Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Fantasy Baseball Ranking: Outfielders

Time to move on, as I hope to have these done before the actual start of the season... time for the top 10 outfielders.

(1) Carlos Beltran - Assuming he can come close to matching his numbers from last year, Beltran is one of the premier fantasy players in baseball. He cracked 40 HR for the first time in his career in 2006, which was probably partially a fluke (previous career high was 29), but was also the result of him showing better plate patience than he has ever shown before. He also has a remarkable career SB% of 87%, which is awesome. The 116 RBI and 127 Runs he had in 2006 don't hurt either.

(2) Alfonso Soriano - Admittedly Soriano still makes me nervous, although the move from the spacious Nationals stadium to the Friendly Confines should help. He showed surprisingly good plate discipline last year (as compared to his previous years) with 67 BB, which was big... leading to 46 HR and 41 2B. In real life he did more harm than good stealing bases last year, but in fantasy terms 41 SB from a guy with this much power is awesome.

(3) Vladimir Guerrero - He is slowly declining, but you can still count on him to hit .315+, hit over 30 HR, and over 110 RBI. Just a solid, dependable hitter.

(4) Lance Berkman - He's another guy whose power numbers were a little out of whack, but if he can come close to matching that again he's a great pick. 46 HR, 136 RBI is pretty decent.

(5) Manny Ramirez - One of the best hitters of his generation, though he sometimes gets overlooked because of the personality ('Manny being Manny'). Don't look now, but he's in the top 50 for RBI for a career, and he'll reach the 500 HR mark this year as long as he stays healthy. He's not really slowing down either... the OBP was great, and the SLG was over .600. If he can keep it up for another 4-5 years, he can go down as one of the 30 hitters ever. I'm not kidding.

(6) Carl Crawford - Another one of the do it all types... the SB are obviously really nice, but he also hit 18 HR, 20 2B, and 16 3B last season. The doubles should go up some, and the rest of the numbers look real good.

(7) Grady Sizemore - I just love this guy, and think he's one of the most underrated players in the game. Seriously, he's one of the 10 best players in the MLB right now (in part because of the defense). High average, good OBP (which helps to score a lot of runs), and at age 24 he hit 28 HR, 53 2B, and 11 3B. And then he stole 22 SB for good measure. Just an absolutely fantastic player.

(8) Jason Bay - I almost wish Bay would get traded somewhere so people would realize how good he is... over the past couple of years he's been good for around a .290 average, 30 HR, 100 RBI, and 100 R... his 2Bs did take a big drop in 2006, but we'll have to see if that was a fluke thing. A very nice pick here.

(9) Matt Holliday - He got the nod over Ichiro because he's still improving and had some excellent power numbers last season. And he plays in Coors. But hey, 34 HR and 45 2B are both good numbers, and at age 27 he should just be entering his prime. He doesn't get written about a lot because the Rockies haven't been good for a while, but with Garrett Atkins the Rockies offense has some good young pieces.

(10) Carlos Lee - The raw numbers are great from last year, but he was a little better after being traded to the hitter's haven of Texas. Now, of course, he's back in the NL in Houston, which may drop things a little. But he's capable of hitting 30+ HRs and 110+ RBI, which he's been good for the past few years.

Your thoughts?