So here we are somewhere in Snape’s cauldron among our top hundred divining the future of the outfield position in fantasy baseball.

Wild things have happened already. I knew it might get weird when I saw the ghost of Shoeless Joe while I was watching Parasite. 

Sorry, Sev: while we were watching Parasite. 

The other day, I got asked about Luis Matos and wound up mentioning Ronald Acuna Jr. 

Then dug deeper down into that rabbit hole and ate the mushrooms that made the idea grow. 

That was after people got mad at me for some inadvertent Trout shade. I blame Christian Yelich for being better than him at roto. 

Hmm, what else?

Oh yeah there was that day I saved cousin Dudley from two huge floaty randos at the playground. 

Before we case the basement to see what’s behind the walls, let me say something I haven’t. 

I think you should try to get Hedbert Perez in your dynasty leagues.

I’ve been thinking we should talk about this for a long time, but I get locked into projects and moods, you know? I don’t always make time for us to talk. 

In this post, you’ll likely come away with the idea that I think Luis Matos is a must-own player at his likely cost across our game. That’s true. But I think Hedbert Perez is right there with him. We might still be a few months ahead of the wave on him. Same for Heriberto Hernandez. These are must-haves for me. 

Where I don’t get them, I’m afraid I’m going to regret it. 

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of my life. 

Okay, that’s that, I think. I’ll paste the list here then more words at the bottom.


Rank 4/26 Rank 4/22 Player Age Team
1 1 Ronald Acuña Jr. 22 ATL
2 2 Christian Yelich 28 MIL
3 3 Mike Trout 28 LAA
4 4 Cody Bellinger 24 LAD
5 5 Juan Soto 21 WAS
6 6 Mookie Betts 27 LAD
7 7 Yordan Alvarez 22 HOU
8 8 Austin Meadows 24 TB
9 9 Luis Robert 22 CHW
10 10 Bryce Harper 27 PHI
11 11 Victor Robles 22 WAS
12 12 Eloy Jimenez 23 CHW
13 13 Jorge Soler 28 KC
14 14 Aaron Judge 27 NYY
15 15 Jo Adell 21 LAA
16 16 Starling Marte 31 ARI
17 17 JD Martinez 32 BOS
18 18 Joey Gallo 26 TEX
19 19 George Springer 30 HOU
20 20 CJ Abrams 19 SD
21 21 Julio Rodriguez 19 SEA
22 22 Giancarlo Stanton 30 NYY
23 23 Dylan Carlson 21 STL
24 24 Ramon Laureano 25 OAK
25 25 Jasson Dominguez 17 NYY
26 27 Byron Buxton 26 MIN
27 28 Charlie Blackmon 33 COL
28 29 Kyle Schwarber 27 CHC
29 26 Michael Conforto 27 NYM
30 31 Jarred Kelenic 20 SEA
31 30 Oscar Mercado 25 CLE
32 32 Kyle Tucker 23 HOU
33 35 Franmil Reyes 24 CLE
34 41 Nick Castellanos 28 CIN
35 33 Oneil Cruz 21 PIT
36 34 Kristian Robinson 19 ARI
37 36 Bryan Reynolds 25 PIT
38 38 Andrew Benintendi 25 BOS
39 39 Lourdes Gurriel 26 TOR
40 40 Eddie Rosario 28 MIN
41 44 Willie Calhoun 25 TEX
42 42 Marcell Ozuna 29 ATL
43 43 David Dahl 26 COL
44 46 Corbin Carroll 19 ARI
45 47 Trent Grisham 23 SD
46 45 Trey Mancini 28 BAL
47 48 Brennen Davis 20 CHC
48 37 Tommy Pham 32 SD
49 49 Michael Brantley 32 HOU
50 50 Max Kepler 27 MIN
51 51 Nick Senzel 24 CIN
52 52 Alex Verdugo 23 BOS
53 53 Luis Matos 18 SF
54 54 Nick Solak 25 TEX
55 55 Trevor Larnach 23 MIN
56 56 Zac Veen 18 ??
57 62 Heriberto Hernandez 20 TEX
58 58 Teoscar Hernandez 27 TOR
59 60 Avisail Garcia 28 MIL
60 61 Mark Canha 31 OAK
61 63 Sam Hilliard 26 COL
62 57 Garrett Mitchell 21 ??
63 64 Aaron Hicks 30 NYY
64 59 Yasiel Puig 29 ??
65 66 Erick Pena 17 KC
66 69 Nomar Mazara 24 CHW
67 65 Austin Hays 24 BAL
68 67 Andrew McCutchen 33 PHI
69 68 Wil Myers 29 SD
70 71 Riley Greene 19 DET
71 70 Yoshi Tsutsugo 28 TB
72 72 Drew Waters 21 ATL
73 73 Cristian Pache 21 ATL
74 74 Mallex Smith 26 SEA
75 75 Alek Thomas 19 ARI
76 76 Hedbert Perez 17 MIL
77 77 Mitch Haniger 29 SEA
78 79 Gregory Polanco 28 PIT
79 80 Adam Eaton 31 WAS
80 81 Ian Happ 25 CHC
81 78 Randy Arozarena 25 TB
82 82 AJ Pollock 32 LAD
83 83 David Peralta 32 ARI
84 84 Mike Yastrzemski 29 SF
85 85 Kyle Lewis 24 SEA
86 86 Monte Harrison 24 MIA
87 88 Aristides Aquino 26 CIN
88 91 Lorenzo Cain 34 MIL
89 92 Gilberto Jimenez 19 BOS
90 93 Jaylin Davis 25 SF
91 87 Jesse Winker 26 CIN
92 94 Randall Grichuck 28 TOR
93 89 Justin Upton 32 LAA
94 90 Shogo Akiyama 32 CIN
95 95 Franchy Cordero 25 SD
96 96 Jesus Sanchez 22 TB
97 97 Taylor Trammell 22 SD
98 99 JJ Bleday 22 MIA
99 101 Heston Kjerstad 21 ??
100 108 Seth Brown 27 OAK


