Paul Sporer’s 2023 Outfielder Rankings

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve always found OF a tricky position because with all the superstars at the top, it feels deep until you realize that everyone needs at least 5 in the standard format plus the fact that some will be taken for an infield position where they qualify. In the drafts I’ve done so far, I start to feel the OF pinch pretty early as the foundational options really dry up and you are taking guys with real question marks in your OF2/3 spots if you wait too long. There is plenty of talent and you can definitely hit on those question marks, but if you want to feel good about your OF, consider early investments.

I didn’t list the two major catchers who qualify because you really shouldn’t be using Varsho or Melendez at OF in any circumstance. Their value is greatly improved by being C-eligible, so if you are using them at OF, you are using a sub-optimal lineup.

2023 Outfielder Ranks
1 Aaron Judge NYY AL OF/DH
2 Ronald Acuña Jr. ATL NL OF/DH
3 Kyle Tucker HOU AL OF
4 Julio Rodríguez SEA AL OF
5 Mookie Betts LAD NL OF
6 Yordan Alvarez HOU AL OF/DH
7 Mike Trout LAA AL OF
8 Juan Soto SD NL OF
9 Randy Arozarena TB AL OF/DH
10 Cedric Mullins BAL AL OF
11 Michael Harris II ATL NL OF
12 Starling Marte NYM NL OF
13 Fernando Tatis Jr. SD NL SS/OF
14 Seiya Suzuki CHC NL OF
15 George Springer TOR AL OF/DH
16 Luis Robert Jr. CHW AL OF
17 Kyle Schwarber PHI NL OF
18 Eloy Jiménez CHW AL OF/DH
19 Byron Buxton MIN AL OF/DH
20 Bryan Reynolds PIT NL OF
21 Christian Yelich MIL NL OF/DH
22 Taylor Ward LAA AL OF
23 Jake McCarthy ARI NL OF
24 Nick Castellanos PHI NL OF
25 Ian Happ CHC NL OF
26 Kris Bryant COL NL OF
27 Hunter Renfroe LAA AL OF
28 Corbin Carroll ARI NL OF
29 Tyler O’Neill STL NL OF
30 Andrew Vaughn CHW AL 1B/OF/DH
31 Brandon Nimmo NYM NL OF
32 Adolis García TEX AL OF/DH
33 Harrison Bader NYY AL OF
34 Anthony Santander BAL AL OF/DH
35 Wil Myers CIN NL 1B/OF
36 Jake Fraley CIN NL OF
37 Riley Greene DET AL OF
38 Alex Verdugo BOS AL OF
39 Steven Kwan CLE AL OF
40 Teoscar Hernández SEA AL OF
41 Andrew Benintendi CHW AL OF
42 Giancarlo Stanton NYY AL OF/DH
43 Lars Nootbaar STL NL OF
44 Cody Bellinger CHC NL OF
45 Masataka Yoshida BOS AL OF
46 Edward Olivares KC AL OF
47 Gavin Lux LAD NL 2B/OF
48 Whit Merrifield TOR AL 2B/OF
49 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ARI NL OF
50 Seth Brown OAK AL 1B/OF
51 Mitch Haniger SF NL OF
52 Austin Meadows DET AL OF
53 Leody Taveras TEX AL OF
54 Jeff McNeil NYM NL 2B/OF
55 Oswaldo Cabrera NYY AL OF
56 TJ Friedl CIN NL OF
57 Adam Duvall BOS AL OF
58 Mike Yastrzemski SF NL OF
59 Lane Thomas WAS NL OF
60 Oscar Gonzalez CLE AL OF
61 Jesse Winker MIL NL OF
62 Avisaíl García MIA NL OF
63 Trent Grisham SD NL OF
64 Brandon Marsh PHI NL OF
65 Christopher Morel CHC NL 2B/OF
66 Jose Siri TB AL OF
67 Randal Grichuk COL NL OF
68 Chris Taylor LAD NL 2B/OF
69 Akil Baddoo DET AL OF
70 Bryan De La Cruz MIA NL OF
71 Andrew McCutchen PIT NL OF/DH
72 Myles Straw CLE AL OF
