The good news is the top 20 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball are better than the top 20 3rd basemen. The unfortunate news is, if you had a five-outfielder league, you need at least 60 of these guys, and by the time we get through 40 in our next post, we will have already run dry of solid outfielders. Outfield isn’t shallow, but I wouldn’t say it’s deep either. This end-of-the-year ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Fernando Tatis Jr. – Already gave you my top 20 shortstops for 2021 fantasy baseball recap.

2. Teoscar Hernandez – One of my biggest whiffs of the preseason was expecting some big whiffs from Teoscar. Called him a schmohawk, and I became the schmohawk. Did I mention in the preseason I predicted Keston Hiura would be sent to the minors because of his contact struggles? Okay, wasn’t sure if I had. As they teach you at the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston: All major L’s must be followed by announcing major W’s. As for Teoscar, he made real gains. Lowered his strikeouts by a lot; figured out how to hit breaking balls, and pulled the ball more, which, in the goofy parks he played in, was a major coup not seen since Batista. Not Jose, but Fulgencio. Preseason Rank #29, 2021 Projections: 78/30/91/.237/7 in 541 ABs, Final Numbers: 92/32/116/.296/12 in 550 ABs

3. Bryce Harper – Big takeaway for Harper is I always wanna call him Bruce. They call him…Bruce. They being me. Remember the movie, They Call Him Bruce? Feels like a movie that only people born within three years of each other would know. As for Bryce, think because he gives off serious douche vibes, he’s always underappreciated. He had a couple years thrown in there when he hit .240-ish, which wasn’t great, but if he plays another ten years (he’s 28), he’s going to approach 600 homers and 2500 hits. That’s pretty good. Preseason Rank #7, 2021 Projections: 97/35/110/.266/12 in 562 ABs, Final Numbers: 101/35/84/.309/13 in 488 ABs

4. Juan Soto – Sexy Dr. Pepper’s Statcast isn’t real. It can’t be. Look at this:

C’mon, bro. I mean, c’mon! That’s not real. Sexy Dr. Pepper is a robot that can’t walk unless he first sees four balls just off the plate, right? A 22-year-old that feels like a lock for one of the top ten hitters of all-time feels unfair. Sexy Dr. Pepper is so good, he’s broken Statcast. Look at this list of similar hitters:

I can’t even with those names.

Preseason Rank #2, 2021 Projections: 104/40/117/.312/10 in 536 ABs, Final Numbers: 111/29/95/.313/9 in 502 ABs

5. Starling Marte – This doesn’t mean much, but Starling Marte went steals crazy this year in his age-32 season, but his Sprint Speed went like this: 53rd in MLB in 2019, 51st in 2020, and 104th this year. He is begging me to ignore him again next year. Trying not to be ageist, but it’s so hard for me to get excited about a guy who provides his value with speed and is losing said speed. Preseason Rank #19, 2021 Projections: 85/16/69/.277/24 in 547 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/12/55/.308/47 in 467 ABs

6. Cedric Mullins – What’s better: If I told you to draft a guy or their actual preseason ranking? The former, right? No, not because it makes me look better. Okay, yes, of course that’s the reason. But seriously, if in the preseason I ranked Cedric Mullins in the top 10 overall for outfielders, you would’ve had me committed and thought my rankings stunk to hell. It’s not about whether I ranked a guy close to where he ended up at the end of the year, it’s about if I ranked a guy above where others ranked him. For Mullins, I did not. I was likely close to ADP (411), but did I yell and scream for everyone to draft him? Nope. Now, if the league was shallow enough, you might’ve grabbed him early off waivers after the season started, because I was on him early. But for draft? No. I actually liked Austin Hays much better. Mullins’s career high in power in Triple-A was five homers with 13 steals. (Granted, that was in half a year in AAA, but still.) Honestly, didn’t think this year was possible from Mullins. Mea culpa, as they say in Latin America. Not only was it possible, but it looks legit. Preseason Rank #110, 2021 Projections: 33/5/19/.268/15 in 202 ABs, Final Numbers: 91/30/59/.291/30 in 602 ABs

7. Whit Merrifield – Already gave you my top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball recap.

8. Nick Castellanos – The Greek God of Hard Contact doesn’t even hit the ball that hard anymore, but an adjustment of his batted ball profile made him go from being a momma’s boy, who works at his family’s diner, serving disco fries and line drives, to owning said diner and dinging the Bell because the dongs were ready. Also, the GG of HC reminds me, don’t bet the under for power in Great American Ballpark, apparently the last park without a humidor. Preseason Rank #15, 2021 Projections: 89/31/92/.277/3 in 594 ABs, Final Numbers: 95/34/100/.309/3 in 531 ABs

