Justin Mason’s Outfield Ranks: 1/27/2023 by Justin Mason January 27, 2023 Now that football season is over, it is time to really prep for baseball drafts! This year to improve my prep, I am doing full projections on every position which are reflected in my ranks. My ranks will be available here on FanGraphs and daily updates and full projections will be available on the Sleeper and the Bust Patreon once I have completed them. Justin Mason’s Top 150 Outfielder: 1/27/23 NAME TEAM LG ALLPOS 1 Aaron Judge NYY AL OF/DH 2 Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL NL OF/DH 3 Kyle Tucker HOU AL OF 4 Julio Rodriguez SEA AL OF 5 Mookie Betts LAD NL OF 6 Juan Soto SD NL OF 7 Mike Trout LAA AL OF 8 Randy Arozarena TB AL OF/DH 9 Yordan Alvarez HOU AL OF/DH 10 Cedric Mullins BAL AL OF 11 Kyle Schwarber PHI NL OF 12 Michael Harris II ATL NL OF 13 Seiya Suzuki CHC NL OF 14 George Springer TOR AL OF/DH 15 Bryan Reynolds PIT NL OF 16 Starling Marte NYM NL OF 17 Luis Robert CHW AL OF 18 Adolis Garcia TEX AL OF/DH 19 Eloy Jimenez CHW AL OF/DH 20 Christian Yelich MIL NL OF/DH 21 Teoscar Hernandez SEA AL OF 22 Steven Kwan CLE AL OF 23 Taylor Ward LAA AL OF 24 Anthony Santander BAL AL OF/DH 25 Corbin Carroll ARI NL OF 26 Ian Happ CHC NL OF 27 Jake McCarthy ARI NL OF 28 Tyler O’Neill STL NL OF 29 Giancarlo Stanton NYY AL OF/DH 30 Cody Bellinger CHC NL OF 31 Joey Meneses WAS NL 1B/OF 32 Andrew Vaughn CHW AL 1B/OF/DH 33 Wil Myers CIN NL 1B/OF 34 Kris Bryant COL NL OF 35 Seth Brown OAK AL 1B/OF 36 Hunter Renfroe LAA AL OF 37 Nick Castellanos PHI NL OF 38 Alex Verdugo BOS AL OF 39 Mitch Haniger SF NL OF 40 Jorge Soler MIA NL OF 41 Lars Nootbaar STL NL OF 42 Byron Buxton MIN AL OF/DH 43 Randal Grichuk COL NL OF 44 Masataka Yoshida BOS AL OF 45 Gavin Lux LAD NL 2B/OF 46 Andrew Benintendi CHW AL OF 47 TJ Friedl CIN NL OF 48 Oscar Gonzalez CLE AL OF 49 Jeff McNeil NYM NL 2B/OF 50 Joc Pederson SF NL OF 51 Riley Greene DET AL OF 52 Avisail Garcia MIA NL OF 53 Edward Olivares KC AL OF 54 Brandon Nimmo NYM NL OF 55 Brendan Donovan STL NL 2B/3B/OF 56 Trey Mancini CHC NL 1B/OF/DH 57 Jake Fraley CIN NL OF 58 Charlie Blackmon COL NL OF/DH 59 Leody Taveras TEX AL OF 60 Manuel Margot TB AL OF 61 Max Kepler MIN AL OF 62 Andrew McCutchen PIT NL OF/DH 63 Brandon Marsh PHI NL OF 64 Chris Taylor LAD NL 2B/OF 65 Jurickson Profar N/A N/A OF 66 Mike Yastrzemski SF NL OF 67 Kyle Isbel KC AL OF 68 Harrison Bader NYY AL OF 69 Lane Thomas WAS NL OF 70 A.J. Pollock CHW AL OF 71 Esteury Ruiz OAK AL OF 72 Austin Hays BAL AL OF 73 Lourdes Gurriel ARI NL OF 74 Trent Grisham SD NL OF 75 Myles Straw CLE AL OF 76 Bryan De La Cruz MIA NL OF 77 Michael Conforto SF NL OF 78 Jarred Kelenic SEA AL OF 79 Mark Canha NYM NL OF 80 Jesse Winker MIL NL OF 81 Nick Senzel CIN NL OF 82 Akil Baddoo DET AL OF 83 Marcell Ozuna ATL NL OF/DH 84 Whit Merrifield TOR AL 2B/OF 85 Brian Anderson MIL NL 3B/OF 86 Ramon Laureano OAK AL OF 87 Chas McCormick HOU AL OF 88 Harold Ramirez TB AL 1B/OF/DH 89 Tommy Pham NYM NL OF 90 Drew Waters KC AL OF 91 Adam Duvall BOS AL OF 92 Enrique Hernandez BOS AL OF 93 Austin Meadows DET AL OF 94 Miguel Andujar PIT NL OF 95 David Peralta N/A N/A OF 96 Garrett Mitchell MIL NL OF 97 Jack Suwinski PIT NL OF 98 Christopher Morel CHC NL 2B/OF 99 Victor Robles WAS NL OF 100 Oscar Colas CHW AL OF 101 James Outman LAD NL OF 102 Juan Yepez STL NL OF 103 Gavin Sheets CHW AL OF 104 Kerry Carpenter DET AL OF 105 Michael Brantley HOU AL OF/DH 106 Tyrone Taylor MIL NL OF 107 Yonathan Daza COL NL OF 108 Jose Siri TB AL OF 109 Adam Frazier BAL AL 2B/OF 110 Cal Mitchell PIT NL OF 111 Tony Kemp OAK AL 2B/OF 112 Dylan Moore SEA AL SS/OF 113 Tyler Naquin N/A N/A OF 114 Aaron Hicks NYY AL OF 115 Trayce Thompson SD NL OF 116 Hunter Dozier KC AL 1B/3B/OF/DH 117 Estevan Florial NYY AL OF 118 Ji-Hwan Bae PIT NL OF 119 Josh Smith TEX AL 3B/OF 120 Joey Gallo MIN AL OF 121 Mauricio Dubon HOU AL SS/OF 122 Eddie Rosario ATL