73 Joey Meneses WAS NL 1B/OF
74 Nick Gordon MIN AL 2B/OF
75 Max Kepler MIN AL OF
76 Enrique Hernández BOS AL OF
77 Kerry Carpenter DET AL OF
78 Jurickson Profar N/A N/A OF
79 Jarred Kelenic SEA AL OF
80 Trey Mancini CHC NL 1B/OF/DH
81 Kyle Isbel KC AL OF
82 Ramón Laureano OAK AL OF
83 Charlie Blackmon COL NL OF/DH
84 Garrett Mitchell MIL NL OF
85 Chas McCormick HOU AL OF
86 Austin Hays BAL AL OF
87 Manuel Margot TB AL OF
88 Jorge Soler MIA NL OF
89 Dylan Carlson STL NL OF
90 AJ Pollock CHW AL OF
91 Joc Pederson SF NL OF
92 Mark Canha NYM NL OF
93 Esteury Ruiz OAK AL OF
94 Tommy Pham NYM NL OF
95 LaMonte Wade Jr. SF NL 1B/OF
96 Kyle Stowers BAL AL OF
97 Drew Waters KC AL OF
98 Brendan Donovan STL NL 2B/3B/OF
99 Tony Kemp OAK AL 2B/OF
100 Michael Conforto SF NL OF
101 Brian Anderson MIL NL 3B/OF
102 Alex Kirilloff MIN AL OF
103 James Outman LAD NL OF
104 Nick Senzel CIN NL OF
105 Trayce Thompson LAD NL OF
106 Gavin Sheets CHW AL OF
107 Harold Ramírez TB AL 1B/OF/DH
108 Nate Eaton KC AL OF
109 Oscar Colas CHW AL OF
110 Aledmys Díaz OAK AL 2B/OF
111 Adam Frazier BAL AL 2B/OF
112 Juan Yepez STL NL OF
113 Victor Robles WAS NL OF
114 Michael Brantley HOU AL OF/DH
115 Michael Toglia COL NL OF
116 Bubba Thompson TEX AL OF
117 Aaron Hicks NYY AL OF
118 Joey Gallo MIN AL OF
119 Cal Mitchell PIT NL OF
120 Michael A. Taylor MIN AL OF
121 Josh H. Smith TEX AL 3B/OF
122 Jack Suwinski PIT NL OF
123 Hunter Dozier KC AL 1B/3B/OF/DH
124 Estevan Florial NYY AL OF
125 Tyrone Taylor MIL NL OF
126 Yonathan Daza COL NL OF
127 Ji Hwan Bae PIT NL OF
128 Eddie Rosario ATL NL OF
129 Matt Vierling DET AL OF
130 Austin Slater SF NL OF
131 Mauricio Dubón HOU AL SS/OF
132 Mickey Moniak LAA AL OF
133 Kevin Kiermaier TOR AL OF
134 Sal Frelick MIL NL OF
135 Conner Capel OAK AL OF
136 Marcell Ozuna ATL NL OF/DH
137 Josh Lowe TB AL OF
138 Brad Miller TEX AL 3B/OF/DH
139 Jarren Duran BOS AL OF
140 Alek Thomas ARI NL OF
141 Jo Adell LAA AL OF
142 Trevor Larnach MIN AL OF
143 Chad Pinder CIN NL OF
144 Nick Maton DET AL OF
145 Vidal Bruján TB AL 2B/OF
146 Ceddanne Rafaela BOS AL OF
147 Corey Dickerson WAS NL OF/DH
148 Colton Cowser BAL AL OF
149 Will Brennan CLE AL OF
150 Alex Call WAS NL OF
20 gm qualification; 5×5 Roto; Blue indicates new tier


Even slicing off 25% of his HR, 20% of his R, and 15% of his RBI, Aaron Judge still comes out as my top outfielder (and overall #1 player). There is a strong case for many guys in that #1 overall spot, but it is somewhat surprising that Judge is just the 5th player off the board, going as late as #8 in January Draft Champions leagues.

I suspect Ronald Acuña Jr.’s power will return as he gets further from his ACL injury. I like him to make a strong run at 30-30 with a real shot at 40-40!

The Astros need to bat Kyle Tucker in the 2-spot instead of the 5- and 6-spots like last year. No offense to Michael Brantley, of course. Tucker is their next superstar and costing him surplus plate appearances by slotting him outside the top 4 just doesn’t make much sense at this point.

