I’m gonna turn the top 20 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball to 100, because I love you as much as someone who has never met someone else can love someone. More than a top college athlete could love a non-existent girl. I’m sure this has been said before, but as a top college athlete you can get basically any girl you want (that’s whether or not the college athlete is a male or female). If you really want a girl in another state, not only can you afford to fly the girl to you with illegal handouts, but, if you’re the girl, you fly to see your athlete boyfriend because he’s about to become a millionaire. You find time. I mean, this is the most unbelievable story since the Catfish guys said their story was nonfiction. Not to mention, the pictures the kook was using in Catfish weren’t even of a girl that attractive. Before all of that, I would’ve said spoiler alert, but the movie’s five years old, you should’ve seen it already. Pull yourself away from your computer and watch some TV! Now, it’s only fair I turn the outfielders up to 100, since I’ve turned the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball to 26 and the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball to 42 and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball to 33; the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball to 35 and the top 20 3rd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball to 32. All the 2013 fantasy baseball rankings are there. As always, my tiers and projections are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball:
1. Ryan Braun – I went over Braun’s projections in the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
2. Andrew McCutchen – I went over McCutchen’s projections in the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
3. Mike Trout – I went over Trout’s projections in the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
4. Giancarlo Stanton – I went over Giancarlo’s projections in the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
5. Justin Upton – I went over Upton’s projections in the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
6. Carlos Gonzalez – I went over CarGo’s projections in the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
7. Adam Jones – I went over Adam Jones’s projections in the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
8. Matt Kemp – I went over Kemp’s projections in the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
9. Josh Hamilton – I went over Hamilton’s projections in the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
10. Jose Bautista – I went over Bautista’s projections in the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
11. Adrian Gonzalez – I went over Gonzalez’s projections in the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
12. Matt Holliday – Phew! I wasn’t sure if I would ever get out of those other already-projected outfielders. Oh, man, you made it here, but there’s still some people clicking the links above. We have to wait for them. *scratches chin, makes a burping sound with hand under armpit, downloads a song by King Fantastic* Okay, we need to move on. They’ll catch up. This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Heyward. I call this tier, “You’re still getting a top outfielder, but these young brothers have a few more issues.” Well, not young young. Hey, Matt Holliday! He’s been a top fifteen outfielder for the last five years minus 2011. If you’re predicting a step backwards like Kanye’s last album, you’re just guessing. BTW, in ten years, we’ll see the moment that Kanye rhymed “visit” with “Scott Disick” as the point when he began the slow, inevitable creative decline. Someone getting their Master’s in something useful like Urban Studies of the Modern Hip-Hop Man is probably writing a thesis on this. A chapter title in their thesis is, “Kim K. Needs to be Stopped, Can’t Amber Rose Put Wiz On Hold and Throw Kanye a Bone?” 2013 Projections: 92/26/100/.304/5
13. Jay Bruce – Rudy’s working on a H2H master rankings of streakiness. There’s some kinks he still needs to work out. We were talking on the phone about it — we talk, y’all! — and he asked me to name the guys that came in at the top of streakiness. I said Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott and, of course, Jay Bruce. I was wrong, wrong and right. The results might have been skewed slightly for the first two because last year they were just bad without any real streak of good. Jay Bruce was a no brainer, which is my specialty. He wasn’t at the top of the list, but he’s way above average for streakiness. Keep this in mind if you draft him. There’s gonna be moments, like whole months, where you’re wondering why you drafted him. Then there will be months when you’re rappelling to George Washington’s philtrum on Mt. Rushmore, screaming BRUUUUUUUCE! 2013 Projections: 95/35/105/.259/7
