After the top 20 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball, guess what we have here? The top something-something’s? Cute, random italicized voice. We have the top 40 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball. That’s right, Wonderful just gave birth to Awesome. Wanna hear something even awesomier? I’m going to turn this to 60 then 80. Hopefully I don’t blow my amp. The hardest part about writing these 2012 fantasy baseball rankings posts is writing this opening. Trying to make the clerical stuff sound less clerical, ya know? So I just copied the openings from previous years where applicable. As with other rankings, where I see tiers beginning and ending are mentioned along with my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball:
21. Drew Stubbs – This tier started in the top 20 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball. This tier goes from here until Kendrick. 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.” Stubbs isn’t really the same player as Fellatio Upton, so I battled with how to get him out of the same tier. I battled myself by dunking my hands in two bowls of Jell-O, then thumb-wrestling myself to a ten round draw. I ended up figuring it was fine to put Stubbs in the same tier but below him. 2012 Projections: 80/17/55/.240/40
22. Krispie Young – Krispie is another guy that I kinda wanted to move to another tier and he’s even pretty far below Stubbs (though it sure doesn’t seem that way in these rankings). What Krispie has going for him that Beej and Stubbs don’t is 25-plus homer power. He’s pretty seriously deficient in average though, and when I’m saying that compared to Stubbs and Upton, it’s saying something. Grey said, “Something.” See? 2012 Projections: 85/25/80/.235/25
23. Jason Heyward – This is probably the furthest I’m out on a limb with an outfielder. He could be a worse pick than Markakis. Last year Heyward hurt his shoulder, then Glass Chipper started questioning his manhood even though Chipper invented the oblique just so he could miss 40 games a year. Heyward’s BABIP was obscenely low so he should hit at least 40 points higher without much effort. Hitting for a better average with a healthier shoulder should help him build confidence, move him up in the order and hit for more power. You could blend those variables together and you may end up with a wheatgrass/kale antioxidant health drink that is supposed to be good for you but just makes you want to vomit. If at any point in the spring there’s news that his shoulder is still bothering him, I’ll drop him way down in the rankings. 2012 Projections: 80/22/90/.280/10
24. Howie Kendrick – I went over Kendrick’s projections in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.
25. Shin-Soo Choo – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Gordon. I call this tier, “I could see myself missing out on these guys because others are believing them more than me.” Most ‘perts are looking at Choo’s 2011 as an aberration. That wasn’t Soo Choo, that was Soju. An Asian flush with bad luck. So last year he had a .317 BABIP (off his career rate, but not really that terrible), a 1o.4% HR/FB (again, not hideous), a 10.1% walk rate (not bad) and a 21.8% K-rate (around his career rate). He missed a bunch of games because of injury. If he’s healthy, he’s back to the 17-20 homer, 17-20 steal guy. Yay. I don’t know; it’s all right. I’m not excited to draft him. 2012 Projections: 80/17/85/.280/17
26. Carl Crawford – Last year, things started poorly and went from bad to Mad Libs in the cliche. Slumps get into guys’ heads and if there isn’t a big girl around to have sex with that slump can last longer than anyone wants. I’m willing to ignore last year. Really, I am. Then the wrist surgery this offseason. Damn, that wrist got me pist. Red Sox are reporting he should be ready for Opening Day. I’m reporting he’s going to miss a month. There’s a small silver lining. His wrists aren’t his legs. Hey, I should’ve gotten better than a C in Human Anatomy! If he falls, I could see gambling on him, but it’s probably not going to happen if you follow my rankings. 2012 Projections: 75/10/70/.280/30
27. Alex Gordon – Here’s what I said at the end of last year for Gordon, “Gordon’s line this year was 101/23/87/.303/17. Terrific! Wonderful! Tonderific! But if you peek under the hood, things aren’t as they seem. His BABIP is .358, easily a career high in the majors. His walk rate and line drive rate dropped from last year, and his ground ball rate nudged up. His homers and speed look about right, but if luck goes against him those two categories could get affected. He’s probably much closer to a .280 hitter with 17-20 homers and 12-15 steals. With just a tad bad luck, he becomes a fifteen homer guy with 10 steals and a .265 average. That’s far from spectacular. That’s spectaculess. I just made that up; you like it? You use it.” And that’s me quoting me! 2012 Projections: 85/20/100/.280/12
