With the top 40 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps.  We meaning me, but I’ll include you.  No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand.  Why are you now patting my butt?  Don’t muss my hair!  The pitching recap will begin next.  You can hardly wait.  No, you!  To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this route.  This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight like Willians Astudillo.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. Nelson Cruz – He’s so rock solid every year he’s like a plane in the junkyard during Can’t Buy My Love with Ronald Miller lovingly stroking, saying, “They sure don’t make them like this anymore,” fawning over his craftsmanship.  However, Cruz actually showed signs in 2018 that age is finally catching up to him.  His strikeouts went down and pretty much all his plate discipline stayed similar to past years, which sounds great, but his BABIP tanked.  Usually a sign of bad luck, but a BABIP declining with age, due to footspeed slowing, is a thing and Cruz looks like he’s got it, which means a once lock for .280 becomes a .250 hitter.  Think Pujols.  To bring this full circle, I call my poo-hole a junkyard.  Weird, huh?  Preseason Rank #22, 2018 Projections: 82/33/98/.282/1 in 509 ABs, Final Numbers:  70/37/97/.256/1 in 519 ABs

22. Lorenzo Cain – Booyakasha!  Nailed Cain…Sugar!’s ranking!  Almost!  So, it’s that time again.  Why are you changing your pants?  It’s not that time.  It’s time for us to look at how many guys came out of nowhere to get in the top 40 outfielders.  That list is Hicks, Muncy, Piscotty, Markakis, Mallex, Profar and Soto.  Olson was ranked 36th and Gallo I nailed exactly at 29th, if you were wondering on those two.  Saying Piscotty and Hicks came out of nowhere is a stretch, but I’ll give you them.  So, seven guys.  Starters who came out of nowhere from 21-40 are ten guys (I’ll go over starters next, you’ll have to take my word for it for now).  Once again, starters are harder to predict.  Preseason Rank #21, 2018 Projections: 91/18/79/.292/18 in 535 ABs, Final Numbers:  90/10/38/.308/30 in 539 ABs

23. Justin Upton – Once an unpredictable player from month to month and year to year, I’d suggest Upton is now predictable in his unpredictability.  Sure, he went .301 in August to Septumbler to .197 the following month, but, in the end, it was around where we expected.  His newest mystery, he’s a righty who hit .195 vs. lefties.  Upton, you are a jigsaw puzzle missing a piece.  Preseason Rank #14, 2018 Projections: 93/31/108/.252/10 in 561 ABs, Final Numbers:  80/30/85/.257/8 in 533 ABs

24. Aaron Hicks – Tee bee aitch, I’ll likely rank and project Hicks for exactly the same again next year as I did this year.  This feels like a career year.  An outlier.  A stretch.  A-okay, but A-A-wrong to predict to repeat.  Preseason Rank #66, 2018 Projections: 57/14/63/.255/13 in 427 ABs, Final Numbers:  90/27/79/.248/11 in 480 ABs

25. Ian Desmond – Went over him in the 1st basemen recap.

26. Cody Bellinger – Went over him in the 1st basemen recap.

27. Max Muncy – Went over him in the 1st basemen recap.

28. George Springer – So *contemplative pause* what went wrong?  He didn’t perform on average quite as well as the previous year with a slight uptick on Ks and raising his chase rate.  Speaking of chase rate, they have an incredible 1.9% interest–Wait, our intern is telling me that sponsorship didn’t come through.  Screw Chase!  Field, Bank, Utley!  All of them!  Springer’s power went way down from the previous year and accounts for most of his plunge in fantasy value.  His HR/FB rate was at a career worst, but his fly balls went up and he was the 6th best home run distance for guys with 20 homers.  This is about 2018, but I want to whisper, “Bounce back.”  Preseason Rank #7, 2018 Projections: 116/35/84/.281/8 in 611 ABs, Final Numbers:  102/22/71/.265/6 in 544 ABs

29. Joey Gallo – Went over him in the 1st basemen recap.

30. Stephen Piscotty – Glad he regained his swerve.  I will now call him Swerven Piscotty.  Though, since I just researched a whole bunch of stats I didn’t use on Springer, can I just say Piscotty’s home runs (27) should be Springer’s and vice versa.  Luckily, Piscotty isn’t Judge Reinhold and Springer isn’t Fred Savage, right?  Piscotty doesn’t know!  Yes, you do, Piscotty, I’m telling you.  Piscotty doesn’t know!  Forget it.  Preseason Rank #86, 2018 Projections: 61/20/75/.268/4 in 541 ABs, Final Numbers:  78/27/88/.267/2 in 546 ABs