14. Shin-Soo Choo – Yes, I more or less want every Reds hitter. For the last five years (and really every year of its existence), Great American Ballpark has averaged a top five finish for homers allowed. If you draft hitters in good lineups who play in good hitters’ parks and pitchers in pitchers’ parks, you won’t finish worst than third in your fantasy league1. 1No actual data compiled for that, but it sounds right2. 2Matthew Berry has made a career of this type of statistical analysis3. 3I already went over my Shin-Shoo Choo 2013 fantasy4. 4The Illinois State Fair is fun in theory, but depressing in reality5. 5Not an actual David Foster Wallace footnote but sounds like one. 2013 Projections: 108/23/79/.296/20
15. Jason Heyward – He ended last year 12th overall for outfielders, according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. So he basically just needs to repeat last year and be worth this draft pick. We’re good with no step forward or backward for Heyward, you heard? So let’s look at last year to see if he can repeat. He had 27 homers. His 16.9 HR/FB% was a tad high, but repeatable. The rising K-rate and falling walk rate aren’t great, but as long as he can maintain those ratios he hits .269 again. If he takes a small step forward, he hits .280. His 21 steals last year are the absolute peak. Chances are he loses at least 5 steals, maybe ten. In all, I think we’re gonna see a small step backwards, but there’s a chance for more so I say gamble on him. 2013 Projections: 87/25/94/.262/10
16. Bryce Harper – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 40 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “You could get a number one outfielder or flop, plop, nothing.” BTW, “Flop, plop, nothing” would also be my advertising jingle for a laxative. I was surprised — pleasantly — that Rudy said that one player he’d reach for this year was Harper. That’s a big step for someone who prides himself on safe fantasy draft picks like Neil Walker. I think Harper can be a major bust — not like Billy Butler — but none of his numbers are pointing in that direction so I’m jumping on the hype wagon, if he falls to me here, which he probably won’t. Hey, hedger, hedge much? A guy that can hit 20+ homers and 20 bases over the course of the season, can only be so bad for fantasy. A guy that is 20 years old that can go 20/20 is too talented to be too down on. 2013 Projections: 102/25/69/.261/22
17. B.J. Upton – When he went to the Braves, I said this, “Now when B.J. is coming up to the plate, fans can do The Tomahawk Chop by turning their hand towards their lap rather than towards the field. Don’t act that out at work, you will get fired. B.J.! The Sideways Tomahawk Chop… B.J.! The Sideways Tomahawk Chop… I don’t see anything different from Upton in Atlanta. He is the kind of player that would be the same in just about every lineup/ballpark. His Home/Away splits over the last three years are .239 vs. .245 average, 33 homers vs. 36 homers and .750 vs. .755 OPS. You’d be hard pressed to find a player that similar depending on his environs, you’d also have to be pretty bored to try and find said player. BTW, if you write environs, you’re smart. If you say environs out loud, you’re a giant tool. Don’t shoot the messenger.” And that’s me quoting me! 2013 Projections: 90/25/72/.255/39
18. Desmond Jennings – Unlike Ellsbury and Grandy, who we will get to, Desmond is headed in the right direction. His numbers should look like B.J. Upton’s, but he’s two years younger. The third full year in the majors is when things start to click. This will be Desmond’s third full year. He’s also hitting the prime of his career at 26 years old. I doubt we get an average over .270, more than 20 homers or 40 steals, but they are all within his sights. It’s going to be a good year to own Jennings. I think he’s going to make the jump to the 2nd round overall next year. 2013 Projections: 92/17/59/.262/35
19. Jacoby Ellsbury – The good news is this is the last time we’re gonna have to look at Ellsbury in the top 20 outfielders if he fails to deliver. The bad news is there’s a real chance that he could fail again. He had 4 homers last year. That was in 323 plate appearances. Sure, there was an injury, but this is the 2nd time in three years an injury has destroyed his value. Last year, his injuries were a shoulder injury, a “leg situation,” and an “undisclosed” shoulder injury that obviously was “disclosed” because I just read about it. Imagine Dragons would call his DL history radioactive. This year he’ll be 29 years old and the power may still be there, but anything over 40 steals is a pipe dream like Bubbles’ memories of Sherrod. A guy very capable of 15 homers and 35 steals still has it in him to be a number one outfielder, but, like when your male Labradoodle is always humping other male dogs, the question marks are mounting. 2013 Projections: 89/14/64/.286/35
20. Yoenis Cespedes – He could easily repeat his 2012, but, honestly, I have no idea if that’s his ability level. All signs from Cuba were pointing to him having a lower average, but he didn’t strikeout much, showing solid discipline. His biggest question mark is his lack of a track record. Last year, he was great, but the year before he was tapping Fidel Castro on his right shoulder, then running left out of the room. “I think someone just tapped my shoulder but it takes me thirty-five seconds to turn my head because of my giant beard, so I missed them.” That’s Fidel talking to his favorite bartender, Pablo Mixologo. 2013 Projections: 82/25/95/.281/15