9. Aaron Judge – This guy and Giancarlo (who will be along in the top 40 outfielders) are shocking that they’re not the top two outfielders every year they’re healthy. Their stats are so beyond believability, kinda like Soto, that it’s surprising Judge and Giancarlo don’t only need 75% of games played to be the top outfielders, so, anything else, is a little disappointing. They’re the kind of hitters who you can just watch and be like, “How does this guy not hit 60 homers every year?” Preseason Rank #23, 2021 Projections: 79/29/71/.253/3 in 444 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/39/98/.287/6 in 550 ABs

10. Kyle Tucker – Wasn’t that far off in my outfielder ranking with where Tucker ended up, but I screwed the pooch on him too. Was 100% out on Tucker. Honestly, more L’s in the outfielders’ rankings than I’d like to admit. If being in on a Tucker is a Jamie Gumb, I was Clarice and out. Similar problem to Teoscar, as in I thought there would be a problem with Tucker for his strikeouts and it wasn’t a problem. Well, it was a problem for me, who chose to ignore him. Also, I worried old and Dusty Baker was going to find a way to bench Tucker, but I was impressed by Baker this year. Taking starters out before they reached 140 pitches, playing Tucker vs. some vet, Baker seems to have evolved; don’t tell Carl Everett.  Preseason Rank #16, 2021 Projections: 86/23/83/.248/17 in 541 ABs, Final Numbers: 83/30/92/.294/14 in 506 ABs

11. Tyler O’Neill – The great thing about the Player Rater is it takes what you think out of the equation. You might think O’Neill wasn’t anywhere near a top 11 outfielder, and that’s why this ranking isn’t based on Our Thoughts. Tyler O’Neill became a legitimate star this year. Strikeouts are still a little high, but I’m sold, which is different than how I feel getting out of bed, which is s’old. Oh, and this guy is polar opposite to Cedric Mullins, in that my ranking seems way wrong, but I loved him in the preseason, and ranked him above where he was being drafted. Preseason Rank #72, 2021 Projections: 56/21/64/.249/5 in 408 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/34/80/.286/15 in 482 ABs

12. Mitch Haniger – He hit the 2nd most home runs for a player who didn’t play the previous season. Yeah, didn’t see that coming either! He went from wincing when he heard about a pet being spayed and/or neutered to being in the company of a Willie — Mays (1954) and Ted Williams (1946) as the only two other guys to not play the previous year and hit that many homers. Well, Ted might’ve done some damage the year before in 1945. To Nazis! Yeah! Preseason Rank #96, 2021 Projections: 58/19/66/.241/5 in 441 ABs, Final Numbers: 110/39/100/.253/1 in 620 ABs

13. Brandon Lowe – Already gave you my top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball recap.

14. Yordan Alvarez – Random Prediction Alert! At some point in his career, Yordan will be a top five overall player. His peripherals scream 45-homer, .320 season at some point. Captain Woo Cubano has Big Boy Barrels. He’s like a $54 Vending Machine Steak with the possibility for a great average. Preseason Rank #1 for Utility-Only, 2021 Projections: 91/42/108/.281 in 583 ABs, Final Numbers: 92/33/104/.277/1 in 537 ABs

15. Bryan Reynolds – Not to be a hater my whole life, but I get a little yawnstipated when I look at Bryan Reynolds’s stats. .288 xBA is a’ight; 89.4 exit velocity is okay; no real speed; okay power–I am yawning again. He reminds me of Michael Brantley. Call him by one name Bryantley, and that’s the most interesting he’s ever been. Preseason Rank #66, 2021 Projections: 68/20/74/.274/4 in 502 ABs, Final Numbers: 93/24/90/.302/5 in 559 ABs

16. J.D. Martinez – Not bad for a guy who stopped hitting after April. Did Just Dong start dating J.A.? Ya know, Just April. When I told you to sell J.D. in May, I made the right call since May thru September stats from Just Dong look like Evan Longoria.  Preseason Rank #5 for Utility-Only, 2021 Projections: 81/31/94/.257/2 in 551 ABs, Final Numbers: 92/28/99/.286 in 570 ABs

17. Randy Arozarena – The Rice Bowl is interesting because he ended up around his ADP, but I think most people, if they’re being honest, they’d say they expected him to do much better than his ADP. He came into this year with a lot of expectations, and managed to do the expected vs. hoped for. Don’t lie to yourself, The Rice Bowl did 20/20 last postseason alone. You expected more. Preseason Rank #17, 2021 Projections: 73/22/78/.286/17 in 517 ABs, Final Numbers: 94/20/69/.274/20 in 529 ABs