NL OF 123 Oswaldo Cabrera NYY AL OF 124 Nelson Velazquez CHC NL OF 125 Jose Azocar SD NL OF 126 Dylan Carlson STL NL OF 127 Aledmys Diaz OAK AL 2B/OF 128 Jo Adell LAA AL OF 129 Jarren Duran BOS AL OF 130 Mickey Moniak LAA AL OF 131 Austin Slater SF NL OF 132 Sam Haggerty SEA AL OF 133 Will Brennan CLE AL OF 134 Kevin Kiermaier TOR AL OF 135 Luis Gonzalez SF NL OF 136 Bubba Thompson TEX AL OF 137 Conner Capel OAK AL OF 138 Trevor Larnach MIN AL OF 139 Brad Miller TEX AL 3B/OF/DH 140 Robbie Grossman N/A N/A OF 141 Matt Vierling PHI NL OF 142 Kyle Stowers BAL AL OF 143 Nick Maton PHI NL OF 144 Nick Gordon MIN AL 2B/OF 145 Rafael Ortega N/A N/A OF/DH 146 Alex Call WAS NL OF 147 Chad Pinder N/A N/A OF 148 LaMonte Wade SF NL 1B/OF 149 Alex Kirilloff MIN AL OF 150 Michael Taylor KC AL OF Position eligibility is based on 20 games played in 2022. Blue denotes the beginning of a tier. Thoughts on Tier 1 I think you can make an argument for any of these players to be in any order. They all have questions that give them some sort of risk. Judge’s risk comes down to health. He has had two straight healthy seasons which gives me some hope that he can continue to stay on the field, but I have had a hard time pulling the trigger on him. I will say, I feel like I gave him a fairly conservative projection, but he still ended up #1 in the outfield and #3 overall. Health and the power regression last season are the reasons that Acuna is risky. I am not super worried about either to be honest and he is definitely in consideration for me if I have a top five pick. I think the only real issue with Tucker is the fact the Astros continue to bat him sixth in the order. That being said, he is the safest of the elite tier and likely ends up on more of my teams than any of the others because of his safety. Rodriguez has regression risk coming into his second season as well as the fear that his lack of stolen bases in the second half carry over to 2023. The upside is tantalizing so I won’t argue with anyone putting him #1. Thoughts on Tier 2 I don’t know if there is any player I feel better about in the back half of the first round than Mookie Betts. I do worry a little bit about the Dodgers lineup as a whole but the top half of the lineup is still pretty strong. Soto should rebound in full season in San Diego and that lineup looks incredibly strong once they get Tatis back. A very safe floor which is what I am looking for at the top of a draft. One day we may get a full season of Mike Trout, but it has been a while since we have seen 500 plate appearances in a season. I don’t know why people are so low on Arozarena. Only two players went 20/30 last season, Randy Arozarena and Bobby Witt Jr. One is going in the first round and one is going in the third round. I know people are going to be pissed about Yordan being so low, but he gets hurt by the lack of stolen bases and I do worry about his knees becoming an issue at some point. Unlike a lot of the guys in this tier, I don’t feel comfortable projecting him for 600 plate appearances. I love Cedric Mullins. That is all. Schwarber’s massive season was overshadowed by Aaron Judge being superhuman in 2022. Not only did he hit a ton of home runs, but he even stole 10 bases. He even got a bit unlucky with his BABIP and could see his average come up a little. Thought on Tier 3 Ok, so the next guy I will be screamed at about is Michael Harris II, but I have some concerns. First, he swings outside the zone way too much and the swinging strike rate is indicative of someone that is going to have a higher strikeout rate. Also, the launch angle is pretty concerning considering he has always had a high ground ball rate. I still think he will be very good, just not worthy of a second round pick. Man, even I am surprised by how high I have Suzuki. He will continue to be a hot name in drafts because I am not alone in my love for him. In the second half, he