28. Brett Gardner – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Rasmus. I call this tier, “I’m targeting these guys for my teams. They might all end up getting sleeper posts. You’ve been forewarned. (Bee tee dubya, the projections in this tier are a bit optimistic, but I’m sick of hiding my excitement. Let me free-ball and show you my love!)” I’m unabashedly a fan of Gardner, which makes very little sense if you’ve read this site for an extended period of time because usually I ignore SAGNOF’ers and just grab one later or off waivers. To me, Gardner is underrated, which is odd because Yankees are usually overrated. Gardner is just an enigma wrapped inside a riddle inside a fortune cookie that reads, “Person who sleeps with scratchy rear wakes with smelly finger.” 2012 Projections: 105/8/50/.280/50
29. Jayson Werth – Ponder this, guys and three girl readers, is Werth that different from Corey Hart? Okay, stop pondering it, your eyes are crossing. He’s not hitting 35+ homers again like he used to in Citizens Flank, but he should also be better than last year and the Nats offense is looking solid. Yeah, I know how weird that sounds. Don’t point out the obvious. 2012 Projections: 75/22/90/.265/15
30. Logan Morrison – His Isolated Power was .221. Dan Uggla’s was .220. Paul Konerko’s .217. Jay Bruce’s .217. Logan Morrison only hit 23 homers last year. He missed almost 40 games last year because of injuries and his inability to put the cone of silence on his Twitter account. He’ll only be 24 years old for the better part of 2012 and the Miami Marlins revamped their lineup by throwing some fabulous moolah around for a World Series ring. 2012 Projections: 60/25/75/.270/5
31. Michael Cuddyer – Went over Cuddyer’s projections in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.
32. Peter Bourjos – What does it mean that Bourjos is ranked this high? It means we’re all screwed. Sorry, don’t mean to yell fire in the theater of Razzball, but outfield is shallower than a conversation with a Kardashian. I already went over my Bourjos 2012 fantasy. I wrote it while refusing to eat at Subway because it reeks of onions. 2012 Projections: 85/15/50/.255/35
33. Alex Rios – I wrote an Alex Rios 2012 fantasy post. It pained me to write that post and I hope you forgive me but I felt like it needed to be said. Now please forget the apology if I’m right or forget that I wrote the post if I’m wrong. Thanks, over-the-internet friend! 2012 Projections: 75/17/85/.270/22
34. Colby Rasmus – I’m out on serious limbs with some the players’ rankings in this tier. Just when you thought I was totally out of my gourd with my Rios ranking, here’s Rasmus about 35 spots ahead of where I see some other ‘perts ranking him. The key thing with drafting is you are drafting for the upcoming year, don’t try and put together a team that would’ve kicked serious booty while bagging last year’s doubloons. That’s not going to win you something, but hopefully I just learned you something. Hey, that sounds like a rhyme Pitbull would make. Blah blah blah Kodak, blah blah blah Kodak. 2012 Projections: 85/22/70/.265/10
35. Corey Hart – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Ethier. I call this tier, “I’ll reluctantly draft these guys, but I’d rather not.” On first glance, Corey Hart’s season last year looks okay. On second glance, his 2010 season of 31 homer, 7 steal 2010 and 2011 of 26/7 look remarkably similar — he simply had 15 less games last year. On third glance, you see his fly ball rate plummeted and start to think his homer per fly ball rate is unsustainable. On fourth glance, you start to wonder why you’re looking at Corey Hart’s numbers four times. On fifth glance, there is no fifth glance. On sixth glance, you think about how he may not break 75 runs or RBIs without Prince Fielder, fifty games of The Hebrew Herpes and the invariably injured Weeks. On seventh glance, you accidentally hypnotize yourself and begin to cluck like a chicken in front of an audience of strangers. 2012 Projections: 75/24/70/.265/8
35 1/2. Yoenis Cespedes – I went over my Yoenis Cespedes fantasy while studying for Jeopardy! 2012 Projections: 65/20/80/.250/12
36. Nick Markakis – The last four years his homer totals have been 20, 18, 12, 15. One of these years he may stand up and say he is Sparkakis, but until then I don’t care to gamble on a guy that is averaging 16 1/4 homers a year. I mean, who ever even heard of quarter homers? Those are singles, Nick. Elevate the ball. 2012 Projections: 80/18/85/.295/10
