Hey, guys and five girls, we’re (I’re) back! Today’s 2020 fantasy baseball rankings tackle your favorite (I’m guessing!), the top 40 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball. Last year, this post was an absolute minefield that would’ve made Princess Di shudder. By my count, only Eloy went from this post last year into the top 20 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball this year. Yuck. Well, those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. Or is it, ‘Those whom don’t learn?’ Someone explained this to me before. Meh, whatever! Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As always, my projections are noted for each player and where I see tiers starting and stopping. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball:
ALL PROJECTIONS ARE BASED ON 60 GAMES PLAYED, DUE TO COVID-19. BE SAFE OUT THERE!
21. Kris Bryant – This tier started in the top 20 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball. This tier ends at Pham. I called this tier, “The Braille word for boobs.” As for Bryant, went over him in my top 20 3rd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball.
22. Joey Gallo – I know he seems illogically able to hit 450-foot bombs into the heavens. I’ve seen him do it too. I don’t need you to impress on me his power. His power is fantastic. We’re in agreement! What we’re not in agreement on is when Joey Gallo will be the Big Fly Into The Heavens Guy again. Last I saw, he was struggling to grip a bat. Um, not to be a harpy on the Big Fly Into The Heavens Guy, but he can’t grip a bat? I don’t care if that news was in September of last year. You’re not concerned about a guy who needs to grip a bat not being able to grip a bat? Even if it is six months prior to the season. I don’t care. Did we not learn anything from Kris Bryant the season his shoulder bugged him? Have you not seen how much a mess Giancarlo can be when he’s injured? If I recall correctly (and I do), Giancarlo was the original Big Fly Into The Heavens Guy and he became Big Sigh Get Off The Bench Guy. Hey, more power to Gallo (literally), if his hand and wrist are okay, but everyone can hit homers nowadays, so I’ll be damned if I’m risking anything to try to get his homers. 2020 Projections: 28/12/13/.247/2 in 184 ABs
23. Tommy Pham – Can I please tell you guys and five girls something? I don’t love the outfielders going around 30 to 60 this year. Not 100% sure what happened. Or, as the kids say, I’m not 100. They say the same thing just without the percentage sign. These kids nowadays have no time for percentages! When I was a kid, I’d say, “Mother, how much of a percentage of that cookie can I eat?” And Mother would reply, “Just eat the gee-dee cookie so it will hopefully absorb some of the milk sitting on your mustache.” Any hoo! I just don’t love these outfielders in this tier. So, you think with your doe eyes and cherub face, “Why not just rank these guys lower if you don’t want them?” A) I ranked them lower than most already. B) Just draft something else and stop giving me a hard time. C) There’s no C. To combine A & B with an example: Everyone, and I mean everyone, has Soler and Laureano ranked after Blackmon, Bryant, Giancarlo and just about everyone in this tier. So, if you want and/or need an outfielder, draft Laureano, Soler, Eloy or one of the outfielders I liked in the top 20 and stop worrying about drafting an outfielder I don’t like after them. There’s no earthly way you will see, say, Pham or Bryant available and not see one of the guys in the tier before who I like such as Laureano or Soler. Now the knucklehead who says something like, “I don’t like Lauerano or Soler so would you suggest I draft Bryant or Pham instead?” Give me your IP address so I can shadow ban you. As for Pham, here’s what I said when he was traded to the Padres, “Teams keep moving Pham like a game of musical chairs. Afraid that the music will stop, the fat lady will sing (without music accompaniment) and Pham will revert to be the guy we thought he was a few years ago, which is not much of anything, and I sound like a broken record from previous years, so maybe some people would wish the music would stop. Pham’s launch angle and ground balls are an absolute joke. Speaking of which, I’d give you a Knock, Knock joke for Pham’s power, but it’s more like knock, forty-five ground balls, then another knock. Be well, San Diego and its multitudes of white people, but it should be Sand Iego — I mean, have you been there? — and I don’t like Pham. I’m sorry, he is so woofy I see his falling xBA, Launch Angle, Barrel% and xSLG and I’m good, you enjoy him if you like.” And that’s me quoting me! 2020 Projections: 29/6/26/.271/9 in 214 ABs
24. Oscar Mercado – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Conforto. I call this tier, “Wearing a Moncler coat in the summer on LeBron James’s boat.” The tier name comes from RNP by YBN Cordae, which might be my favorite song of the last few months. I love this tier and want to draft all of the guys in this tier like I wanna be wearing a Montcler coat in the summer on LeBron James’s boat. As for Mercado, already gave you my Oscar Mercado sleeper. It was written on the dark side of the moon with a very bright nightlight. 2020 Projections: 29/6/23/.261/11 in 209 ABs
