I was rereading my outfield rankings for the 2012 season and, while I had a few players pegged perfectly, overall I’d missed the mark on many occasions. I wasn’t high enough on guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper (but who really saw two 20 and unders taking the league by storm?). I didn’t give Andrew McCutchen enough credit (I won’t make the same mistake this year). I was bullish on Justin Upton’s ascension, but he regressed instead. I was a mess.
Because there are so many outfielders, it’s tremendously difficult to calculate. In the following rankings, I’m sure some players near the bottom of my rankings will have career years, while some players near the top will have lamentable seasons. As a fantasy manager, you can’t project those occurrences. All you can do is look at track record (most recent stats being most important) and cross your fingers.
Even though I have Trout as my number two outfielder (and in a few weeks he’ll be ranked pretty highly in my top-100), you can’t expect him to have the same stats from last year. His peripherals suggest a decline, mainly in his power and batting average. Some super fanatics will suggest that Trout should be the number one outfielder off the board, but I’ll take the more projectable Ryan Braun in every draft.
This is supposed to be the year that Jason Heyward becomes “fantasy elite,” and he’s got a great chance to do it (he’s surrounded by outstanding talent). But Heyward still hasn’t shown that he can drive in runs consistently. I’d much rather have Adam Jones a round or two later.