The good news is the top 20 outfielders for 2022 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 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Aaron Judge –  I haven’t fully come to terms that Aaron Judge just had the best fantasy season ever, according to our Historical Player Rater. At one point, I even said to myself something like, “Well, that Historical Player Rater is from 1903 to present, so there might’ve been some season in the 1890s by someone named, like, Bugs “Limey” O’Steed, who had a 70-homer, 20-steal season, but the homers were 20-foot dribblers that no fielders would touch because Limey had scurvy and they thought it was contagious.” Sadly, Limey doesn’t pass the sniff test and I mis-Judge’d Aaron in so many leagues that it caused me to drafted someone like Tyler O’Neill in front of Judge. Not that I totally missed on the preseason ranking on Judge. It’s the problem with rankings and drafting, and why ranking rankings never makes any sense. If I rank Judge higher than everyone else, then great, but if I have O’Neill in front of him, then it doesn’t matter how high I ranked Judge. Just being real with you. Well, at least my projections were only roughly half of what Judge did–WHAT EVEN?! Preseason Rank #11, 2022 Projections: 91/37/101/.272/3 in 541 ABs, Final Numbers: 133/62/131/.311/16 in 570 ABs

2. Mookie Betts – There’s nearly $30 worth of fantasy value between Judge and Betts. Yordan only scored $30 worth of fantasy value! That’s not to take anything away from Betts, just, again, to point out how insane the year was for Judge. Okay, one more thing on Judge’s season. Last year, Tatis was the top ranked outfielder with $36.90. He was the only one over $30 last year. Eff me, that Judge season was incredible. Okay, on Mookie Best, the best Betts that’s so best he’s Mookie Best. He had his career high in power, but his 15.6% HR/FB isn’t absurd, his fly balls are up, literally. Not a great thing if he weren’t hitting it out, but he was. He’s also become more of a .265 hitter with 10-ish steals, which is fine if he’s popping off 35 homers. It’s a little worrisome of a profile for him. Preseason Rank #7, 2022 Projections: 103/24/72/.272/13 in 514 ABs, Final Numbers: 117/35/82/.269/12 in 572 ABs

3. Yordan Alvarez – Captain Woo Cubano did more than all but two outfielders in only 135 games. That truly is incred8jh–Ugh, sorry, I was trying to type with the drool hanging from my lip. Almost pulled it off! More drool gathers on the bottom lip whenever I think about Yordan playing in 150+ games. Preseason Rank #8, 2022 Projections: 94/42/112/.282/1 in 566 ABs, Final Numbers: 95/37/97/.306/1 in 470 ABs

4. Kyle Tucker – I could claim victory for ranking Mr. H2H at four and him ending up there, but, while I was drafting him, and happy about it, I’d be lying if I said I expected anything like this season from Tucker, and if I were going to lie to you, I’d lie about something like saying I ranked Judge number one overall, not lie about Tucker. Mr. H2H’s average plummeted with his strikeout rate, which honestly is hilarious and makes no sense, and he stole almost as many as he had in his entire MLB career, i.e., 28 in four years combined, and 25 in one year. Should make for fun projections for him next year. Expect anything from eight steals to 30. Preseason Rank #4, 2022 Projections: 94/35/108/.303/15 in 564 ABs, Final Numbers: 71/30/107/.257/25 in 544 ABs

5. Adolis Garcia – As I’ve recounted fifteen dozen times, I wrote a sleeper post for Adolis and, going back to what I was saying in Judge’s blurb, if I rank a guy like Adolis around three rounds before his ADP, then I did enough to get you to draft him, and it doesn’t matter if I ranked him 39th for outfielders. I was higher on him than anyone, and that’s all that matters. If I had to be uber critical, like when a driver gives me one star, I didn’t expect the speed from Garcia to be quite that high. His power? Yes, absolutely. Love that he dropped his strikeout rate too.  Preseason Rank #39, 2022 Projections: 81/32/92/.238/12 in 579 ABs, Final Numbers: 88/27/101/.250/25 in 605 ABs

