The 10 Best Team Outfields in MLB for 2024

The Yankees have two MVP candidates roaming the outfield grass in the Bronx, but who else measures up around the league?

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Alex Verdugo #24, Juan Soto #22 and Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees talk during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 21, 2024 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images)

Baseball is often described as a team sport played by individuals. While that may be the case, teams are constructed by finding individuals that complement each other’s skillsets, and the best teams at mixing and matching these individuals’ talents are the teams that end up playing deep into October.

This trend may best be seen in the outfield, finding a perfect blend of speed, power, and defensive prowess to line the grass on a nightly basis.

From superstars like Aaron Judge and Ronald Acuña Jr. to fourth outfield options like Randal Grichuk and Trent Grisham, the best outfields in Major League Baseball have a healthy assortment of high-end talent and high-floor safety nets.

Let’s take a look at the top units in the game and rank which should be seen as the best in Major League Baseball heading into the 2024 season.

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Wild Card: Chicago Cubs

Projected Starters (4th OF): Cody Bellinger, Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki (Pete Crow-Armstrong/Mike Tauchman)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 8.9 without Bellinger, 9.9 with Bellinger

The outlook on the Cubs’ outfield changes drastically depending on what manager Craig Counsell does with the newly re-signed Cody Bellinger.

If Bellinger ends up playing first base for the majority of the season, Chicago would have to rely on continued success from Mike Tauchman (which remains to be seen in his career) or a breakout from top prospect Pete Crow-Armstong.

While the latter seems more enticing, Crow-Armstrong struggled mightily in his brief MLB debut last September, slashing .000/.176/.000 across 19 plate appearances. PCA’s defensive acumen may be one-of-a-kind, but his approach at the plate may require refinement in Iowa if things don’t pan out the way the Cubs hope they do during Spring Training. 

If Bellinger does end up right back in center field this season, Counsell can feel comfortable penciling in three players into his outfield that could very well all OPS over .800 this coming season. Even if Bellinger is 75% of what he was in 2023, the trio of him, Ian Happ, and Seiya Suzuki would be undoubtedly a top five unit in the game.

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Honorable Mention: Los Angeles Angels

Projected Starters (4th OF): Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, Mickey Moniak (Jo Adell)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 6.3

Mike Trout’s presence is enough to keep the Angels above water in these rankings. Regression, health issues, however you want to diagnose his 2023 struggles, Trout is still one of the greatest players we’ve seen in the last 50 years.

Taylor Ward would be more appreciated on a contender, but his steady presence is a redeeming quality in the Halos’ lineup. Moniak’s arc has both been fascinating and resulted in him being an everyday contributor, while Adell’s arc has the former top 10 pick a bad stretch away from being DFA’ed, entering 2024 having exhausted all of his options.

Honorable Mention: Cincinnati Reds

Projected Starters (4th OF): TJ Friedl, Spencer Steer, Will Benson (Jake Fraley)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 6.8

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TJ Friedl’s unforeseen breakout season last year set the table for the Reds to be in consideration for this list, and the duo of Steer and Benson plant Cincinnati in the “firmly above average” department.

While Steer continues to learn the corner outfield, his bat will continue to catapult his value. As for the fourth outfield role on this team, there really aren’t any wrong directions to turn in Fraley, Stuart Fairchild, or rookies Jacob Hurtubise and Blake Dunn.

10. Seattle Mariners

Projected Starters (4th OF): Julio Rodríguez, Mitch Haniger, Luke Raley (Dylan Moore)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 8.7

Cue up the viral “Spiderman meme” for Seattle, Arizona, and the Angels. All three teams find themselves on the back end of this list because they have a superstar fronting the band. Rodriguez may be the best of the bunch, following up his Rookie of the Year campaign with an even better sophomore season, highlighted be a four-game stretch in which he hit safely 17 times

What drops Seattle beneath Arizona are the complementary pieces around Rodriguez.

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While Teoscar Hernandez didn’t work out the way that the Mariners had hoped he would in ’23, they’re starved for the mere possibility of thump that he provided. Bringing Mitch Haniger back to Seattle will likely be a net positive, and they’re hoping that Luke Raley can provide lefty power in waves after acquiring him from Tampa Bay in exchange for shortstop Jose Caballero, but it feels like the difference between Julio and the rest is more stark than what’s going on in the desert.

9. Arizona Diamondbacks

Projected Starters (4th OF): Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Randal Grichuk)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 8.7

Corbin Carroll doesn’t have anywhere close to the credentials of Mike Trout, and he doesn’t play an elite center field at the MLB level like Rodriguez does. Carroll does, however, have a unanimous National League Rookie of the Year under his belt and first full season in which he blasted 25 home runs and swiped 54 bags while playing a good left field.