Thoughts from the reddit thread:

Jacob_Bob asks:

Luis over Eloy. How confident are you on that holding up?

Good question. Eloy can’t steal bases, so LuBob doesn’t have to hit a ton to best him in the long run.

I dealt Eloy for LuBob last summer in a 20 team dynasty. Got back a 2nd round FYPD pick kicker in the deal but was ready to do it straight up then (June 2019).


Benny Jetss asks:

Assuming Yordan Alvarez plays enough games to keep his OF eligibility (or gain it, if you play on ESPN), where does he rank on this list?
Got this question a few times, which made me wonder how I could include him without putting him in the standard list bc a lot of people play at Yahoo and ESPN.

I’d put him just after Mookie but would be wondering how long that will hold if Yordan is his 2019 self for the foreseeable future . . . how long Mookie will run and where he’ll land in FA.

*As you can see this is part of the past now, but the possibility of universal DH has me thinking about other non-outfielders who might pick up some eligibility. It goes without saying that Kevin Crons gain value on a DH-everywhere planet, but he and others like him (Edwin Rios, to pull another name from Dan Richards’ exit velocity sleeper piece “Best Cups of Coffee”) might gain some surprise eligibility in these lower-bar leagues.


hum_babe asks:

This is by far the highest I’ve seen Heriberto Hernandez ranked. Any reasoning behind that? The numbers are crazy but not many people seem to be putting stock into him.

He’s just the perfect fantasy prospect in a lot of senses. Or would be if he had speed. But if he could run he could probably defend or at least fake it in a corner outfield spot.
As is, he’s just a hitter, which helps keep his profile low like Yordan.
But that’s mostly fine for our game. Sure it’s not ideal if he’s DH only at the age of 21, but if he’s 21 and mashing major league pitching, we’ll probably make it work.
I’m not comping the two, skills or physicality wise, but I just love Heriberto’s swing, and all the numbers back it up. I mean the metrics back the hips-trunk-hands synchronicity and barrel hand-eye he shows in the box.
I don’t fully buy low minors estimated fly ball distances, but his put him right near the top of the minors most years. He’s got a lot to prove against better spin and velocity, but the jumping on point is now while the cost is a roster spot or a meek offer.


alwaysmyfault wonders:

How can they justify Yelich ahead of Trout?

Same age, and Trout has a consistent track record of outperforming Yelich.

Fair points.

For starters, I looked to the immediate past.

Trout wasn’t real close to Yelich in 5×5 roto value last season.

They were closer the year before, but Yelich had 228 R+RBI and Trout had 180. That’s an enormous gap.

