The other day we went over the top 20 third basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball for our 2012 fantasy baseball rankings. Today, we turn our bejeweled eyeglasses to the top 20 outfielders for 2012 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! For five outfielder leagues, this really blows, which is only a positive if you’re a sperm whale. Zadow! As always, these top 20 outfielders are broken up into tiers with my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball:
1. Ryan Braun – Went over his projections in the top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
2. Jose Bautista – Went over his projections in the top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
3. Matt Kemp – Went over his projections in the top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
4. Justin Upton – Went over his projections in the top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
5. Jacoby Ellsbury – Went over his projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
6. Carlos Gonzalez – Went over his projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
7. Andrew McCutchen – Went over his projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball. This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Pence. I call this tier, “These players. ‘What Grey wants in every league, Alex?’” The outfield isn’t quite as deep as it should be considering there’s three of these suckers playing at any given moment on all teams and the Reds have four.
8. Mike Stanton – Went over his projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
9. Jay Bruce – What we got from Bruce last year may not have been totally Boss, but a guy that can give you a 30+ homer and 8+ steal season is valuable nowadays. If Bruce manages to pull a rabbit out of his hat, he could improve in all five categories and there will be a magician somewhere wondering why Jay Bruce has his rabbit. 2012 Projections: 90/34/100/.270/10
10. Josh Hamilton – I think the market has finally figured out Hamilton. No longer is everyone expecting a MVP season every time out. People have realized he’s Mr. Glass. When healthy, Hamilton hits homers and a solid average, runs and RBIs. When he’s not healthy, you plug in someone else. In 12 team mixed leagues, it’s much easier to do that than in deep AL-Only ones so keep that in mind when drafting. (In AL-Only leagues or any leagues with less waiver wire options, I’d move Hamilton down to the next tier.) 2012 Projections: 75/27/85/.295/7
12. Nelson Cruz – Take the above and just “find” Hamilton and “replace” with Cruz. I think the market has finally figured out Cruz. No longer is everyone–Well, you can do it on your own. 2012 Projections: 70/30/85/.260/10
12. Hunter Pence – He’s a square peg in this round tier. Everyone else in this tier has crazy upside and some potential pitfalls. Pence is steady as she goes, Raconteurs. Last year he hit a few less homers, but I could see him actually hitting a few more homers this year because he won’t be playing under the tyranny of the recently-exiled Ed Wade’s Toupee. (Was actually surprised Astros fans weren’t more excited about the disposal of the Toupee, but, then again, I don’t think there are Astros fans.) 2012 Projections: 95/25/100/.280/10
13. Curtis Granderson – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Victorino. I call this tier, “How is this tier different than all other tiers? This tier I’m going to pass over.” Went over his projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
14. Matt Holliday – I’m done with Holliday until next year or the year after when he falls into the tier of outfielders with guys like Vernon Wells. He’s still too coveted for what he used to do rather than what he’s about to do. Oh, and please don’t ask in the comments if this means I would never draft Holliday. I would take Pence, Cruz and Bruce before him and I’ve seen Holliday taken before them, so how am I drafting Holliday? I’m not taking four outfielders in the course of one pick, i.e., I’m not drafting Holliday before others so I’m not getting him. Sorry to longtime readers who had to read that, but I feel like I always get these questions around the time of rankings. 2012 Projections: 85/24/90/.305/5
15. Lance Berkman - Went over Berkman’s projections at the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball post.
16. Shane Victorino – We had a good run. Victorino and I. It’s come to an end. Howard’s banged up, Utley’s a nail clipping incident away from the 15-day DL and Rollins has more miles on him than your Chrysler LeBaron. Victorino’s runs and RBIs will be affected. His speed is affected by his age, and he’s not a big power threat. If he falls far enough I could see maybe taking him, but it’s time to bid him aloha. The goodbye version of aloha, that is. 2012 Projections: 85/15/55/.275/20
17. Michael Morse – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here into the top 40 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “I’ll happily reach for one of these guys if I have to, in the non-sexual way. Though it’s kinda sad this is the third tier of outfielders that I’m excited about. Times is tough, yo.” Went over Morse’s projections at the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball post.
18. Desmond Jennings – I already went over my Desmond Jennings 2012 fantasy. While I wrote it, a leprechaun with a broken GPS looking for a rainbow appeared out my window. 2012 Projections: 80/16/65/.275/35
19. B.J. Upton – Honestly, I might be the only fantasy baseball ‘pert who doesn’t mind Fellatio Upton. Sure, he hits for a wonky average, but so does your mom. (Actually, I don’t know how well your mom hits for average. Though she looks like she can’t leg out many infield hits on those cankles.) Upton hits for power and steals bases. I’m willing to go out on a limb that he can luck into a .260 average one of these years with his wheels and still go 20/40. At 27 years of age, this is the year I’m betting on. 2012 Projections: 80/20/85/.250/40
20. Adam Jones – He has a few strikes against him. But games haven’t started yet?! Strikes against him was a figure of speech, Random Italicized Voice. Jones’s ground ball rate isn’t great, which makes me think we’ll need to be lucky to get over 25 homers and his walk rate is near abysmal. A guy that can give 25/12/.285 is valuable though in today’s bear market, which only sounds like a grocery store in The Castro. 2012 Projections: 80/25/90/.285/12