The Mariners actively slowed Julio Rodríguez down in the second half as he went from 21 SBs in 91 games during the 1st half to just 4 in 41 after the break. I don’t think he’ll be that slowed to that degree across all of 2023, but will he be allowed to push for 30 SBs? Even with 20-25, he is still a monster, capable of putting up the top fantasy season.

There’s a world where Mookie Betts gets his BABIP back in the .300+ range and brings his AVG up 20-30 points from the .267 it’s been at the last two years. He is still a total stud at this level, but it’s nice to know that there’s a tinge of upside even with an established superstar like him.

Speaking of superstar upside baked into an established profile, Mike Trout still has that if he can spike some health. I can’t put 150 games into my projection because it just sets up disappointment, but he went 40/80/85 in just 119 last year and remains an unquestioned stud even with the SB drop-off (just 4 SBs in 208 G since ’20).

Juan Soto didn’t love his new confines in San Diego, hitting just .220/.336/.374 in 108 PA at Petco Park. He also had just a .249 BABIP all year including his Washington work in what ended up just being a down year. Petco Park (28th for lefties the last 3 yrs) is definitely a worse place to hit than Nationals Park (9th) and yet I think Soto will be just fine in San Diego in his first full year with the Padres.

I have a bit more concern than the market on Michael Harris II, who is going 27th overall (OF10) since the New Year. He has fallen as low as 42nd which is a spot where I’d be more comfortable taking him, making a choice between Harris, Randy Arozarena, and Cedric Mullins.

Fernando Tatis Jr. might return from his shoulder injury and be just fine, but I’m not interested in taking on the risk and built in 20 missed games. YMMV.

I’m on the Seiya Suzuki breakout train! A finger injury interrupted his solid stateside debut and he doesn’t need a massive skills surge to go off in 2023. Some pop, some speed, and an improved lineup in Chicago give him a chance at increased output across the board if he stays healthy this year and that’s what I’m looking for out of the 28-year-old Cub. If he improves his success on the bases (64% last yr; 61% in Japan), a truly special season could be on tap, but his success doesn’t hinge on that.

At this juncture, I operate as though George Springer will miss 25-30 games off the top and work from there. Of course, he is still my 15th OF so if he does recapture some health and top 600 PA again, he has easy top 10 potential.

Speaking of penciling in some time missed, I feel that is a must with the White Sox duo of Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez. Their skills are off the charts, especially Robert with the power and speed, but I couldn’t slot either for even 140 games just yet. That said, I’m ahead of the market on Jiménez and have already landed him on multiple teams… which is why I was less than thrilled to see he still wants to play the outfield. Please for the love of god, no!

I’d be remiss to have what has become a de facto “time missed” section and not discuss Byron Buxton. He’s so good that he slots 19th even with just 120 games for me. Obviously, there is obscene upside if he finds some real healthy, but he has topped 92 games just once with his 140 back in 2017 so betting on that health seems foolhardy. Just make sure you can cover missed time and you haven’t pinned all your hopes on doing something he has done exactly once.

Kyle Schwarber was a surprise leadoff hitter in 2022, logging 82% of his plate appearances from that spot and embracing the customs of the role by stealing a 10 bases! That was more than the 9 he had from 2017-21 combined! Don’t bet on a repeat there, but he remains a major contender to lead the NL and perhaps the entire league in homers.

Christian Yelich is more like his Miami-self with a lesser batting average than the MVP of 2018-19, but that’s still a quality double-double gem with plenty of runs atop a decent Milwaukee lineup. The back issues make it hard to see any sort of realistic return to that MVP level.

Taylor Ward’s shoulder injury stopped him dead in his tracks after a beautiful start (10 HR, 1.145 OPS through May), but he rebounded once healthy again with a huge September (6 HR, .972 OPS) and I love the idea of him hitting atop that Angels order behind Trout and Ohtani.