Alek Thomas hasn’t converted on his top-100 prospect expectations just yet with the bat, but Thomas plays center field at an incredibly high level, and a strong postseason performance may have boosted his confidence at the plate coming into 2024.

Arizona was also incredibly active on the free agent front, re-signing Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and inking both Joc Pederson and Randal Grichuk. While Pederson will likely DH for the majority of the season and hit exclusively against right-handed pitching, Jake McCarthy provides as strong of depth as any team in baseball can boast.

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So much depth that Mike Hazen was willing to part with big league-ready Dominic Fletcher for pitching prospect Cristian Mena last month.

8. St. Louis Cardinals

Projected Starters (4th OF): Lars Nootbaar, Jordan Walker, Tommy Edman (Dylan Carlson)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 9.6

There may not be a 4.0 WAR player in this assortment, but there could very well be four 3.5 WAR players in this quartet. St. Louis has had a firmly above-average outfield for the last several seasons now, and the ceiling of this group may be even higher by swapping Jordan Walker in for now-Red Sox outfielder Tyler O’Neill. 

Nootbaar was a hot breakout pick last year and should continue to make strides as a well-rounded corner outfielder. With Masyn Winn slated to take over shortstop full-time and both Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan entering camp healthy, Tommy Edman should get the chance to showcase his elite defensive ability consistently in center.

Dylan Carlson could put this group over the top, but his lack of any power whatsoever over the last several seasons may be starting to damper expectations around him.

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7. Tampa Bay Rays

Projected Starters (4th OF): Randy Arozarena, Josh Lowe, José Siri (Jonny DeLuca)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 9.0

While St. Louis seems to have four solid outfield options, they lack a true star like Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena (remember the Matthew Liberatore deal?). Arozarena introduced a relatively new element to his game last year: patience.

After never logging a walk rate over 10% in his young career, Arozarena earned free passes at a 12.2% clip in 2023 while swiping bags and hitting the ball out of the ballpark consistently.

It may have taken a year longer than some had expected, but Josh Lowe looks every bit the part of a well-above average right fielder, boasting an all-around game that many prospects aspire to profile similar to. Rounding out the everyday trio is Jose Siri, who is an elite defensive center fielder that can surprise with sporadic pop and game-wrecking speed.

Jonny DeLuca will likely be Tampa’s fourth outfielder this season after coming over with Ryan Pepiot in the Tyler Glasnow deal, although ZiPS seems to like Richie Palacios even more, checking in with a projected fWAR nine points higher than DeLuca’s projected 1.3.

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6. Los Angeles Dodgers

Projected Starters (4th OF): James Outman, Teoscar Hernández, Jason Heyward (Kike Hernandez and Chris Taylor)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 7.6

Please don’t be fooled by the projected cumulative fWAR. James Outman projects as a 3.5-win player by Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS model, but Outman logged a a 4.5 WAR season as a rookie last year while punching out at a clip well above 30%. Outman is a top-of-the-line defender in center, and will run into enough homers and walk enough to provide immense value for the one team that doesn’t need any more value than they already have.

Teoscar Hernandez joining the Dodger fold on a one-year deal is something that could make President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman look like even more of a genius. Many fans know the potential for a middle-of-the-order masher is still there, having logged 32 home runs and 116 RBIs as recently as 2021.

And let’s not forget about Jason Hayward, who revitalized his career with the Dodgers last year, OPS’ing .813 while being shielded from left-handed pitching nearly entirely.

With all of that talent already present in the outfield, the Dodgers took the opportunity to flip Manuel Margot in a trade with the Twins, which saw them eat a large portion of his salary and exchange shortstop prospects with Minnesota in the deal.

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By dealing Margot, the Dodgers freed up a roster spot and role for utility-man and fan favorite Kike Hernandez, who they signed to a one-year deal. Kike joins Chris Taylor as options off the bench and that’s not even mentioning top-100 prospect Andy Pages, who may become the best of the bunch.

5. Baltimore Orioles

Projected Starters (4th OF): Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, Austin Hays (Colton Cowser/Sam Hilliard)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 9.7

I view Baltimore as the second wild card of this whole ordeal with Chicago, but it has to do with their fourth outfield spot. Cedric Mullins is again locked into center field for Brandon Hyde, and rightfully so. Austin Hays is coming off of an All-Star season, while Anthony Santander has become one of the more underrated corner mashers in the game.