was the only player in baseball with a top 25 barrel percentage and top 25 zone contact. I am going to be drafting a lot of him. Springer quietly had a fantastic season and readded the speed component to his game. Health is always a concern for him but I am excited for him in that Toronto lineup and with new park dimensions. Why do people hate Bryan Reynolds? I get that he isn’t the flashiest of players and the Pirates aren’t good, but the lineup is slowly getting better around him and there is a really good chance he ends up being traded to a better team and park. Marte is an injury risk, but if he can get back to 130 games then he is a good bet to rebound in the speed department, making him a really nice value at the draft table. Thoughts on Tier 4 Luis Robert Jr. has massive upside, but there are real concerns about his ability to stay on the field. He has yet to play 100 games in the Majors and while he hits the ball hard, his launch angle drop concerns me as well. Adolis Garcia has a ton of power and speed, but man, the plate skills are very scary. That being said, the market hasn’t gone crazy over him and his defense will keep him on the field even during cold stretches. I think the average takes a step back but there is still a lot of homers and stolen bases to be had. Eloy’s value is tied to health. I hate the fact that the White Sox are giving him a shot to play the field and not just DHing him. That being said, he could easily be two tiers higher if he gets 600 plate appearances. Kwan’s ability to make contact is unbelievable. Add in that he walks and steals bases makes him such a safe pick for a guy that doesn’t have much power. Ward is going to be another very popular player as drafts approach because of plate skills and his potential to lead off for an Angels offense that looks really nice on paper. I hope the price doesn’t get out of control. Thoughts on Tier 5 Corbin Carroll was one of the hardest players to do projections on in the outfield. There is a ton of speed, he could lead off, he has a good hit tool, plays great defense, and there is some pop in the bat. So what could go wrong? In his small MLB sample, he had a low launch angle which backs up a lot of what we saw in the minors. He also didn’t show the good hit tool we saw in the minors. I think there is definitely going to be a good amount of stolen bases, but if he platoons, it could really limit the upside which is what we don’t want to see on an upside play. Jake McCarthy is really intriguing after he won people leagues in the second half. I definitely think the power won’t repeat and I think he could have some average regression, but he could steal an obscene amount of bases if he can get on base enough. It sounds like he will get the first opportunity to play but it is still a pretty crowded outfield even after the Varsho trade. I really love Tyler O’Neill but I feel less comfortable with him with his health. If he is healthy in spring, I could definitely move him up some. Thoughts on Tier 6 Will we ever see the MVP version of Cody Bellinger again? I don’t think anyone knows, but the price is finally low enough that it is worth taking a gamble on, especially now that he is on the run happy Cubs. Bryant and Stanton still have health concerns, but I like the discount on both. If Bryant looks healthy in spring, he could skyrocket in the ADP just like he did when he signed in Colorado last year. I am pretty concerned that we won’t see a big bounceback with Nick Castellanos. I think he gets some of the power back, but I just don’t know that he is a 30 homer bat at this point. Verdugo is about as unsexy as can be, but he is just a fantastic accumulator. Thoughts on Tier 7 I will not be alone in my Nootbaar love this year and I hope the ADP doesn’t get out of control. I think there is a really good chance he hits high up in this lineup which is among the best in baseball and is