I was a bit surprised to see where Jake McCarthy slotted among my OFs after doing the projections, but that’s what 30 SBs can do for you! Elsewhere in their outfield, I had a hard time settling on Corbin Carroll’s projected numbers given the brilliant work he did at Double- and Triple-A last year when he hit 24 HR with 31 SBs in just 93 games of work including a .307/.425/.611 line. It wasn’t quite as rosy in the majors with 4 HR, 2 SB, and a .260 AVG in his 115 PA debut. The lack of running was a bit surprising though it’s still a tiny sample overall. I like him, but the market has Carroll at OF19 and I just can’t get behind that right now.

I can’t pay the premium on Adolis García. His glove should keep him in the lineup even if he struggles (unless he just falls off the table which is in the range of outcomes), but he has brutal plate skills and he’s a late breakout at 30 years old, so I’m willing to miss him. According to the market, I definitely will as he is OF16 in winter drafts.

I’d much rather just wait for Harrison Bader at OF39 and see if he can essentially put 2021 and 2022 together for a quality double-double campaign. He is another player who desperately needs to find some more consistent health (career-high PA is 427), but I think his skills are in place so if he does reach 490-500 PA, a big season is in order.

My Reds gems – Wil Myers and Jake Fraley – wound up right next to each other despite different breakdowns in their stats with Myers generating more power and AVG and Fraley excelling in SBs. I didn’t go crazy with their PA projections, landing just over 500 for both, so there’s playing time upside for the pair as well.

Alex Verdugo is one of those interesting players where he ranks well in fantasy output (27th OF last year) especially compared to his draft price (OF42), but still doesn’t quite pack enough punch and can be tricky to slot onto a team if your HR and SB totals can’t absorb his underwhelming returns (14 HR, 5 SB per 600 PA).

Is it lazy to call Masataka Yoshida a Diet Verdugo? I just have a hard time looking at his profile and not coming up with a projection that looks very similar to Verdugo’s in terms of AVG, HR, SB and then some adjustments to the R/RBI based on Yoshida likely leading off and Verdugo likely spending a lot of time in the 5-spot as he did last year.

Did the Tigers tailor their park changes specifically for Riley Greene? Maybe not just him as their expected lineup has five lefties, all of whom are on the right side of 30 years old and should see an offensive uptick with the alterations. I’m hoping Greene’s 10% SwStr rate (11% lg. avg) is indicative that his 29% K rate will come down substantially in his first full year as a major leaguer or else I fear he will come up short on fantasy expectations particularly when you consider that the supporting cast is unlikely to do much for his R/RBI totals.

While I do have some reservations about Teoscar Hernández moving from Toronto to Seattle, he has enough pop to survive anywhere. He has never been a particularly healthy player, though, and his next 600 PA season will be his first so that paired with a drop in park support has moved him down my board.

I played it pretty cautiously with Lars Nootbaar’s homer projection (19 HR), though his power and plate skills profile has me thinking that 30+ could certainly happen in a breakout season. And I’m not just talking like a 5% chance in which case you could say that about tons of potential player outcomes, but more like 25%+ chance if he builds on what we saw in the 2H last year… plus there’s always Cardinals Devil Magic, which could be worth 6-7 HRs on its own!

Will the ol’ change of scenery spark something for Cody Bellinger? I could only get so excited about that prospect with a .225 AVG, 22 HR, and 17 SB. I’d love for him to eclipse all of those as he is fun to root for, but venturing too far beyond my projection would simply be wishcasting.

Gavin Lux has yet to fully tap into his raw power and it’s time for him to take a real step forward. He eclipsed 1000 career PA last season (1003) and he’s been essentially average in that time with a 99 wRC+. He has just 9 HR and 7 SB per 500 PA, though, so it’s time to show some legitimate fantasy juice.

The trade of Michael A. Taylor put a substantial boost in my Edward Olivares projection, boosting him to 500 PA even though I don’t have him directly taking over the centerfield role vacated by Taylor. Olivares might’ve had a path to that many plate appearances even before the deal, but clearing out the full-time CF adds a level of security to the playing time for Olivares, Drew Waters, and Kyle Isbel, all of whom could have solid power-speed seasons in 2023.

Check out my thoughts on Whit Merrifield’s season in this 2022 Biggest Busts piece.

While no one would confuse Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for a power stud, his painfully unlucky 4% HR/FB rate was the primary reason for the power outage. The Barrel Rate sank to 4%, too, but his Hard Hit rate was actually up and his 95th Percentile Exit Velo was barely off his 2021 pace so I’m reluctant to think he just can’t get his homers back, even in Arizona.