31. Ender Inciarte – One of the biggest underrated fantasy guys.  I bet you I will rank him in the top 40 again next year and ESPN and Yahoo will have him around 200 overall.  C’mon, let’s bet!  *turns pocket inside out*  I have one $5 voucher from Trump’s Taj Mahal towards a Trump Steaks purchase that says I’m right.  Preseason Rank #39, 2018 Projections: 96/14/52/.300/20 in 634 ABs, Final Numbers:  83/10/61/.265/28 in 597 ABs

32. Gregory Polanco – Mentioned this a lot in March/April, then my Polanco comments trailed off into how no one on the Pirates was going to hit 20 homers.  Early on, my Polanco narrative was how he did not seem to care much for playing, but since he came to camp ‘in the best shape of his life’ and was ready to have his best season, then maybe we were in for a big year for Polanco.  All that seemed to be lacking from him was desire.  Well, that all seemed to be nonsense in every sense.  So, non-sense was every sense?  Yes!  Polanco’s months are all over the place, and nothing points to him being better in April and May vs. later on.  He ended up ranked 32nd, I preseason ranked him 33rd and he seems to be exactly what we expect. Preseason Rank #33, 2018 Projections: 71/16/79/.254/15 in 509 ABs, Final Numbers:  75/23/81/.254/12 in 461 ABs

33. Nick Markakis – Massive whiff to not even rank Sparkakis, especially when I ranked something like 1,250 outfielders.  Castellanos would say I’m prejudiced to Greek players, but since Castellanos isn’t really Greek he can lay an egg.  Sparkakis was merely a product of counting stats, much like the next guy who is making me aggravated to even think about.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  78/14/93/297/1 in 623 ABs

34. Marcell Ozuna – This guy built on his previous year like We Built This City built on the legacy that Starship sucks.  Most of Ozuna’s value came from runs and RBIs.  Lowercase yay!  Counting stats, the bottled water of the wine industry.  Preseason Rank #11, 2018 Projections: 101/35/106/.278/1 in 607 ABs, Final Numbers:  69/23/88/.280/3 in 582 ABs

35. Matt Olson – Went over him in the 1st basemen recap.

36. Aaron Judge – Little bit cheap to take the W for calling Judge a schmohawk when he only really faltered due to an injury, but I will nom-nom-nom all those cheap W’s!  Preseason Rank #10, 2018 Projections: 104/40/94/.244/7 in 511 ABs, Final Numbers:  77/27/67/.278/6 in 413 ABs

37. Juan Soto – He had a .406 OBP in 494 plate appearances as a 19-year-old.  Oh, I’m sorry, are you the most gorgeous  human outside of Acuña?  Yes, yes, yes, you are.  In case you were wondering Sexy Dr. Pepper is the last outfielder in the top 100 overall on the Player Rater.  Yet, he’s so effervescent.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  77/22/70/.292/5 in 414 ABs

38. Jurickson Profar – Went over him in the shortstops recap.

39. Mallex Smith – On a personal note, I owned Hicks, Mallex and Profar at times this year in my RCL and dropped them.  I will now drop the P and T in ‘pert.  I am ‘er.  A big fat ‘er!  Er dumb.  Er very stupid.  Er…er…er, the worst!  Preseason Rank #120, 2018 Projections: 44/3/18/.264/20 in 291 ABs, Final Numbers:  65/2/40/.296/40 in 480 ABs

40. Andrew McCutchen – This is sloppy but his Yankees’ stats prorated over the course of a season:  115/30/60/.255/6.  His Giants’ stats prorated:  72/18/65/.255/16.  Oh no!  It’s Mr. Prorater!  “If you were to never remove your pants and just keep putting new ones on, by the time you were 14, you’d be the size of the earth.”  Mr. Prorater, your prorating is so stupid!  Preseason Rank #32, 2018 Projections: 82/23/90/.273/9 in 563 ABs, Final Numbers:  83/20/65/.255/14 in 569 ABs

  1. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!