6. Kyle Schwarber – It was usually only Schwammer Time in June, but this year it was Schwammer Time from June through October. Long Schwammer season. Take off the water wings, folx, we’re still Schwamming! His peripherals are hilarious. Rhys Hoskins has definitely been in his ear telling him to try that ol’ 45-degree Launch Angle. Everyone who goes to the Phils gains 10 homers, and loses 30 points on average. Also, I made Fox Sports for my NLCS tweet when Schwarber hit one into orbit. Preseason Rank #37, 2022 Projections: 72/30/80/.248/1 in 445 ABs, Final Numbers: 100/46/94/.218/10 in 577 ABs

7. Julio Rodriguez – Was a bit low on his speed from what I thought we were going to get, but I also jacked his ranking way up in the preseason when they announced he was breaking camp with the team, and I drafted him everywhere in the final drafts of March, around 50th overall in one league. Also, I bid $12 on him in my LABR league out of $100, in the first FAAB bid of the year. No one else bid more than $2. So, I overbid, but I ended the year with around $30in value so who cares? I tell you all of his to say I was crazy about Jul-Rod and tried to get everyone to draft him. If only I put JR in front of Ronald Acuña. Preseason Rank #27, 2022 Projections: 74/26/71/.282/12 in 513 ABs, Final Numbers: 84/28/75/.284/25 in 511 ABs

8. Randy Arozarena – It might be confirmation bias, but, as mentioned on a different top 20, my steals projections were way off. I don’t say this to say I don’t know what I’m doing. I say this to say steals are becoming increasingly frustrating to project. One of the biggest narratives I’m already interested in for next year is limiting pickoffs, and what it means for steals. If The Rice Bowl stole 32 this year, could he steal 40? 45? Or will he become a 20/20 guy again. There’s so much that goes into steals projections that is simply “How much does a player (team, manager) want to steal?” That you can’t account for. Exact same The Rice Bowl stole 12 more bags this year with the same manager. Why? Seriously, I’m asking. Preseason Rank #15, 2022 Projections: 81/18/87/.251/18 in 549 ABs, Final Numbers: 72/20/89/.263/32 in 586 ABs

9. Cedric Mullins – Cedric the HRtainer was way more Cedric and SBobtainer this year — SoBtainer? Hmm…That is a tough portmanteau circle to square. Any hoo! With one year under Camden’s belt as it played like Yellowstone, it’s a little more clear how much it will affect players. Let’s start with a 15.5% HR/FB becoming 7.8%. Not great, Bob! Preseason Rank #14, 2022 Projections: 85/20/48/.263/26 in 588 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/16/64/.258/34 in 608 ABs

10. Mike Trout – You know Trout, so let me pause to take a broad look at the top 20 outfielders. Kwan, Santander, Michael Harris II and Drury were the three biggest shocks. (I ranked Varsho 56th for outfielders, so maybe him too, depending on definition of surprises, but you drafted him for catchers.) That’s not a whole lot of surprises. Trout wasn’t the only one you knew; you knew the top 20 outfielders, more or less. Pretty predictable. That’s good, predictability is how we win leagues. Last year there was six outfielders who surprised –> Adam Duvall was a top 20 outfielder last year! Ha! Preseason Rank #6, 2022 Projections: 86/33/101/.286/7 in 461 ABs, Final Numbers: 85/40/80/.283/1 in 438 ABs

11. George Springer – As some might remember, I write a schmohawk post for Springer. I didn’t want anything to do with him, and he ended up as a lowercase L for me. A whispered miss. He was fine, I expected him to be awful. Are my projections that different from what he did? Meh. He went from four steals to 14, so I missed that. Okay. Whatever. Preseason Rank #29, 2022 Projections: 91/27/63/.246/7 in 503 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/25/76/.267/14 in 513 ABs

