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“Tranquilo” – Outfield Ranks: 1-20

There is no perfect science to projecting or drafting prospects. Some go overlooked on their climb up the minor league ladder and blossom into stars, while others are highly touted on the farm yet fail to make it beyond Triple-A. This volatility is part of what makes dynasty and keeper leagues so fun. It’s rewarding to see your prized prospect make it to the bigs because for every stud there are many duds.

Ask Chris Carter what the market for power hitters in the league is right now and he’ll likely glare at you with disdain. Power bats can be found all across the diamond and in all rounds of your fantasy draft. On the other hand, stolen bases have decreased throughout the league and speedsters have become scarce. These trends affect our decision making as fantasy owners and the following MiLB outfield rankings reflect these principles.


1) Andrew Benintendi (BOS)

Age: 22 Bats/Throws: L/R Height: 5-10 Weight: 170 ETA: Opening Day 2017

Arguably the top prospect in baseball, Benintendi has the makings of a perennial batting title contender. His polished approach in the box and beautiful left-handed swing offer a plus hit tool with gap-to-gap pop, and he has the potential to hit .300 plus with 20 home runs on an annual basis. While he has only average speed, he is a plus baserunner and can add ten stolen bases thanks to his strong baseball IQ.  He’s a one of the few low risk, high ceiling picks.

2) Austin Meadows (PIT)

Age: 22 Bats/Throws: L/L Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 ETA: Late 2017

Meadows lost valuable development time last season after fracturing his orbital bone early in the season and then pulling a hamstring upon his return, but he remains one of the top prospects in baseball. A premier athlete with a short, crisp swing that produces line drives to all fields, he has strong pitch recognition and an advanced approach at the plate. His above average raw power has yet to translate into a game environment but should with more development time. Meadows is slated to start this season on the farm but may earn himself a debut at some point in 2017.

3) Victor Robles (WAS)

Age: 19 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6-0 Weight: 185 ETA: 2019

A 2013 signing out of the Dominican Republic, Robles is a true five-tool prospect. He is a supreme athlete with advanced bat control and feel for hitting beyond his age. Robles is a plus runner with a gap-to-gap line drive approach at the plate. He hasn’t demonstrated in game power yet, but it is expected to develop as he matures and gets stronger. Robles is a few years from making an impact but expectations are high once he arrives.

4) Eloy Jimenez (CHC)

Age: 20 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6-4 Weight: 205 ETA: 2019

Signed in 2013 from the Dominican Republic, Jimenez shows plus-plus raw power and a strong hit tool that has translated into tons of hard contact at the plate. His troubles have come against left-handed pitching and he needs to improve his approach and pitch recognition to cut back on the strikeouts. He showed improvement in these areas last season but needs to further refine these aspects of his game in order to take the next step in his development. His age and proximity make him riskier than other prospects in the top 10 but he has a very high ceiling.

5) Leody Taveras (TEX)    

Age: 18 Bats/Throws: S/R Height: 6-1 Weight: 170 ETA: 2019

Taveras impressed scouts in his stateside debut last year with his natural ability to square balls up with a fluid swing from both sides of the plate. He’s shown the ability to consistently make hard contact and projects to have average power as he matures and adds muscle to his slim frame. His development will take some time as he is still very young, but with patience owners could land themselves a five-category superstar once Taveras arrives.

6) Bradley Zimmer (CLE)

Age: 24 Bats/Throws: L/R Height: 6-5 Weight: 205 ETA: Late 2017

Zimmer possesses an enticing combination of speed and power. He is a patient hitter at the dish and boasts a healthy walk rate but his swing tends to get long and he has a problem with the swing and miss, limiting his overall batting average potential. However, even without a strong batting average, Zimmer is a potential 20 plus home run hitter that will add 30 plus stolen bases. He is likely to start 2017 in Triple-A but given the barren state of Cleveland outfield he could make his MLB debut later this season.

7) Lewis Brinson (MIL)

Age: 22 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6-3 Weight: 180 ETA: Late 2017

Brinson’s combination of plus power and speed offers the full package of outfield tools. He is a pure fastball hitter with an all-fields approach at the plate but his troubles have been rooted in his control of the strike zone. He struggles with breaking balls down in the zone and has produced a dismal strikeout/walk ratio in the minors. The Brewers have no reason to rush him to Milwaukee so he is most likely he starts the year in Triple-A where he can continue to refine his plate discipline. It may take a year or two more to polish his approach at the plate but with time Brinson could become an impact hitter for the Brewers.