18. Adolis Garcia – Grabbed this guy in every daily move league, and I clearly remember when and why. It was after his first home run that was called back. It should’ve been a homer, but he was robbed by stupid umps. It was such a bomb I remember thinking, “This guy has easy power, I need to grab him,” and I did everywhere. I remember even saying to Geoff on that week’s podcast, I grabbed Adolis off that robbed homer. Didn’t think he’d be able to maintain a decent batting average (he did, well, decent enough), and wasn’t sure about the speed (it was there). Definitely one of the best pickups I made all year, and my big braininess to hold him. Thanks, Brian–I mean, Brain! Adolis is also the only bat so far to be unranked by me, besides Eric Haase. HAA!!!se. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 77/31/90/.243/16 in 581 ABs

19. Adam Duvall – His season can be explained by recognizing the correct pitch to swing at and doing damage with it. I’d put his power on the X axis, and pitch recognition on Y axis, and just as they’re at their peak, they overlapped in 2021. Did I do that chart, right? I’m such a giant dummy. What I mean is Duvall’s age wasn’t too old so he still had power, and it finally matched his pitch recognition. This year also feels as careery as career years get. Finally, he was a top 20 outfielder merely on HRs and RBIs. His other stat categories are hilariously bad. Preseason Rank #88, 2021 Projections: 54/21/64/1/.239 in 316 ABs, Final Numbers: 67/38/113/.228/5 in 513 ABs

20. Hunter Renfroe – Another guy who I remember distinctly talking about with Geoff a lot in the preseason, and on the site as a clear narrative that formed in my head, “Renfroe will hit for power as he always does, but his average will also go up fifty points because of dumb fly balls that would’ve been outs that he’s going to hit off the wall.” That is one of those scenarios where what I expected came to fruition, one of my favorite -itions. Preseason Rank #61, 2021 Projections: 58/27/71/.246/4 in 431 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/31/96/.259/1 in 521 ABs

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Chuko485
Chuko485
9 months ago

Grey,
In a H2H keeper league where we keep 10 guys I was offered Mondesi Fried and a 3rd rd pick for Matt Olson and my 1st rd pick. Thoughts ?

Doug
Doug
9 months ago

Braves winning with their pick-up outfield – Soler, Duvall, Rosario. Even if they wanted to keep all 3, Acuna will be back.

Do they want to keep any of ’em? And if so, who?

hot corner
hot corner
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

Too many variables to predict this one. Free agency, what do they need to pay Freeman, will there be a DH, etc.

Duvall is the only one controllable, so I assume he stays. I can’t see them picking up Joc’s $10 million option, so he is basically a FA. The others are a dime a dozen in the free agent market, so it largely depends on what they want.

birrrdy!
birrrdy!
9 months ago

Won my league in part because you ranked O’Neill higher than anybody else. Thank you, Grey!

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
9 months ago

Hey, just curious, how much do you like Jazz Chisholm for next year? Dude seems like Javier Baez 2.0. Stat pumping machine if he can just stay healthy.

Jack Straw
Jack Straw
9 months ago

Love the commentary Grey – thank you for sharing all season.

I recognize that Adolis Garcia’s batting average went on a downward trend throughout the second half, but still maintained solid power and speed counting stats in the middle of the Ranger line-up.

How do you feel about keeping him at $8 in a standard 10 team 5×5 AL only roto league for next season? I would be pairing him with Cedric Mullins at $7 who I had drafted as an inexpensive power/speed foundation.

DonnieB
DonnieB
9 months ago

Explain to me how Teoscar is above Bryce? I look at the numbers and can’t see it. Thanks.

hot corner
hot corner
Reply to  DonnieB
9 months ago

It’s all in RBIs. 116 vs 84.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
9 months ago

Sad when George Springer can’t make the top 20. Maybe he can stay healthy next year.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

I think you’re right. Was a very frustrating season dealing with him. Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. Blue Jays may want a refund.

Oddball Herrera
Oddball Herrera
9 months ago

Haniger is another in my “guys who just had what will turn out to be the best year of their career “ list. Hanging out there with Semien and Schwarber. And of course Salvador Perez.

Don’t pay for last season’s stats!

Mike
Mike
9 months ago

Hi Grey! Where would Luis Robert have ended up if he’d played a full season?

Will
Will
9 months ago

Grabbed Adolis when Trout went down with his “6-8 week” injury. Got .240 / 24 / 71 / 15 out of him in 492 at bats, very serviceable from an undrafted waiver wire replacement player. Kind of surprised he made the top 20 OFers on the player rater, though. Same with Duvall.

John B. Stetson
John B. Stetson
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

Loving these recaps. Were all of the projections yours, Grey? RazBall’s? Where do I find them next spring? They were damn good.

John B. Stetson
John B. Stetson
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

Loving these recaps. Were all of the projections yours, Grey? RazBall’s? Where do I find them next spring? They were damn good.

FireRobManfred
FireRobManfred
9 months ago

I took LouGu over Teoscar and felt so smug about it and I’m still in shock over Teoscar publicly-owning me this bad.