an everyday player. He is already one of my most rostered players this year. Done yelling about Yordan and Harris? Ok, now catch your breath and begin screaming about Buxton being so low. The last time he had 400 plate appearances in the Majors was 2017 and while the upside is amazing, the floor is really low. In shallow leagues, take the gamble. In deeper ones, he is off my board. Especially if you can use Grichuk just at home and avoid his road work, he is a fantastic fantasy option. Even without that ability, he is really interesting after his big second half rebound. Yoshida is so hard to project but I don’t think he is a league winner. I kind of look at him as a diet-Verdugo. TJ Friedl looks like he could be the lead off guy in Cincinnati. There is a good hit tool with speed and enough pop to play in Great American Ballpark to be a really interesting fantasy player. He will be in my “This Year’s Cedric Mullins” article. Thoughts on Tier 8 Oscar Gonzalez was a really fun story and he does hit the ball really hard, but the low launch angle needs to be raised for him to be a real power source. I also think his aggressiveness is going to become a real issue for the average at some point. Riley Greene should play a lot but I don’t know if we see fantasy goodness from him this season. Oliveras should finally play full time and I am really excited to see if he can turn into the player he flashed in the minor leagues. Right now I am tempering my expectations. I am happy that Nimmo got paid, but there is no way I believe that he can rack up the amount of plate appearances he did last year. Even if he does, it is with such little speed and power that I won’t regret fading him if he does play all year. Thoughts on Tier 9 If Fraley stays healthy and plays, he could be a really big bargain at the draft table. I am willing to take the gamble. I think that the Texas outfield outside of Adolis Garcia is so bad that Leody Taveras may get a real shot to play this year. His defense is good enough to help him stick. If he does, 20-30 stolen bases are in play. If Margot can stay healthy, he could threaten 30 stolen bases and be a real bargain. I love Max Kepler, but I almost wish he would get traded to a better situation. With Schwarber and Castellanos in the outfield, the Phillies are likely going to give Brandon Marsh a lot of playing time because of his defense. He showed better contact skills after the trade and I think there is some pop and a good amount of speed. Am I Charlie Brown kicking the football? Probably. Kyle Isbel should play now that Kansas City keeps trading away players. He could be a deep league accumulator. Ok, are you done yelling at me? No? Well, Harrison Bader this low will probably give you a stroke then. I could definitely see him going 15/20 or even 15/30 this season, but he needs to play to do that. However, he has never reached 450 plate appearances and I don’t know how you can project him to get to 500. Esteury Ruiz could be a really nice source of cheap speed and he could play a lot considering Oakland is terrible. He could also be nothing because he doesn’t make enough contact. Thoughts on the Rest I don’t know what to do with Alex Kirilloff, Michael Brantley, Nick Senzel, Michael Conforto, Austin Meadows, or Jesse Winker because of their health. Once I see them in spring, I could definitely move them up. I am not ready to give up on Jarred Kelenic. He has dominated the minors and I truly believe that he can figure it out at the Major League level. I don’t think his struggles are a skill issue, but a mental block. I am betting on the talent. Drew Waters has amazing upside, but the strikeouts are scary. Bubba Thompson has a ton of stolen base upside, but you can’t steal first base and that is a problem with his complete lack of contact ability. Garrett Mitchell has some really interesting upside, but I am worried he won’t get the opportunity.