Frozen
Let it go… seriously.
J.D. Martinez has begun to turn things around. He has hit six home runs with a .309/.387/.745 in the last two weeks. The Tigers haven’t been good overall, but with Martinez and Maybin becoming a spark plug, that lineup is getting better and better. Maybe Upton is next to turn things around?
Chris Davis has been walking more and the majority of his underlying numbers are in line with his career norms. The average will always be unpredictable, but hitting 40 home runs shouldn’t be an issue for the masher.
Tier 4: Jake and the Neverland Pirates
I know kids shows are supposed to instill morals, but this watered down version of Peter Pan is absolutely unwatchable. Fun fact: In the original Peter Pan, Peter kills the Lost Boys once they get too old or just to “thin them out”. If they incorporated that into this show, I’d watch.
Originally I had Hanley in the tier above this one, but he in spite of a fantastics start, he is striking out at the highest rate of his career and sporting an unsustainable .390 BABIP. There is a fall coming in the rates, but I don’t necessarily think it will be disastrous.
Desmond has begun to look like the Ian Desmond of old. He is running and striking out 7% less this season. The average will come down to earth a bit, but considering his positional eligibility, you have to be pleased with his production this year. His success at the plate and in center has allowed the Rangers to demote DeShields, keep up Mazara, and promote Gallo. God bless you Ian. I take back all the mean things I said about you when you signed in Texas. He is the #2 shortstop in fantasy so far.
I am trying not to freak out about Justin Upton, but it is getting harder and harder not to. For now, I am going to continue to believe in the track record. He will turn it around. Hitting is contagious and the Tigers are starting to hit.
Khris Davis has been fantastic since last month’s version of this article came out. Hitting .240/.257/.615 with 10 home runs and 23 RBIs is a has been a nice boon for fantasy owners that were patient. The 2% walk rate is abysmal, but who needs to walk when you can just trot around the bases? Right?
Tier 5: Little Kelly
This is another one of those YouTube abominations. It is literally a group of English friends that explain storylines to go along with their MineCraft videos. When did MineCraft become a thing anyhow? Isn’t it a less evolved version of Simcity? And didn’t that stop being fun in the 90’s?
Mazara is here to stay! He even showed the immense power in his bat that is too come with last night’s home run.
That swing is so beautiful and quick.
Speaking of beautiful home runs, Leonys Martin’s walk-off was pretty.
Now, there is some obvious power regression coming with Martin, but he has been extremely good so far. I would actually start to see if you can sell high on him right now as his value may never be higher.
Jackie Bradley Jr. can’t keep this up, right? I thought he turn into a pumpkin weeks ago, but maybe it is time to buy in that he is at least a little bit legit. He is striking out almost 8% less than last year and is being supported by a .400 BABIP, but it is not to say that there hasn’t been an obvious approach change. He has been hitting the ball harder and it is showing.
Rasmus has come back to earth after a torrid start, but he is walking more and striking out less than any point in the last three seasons and he is already stolen as many bases this year as he did in 2015. Even during writing this blurb, I moved him up a tier.
Tier 6: Doc McStuffins
This is a show in which a young girl’s toys come to life only when no one else is around. While it appears to be a cute show that features an adorable female lead, it is really about a schizophrenic child that is constantly breaking all her friends in order to “fix” them.
Let’s just call this the injury tier that I have no clue where to these guys.
Gomez should be back soon, but considering how he looked before hitting the DL, it is hard to be encouraged by his return.
People got mad at me when I said that Brantley was made of glass and maybe that was a bit unfair, but there was a reason why I was extremely low on him in the Spring. I would unload him for pennies on the dollar if I had him, but that is about where I valued him anyway prior to the season.
Reddick was having a nice start of the year until getting hurt. At least reports are that he will not need surgery.
Tier 7: Kate and Mim Mim
This frightening portrayal of an apocalyptic post nuclear war ravaged world belongs in a horror film and not on a child’s TV screen… wait… that is just the lead characters imaginary fantasy land? Disney is really slipping.
Xander loves watching Kate and Mim-Mim. It’s like Adventure Time but not funny, at all, not even a little 🙂 pic.twitter.com/ibNoxjChyk
— Barnacules (@Barnacules) May 16, 2016
I was only a decade early on Cameron Maybin.
— Justin Mason (@JustinMasonFWFB) May 25, 2016
Valencia hit all six of his home runs in a five game stretch. Unsustainable? Duh! However, while he has always mashed lefties, he has shown an improved approach against right handed pitching. He won’t offer a ton of power, but in AL Only you could do a lot worse with a 3rd baseman that has multiple positional eligibility. In mixed leagues and AL Only I would be looking to sell ASAP before regression kicks in or the Athletics start trading off anything not concrete.
All it took was the decimation of their outfield for the Rangers to bring up Gallo. In the minors, he cut his strikeout rate by more than half and increased his walk rate by over 8%. He even hit .265 (in a small sample) with only a .269 BABIP. If he can keep up the improved approach in the Major Leagues, he will force Texas to keep him up once they start bringing guys back. Moreland and Fielder have been subpar, so it is not like they are real roadblocks at the moment.
If you are waiting on Evan Gattis to gain catcher eligibility and you play with a 10 game minimum, you may have a while to wait. I wouldn’t expect to see him play back there more than 1-2 times a week.
Byron Buxton should be back in the Majors soon. He has been mashing at triple-A and it is time for the Twins to recall him and see if he can carry it over to the big leagues. Buy now before it is too late.
Joey Rickard continues to hold his own at the Major League level and the hearts of the Baltimore fan base in his palm. It would be nice if Buck Showalter would allow him to use his best tool in his speed, but I am still pretty happy with the being his biggest supporter in spring training.
Tier 8: My Little Ponies
Not only have they made multiple movies revolving around these childhood toys from the 80’s, but the most recent incarnation of them is a recurring storyline where the ponies turn into awkward teenage girls that to save the parallel universe that is modern day Earth. This is fatherhood.
Paulo Orlando has been extremely hot as of late, but it is hard to imagine it continuing. Just ride the hot streak while you can.
Arcia has cooled down, but the Twins have given him a vote of confidence by sending his only real competition in Rosario down to the minors.
Tier 9: Strawberry Shortcake
These aren’t really that bad, but I am running out of options here and am coming to the realization that it is possible my kid watches way too much television, but how else am I supposed to parent?
Canha and Holt are injured and the rest of this tier are playing like they are too.
Tier 10: Archer
Come on, I am not a horrible father. Just a really bad one. Enjoy:
Archer – Phrasing Compilation https://t.co/mb6E1XrMAA
— DeAnna Knippling (@dknippling) May 19, 2016
Welcome to the tier of guys in the minors! Love me some Zimmer and at some point DeShields will probably be back up. Look out though for Pompey if Pillar continues to struggle.
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.