8) Mickey Moniak (PHI)

Age: 18 Bats/Throws: L/R Height: 6-2 Weight: 185 ETA: 2020

The first overall selection in the 2016 draft won’t intimidate anyone physically but he is a true threat at the plate.  Moniak features a short, crisp swing from the left side with an excellent approach and stellar pitch recognition for such a young plater. He also adds a plus run tool that could yield fifteen or more stolen bases per season. He needs time to develop on the farm and is a few years away from a debut in Philadelphia, but Moniak has the makings of an elite top of the lineup hitter

9) Clint Frazier (NYY)

Age: 22 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 5-11 Weight: 185 ETA: 2018

Drafted fifth overall in the 2013 MLB Draft, Frazier was moved to the Yankees last summer as part of the Andrew Miller deal. He has elite bat speed from the left side which translates to his plus power but his contact skills have lagged behind and it doesn’t appear he’ll hit for a strong batting average. He profiles as a middle of the lineup bat upon arrival and could put up some gaudy home run production in Yankee Stadium. Frazier struggled last season in Triple-A and will begin the year there once again. He needs more time but could become first-tier regular once he settles into the Yankees’ lineup in a year or two.

10) Kyle Tucker (HOU)

Age: 20 Bats/Throws: L/R Height: 6-4 Weight: 190 ETA: 2019

The Astros liked what they saw in Tucker when they took him ahead of Andrew Benintendi in the 2015 MLB draft. Benintendi has cruised through the minors as Tucker, a prep school draftee, has been slowly working his way through the system. He demonstrates plus power at the plate with above-average contact skills. projecting Tucker as an elite pure hitting corner outfielder. Tucker is a few years away from making an impact with the Astros and will likely start this season in Double-A.

11) Raimel Tapia (COL)

Age: 22 Bats/Throws: L/L Height: 6-2 Weight: 160 ETA: 2017

Known for his unwavering confidence, Tapia has progressed steadily through the Rockies’ farm system by hitting at every level he’s been assigned to. He lacks true power but is a plus hitter with a refined, gap-to-gap approach and above-average speed on the bases. His hit tool profiles as a top of the lineup hitter and if he improves his walk rate he could become a true leadoff hitter. However, he has been an inefficient base stealer in his professional career and will need to improve that facet of his game. Tapia debuted for the Rockies last season but given their outfield situation appears destined to begin this season in Triple-A.

12) Manuel Margot (SD)

Age: 22 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 5-11 Weight: 180 ETA: Opening Day 2017

While he doesn’t have much power, Margot is an above average runner and a true stolen base threat with a slightly above average hit tool. It remains to be seen where he’ll hit in the lineup this year, but he projects to become a .270 hitter that will add 30 plus stolen bases every year. There will likely be some growing pains in his first full MLB season but the Padres expect him to become a household name at the top of their lineup.

13) Corey Ray (MIL)

Age: 22 Bats/Throws: L/L Height: 5-11 Weight: 185 ETA: 2018

Drafted fifth overall in the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Louisville, Corey Ray offers a highly regarded combination of power and speed. His plus bat speed produces frequent hard contact to all fields while his power is mostly to the pull side. His downfall, like many other young players, has been with his plate discipline and control of the strike zone. This approach will need work but with some adjustments, there is plenty of reason for excitement. He’s likely two years away from a debut in Milwaukee but offers 15 plus home run, 15 plus stolen base production once he settles into an everyday role.

14) Kyle Lewis (SEA)

Age: 21 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6-4 Weight: 205 ETA: 2019

Lewis won the 2016 Golden Spikes Award, given to college baseball’s most outstanding player, before getting drafted eleventh overall by the Seattle Mariners. He has plus raw power and a patient approach at the plate with an above-average hit tool, but there are some holes in his swing that he needs to address in order to cut down on his strikeout rate. While Lewis is a great athlete with an excellent baseball IQ, his already only average speed is an area of concern after tearing his ACL last season. Once he is fully recovered, Lewis projects as a power hitting, middle of the order corner outfielder with the potential to hit for average if he polishes his approach at the plate.

