Greetings Razzers, back at it for another season of Top 100 Outfielders. As I started last season, I have calculated the rest-of-season outfield ranks into TIERS. Everybody loves tiers. Tiers are like onions, and onions have layers. Tiers and layers, onions and parfaits. However, these aren’t just your everyday run-of-the-mill tiers, No sir (/ma’am). These, my latest labor of love and lament, are here to help you navigate the wild and wooly field of outfielders. Throughout the season I’ll be updating a ROS board every other week based on production and my tea leaves along with some thoughts and highlights… but first, let’s recap what the board means…
CWT – What the hell is that?
These are patent-pending Coolwhip Tiers (CWT). And what CWT does for you is it allows you see where I have the wide breadth of the outfield landscape valued among their peers. These tell you whether I view said outfielder as an OF1 to OF5. And each tier corresponds to a particular Coolwhip$ value.
CW$ – What’s with the money?
That’s Coolwhip Dollars, my dude! Does it mean you can buy something? Not really. The “$” is really a stand-in for value. The CW$ is me assigning a single simplified numerical value to the contribution of the player, paired with risk, injury, playing time, production etc. And the idea behind these values is that your goal (minimum) should have collected a 5-person outfield of around $15 total or more. Though, the dollars aren’t hardline values, but moreso general guidelines. I may be smart, but nobody knows everything.
Adam Duvall – I think I didn’t take enough chances on him as an OF4/5. Right-handed batter in Fenway with a career 49.8% flyball rate… mama mia, not a big leap to expect a good return on that draft capital. sigh. So far he’s got 2 HR and 9 RBIs while batting .588 in 17 ABs. That’ll play.
Trevor Larnach – The Larnach Monster is in a position to own that outfield spot for the foreseeable future with Kiriloff on the IL. He’s a lefty bat with 65-grade power and a decent hit tool. Did I mention so far he’s batting mostly 3rd and 4th in the Twins lineup? He could compile a healthy amount of counting stats with dongs if he sticks. What’s not to like? Give me a middle-of-the-order power bat with good contact over a 5th outfielder at the back of the lineup any day. So if you are wondering whether to keep a .240 hitter that might steal a handful of bases, make the swap. With the new rules a handful of steals are crawling out of the woodwork like roaches, 3/4-hole hitters are not. He’s got 1 HR and 5 RBIs to start the year.
Joey Gallo – Speaking of power hitters… Lazarus has returned. He’s got 3 HR and 7 RBIs out of the gate; I just knew that shift ban was going to help him! Wait… what? Oh, I’m being told the shift ban does not affect home runs. So, maybe he just needed to get the 500-lb Yankee fan off his back… and grow his beard back. So maybe that makes him Samson instead of Lazarus? More importantly, why are all my analogies coming from Sunday school? Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on him to see if his contact sin has been repented.
Bryan Reynolds – 4 HRs already, have the 2019 balls been put back into circulation? OR maybe he just reallllly wants to price himself out of the Pirates. That magical threshold where they can’t afford him anymore and then just trade him for 3 17-year old prospects in low-A. I’m only half kidding.
Robbie Grossman – Won himself the outfield job and camp and is off to a hot start. The Rangers lineup is pretty deep and he’s been hitting in the 6-spot. While he’s hitting, certainly worth a look. In the past, he has been able to mix in the power-speed combo, so maybe there is something left in the tank.
Oscar Colas – Also earned an outfield job out of camp. He’s hitting and has a SB already out of the gate; although, looking at his minor league track record I don’t see a lot of steals. So he might only be good for 5 or so on the season. However, 20 HRs and a decent average are certainly in the cards.
James Outman – More like James Inman, amirite? He and Trace Thompson are off to a hot start. Though, Outman looks to be the one with the inside lane for “Random Successful Dodger Hitter of 2023.” Seems like he’ll get the strong side of the platoon with Jason Heyward in CF and most likely to take a full-time spot should it open up.
Jose Siri – The Rays always seem to get the most out of their guys, and their offense will be a lot better this year than people think. Siri has a lot of speed with some sneaky power that they hope to unlock. Hey Siri, who’s an OF5 that could surprise people with a 15/20+ season?
Cedric Mullins – So far he’s doing everything. Hitting for average, power, and stealing bases. 2 HR, 4 SB. It’s not a reach to think that he might steal 50+ bags this season with a chance at surpassing 60. I know I picked up several shares this offseason for that very reason. High-end speed with enough power to keep you afloat across the board.
Taylor Ward – As high as Grey is on him, I’m even higher. His shoulder injury was clearly the source of his struggle midseason last year, and provided he can stay healthy at the front of a much deeper Angels lineup, the sky is the limit.
Taylor Ward just hit his 5th HR in 8 days going 10-27 in that span, he’sssss baaaaack… after season was derailed by shoulder injury on 5/20 he’s finally healthy again and rediscovered his stroke. #gohalos @Razzball pic.twitter.com/78U6xUaWBK
— Ohtani Stan Account (@CoolwhipRB) September 30, 2022
|2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||OF||1||10.63|
|11||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SD||SS/OF||1||7.44|
|12||Michael Harris II||ATL||OF||1||6.85|
|14||Luis Robert Jr.||CHW||OF||1||5.99|
|50||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||ARI||OF||4||1.48|
|73||Bryan De La Cruz||MIA||OF||5||0.00|
As always, the individual ranks (and to a degree the dollars) don’t really matter, what’s important are the tiers, and more important than that—your roster construction. Any outfielder not listed, consider them tier 5.
If you want more Coolwhip to top off your baseball experience, fantasy or otherwise, you can follow me on Twitter: @CoolwhipRB.