The Orioles have the best farm system in baseball by a wide margin. They have several top outfield prospects that are more than MLB-ready in Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad. They have even more on the way in Dylan Beavers, Jud Fabian, and last year’s first round pick in Enrique Bradfield Jr.. If Baltimore opts to roster Sam Hilliard instead of a Cowser or Kjerstad, I think they’re leaving immense MLB value in Norfolk.

4. Houston Astros

Projected Starters (4th OF): Kyle Tucker, Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers (Mauricio Dubon)

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Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 9.5

Kyle Tucker is an absolute superstar, and 2023 should’ve confirmed that for any doubters entering the season as he finished one home run shy of a 30/30 season while leading the American League in RBIs. On top of the offensive excellence, Tucker is one of the best defensive right fielders in baseball.

Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers seem to be Robin 1 and Robin 2 for Tucker’s Batman, but McCormick has proven that he can be an offensive force in the bottom third of that lineup, logging an .842 OPS in 2023.

Meyers hasn’t turned the corner offensively (and he may never), but he can play a rock-solid center field and has utility man Mauricio Dubon as a more-than-adequate backup. With a comfortably-good outfield, the Astros may be as close to flawless as any 26-man roster in baseball.

3. Texas Rangers

Projected Starters (4th OF): Adolis García, Evan Carter, Leody Taveras (Wyatt Langford)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 11.5

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This outfield, on paper, couldn’t be more fun. Adolis Garcia finished with 39 homers, over 100 RBIs, and some of the best defensive metrics among right fielders in 2023.

Evan Carter burst onto the scene during the final few weeks of the regular season and turned into a mythical creature during Texas’ World Series run. Leody Taveras put up 2.3 WAR last season, which might have been twice the number any logical person would have expected heading into ’23.

Arguably the biggest story of them all is the emergence of Wyatt Langford as one of the best prospects in baseball. After falling into the Rangers’ lap as the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft, the former Florida Gator slashed .360/.480/.677 in his first 44 professional games.

Bruce Bochy and Chris Young are both on record saying that Langford can compete for an Opening Day roster spot this spring, and he may very well be the frontrunner for the DH job on Opening Day.

2. Atlanta Braves

Projected Starters (4th OF): Ronald Acuña Jr., Michael Harris II, Jarred Kelenic (Forrest Wall)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 13.0

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No unit with Ronald Acuña Jr. will fall below the two-spot in these rankings. Of the projected 13.0 fWAR coming from the Braves’ outfield, over 7.0 comes from Acuña’s projection alone. Michael Harris is no slouch either, shaking off a cold start to 2023 to finish with a 4.0 WAR and 115 wRC+. The former NL Rookie of the Year should be a perennial Gold Glove candidate.

An interesting note from Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for the Braves: Forrest Wall is actually projected to accumulate more WAR than notable trade acquisition Jarred Kelenic from Seattle. Kelenic has the glitz and glamour of being a former top-10 prospect in baseball attached to his name, but Wall absolutely flies around the outfield and on the base paths.

1. New York Yankees

Projected Starters (4th OF): Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo (Trent Grisham)

Cumulative Proj. fWAR (ZiPS): 16.5

When the New York Yankees brought Juan Soto and Aaron Judge together this offseason, we started to dream big about the reincarnation of a “Murderer’s Row” which could rival those great Yankees teams of the early 1900s with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

If a century-old comparison doesn’t work for you, how about we look towards a completely different sport that is famous for pairing superstars up.

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Soto’s arrival in the Bronx may have been via trade and not via free agent signing, but two possible Hall of Famers joining forces in this way feels similar to Kevin Durant joining Stephen Curry in Golden State. Curry and Judge are record-setters, while Soto and Durant are both transcendent talents at the peak of their powers. Much like Curry and Durant, Soto and Judge could very well dilute each other’s candidacy for American League MVP honors.

The other two Yankee outfielders are newcomers as well. Alex Verdugo was acquired from the rival Red Sox last fall for a package centered around starting pitcher Richard Fitts, and he should provide strong defense and high level bat-to-ball skills at the bottom of the Yankee lineup as the every day left fielder.

And while Trent Grisham may not have panned out as a starter, he may be the best fourth outfielder in baseball. Grisham can still go get it in center with the best of them and run into enough long balls to earn sporadic playing time.

All of this and we have not even mentioned “The Martian”, as Jasson Dominguez could return to the Yankees lineup at some point this summer coming off Tommy John surgery. With the depth the Yankees have accumulated, Dominguez’s return would be nothing more than a welcome surprise and not something they have to count on by any stretch.

Only time will tell how long Soto will be in pinstripes, but for at least the 2024 season, the New York Yankees have the best outfield in baseball and it really isn’t even close.