15) Blake Rutherford (NYY)

Age: 18 Bats/Throws: L/R Height: 6-3 Weight: 195 ETA: 2020

Rutherford fell in the 2016 MLB Draft as the result of his hefty signing bonus expectations but was eventually selected eighteenth overall by the Yankees. He has both above-average hit and raw power tools that offer plenty of promise. He is only an average runner and lost some development time last season due to a pulled hamstring, but his baseball instincts could help him add ten stolen bases per year. Rutherford is a very young and isn’t very close to making his debut but his promising tools in the batter’s box make him a worthy long-term investment.

16) Ronald Acuna (ATL)

Age: 19 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6-0 Weight: 180 ETA: Late 2020

Acuna signed out of Venezuela in 2015 and is a high risk, high upside type of prospect. He’s shown plus raw power and an above average hit tool along with his above-average speed on the bases. This combination offers a 20 home run, 20 stolen base threat in the future with the potential to also hit for average. He’s very young and missed a portion of last season due to a broken thumb but excruciating patience and a little bit of luck could land you a perennial All-Star and five-category fantasy contributor.

17) Roman Quinn (PHI)

Age: 23 Bats/Throws: S/R Height: 5-10 Weight: 170 ETA: Late 2017

Quinn has been plagued by the injury bug throughout his professional career but is an impact runner when he’s on the field. He is still maturing as a switch hitter but the natural righty has shown promising contact skills from both sides of the dish and flashes sneaky power. However, he does need to improve his command of the strike zone and approach at the plate. His floor is a Jarrod Dyson-type fourth outfielder but with sustained health and the continued improvement he has the tools to become the true leadoff hitter the Phillies are hoping for.

18) Aaron Judge (NYY)

Age: 24 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6-7 Weight: 255 ETA: Opening Day 2017

With prototypical right field profile, Judge has impact raw power that could produce scary elite home run numbers in the new Yankee Stadium. The problem is strikeouts. His strikeout rate plagued him throughout his professional career on the farm and then in 84 at-bats during his debut with Yankees last season he had 42 strikeouts. He offers an enticing combination of elite raw power and an above average hit tool but he simply needs to make more contact at the plate. Judge appears poised to begin the year as the Yankees starting right fielder but it’ll take him a couple of years to become more than a strictly for home run hitter.

19) Hunter Renfroe (SD)

Age: 25 Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6-1 Weight: 220 ETA: Opening Day 2017

Renfroe is another prototypical right fielder that boasts plus power to all fields with an uppercut swing and plus bat speed and comes with the strikeout problems inherent to this type of approach. He has an aggressive approach at the plate that he needs to continue to adjust, but made some strides last season by shortening his swing and closing up his stance. Renfroe appears ready to start the season as the Padres’ right fielder and, although his value is hurt by PetCo Park, this type of power plays anywhere. He profiles as a run producer in the heart of the Padres’ lineup that has room add a decent batting average in the coming years as his feel for hitting improves.

20) Alex Verdugo (LAD)

Age: 20 Bats/Throws: L/L Height: 6-0 Weight: 200 ETA: 2018

Verdugo has good bat speed and uses a gap-to-gap line drive approach at the plate that, along with his strong pitch recognition, profiles as a high batting average and OBP type of hitter. Unfortunately, his swing does not lend itself to a power outbreak and he is only an average runner but his plus, plus hit tool will carry him; his ideal profiles as the number two hitter in a lineup. Verdugo put together a strong year in 2016 as one of the youngest players in the Texas League and it appears he will start this season in Triple-A.

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Major League Fantasy Football 2017 League Openings

(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday March 26th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #80 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. This week we will discuss players in the draft going for nice bargains.

Our guest this week is Steve Hamilton. Steve is a writer, and editor with majorleaguefantasysports.com focusing on baseball. His articles publish every Saturday.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

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(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday April 2nd, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #81 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. OPENING DAY SPECIAL! We will discuss some of the days events as well as relevant fantasy baseball updates.

Our guests this week are Ron Shandler, and Bilal Chaudry. Ron is FSTA Hall of Famer, and one of the pioneers of fantasy baseball. You can find his work at ronshandler.com. Bilal is a veteran owner in Major League Fantasy Baseball leagues and frequent radio guest.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

 

Native Mainer. Ski the East. I enjoy dynasty league formats and am partial to Latin American prospects. Currently living in the Dominican Republic.

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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.

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