Welcome to the third and final installment of the best fantasy baseball outfielders of 2015. We have come along way since Giancarlo Stanton; this is the last set of guys. Toward the end of this article several of the players will be fighting for their own jobs. You will notice most of the players on this final ranking are either too old, too young, or have had serious injuries recently. Players like Hunter, Cabrera, Aoki and Hamilton could very well end up above their rankings, but age and injury say otherwise. It’s never easy to rank the worst of the worst, but each one has an opportunity to finish better than where they are ranked if they can stay healthy and father time stays away. Alongside the ever-changing defense in the show, there comes a growing platoon situation in the outfield. That is a killer for fantasy value and it seems inevitable that every team will be doing it soon.
61- Alex Rios, KC, RF: The loss of Nori Aoki makes Rios relevant on that team. He still might have some power, but age is catching up to him. With their lineup getting hot last year, if
they fizzle at the beginning of the year, he would be called upon to swing for the fences.
62- Torii Hunter, MIN, RF: Hunter somehow defies age and still hits a good number of HR. The move to Minnesota will be good for him with a lot of their team waiting in the minors, and he has the chance to shine once again without much fear of losing his job. I don’t know if he will get another set of 17 HR, but if he stays healthy he could get a few more.
63- Josh Hamilton, LAA, LF: His recent shoulder surgery concern me quite a lot. With his up-and-down play ever since the 45-HR season in Texas, this does not give me much hope for him. He only played 89 games last year with 10 HR. Hamilton is a shell of the player he used to be and with this injury, he may not even get reach double digit round trippers this year.
64- Marlon Byrd, CIN, LF: While he still showed he had 20-HR power last year in Philly, I think the move to Cincy might stint that a little bit. There are now more bats around him and he is another year older. If he sees a drop in power, look for Negron to platoon early with him and take some of his at-bats away.
65- Adam Eaton, CWS, CF: With only three MLB seasons under his belt, I don’t think we have ever truly seen what he can do. Eaton wont be a big home run guy, but will contribute SBs and a few RBIs. With the new White Sox look, he should at least keep his job in CF and maybe surprise a few.
66- Melky Cabrera, CWS, LF: Moving from Toronto this offseason might be a good thing for him. He was starting to see his stats dip while his age went up, but just like his new teammate Eaton, he might surprise a few.
67- Seth Smith, SEA, LF: Coming from SD to SEA wont be much of a change for Smith, he is used to hitting in a pitcher-friendly park. He could see a rise in production from last year now that he has some other bats around him. Smith might get some stats if he starts all year.
68- Alejandro De Aza, BAL, LF: After a big year in 2013 with the White Sox, he did not
follow that up with another big year last year. He stayed right about where he should with 7-9 HRs. Now in a hitter-friendly park in Baltimore, he is worth a look in the late rounds.
69- Desmond Jennings, TB, CF: Jennings has never played a full MLB season in his five seasons in the show. That might finally happen this year, however with a new manager and his own up-and-down play I would be cautious. He does have good power and speed, but don’t overreach for a guy who has never played more than 139 games.
70- Michael Cuddyer, NYM, RF: Cuddyer is one of the older players still starting in the show but he still has power. I think the big issue was his split stats while playing in COL. Now that he is with the Mets, he might be a bit more consistent, but they are in a rebuilding phase so keep that in mind.
71- Colby Rasmus, HOU, LF: He has his good moments and bad and we know he has some power, but he just can`t seem to stay consistent enough. However, the thought of his job might be the motivation he needs in Houston to try to rebound.
72- Dexter Fowler, CHC, RF: Fowler might get the job in Chicago simply based on the fact that the other options are very young or inconsistent compared to him. Might give some positive numbers at the start of the season.
The players above are the only ones I feel confident will maintain their jobs, or be able to avoid platoon positions this year. While some of the guys to follow might manage to have better stats at the end of the season, that they wont play every day is a big risk if you’re looking for a day-off replacement. So keep that in mind with the following players. I will also try to let you know who might take their spot as well.
73- Sam Fuld, OAK, LF: With his lack of full-time play, its hard to say what this vet can do. Around 10 HR and 17 SB might be a positive year. His potential replacement is Craig Gentry.
74- A.J. Pollock, ARZ, CF: With only three stints in the show he has not shown much promise. Pollock doesn’t have much power in that bat, but he does have some decent contact. Look for him to platoon with Ender Inciarte.
75- Jon Jay, STL, CF: Jon Jay is St. Louis`s version of a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get with him which is why they went out and got Bourjos last season. He should platoon with him, unless he can fix his issues at the plate.
76- Ben Revere, CF, PHI: With his very fast style of play, he is a great base stealer, but not much else. They are also trying to rebuild that entire team. He can get a lot of bases, but I think this year might see a dip in total playing time to David Odubel Herrera.
77- Nori Aoki, LF, SF: While he did help get his team to the WS last year, he made little impact. Playing in LF shows what they think of his fielding play and he combines that with an average bat. Look for Gregor Blanco to platoon with him.
78- Curtis Granderson, LF, NYM: Last year, he did manage to get a nice stat line. There is no way that happens again with Mayberry Jr. chasing him at the position. They are not too far apart skill wise and the Mets have a nice farm system. Not a lot going his way for being a solid starter all year.
79- Michael Saunders, TOR, LF: The Canadian-born left fielder for the Blue Jays may not stay there for long having average stats since his “breakout” 2012 season combined with the emergence of Kevin Pillar. Look for Saunders to keep the job, but platoon.
80- Angel Pagan, SF, CF: While he is getting older, the Giants keep adding outfielders and, at this age, does not offer the same speed he once did. He also has started dropping in the major batting categories. With Aoki and Polanco, the Giants outfield this year could look similar to the Dodgers last year, just with less production.
81- Juan Lagares, NYM, CF: When Lagares was coming through the minors, he showed so much promise. But when he got the show, he just could not come through. With Den Dekker so close behind, Lagares will either lose his job or settle into a platoon slot. The plus side to him is he has experience and the other guys around him starting are much older.
82- Grady Sizemore, PHI, RF: The once great Grady Sizemore is now almost no more. He will get the starting nod, but due to constant injuries, Sizemore would be lucky to play more than 60% of the season, and I could see a platoon being used to keep him healthy.
83- Dustin Ackley, SEA, LF: Last year, he showed that he could be relevant in the majors with 14 HR, 65 RBI, and 8 SB. If it wasn’t for the new acquisition of Nelson Cruz this offseason, he would have no reason to lose his job. If he can’t keep the bat up, look for Cruz to see more time in the OF to open up the DH to someone else.
84- David Peralta, ARZ, LF- Playing in only 88 games last year, he did show some promise and brought up what he was doing in the minors. That usually does not happen, but with Inciarte in the wings and other players on the roster, he will have to fight for his spot. I think he can win out, but if he has a weak Spring Training, he might sit behind Inciarte.
85- Dominic Brown, PHI, RF: After a big 2013, he did little to follow-up in 2014. He should sit in a platoon with Sizemore and Herrera.
86- David Dejesus, TB, LF: He is 36, and Guyer is behind him that should be enough to solidify him as a platoon outfielder.
Numbers 87-90 are my favorite platoon guys who you should really look into.
87- Brandon Guyer, TB, LF
88- Aaron Hicks, MIN, CF
89- David Herrera, PHI, LF
90- Ender Inciarte, ARZ, LF
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@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.