In an incredible turn of events, I’ve done all the infield 2022 fantasy baseball rankings. Less incredible, you’ve read them. It’s like that time your favorite team won because they played better than that other team but you convinced yourself they won because you cheered loudly. When I win the Fantasy Baseball Blogger of the Millennial in 2099, and my frozen head is accepting the award, I’m going to thank you, the readers, but I’m secretly going to be thanking myself. Without me, none of this would be possible. You’re a close second though! Okay, enough ranking of you and me, let’s rank some outfielders! Here’s Steamer’s 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Subscriptions are up and running, and you can already get Rudy’s Draft War Room. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball:
NOTE: All 2022 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games, due to the CBA. Also, I’m going on the assumption the NL is getting the DH.
NOTE II: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.
NOTE III: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.
9. Teoscar Hernandez – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Eloy. I call this tier, “Hol’ up, hol’ up.” This tier had me hol’ing up wondering why people weren’t higher on these guys. Ya know what’s kinda funny about projections, mine included in some instances. If they didn’t believe in a guy before, nothing is changing that. People just throw out gains like Garth Brooks threw out Chris Gaines. Teoscar went from a 30% strikeout rate guy to a 24.9% last year; two years straight of hitting .289 and .296 and Steamer is like, “Yeah, this guy is a .259 average drain.” Hol’ up! Hol’ up! Why? Is there a reason? I had reasons to worry about him last year, but Teoscar’s last two years xBAs were .294 and .282. He hits everything hard. He was 9th in the league in line drive rate; bottom thirty in the league in soft contact; the dip on the Launch Angle worked to maintain the solid average. Don’t love that his fly balls were down, due to that swing change, but he’s still a 36.1% fly ball rate guy. Couple that with 20% HR/FB, which he’s very capable of, and that produces roughly 170 fly balls or 34 HRs. Get into a few lucky ones, and he’s hitting 40 with just a hot streak. That’s with a .280+ average. Had real question marks about him last year, but I’m sold. Don’t need to a be a hol’ up, hol’ up because he’s a Hol’ up, Hol’ up. 2022 Projections: 87/34/102/.282/9 in 563 ABs
10. Tyler O’Neill – Guess it’s kinda what do you want — 35-ish/15-ish or 15-ish/35-ish? That’s O’Neill vs. Starling Marte. Of course, O’Neill is seven years younger, and Marte counts on his legs. Would prefer to trust a 26-year-old who is peaking vs. a 33-year-old who just had a career year, but who am I but a handsome guy who’s big brain accounts for 45% of his body weight? I mean, I just happen to have Albert Einstein five people down on my 23 and Me cousin chart, but so? Does that make me some kind of genius? Did I just need spellcheck to spell “genius?” Yes and yes! Okay, for real, hol’ up, why are people not trusting O’Neill? What am I missing? Hol’ up! You don’t like wonderful? None of the following mean much on their own, but here they are together: 17.9% barrel%, that’s top 3% in the league; 93 MPH exit velo, that’s top 6%; xSLG is .581, that’s top 3%; .384 wOBA is top 7%; same for his .391 xwOBA; and his 52.2% HardHit% is top 7%. His strikeouts (31.3%) worry me a bit, but last year was the star mitzvah for Tyler O’Neill; this year he goes to the Prom with a girl that looks like a young Sarah Jessica Parker. And Just Like That…I love Tyler O’Neill. 2022 Projections: 92/38/106/.262/11 in 571 ABs
11. Aaron Judge – That he’s unnaturally built like a walking Mt. Rushmore worries me. “Hey, Aaron Judge, cool costume, are you Teddy Roosevelt carved from rock in one of the Dakotas? You’re not wearing a costume? Oh, ok.” Hey, if I need a canal plowed in Panama, Aaron Judge would be my guy. What I actually need is a guy to stay healthy for 145 games. He’s done it now in two of the past four years, and, ya know, I can’t just say a guy is going to be healthy or injured for s’s and g’s. I need more. Actually, I’m fine with G’s, it’s the s’s I have a problem with. That’s why I’m taking this prune supplement. G’s up, s’s down, as I say in the bathroom. So, if you discount the injury discount, and count Judge for 145 games, then why wouldn’t you draft him? Guessing on injury? Doesn’t work that way. Need a better reason. So, all rise for Judge, but not your hands, this ain’t a hold up while being a Hol’ up. 2022 Projections: 91/37/101/.272/3 in 541 ABs
12. Eloy Jimenez – This is one of the bigger Hol’ ups. He was routinely a top 25 guy last year, and this year his ADP is 75. Y’all realize that he wasn’t bad last year, right? He was hurt. Was a dumb injury that sucked, but he returned and was fine. You knew that, though, right? Had you already moved on to fantasy football by that point? Like, what’s going on? What’s going through people’s minds here? You know you’re not drafting for last year, right? There’s no do-overs. By not drafting Eloy this year, it’s gonna hurt doubly, because of what you missed last year, and what you will miss this year. By the way, if you say “doubly” aloud, you sound drunk. If you’re ever pulled over, never say the word “doubly.” Whether you’ve been drinking or not. Eloy is a 35-40/.270+ hitter with 110+ RBIs. If you don’t want that, then cool, bend over so I can kick you in the ass. 2022 Projections: 82/37/111/.272/1 in 581 ABs
13. Starling Marte – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Randy. I call this tier, “Lionel Hutz at making the case for these guys.” There’s a case to be made all the guys in this tier could be higher, but I am most definitely not equipped to be making that case. Shame, because if there’s one thing this world needs it’s more lawyers. As for Marte, here’s my Starling Marte fantasy. I wrote it while ghost-riding the whip. 2022 Projections: 89/19/61/.277/32 in 534 ABs
14. Cedric Mullins – So, I overheard someone making the case for Cedric Mullins at a bar last night. They were across the room, and I couldn’t hear them, but I think I got the gist. They said, “He’s gonna rebate last year.” Maybe they said he was going to repeat last year. I’m a better lawyer than a lip reader. Last year, Cedric Mullins went 30/30/.291. It’s truly a shock that his stats didn’t float up above his ceiling so high that they left the atmosphere and spontaneously combusted.