12. Tommy Edman – Already went over him at the top 20 2nd basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball.

13. Michael Harris II – If I’m being honest, I’m not sure I knew who Michael Harris II was back in March. I don’t follow minor league baseball that closely, it’s why we have Itch. When I’m done with the top 40 starters recap, I will begin to drop rookie posts for next year’s top rookies, and I just learned about most of them. So, with that said, I just went to look at what Itch said for this guy, and MH2 was his 2nd ranked Braves’ prospect, but said he was a year away, so Mega Hertz took everyone by surprise. His ADP was 1039, so just a tad later than the top 275 overall that most of you draft. Good for the Braves to trust their prospects, even before most fantasy baseballers would’ve, and we love rookie nookie! Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 75/19/64/.297/20 in 414 ABs

14. Brandon Drury – Already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball.

15. Starling Marte – In fairness to Marte, he missed the last month. To not be fair, it’s 2nd year in a row he’s missed a month. He’s aging as gracefully as every speedster who’s come before him. He went from 47 steals to 18, and got caught almost twice as many times. He’s heading to 7/11, and I’m gonna let out a Big Gulp. Preseason Rank #13, 2022 Projections: 89/19/61/.277/32 in 534 ABs, Final Numbers: 76/16/63/.292/18 in 466 ABs

16. Daulton Varsho – Already went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2022 fantasy baseball.

17. Anthony Santander – Member what I said in the Trout blurb about Adam Duvall? Here’s what I wrote in the rankings for Santander, “Want a guy who could be a seemingly out-of-nowhere Adam Duvall-type home run breakout? Look no further!” And that’s me predicting Santander’s breakout! Unlike Duvall, Santander isn’t in his mid-30s and could just be starting to soar. Preseason Rank #69, 2022 Projections: 67/26/82/.241/1 in 498 ABs, Final Numbers: 78/33/89/.240 in 574 ABs

18. Ronald Acuña Jr. – Tildaddy says you can have your fantasy value back! Can we? I’m trying to wait Tildaddy says so, but I want it now. I remember distinctly in the preseason hearing all kinds of glowing reports about Acuña getting ready to return any day after the season starts. And the lockout! Oh, boy, the lockout made it so he’d hardly miss any time! And it just kept pushing up Acuña’s ranking, and with good reason! He was going to go 37/23 in 120 games! Or so my projections thought. That’s almost his power output for his last two years combined! Are we perhaps overrating our boy a little? Preseason Rank #3, 2022 Projections: 88/37/84/.281/23 in 489 ABs, Final Numbers: 71/15/50/.266/29 in 467 ABs

19. Steven Kwan – *Tiger Woods fist pump* Oh, I nailed this one. You might lose some, but I just Kwan Kwan. Won Kwan? Kwan one? Meh, you know what I mean! Let’s not forget I told you to draft him 200+ spots before everyone else, and I did it in January (actually December if we count when I released my rankings on Patreon). I did it before we knew who would be the starter, I did it before anyone even knew who the heck Kwan was! Bros and five lady bros, give me my props! Preseason Rank #80, 2022 Projections: 68/11/51/.307/14 in 481 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/6/52/.298/19 in 563 ABs

20. Teoscar Hernandez – Few thoughts here. A) He disappointed in a big way, but was still fine. B) If he had a big final 70 at-bats and matched my projected ABs, he might’ve nailed my projections. Okay, a real productive final 70 ABs, but close. C) There’s no C. D) If you go 25/7/.270 with everyday-ish at-bats, you’re a top 20-ish outfielder. E) There’s a ton of outfielders, who you draft, who just evaporate. F) Me, where’s Juan Soto?! Hopefully in the top 40 outfielders, which will be the next post. Preseason Rank #9, 2022 Projections: 87/34/102/.282/9 in 563 ABs, Final Numbers: 71/25/77/.267/6 in 499 ABs

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Will
Will
3 months ago

Don’t know which is more impressive, Trout coming in at #10 with a .283/40/80/1 line in only 119 games or Micheal Harris coming in at #13 with a .297/19/64/20 line in 114 games in his first exposure to MLB pitching after he skipped AAA completely.

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Harris is a keeper for me for next season, no doubt. Gonna replace some guy named Buxton on my keeper list.

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

You better draft him, because after I drop him this offseason (after rostering him every single year since forever) this will be the season he finally gets 550 at bats and posts insane numbers.