    So lovely, nice top 40 OF.

    a. So, to wrap up, this isn’t your 2019 rankings for OF top 40, right?

    b. Yep, had Hicks and dropped him. I can’t see him getting much more than 500 ABs even if he was 100% healthy and he also does better versus LHP. Who knows? The guy’s one injury away from oblivion.

    c. Gonna draft Mallex Smith and Roman Quinn and run like the wind next year!

    d. Mark Twain quote of the day for October 19

    All say, ‘How hard it is that we have to die’—a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.

    e. Have a nice weekend.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante Galic: A. Damn it! Haha B. Exactly C. Patrick Swayze said she’s like the wind D. Haha E. You too!

  2. Rudy says:
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    What happened to cain’s rbi’s?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Rudy: Did I goof? Will fix

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Rudy: Oh, I see, you’re saying bc they’re low? Moving to NL and leadoff will do that

  3. The Old Professor says:
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    No love for Michael Conforto , especially given his monster 2nd half when he was ( presumably) healthy?

      • The Old Professor says:
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        @Grey: i didn’t see him on this list.. i would have placed him before polanco, Inciarte and Mccutchen personally but I’m guessing steals tipped the scales

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Good idea, will add him in

          • LenFuego says:
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            @Grey: LOL. Brilliant punt!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Hehe

  4. hondo says:
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    Out of paralyzing,not enough baseball type boredom I just started watching El Chapo.Holy shit dude,I thought you were just a screenwriter.
    I’m sorry I bitched about the autoplay that one time,please don’t kill me!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @hondo: Coming for you, son!

  5. DonnieB says:
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    Keeper question for next year: Dahl at $10 for two years or Castellanos at $3 for one year? Thanks and appreciate your off season articles. Although in fantasy baseball, there really is no off season. Drafts are here and even NFBC in another 6 weeks or less.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @DonnieB: You drafting in NFBC now?

      • DonnieB says:
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        I wait until after Thanksgiving. But it’s good time to draft if you are somewhat prepared.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Or everyone is *as* unprepared

          • DonnieB says:
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            True

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              True baby blue

  6. ChiCitySox23 says:
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    How does an outfield of J.D. Martines, Khris Davis, Marcell Ozuna, and Malex Smith look in 2019?
    I feel good about that pending the rest of my draft.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @ChiCitySox23: I like it, as long as Ozuna is healthy… He’s saying he was injured all year

  7. Tommy Herr says:
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    Tommy Herr here, What dp you think about Harrison Bader? I have him as a keeper in my NL only. I feel like he can be a 20/20 guy with fulltime atbats this year. Also scotty schebs and nick williams. How do u feel about those guys this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Bader a lot — of course, it’s early, what if the Cards go out and get a piece this offseason… Right now, I’d go Bader over the other two

      • Tommy Herr says:
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        @Grey: my nl onky keeper is $260 and i have to keep at least 8 guys and up to 14. So schebler and williams would be in addition to bader

  8. Reese says:
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    Standard 5×5 mixed Roto…working out my keepers for next year, need to pick three of
    Devers
    COnforto
    Amed Rosario
    Puig
    Muncy
    Villar
    Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm… Tough calls, likely could change when closer to season… But Conforto, Muncy, Devers

  9. Harley Earl says:
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    Grey,

    You didn’t mention the shoulder injuries that plagued both Springer and Ozuna. Wondering why.

    Springer hurt his shoulder on August 1 and hit 1 HR the entire month, then hit all of three in Sept. He had four HR over the final two months of the season. I think that clearly explains the power dropoff. Otherwise, he gets 28-32 HR and all seems right with him. Bounce back for sure in 2019.

    Ozuna, a very similar issue out of spring training. Struggled with shoulder problems for the first four months of the season. Finally was given a cortisone shot in late August, missed two weeks on the DL, then comes back on Sept. 2 and proceeds to hit 7 HR over the final four weeks of the season. I’d expect another bounce back from Ozuna too.

    Do you agree on Ozuna, as far as a bounce back in 2019?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, which has me more concerned for next year… Shoulder injuries don’t usually crop up then disappear… Definitely more concerned with Ozuna since I don’t even know if his is better yet

      • Harley Earl says:
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        @Grey: Think positive! lol

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’m trying!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            On Springer, at least

            • Harley Earl says:
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              @Grey: I think they’ll both bounce back. Everything suggests Ozuna does not need surgery and will be fine after some extended rest. I suppose their is more risk with Ozuna.

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