Is the Leody Taveras breakout nigh? The 24-year-old speedster had a solid 99-game run last season with a .261 AVG, 5 HR, and 11 SB which should put him in line to get a full-time job this year. It feels like he has been around for a long time despite still being so young and having just 660 MLB PA under his belt.

I am well ahead of the market on Oswaldo Cabrera at OF53 compared to his OF81 ADP in Draft Champions leagues since January 1st. While he lacks a locked in everyday job as of now, he got time at five positions (well, six if you count the individual OF spots as he played both RF and LF) and could be a big time super utilityman until something more permanent opens up.

TJ Friedl is yet another intriguing Reds outfielder. He has a strong plate profile with some pop and speed. Friedl put up 8 HR and 7 SB in 258 PA last year with the Reds and another 8 HR and 10 SB in 241 PA at Triple-A. He has a chance to lead off in a fantastic park which could yield a well-priced double-double campaign.

I had some excitement for Lane Thomas last year, but he remains underwhelming against righties (.682 OPS, 136th of 199 hitters with at least 300 PA vRH) which caps the upside. A 200-point dip in BABIP against lefties (.279) undercut his 2022 output, too. He was never going to hold 2021’s mark of .479, of course, but if he can live in the low-to-mid .300s against them, that gives him some AVG upside (.250s-.260s). A boost in OBP plus the new rule set that favors SBs could yield a double-digit output, making him a solid double-double glue guy.

Oscar Gonzalez only struck out 20% of the time in his MLB debut, but heed the 14% SwStr for the free-swinging outfielder (4% BB). Only Javier Báez (49%) topped Gonzalez’s 48% O-Swing (swings outside the zone) among 246 hitters with at least 350 PA. I’d be surprised if he repeated the .296 AVG from last year and there’s real risk of something in the .250 or below range. Thankfully, he has the power to blast 25+ HRs and still be a net positive, just make sure you aren’t relying on him to boost your AVG based on his debut.

I’m in on Trent Grisham (OF82) and Avisaíl García (OF85) rebuys at their prices. They had disaster seasons as OF35 and OF43 last year and while they both have obvious flaws that could mitigate comeback seasons, I’ll take the shot on one or the other in some drafts.

Andrew McCutchen is still productive, especially against lefties. His 20+ HR days might be behind him at 36 years old especially if they tailor his time a bit against righties, though a return to Pittsburgh might actually give him a shot at everyday burn for old time’s sake!

Joey Meneses ranked 14th on my 1B ranking a month ago, but I’ve made major adjustments to his projection since then which has caused him to slide down the rankings quite a bit (1B32 now). The changes were mostly in his volume, shaving 31 PA off and tamping down the R/RBI totals to 60/65. I still see a .255 AVG with 23 HR which seems totally fine for the random 31-year-old breakout with a whopping 2 months of MLB time under his belt.

Yes, Max Kepler looks like a candidate to raise his AVG… it’s been that way for about 32 years based on his quality plate profile (15% K, 11% BB last year; 18% K, 10% BB career), legit pop (.195 career ISO despite last year’s dud), and what appears to be a lagging BABIP (.248 career). Despite all that, he has hit north of .250 just once (.252 in 2019). The new crackdown on shifts once again has Kep fans hoping for an AVG surge, but he actually has a 19-point advantage against the shift (.237 v. no shift) so I’m not sure that’s the magic fix, either! He priced to buy at OF91, just keep the expectations in check.

I can’t write every OF up, but Justin and I did three OF preview pods you can find here: OUTFIELD 123

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and Content Director for OOTP Perfect Team. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Or is Verdugo a diet Yoshida?

1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

True but (and this is cherry picking using a pitcher as an example) remember when Wei-Yin Chen came over? He spend no time in the minors, and took off running not because he was new, and it took people a while to figure him out. I could probably find a hitter if … maybe Gurriel? Better player than Chen or Yoshida, but he hardly spent anytime in the minors and was MLB ready.
I do think the excitement on players like Yoshida does push their price up during a draft, but Boston gave this guy a great multi year deal, and their not rubes, Art Moreno or something.