Yelich also beat him in batting average .326 to .312.

Last year’s BA split was .329 to .291—another monstrous advantage to Yelich’s teams.

Trout caught and passed him in R+RBI 214 to 197

but stole just 11 bags to Yelich’s 30.

Across two full seasons with similar PA totals, Yelich has been the better roto player, and it’s not super close. I mention in the intro it felt weird to rank Trout 3rd, but ours is game of numbers not names, and unless you’re in an OBP league and perhaps even if you are, Yelich has earned the edge. Certainly helps that his park is elite for lefty bats, but that ain’t changing anytime soon. Also might hurt Trout a little that Joe Maddon’s in town. He’s not big into the stolen base, and it seems Trout has soured some on running anyway. Plus Yelich was 30 for 32 in stolen base attempts and has been incredibly efficient there for three straight seasons.

Dude knows when to take his bases.



no room for Puig? I respect the list, but I think there’s too much foaming at the mouth over guys who haven’t played a single game in the bigs… even some “can’t miss” guys like Jo Adell have red flags (which is partly why Jo couldn’t make the jump from Triple-A last year). Maybe my perspective is skewed since I play in a custom points league and Puig has been nothing but solid, but I would trade some purely speculative, high-upside, single-A guy like Corbin Carroll for Puig’s immediate value in a second.

(edited to clarify my original “no room for Puig?” troll-esque comment)

^^This human is a net positive on the internet: a unique, endanged species. Full credit to anyone who identifies some troll-feel in their words and tries to edit it out. I didn’t even think the original content was troll-ish. It’s a fair question. But man, just made feel good to read.

Anyway, perhaps I should clarify somewhere in the lede that it’s a 5×5 roto list.

I lean toward the math that suggests 1 stolen base = 3 home runs in approximate roto value in the current paradigm.

Which is just not how points leagues operate.

In dynasty it’s scary for me to see a guy get ignored completely in free agency. Suggests he could be nearing his last life on the job market, mostly bc so few teams prioritize winning in the near term vs. building long-term, controllable assets.


ahh, yeah I get that… I’ve seen Puig’s disappearance into free agency as a market inefficiency, because Puig is indisputably decent-to-good from a GM’s perspective… either he’s asking too much or GMs are offering too little. once there’s actually a playoff race, something’ll give. probably sooner too.

anyway. back to your list. good stuff. Roto is a foreign language to me, but your top 50 definitely passes the sniff test


I’m dynasty I’m taking the young top prospects over Puig everytime


like yeah, I’d trade him for Adell/Robert/Julio/Kelenic… but some of these marginal Top 100 prospects???

Not sure which prospects you’re referencing, but if you have Puig and can get Corbin Carroll for him, I think you’ll be happy you did.

Not loving my tone here. Should’ve edited. But I mean it insofar as Puig is heading one direction and Carroll the other. Plus you can get something along with Carroll in most leagues, I think, and then pick up a FA outfielder who’s not all that net-net different than Puig. Maybe not today, but when the games start, roster spots have incredible value for speculation and streaming buys. (Cough cough Aquino cough). In traditional dynasty, MLB free agents are available at most positions most of the time, and new players are coming into opportunities most of the time. MLB spots get tight when you’re contending, so something like Puig for Carroll and a pick can be a great play. Especially if you’re paying close enough attention to stream hot hitters (with the help of the Stream-O-Nator, perhaps?).


Our final thoughts come courtesy of readrainbow:

Lots of faith in Soler

He was just so elite last time we saw him. Might even have a case to be higher.
.299/.411/.665 in the second half.

Got better as pitchers adjusted to him and circled him as the out they needed in that lineup.

Got better as they tried to get him to chase in various ways high low in and out.

If this version of Soler has a weakness, pitchers are struggling to exploit it.

Thanks for reading! Stay safe out there. Next 50 outfielders coming in hot!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter and reddit.

Oh and PS: I’m going to try and add some recommendations from time to time.

The End of the F***ing World on Netflix

Spy on Hulu (the one with Darren Boyd)

ZeroZeroZero on Prime

Spy is hilarious and fast.

ZZZ is just 70-grade stuff across the board.

The End of the F***ing World is an impressive blend of momentum, exigency, character, deflection and fun. Not in real time of course. The end of the world is bad. But the show. The show is excellent.