37. Ben Zobrist – Went over Zobrist’s projections at the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball post.
38. Andre Ethier – This tier that I’m planning on missing makes an already shallow outfield that much more shallow. I get that. That’s why I named this tier, “I’ll reluctantly draft…” I don’t like Ethier, but I can’t turn my nose up at dozens of guys this year. I don’t buy into Ethier bouncing back to being a top 20 outfielder. I say if you draft him, you’re going to get a top 30 outfielder at best. That means he’s ranked near his ceiling. Opportunity costs will probably have me looking elsewhere. Hypothetical things that have no weight need to be weighed. It’s all very scientific. 2012 Projections: 70/22/85/.295
39. Torii Hunter – This is a new tier. This tier ends at Vernon Wells then starts again in the top 60 for 2012 fantasy baseball so I can sneak in the SAGNOF tier. I call this tier, “Vets that I’m either lukewarm about or slightly more than lukewarm about. Read the temperature gauge.” The guys in this tier are mostly okay, unless you draft your team then get in a DeLorean and play out your fantasy league in 2004. Then they’re awesome! Maybe one of the guys in this tier has a Lance Berkman 2011 year. There always seems to be one, but don’t say you know which guy it is — someone might be listening. If I had to bet on a surprising year from one vet, I’d go with Torii Hunter. Lineup’s going to be the best he’s had in a while and he can lamp in the outfield. Will he definitely surprise like that doode from Community coming out with one of the best albums of 2011? Nah, but the Torii Hunter gambino won’t cost you much. 2012 Projections: 80/24/90/.270/7
40. Vernon Wells – Cause crazy talk isn’t just something that I reserve for Alex Rios, I also wrote a Vernon Wells sleeper post. No, there will be no sleeper post about Todd Helton, but that’s funny and sarcastic. You’re a double threat! 2012 Projections: 75/25/85/.260/8
40 1/16. Michael Bourn – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the end of this post. I call this tier, “SAGNOF!” I just throw all these schmohawk steals guys in the same tier, because, well, frankly, interjection, they’re the same shizz. Bourn gets you nothing but steals. If you think that’s a smart way to build a team, I got a Lorenzo Cain, Michael Brantley or yadda3 off waivers that says you should follow the SAGNOF theorem of evolution that says these guys ain’t got no face. Double negatives being damned, and all. 2012 Projections: 90/2/40/.280/50
40 1/8. Emilio Bonifacio – I went over Bonifacio’s projections in the top 20 shortstops for 2012 fantasy baseball.
40 1/4. Coco Crisp – Coco Crisp could be a cheap Brett Gardner. Yes, I’m being cereal. 2012 Projections: 65/7/50/.260/35
40 what/fraction-is-this? Nyjer Morgan – Or should I say Tony Plush? I could see a scenario where Morgan gets confused by not seeing Fielder and Braun and steals two bases in one inning for two different teams. Sorta like a Joel Youngblood move, only crazier. 2012 Projections: 65/3/30/.270/27
40 3/4. Juan Pierre – Doesn’t have a team yet, but if he gets an everyday job then he’ll give you the usual. If you don’t know what Juan Pierre gives you fantasy-wise, I have a copper-plated zinc portrait of Lincoln to sell you for $19.99. 2012 Projections: 85/1/40/.285/30
40 7/8. Rajai Davis – Doesn’t have a starting job right now, but didn’t last year and stole 34 bases. Nothing like a basestealer that has a walk rate under 5%. Rajai, you can’t steal first base, but you can throw your elbow into a pitch or two. Keep that in mind. 2012 Projections: 40/1/20/.260/30