The other day we went over the top 20 third basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball for our 2011 fantasy baseball rankings. Today, we turn our bejeweled eyeglasses to the top 20 outfielders for 2011 fantasy baseball. The top twenty outfielders will need to go to a top 40 then a top 60 then a top 80. Unfortunately, outfield is pretty shallow. Guess outfielders come in waves… much like sperm whales. Oofa! What I found overall from ranking the outfielders is that speed’s back like the 1980s when half the league was on coke. So, when appropriate, I tried to rank power outfielders ahead of ones whose value came from speed. More on that in the post. As always, these top 20 outfielders are broken up into tiers with my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2011 fantasy baseball:
1. Ryan Braun – See the top 10 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Ryan Braun’s 2011 projections.
2. Matt Kemp – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Matt Kemp’s 2011 projections.
3. Matt Holliday – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Matt Holliday’s 2011 projections.
4. Carl Crawford – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball post for Carl Crawford’s 2011 projections.
5. Carlos Gonzalez – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Carlos Gonzalez’s 2011 projections. There’s also a post coming later today all about CarGo. You can hardly wait. No, you!
6. Josh Hamilton – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball for Josh Hamilton’s 2011 projections.
7. Justin Upton – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here to McCutchen. I call this tier, “These guys will all be in the top 20 overall next year.” Yeah, Upton’s washed up at the age of 23. Good thing you sold that Apple stock a week before the iPod was announced, too. If you can get Upton at a cheap price because of a sub-par 2010, by all means. Everything is going to come together at some point and Upton is going to be a top ten draft pick one of these years. 2011 Projections: 85/26/95/.270/20
8. Jason Heyward – He’s going to give you what you used to get from Jayson Werth. Can the sophomore slump kill him? Yeah, I suppose, but why do you always have to bring up the negative? His OBP last year at the age of 21 was .393. That’s not a guy I think falls flat on his face. For Heyward, I’d go all in, check raising to the bettor. This might be the last time he makes it out of the 2nd round of any drafts for ten years. 2011 Projections: 100/25/105/.285/12
9. Andrew McCutchen – I can’t remember the last time I was this caca-cuckoo for so many Pirate hitters. The Dread Pirate isn’t a poor man’s Carl Crawford. The Dread Pirate is Carl Crawford. Wrap your peanut around that and crack it. 2011 Projections: 100/18/60/.290/38
10. Hunter Pence – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Krispie. I call this tier, “I’m trying to get some power in the outfield but it’s not as easy as it looks.” There’s actually caveats already in this tier, which is scary. There’s only nine outfielders I feel comfortable about? And a few of them didn’t even have great 2010 seasons. Trouble T-Roy reminiscences over a deep outfield. Pence doesn’t have huge power upside. That’s his caveat. The offense surrounding him sucks on the suckhole. Okay, that’s another caveat. He feels safer than others though because of his last three years and how consistent they’ve been. 2011 Projections: 90/25/90/.290/15
11. Nelson Cruz – Everyone knows Nelson’s caveat. Their singing is terrible. Wait, wrong Nelson. Cruz’s caveat is he can’t stay healthy. Cruz could probably hit 40 homers and steal 20 bases if he could stay healthy. That “if” has its own solar system. 2011 Projections: 70/27/90/.285/15
12. Shin-Soo Choo – I really can’t believe these guys are going to end up as someone’s first outfielder in a five outfielder league. There’s gonna need to be a lot of shuffling with guys on and off waivers. So, say, you choo-choo-choose Choo, his caveat is he’s not going to overwhelm you in any category. Nice solid five category guy without extreme speed or power. 2011 Projections: 95/20/100/.300/20
13. Krispie Young – His caveat is he could hit .230. Like no foolin’. Of course he’s one of the few actual 30/30 threats in the major leagues too, so you take the good and take the bad and you know the deal, Tootie. 2011 Projections: 75/25/85/.240/25
14. Jayson Werth – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Bautista. I call this tier, “The one tier I’m not going after in the top 20 outfielders.” Now keep in mind, when I say I’m not going after someone I’ll still draft them. They just need to fall far in the draft. Actually, that’s not true of Ichiro. I would never draft him. After Werth signed with the Nats, I went over what you should expect. The link is somewhere in the previous sentence. See if you can scope it. 2011 Projections: 75/25/85/.270/12
15. Ichiro Suzuki – If you don’t know I don’t like Ichiro, I want to welcome you to Razzball. Pat yourself on the back for your web surfing abilities. 2011 Projections: 85/5/40/.320/32
16. Alex Rios – It’s not that I don’t like Rios. I could see him being the one player in this tier that falls far enough where I might end up with him and that’s what worries me cause I know he’s going to screw me over whether I own him or not and this is the world’s longest run-on sentence, yo, comma, holla! 2011 Projections: 85/17/80/.270/20
17. Andre Ethier – Not a fan, homes. His name value far exceeds his real value. 25 homers is nice and all, but he gives you no speed at all and his runs and RBIs are obviously tied to his team. If you were to offer me Luke Scott seventeen rounds later, I’d say yes and get virtually the same player. 2011 Projections: 80/25/90/.295/3
18. Jose Bautista – I already went over Bautista’s projections in the top 20 third basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball post.
19. B.J. Upton – This is a new tier. This tier goes into the top 40 outfielders. I call this tier, “Back into guys I like, but they’re going to give you more speed than power.” Upt0n’s one of the few players I could envision being a top five overall fantasy contributor. Never underestimate someone who can hit 20 homers and steal 40 bases. 2011 Projections: 95/17/75/.250/40
20. Shane Victorino – Victorino hit 18 homers last year and stole 34 bases and he’s falling in drafts. And I kinda understand it. The 18 homers broke through his ceiling, spackled over the ceiling hole then broke back through it saying, “18 homers?!” It was high. Fortunately, his average of .259 last year was actually a bit low for him. At some point, age or injuries will catch up to him but until then I’d bet on another 12/30 season. Could Angel Pagan also do that? Sure, but he hasn’t done it every year since 2007. 2011 Projections: 90/12/65/.285/32