26. Victor Robles – Last year Victor Robles hit 17 homers and stole 28 bases. He’s 22 years old. I’m sorry, why again is he not being drafted in the top 30 overall? Because of his average? Hmm, I don’t know, Cousin Sweatpants, he hit .255 with a 22.7% strikeout rate. Jonathan Villar has career marks of a 26.6% strikeout rate and a .261 average, and is over six years older than Robles. So, let me get this straight, we think Villar is capable of more but Robles isn’t? We trust Villar more because he’s done it before? Okay, he’s also flamed out for entire seasons more times than I want to recount. I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% impressed with Robles’s batted ball profile. He’s an aggressive swinger like former Congresswoman Katie Hill, but he doesn’t swing at more pitches outside the zone than the average major leaguer; he swings at more pitches inside the zone. That’s solid recognition. His actually problem is he makes so much contact that it’s not all good, which brings me to my biggest problem with him. His exit velocity is hilarious. His 81 MPH exit velocity is about the lowest in the league. His hits are slower than Fernando Rodney coming in from the bullpen without a bullpen cart! No joke, Yu Darvish’s exit velocity was higher than Robles. Of course, Robles’s sprint speed is on par with Acuña, so Robles doesn’t need all shiny, sexy line drives to get on base. Though, it’s not that simple. Robles’s line drive rate was on par with The Greek God of Hard Contact, Nicholas Castellanos. Seems like Robles has figured out how to hit 160-foot line drives. Just good enough to fall between the infielder and outfielder. I wouldn’t count on the 17 HRs again from Robles, at least not in 2020, unless Manfred is dressed like The Hamburglar, sneaking even more juice into balls, but his 28 steals actually seems low. Is there gonna be a huge value sleeper here? He feels like a guy you draft in the 6th round and hope for a Villar-type top 20 overall season. I imagine, similarly to Villar, in shallow, friends-and-frenenemies-type leagues where the people just show up the day of the draft, Robles will be drafted much later, think 8th to 10th round. 2020 Projections: 31/5/23/.261/12 in 210 ABs
27. Marcell Ozuna – You know what’s funny that’s not entirely funny in the traditional sense? I rank 150 or so outfielders and then go back and write in my thoughts, then add in the projections. If the projections are really good then I move the players up and if they’re worse than I originally expected, I move the players down. With that in mind, I originally ranked Aristides and Rosario from the top 20 outfielders in this tier, but I couldn’t figure out why they were ranked this low. It turned out I liked them so much I started moving guys out of this tier and into a tier in top 20 outfielders. I nearly did the same with Ozuna, but didn’t because he could have some slight injury concerns, which also might explain why it took him forever to sign. I’ve been seeing Ozuna go seriously low in early drafts. Is this because of his shoulder injury? OZUNA wish for good health. OZUNA have heard time making wishes. OZUNA wishes for anything by blowing out candles but he blows out candles with fire breath. Outside of his shoulder concerns, it’s hard not to love Ozuna. I can’t even understand why others don’t like him outside of the injury concerns. Brucely, I’m kicking karate into people’s brains and just guessing that’s people’s worries for him. I don’t know, exactly. I will say if that’s the reason, then fair enough. His 2nd half (9 HRs, .219) didn’t exactly assuage any concerns, if I’m using the word assuage correctly. On the flip side, his .241 BABIP in the 2nd half and .259 overall doesn’t say injury. It says unlucky. His 48.1% Hard Contact (7th in the majors) doesn’t say injured, it says unlucky. His top 35 Barrels/PA say unlucky; his 403 feet on average homer doesn’t say hurt; his chase rate falling last year compared to the year before doesn’t say injured it says, say it with me now, unlucky. Now that he’s in Atlanta, I’m making little nibble sounds, indicating I think he’s tasty. 2020 Projections: 31/11/36/.274/2 in 216 ABs
28. Michael Conforto – With absolutely no data to back this up, I will go out on a very sturdy limb and say you can’t go wrong drafting hitters who are 26 years old coming off a career year. Conforto just went 33/7/.257 and I can’t figure out a way to project him for numbers that are much worse. He is the epitome of a number two outfielder. Prolly will be a solid #2 outfielder for the next three years easily, but we’ll go one year at a time and say you can’t go wrong with Conforto for this year. His numbers seem so locked in that all his stats could be the Khris Davis .247. UPDATE: Tweaked his side, which is code for Conforto is feeling unconfortable, and will likely miss up to three to four weeks. Hmm, wonder if Conforto’s phone number is 3-2-4-Weeks. Solid contact info, if it is. I’ve docked him three weeks of the season from his projections and lowered him in the rankings. UPDATE II: To make sure Conforto would be ready for the start of the season, the Mets sent their doctors out to all drive-through coronavirus checkpoints. 2020 Projections: 34/12/38/.254/2 in 216 ABs