Show Me the Money
Show Me the Money
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

NFBC Auction in Vegas….drafted Adolis for $9…got Harris in FAAB for $17…got Strider in FAAB for $17…Won league by 20+ points…competed all year for national auction title…Good to be very lucky…Thank you,Grey!

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Indeed!

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
3 months ago

Remember this for 2023 rankings: Jose Ramirez is having hand surgery to correct a problem he had midway through the season and played through. Gotta explain some of the drop off at least.

Coolwhip
3 months ago

Me on Santander in preseason too “Santander will likely be hitting in the middle of the Orioles’ lineup this year, so volume and opportunity will definitely be in his favor. As a switch-hitter with more pull power on the lefthand side, the Camden Cavern changes in left field will have less of an impact on him compared to teammates like Ryan Mountcastle.”

*high five*

Kwan squeezing into the top 20 is a chef kiss for his avg and steals, but mostly the late season steals doing some heavy lifting. Though, him sticking at the top of the lineup for 89 runs is huge, if his avg dipped to like .270 Tito might have bumped him to 6th or 9th.

Tomorrow
Reply to  Coolwhip
3 months ago

I’m awake now

paulsporer
paulsporer
3 months ago

“Everyone who goes to the Phils gains 10 homers, and loses 30 points on average.”

Castellanos: “Wait, what?

Joshmo
Joshmo
3 months ago

Hello! Been following you for years and you’ve been essentially running my dynasty team without knowing it :-)

Who are your four men in and four out as keepers of the following in a 12-team 15 keeper league?

Melendez
Stone Garrett
SSteer
Castro
Meadows
Ashby
Bradish
Royce

My (current) 11 locks being: Soto, Boba, Gunner, Carroll, Grissom, Jung, JUrias, Biebs, Triston, Eury Perez, CJavier

Thanks again for doing what you do!!

Joshmo
Joshmo
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Yeah rodolfo. Thanks!

galica1234
galica1234
3 months ago

Grey!!!!

Awesome!!!

a. Your rankings and predictions married with the context are golden. Solid gold!

b. A lot of goodies herein…Adolis, Santander. After this shakes out, will you do a chart of who’s star is rising, constant or falling? Like Betts could be on his way down if the HR/FB goes down and BA and SB continue to be poor for a leadoff hitter. I’ll be patient.

c. George Carlin quote of the day for October 20, 2022

‘See, the really hardcore people will tell you life begins at fertilization. Fertilization: When the sperm fertilizes the egg, which is usually a few moments after the man says, “Gee, honey, I was gonna pull out, but the phone rang and it startled me.” Fertilization. But even after the egg is fertilized, it’s still six or seven days before it reaches the uterus and pregnancy begins, and not every egg makes it that far. 80% of a woman’s fertilized eggs are rinsed and flushed out of her body once a month during those delightful few days she has. They wind up on sanitary napkins, and yet they are fertilized eggs. So, basically, what these anti-abortion people are telling us is that any woman who has had more than one period is a serial killer!’

Back in Town (1996)
Cheers,
Ante

galica1234
galica1234
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Grey!!!

Not yet. Waiting for OSB to give me an idea. Could be Clean Redd Foxx quote of the day, but it might be limited to ‘I’s a-comin’, Elizabeth!’ and ‘You so ugly you made a small happy baby cry.’

Cheers,
Ante

Tomorrow
Reply to  galica1234
3 months ago

Torrey

toolshed
toolshed
3 months ago

I don’t know if I ever thanked you for ranking kwan where you did. I took him late in a 16 team league. And late means like rd 30. The only reason i took him was because of your ranking. He really started to run in the 2nd half which was great. 14 of his 19 steals were in 2nd half. 5 of his 6 hr were in 2nd half. He finished as the 14th OF in that format.

toolshed
toolshed
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Seth Brown and mccarthy were also free for me in that league and I got much more mileage out of them than I thought. If I could only get better mileage out of other players that i took much higher.

Last edited 3 months ago by toolshed
Tomorrow
Reply to  toolshed
3 months ago

Sex is not aloud

Tomorrow
Reply to  toolshed
3 months ago

So sad cheating