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
9 months ago

I have to assume Luis Robert (ranked 72 on the player meter) is that low because of injuries?

Can I confidently presume you’ll have Robert in your top 20 pre-season 2022?

I see a 2023 AL MVP race battle between Robert and Franco, with Bichette just outside the top 2.

Thanks for these year end reports, Grey!

Jolt

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
9 months ago

The Dodgers are who we thought they were. That’s why we took the damn field.

If you want to crown them, then crown their ass, But they are who we thought they were. And we let them off the hook.

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

It was a BS called third but what can you do (shrugs while in tears emoji)

Smitty
Reply to  FrankGrimes
9 months ago

Looked like a strike to me! Go Blue

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
9 months ago

Ouch! I was quick to draft Reynold and Mullins (probably one of only ones); and quick to drop them with their 1st bad stretch. And then I complained most of year how I couldn’t meaningfully fill my OF slots.

Steve Stevenson
Steve Stevenson
9 months ago

FML, I thought Cody Belanger (the jewel of my NL-only dynasty lineup once upon a time) was done trolling me for this year.

UkraineGameToYou
UkraineGameToYou
9 months ago

Can we petition to get the Greek God of Hard Contact on Castellanos’s bbref page as a nickname? ‘Artist’ sounds faker than GGoHC and infinitely less creative than an artist should be.

Tom
Tom
9 months ago

Wow, 7 guys with a pre-season rank above 60 end up in the top 20, incredible.

scoboticus
scoboticus
9 months ago

Yeah, Statcast similar hitters algorithm seems to churn out some headscratchers.

Tigres
Tigres
9 months ago

Wow. Yeah, OF was a mess this year. Having Bruce Harper + Bryantley was great in OBP league, though.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

Bruce Harper lol

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
9 months ago

Look at that outfielder jump percentile, what a bum!

How’s Black Sails going? I’m now working my way through Fargo.

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

That’s on my list too. Worth the watch? For me, I liked s1 of black sails but S2+ is really what did it for me

Ante GALIC
Ante GALIC
9 months ago

Grey!!!!!

Awesome!!

a. Was only able to voyeur your stuff ’cause I was taking tests for jobs ’cause no job=no money and any money=better than no money!

b. At least I was right about Astros, Braves and Dodgers (Belli=Sonofabench!!) going to the ‘XXCS. RedSox beating the Rays was a surprise to me.

c. Seeing Flores crying at HP, striking out on 3 pitches from MadMax, even he was sad knowing the Giants missed Belt. Sorry, Grimey.

d. Have a nice weekend!

e. Norm Macdonald quote of the day for Wake for October 15, 2021

‘The world was stunned this week when Yassir Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When contacted for a comment, he said “It’s no big deal when you consider the other candidates – Raul Cedras, Mickey Rourke and the guy who stabbed Monica Seles.”‘

f. Norm Macdonald quote of the day for October 15, 2021

‘Microsoft founder Bill Gates topped this year’s Forbe’s magazine list of the wealthiest Americans this week, just beating out at #2…Mr Monopoly!’

g. Marx Brothers quote of the day for October 15, 2021

‘Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough. It always amuses me when the newspapers run a picture of a man who has finally lived to be a hundred. He’s usually a pretty beat-up individual who invariably looks closer to two hundred than the century mark. It isn’t enough that the paper runs a photo of this rickety, hollow shell. The ancient oracle then has to sound off on the secret of his longevity. “I’ve lived longer than all my friends,” he croaks, “because I never used a mattress, always slept on the floor, had raw turkey liver every morning for breakfast, and drank thirty-two glasses of water a day.”

Big deal! Thirty-two glasses of water a day. This is the kind of man who is responsible for the water shortage in America. Fortunes have been spent in the arid West, trying to convert sea water into something that can be swallowed with safety, and this old geezer, instead of drinking eight glasses of water a day like the rest of us, has to guzzle thirty-two a day, or enough water to keep four normal people going indefinitely.’

Groucho and me

Cheers,
Ante

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
Reply to  Grey
9 months ago

Fuck Cody bellingers bitch ass

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  FrankGrimes
9 months ago

I hate him too. He fucked me all season long. I dropped him during the last week. Now he’s fucking with me again.

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
Reply to  Ante GALIC
9 months ago

Thanks Ante.

My favorite Norm quote:
“they call gambling a disease, but it’s the only disease where you can win a bunch of money.”

TarmanGotHim
TarmanGotHim
9 months ago

2 Marlins in the Top 20!!

As a Marlins fan, that makes me happy Grey.

Alex Jackson baby!! And Jesus Luzardo, that made so much sense since our Organization is so thin at the Pitching position.

They’ll probably draft Dylan Lesko in 2022, why not, then trade Max Meyer for Jo Adell and Griffin Conine will break Major League records with 10000 K’s in a season when he gets the call.

Love you Grey!!