As I said in my overall fantasy baseball rankings for 2020, I'm a sucker for multi-position eligibility. So wrong or right, its why I have Kris Bryant and Danny Santana ranked within my outfielders higher than I probably should. But it doesn't stop there. Ketel Marte is a popular pick this year and I only like him slightly more than others. Most are in love with his .330 and 30-home run potential. There's a lot to like there, but his eligibility at the MI positions is why I like him more than some other options likely to go in the first four rounds, like Austin Meadows.
Yet the top of my OF rankings looks like everyone else's. Ronald Auna Jr., Mike Trout, and Christian Yelich are more than the top three outfielders likely to be picked. They are the first three players likely to be taken period. There is definitely some debate within the fantasy community as to whether Mookie Betts or Cody Bellinger should come off the board next, but neither is likely to fall far into the back half of the first round.
Like most years, expect about another dozen OFs to come off the board before the end of the third round. But for those who like to grab a couple of pitchers and their entire infield before grabbing an OF will still have some options with 30-HR potential to choose from, such as Marcell Ozuna or Michael Conforto.
I'd love to tell you that the talent drops off in the OF at a certain point, but I won't. There's so much talent here that the slightest shades of differences will see huge swings from one fantasy owner to another. Take for example Victor Robles, who hit 28 home runs and stole 17 bases last year, but had an OPS of only .745. Lots to like, lots to dislike. But one site that tracks mock drafts has seen him go as early as 33rd and as late as 137th. You don't need to be a stats to geek to see the wide range of variation.
But outfield is the megaplex of fantasy baseball. Five-category players? Of course they're here. Need someone to stabilize your average? Check the outfield. You got a lot of pop, but no speed? Fill that hole with a speedy outfielder! Just need a solid .270 hitter who can help you in steals and homers? Yup, find it here.
Updates (as of March 26):
- Moved Aaron Judge down a spot and will likely continue to move him down slowly. Much will depend on the status of his lineup mates (sad trombone noise) and when the season starts.
- Added Shogo Akiyama to my rankings. If you need OBP, he's your man. Strong feeling his ranking will be higher by May.
- Moved Dylan Carlson up a ton. Still likely he starts the season in minors but too good to finish there. It is a (very) small sample size, but he was off to an eye-opening Grapefruit League line of .500/.611/.786.
Now that we have come full circle, check out my top OF below for yourself. Let me know your thoughts!
— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.