“Mr. Fightfighter, sir, I need your help.”
“What is it, Timmy? Your cat in a tree?”
“No, my Cedric Mullins expectations floated over my house.”
Those expectations are gone forever now, Timmy. I’m so sorry. All parks are made differently. It’s what makes baseball cute. And what Mullins would’ve done in Kansas City doesn’t really matter, but, yeah, I’m gonna say it anyway. His 30 homers would’ve became 18. Baltimore was a great place to hit dongs, but that was changed this offseason, and his “KC homers” shows you how many of Mullins’s homers were “almost, but just not caught.” There’s enough garbage pitchers to help him, but even the grizzyarbagiest of them figured him out by the 2nd half; breaking and offspeed pitches aren’t his friend. His power was fine in the 2nd half (14 HRs), but he hit .261, and that’s much closer to reality. His Hard Contact 33.2% isn’t unheard of, but he was definitely in the top 5% of outcomes last year. There’s a chance here that you get more of the same, but a 15/25/.240 season is just as likely. 2022 Projections: 85/20/48/.263/26 in 588 ABs
15. Randy Arozarena – Think this is the same place I ranked him last year, and guess where he finished on the Player Rater at the end of last year? In the same place! Wow, you’re a quick study, huh? The Rice Bowl is sneakily becoming very predictable. But is that a good thing? *emoji with hand on chin, and other hand is patting a friend on the head in a real patronizing way* As George Harrison would say about this tier, “I hate these guys, and Paul and John.” I wanna like them! It’s hard to find steals, and I’m basically kicking all the outfield steals to the curb. It’s not great, Bob. But neither is The Rice Bowl’s peripherals. He looks like Tim Anderson, which I guess worked for Tim Anderson, but a .363 BABIP last year for a .274 average, and not even Anderson was striking out as much as The Rice Bowl. His 33.1% fly ball rate is okay, I guess, but Bowl’s a hiccup from a 18/20/.250 year, and I just can’t justify that. That hypothetical statline makes me think of this rhetorical question: Are you Randy Arozarena or Randy Winn? Bet you didn’t wake up thinking you were going to encounter Randy Winn today. Honestly, I did it for the shock value. Oh, and Randy gets a Winn on average. More so than Bowl. Rice’s xBA was .220, because of how much lousy contact he makes. Sorry, one love, but I can’t go near him either. 2022 Projections: 81/18/87/.251/18 in 549 ABs
16. Nick Castellanos – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 40 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “IDWTFLISFSITOBHWR.” Which obviously stands for: I Don’t Want To Feel Like I’m Struggling For Sexy In The Outfielders, But Here We aRe. Don’t ask why the acronym used the first letter of every word then uses an R for “are.” Don’t question acronyms, in general. It’s not your job. So, yeah, outfielders aren’t in great shape in general, and, when you consider you need three, four, five, and sometimes six of them, then it’s not great. As for Castellanos, he signed with the Phils. So, the real question now, what unfortunate event is Castellanos going to homer during in Philly? Oh, no, Castellanos is going to homer during the untimely death of the Philly Phanatic. RIP Phanatic — you brought attention to Graves Disease and hypertrichosis in a fun and carefree way that forced people to watch you during rain delays and excessive pitching changes. Your humor and hijinks were everything to the city of Brotherly Love, and you embraced capitalism, unlike your socialist friend, Gritty. May your soul travel to mascot heaven where it belongs. So, Castellanos looks good in red, huh? He’s about to thump. The Greek God of Hard Contact goes to the home of hard contact from strangers with batteries, and any worries I might’ve had his fly ball rate was falling too low are assuaged by the stadium. 2022 Projections: 94/33/103/.277/3 in 581 ABs
17. Franmil Reyes – Someone should make a video game head like Pac-Man out of Franmil, then have him go around and eat $54 Vending Machine Steaks, because that’s his nickname, the $54 Vending Machine Steak, also because it would be fun. Live a little. For those new to the site, I say Franmil looks like a vending machine that dispenses steaks, and not some Steak-Umm wet wallpaper steak, but a $54 Vending Machine Steak. Damn, I love The Steak Man so much. The difference between him and Yordan, who I am also crazy about, is twenty points in average, and maybe 15 runs and 15 RBIs. I say “maybe,” because counting stats like runs and RBIs are hard to account for, and you know the $54 Vending Machine Steak loves him some ribbies. Put them in his gullet and let him eat! The $54 Vending Machine Steak isn’t outfield eligible in all leagues, so keep that in mind. Not forever. Like remember it for maybe three months, unless you have an important birthday or wedding anniversary to remember. 2022 Projections: 71/36/94/.252/2 in 527 ABs
20. Giancarlo Stanton – A big part of Giancarlo is his sample size. *daydreams about Giancarlo’s sample size for five hours, exhales* If Giancarlo’s sample size is big…*daydreams again for seven hours but this time sweat drips from forehead*…then Giancarlo is going to be a top 20 outfielder, easily. If Giancarlo’s sample size is small…*daydreams again for seven hours, dreaming about making his sample size bigger*…then, well, we have many historical examples of Giancarlo when his sample size is small. 2022 Projections: 81/36/91/.262/1 in 487 ABs
CONTINUE THRU TO THE TOP 40 OUTFIELDERS FOR 2022 FANTASY BASEBALL