We are less than a week away from Opening Day, making this the perfect time to get prepared for your upcoming fantasy draft before the start of the season.
Over the last few weeks, we have been ranking the top 10 players at each position for fantasy and today we move to the outfield. So far, we have already ranked the top catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen and shortstops. Now we close things off looking at the deepest position in fantasy baseball, the outfield.
Below is a table of our top 30 rankings, with a full written breakdown of the top 10.
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1. Juan Soto – Washington Nationals – ADP: 4
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .313 / 29 HR / 111 R / 95 RBI / 9 SB
Soto, arguably the best hitter in the league, is not so arguably the best outfielder in fantasy baseball. His numbers speak for themselves.
The crazy thing is that Soto has room to improve. Simply put, a player that hits the ball as hard as Soto does, should not put the ball on the ground as much as he does. His ground ball rate was the 11th-highest in baseball last season. Regardless, Soto had a 199 wRC+ in the second half and is poised to repeat something close to that in 2022.
Feel comfortable drafting Soto in the top 3.
2. Bryce Harper – Philadelphia Phillies – ADP: 9
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .309 / 35 HR / 101 R / 84 RBI / 13 SB
The last player to win consecutive MVPs was Mike Schmidt in 1980 and 1981. Could Harper be the next to accomplish this feat with the Phillies in 2022?
It’s entirely possible with how phenomenal Harper is at the plate. He’s a five-category monster who should increase his RBI totals with the additions of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. He’s one of the safest bets at the position, and completely worthy of a first-round grade.
3. Ronald Acuña Jr. – Atlanta Braves – ADP: 11
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .283 / 24 HR / 72 R / 52 RBI / 17 SB
Ronald Acuña Jr was absolutely on track for his first MVP season before his tragic, season-ending ACL tear. Acuña was on pace for 47 home runs; five more than the NL leader Fernando Tatis Jr. He was also on pace to swipe 35 bags, which would have been three more than the NL stolen base leader Trea Turner.
Acuña does not have an incredibly extensive injury history prior to his ACL tear. He did play in 156 games for the Braves in 2019. However, he has played in just under 58% of games since the start of the 2020 season. So that is something to keep track of upon his return, which the Braves are saying can be as early as late April. Acuña is only 24 years old and will no doubt regain superstar status once he gets back on the diamond. Do not let him slip too far down your draft board this fantasy season.
4. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels – ADP: 14
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .333 / 8 HR / 23 R / 18 RBI / 2 SB
Before Mike Trout suffered a calf injury that limited him to just 36 games last year, he was the league leader in home runs and batting average. He could easily be the best overall player in fantasy, but the injury concerns are real. Since 2017, he’s only played in 140 games once. He will turn 30 years old this year, so that is something to monitor. But we all know he’s the best player on earth when healthy.
5. Kyle Tucker – Houston Astros – ADP: 12
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .295 / 30 HR / 83 R / 92 RBI / 14 SB
Tucker was a solid offensive option in 2019 and 2020, but the 25-year-old lefty leaped to a new level in 2021. Tucker is a five category player, who is quite valuable for fantasy managers. And there is no reason to expect a decline in production for the 2022 season.
Advanced metrics are on Tucker’s side. He ranked in the 83rd percentile in hard hit percentage and he ranks in the 95th percentile in regards to xwOBA (Expected Weighted On-base Average). He also has a strikeout rate just below 16%, which is far superior to the MLB average of 24%. Even with the absence of Correa in that Astros lineup, you should feel comfortable taking Tucker in the early part of the second round in your fantasy draft this season (standard 10 man league).
6. Mookie Betts – Los Angeles Dodgers – ADP: 15
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .264 / 23 HR / 93 R / 58 RBI / 10 SB
Down year in 2021? Sure. Will it happen again? We truly doubt it.
Mookie Betts remains one of the most dynamic players in the sport. He’s hit for a .314 batting average from 2018 to 2020, and while he may not reach that high, .300 is definitely attainable. While he may not drive in a ton of runs, he fills up every other category. He’ll most likely hit second in this Dodgers lineup, so expect 100+ runs. He may not hit more than 25 HR, but he’ll do everything else. He’s an excellent choice in fantasy baseball.
7. Luis Robert – Chicago White Sox – ADP: 17
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .338 / 13 HR / 42 R / 43 RBI / 6 SB
Luis Robert is one of the most exciting players in the game today. That is, when he is actually on the field. Assuming the man can stay healthy, Robert absolutely has to be considered as a dark horse candidate to win AL MVP this year.
During his recovery from a torn hip flexor, Robert took some time to refine and adjust his stance and approach at the plate. He debuted a wider batting stance which in turn produced a .350/.389/.622 slash line over a 43-game span, which included a ridiculous 1.011 OPS, and a near Juan Soto-like 173 wRC+.
Robert also improved his swinging strike rate by nearly 5% after his return from injury (pre injury: 19.3%, post injury: 14.5%). There are many signs pointing towards a breakout year for the White Sox slugger. If he is able to stay healthy, this man is going to wreak havoc for fantasy managers in 2022.
8. Cedric Mullins – Baltimore Orioles – ADP: 35
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .291 / 30 HR / 91 R / 59 RBI / 30 SB
Out of every player in baseball in 2021, Cedric Mullins stands on top of the mountain as the only player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. Trea Turner, Shohei Ohtani, and Fernando Tatis Jr were close, but only Cedric Mullins can say he accomplished that feat. With that being said, it’s tough to predict he’ll do it again.
His xHR was 27 and his xSLG was 70 points less than his actual slugging. The speed is real, so 30 stolen bases is not out of the question, but expect closer to 25 home runs with plenty of run-scoring opportunities. Deciding not to switch hit anymore proved to be the best thing for a budding career.
9. Aaron Judge – New York Yankees – ADP: 37
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .287 / 39 HR / 89 R / 98 RBI / 6 SB
All rise: court is in session. Aaron Judge is clear and away the face of the New York Yankees and in 2022 it will remain as such. Like the story is for many of the top talents in the game today, if Judge is able to stay healthy, he is going to be a very bad man in the eyes of opposing pitchers this upcoming season.
Judge has solidified himself as a top-10 hitter in baseball. He ranked in the 98th percentile or better in key advanced stats such as xwOBA, xSLG, and xBA last season. And at 6’7″, Judge is a commanding presence who has an opportunity to hit 50 bombs and drive in 120+ runs if the Yankees’ offense can rebound as a whole in 2022. If he is able to play 140 or more games this season, it is very hard to pick 10 players who are going to contribute more for their ballclub than Judge.
10. Yordan Alvarez – Houston Astros – ADP: 28
2021 Fantasy Slashline: .277 / 33 HR / 92 R / 104 RBI / 1 SB
We think the world of Yordan Alvarez. So much so, we’ve called him a future Hall of Famer, and a modern-day Carlos Delgado. He’s a special talent that punishes baseballs like few in the game today. He is just 24 years of age, and has basically zero holes in his offensive game. He’ll hit for a high average (higher than .277 next year), and he’s a lock for 30 home runs. We wouldn’t be even a tad shocked if he hit 40. He’ll drive in 100+ RBI’s in a stacked Houston lineup, but won’t add much on the basepaths. Even though he doesn’t have a long track record, we think he’s one of the safest bets to finish very high in fantasy baseball.