29. Nicholas Castellanos – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Brantley. I call this tier, “Giving your awards acceptance speech in a mirror.” This tier has you feeling super confident after you draft them. They’re the kind of guys that elicit chatroom mentions like, “Wow, I can’t believe you got that player so late.” Then you turn to your mirror and you accept the award for Most Congratulations in the Chatroom and thank your mom for letting you stay in her basement and God, because without him, there’s no fantasy baseball and then you ask the imaginary audience to take a moment to remember the loved one who first introduced you to fantasy baseball and talk about how they’re now a very rich banker who devoted their time to something other than fantasy sports, and how dumb they are, then the imaginary band plays you off the imaginary stage, and you return to your draft where you accidentally draft Felipe Vazquez forgetting he’s a pedophile. As for Castellanos, I don’t understand the sudden love for The Greek God of Hard Contact who isn’t even rightfully titled after his last season, which saw a pretty big fall in hard contact. He was a consistent top 10 Hard Contact with a penchant for disco fries made special by his Greek mother and spent most of his time in a diner booth hanging with his brothers who would spray Windex on each other when they were feeling under the weather, shooting the Windex up their noses like it was Afrin. Now, the GGoHC is barely top 50 for Hard Contact. His fly balls went up (literally) this past year, which is a good sign, but they went down in his insane 2nd half, and that was falsely supported by an unreal (for him) HR/FB%. People are obviously assuming he leveled up and unlocked some sort of secret cheat code that allowed him to hit more homers with the Cubs, and that will carry over, but, looking at his whole season and not just a 2nd half, shows me nothing of the sort. His launch angle went down; his chase rate went up; his fly balls went up, but barely and he gives next to no steals. As they say in Greece, “You hit fly balls like Denard Spanakopita.” If the GGoHC signs somewhere advantageous, maybe I move him up (doubtful), but I feel pretty comfortable with this ranking for him, no matter where he goes. UPDATE: Signed with the Reds, because, apparently, the Reds’ great aunt died this offseason and left the team millions of dollars to spend on free agents. Hopefully, it’s not a Montgomery Brewster scenario and the team has to lose all that money to make real money. The GGoHC completely screwed up my GGOATOAT projections. Hello, Greek God, why do you OPA! on Aquino’s fantasy value? No answer? Figures…because the Greeks invented math! Any hoo! Castellanos landed in about as good a place as he was going to, but as I said in his above blurb, he has a lot of warts in his batted ball profile and I’m out. 2020 Projections: 33/9/30/.277/1 in 225 ABs
32. Yasiel Puig – He’s so this tier. If you draft him you need to give your award acceptance speech immediately. Damn it, people love when you draft Puig. Do you have a Back Pats category in your league, because Puig might just win you that. You know what Puig should’ve dispelled forever? The word ‘pig.’ *intern whispers in my ear* Dispelled doesn’t mean the same as misspelled? Ah, I see. Puig should’ve dispelled the theory that guys going into their free agent years are motivated to play. Was Puig more motivated last year? He sure didn’t seem so! I mean, he did play in 149 games, which is good, I guess, but he averages 25/15/.265 every year, and last year he went 24/19/.267, so he was motivated to steal four extra bags and hit an extra single? As I said last year when Puig was in the midst of one of his six-week-long stretches when he was more interested in beating up the opposing pitcher and not pitches, I’m done drafting Puig. I’ll get back in on him when Puigs fly. As with the GGoHC, if Puig signs somewhere great, I might move him up, but, and this feels more likely, if he doesn’t sign, I will move him down. Was talking with the Marlins’ beat writer, Craig Mish, the other day and we were both saying how Puig feels like a guy who might sit out until June. 2020 Projections: 27/9/29/.269/5 in 200 ABs
33. Michael Brantley – Kinda bummed I didn’t get in on Brantley for the last two years, so maybe I will regret not drafting him again, but you are reading Razzball for the first time if you think I’m drafting Brantley. In which case, welcome! We won’t judge your formerly loose-fitting sweatpants and once-full head of hair. I see you care about your Peloton, which is why you haven’t yet taken it out of the box. Don’t want it getting scuffed! Gotta maintain that mint condition! Also, great idea to paper your car windows with printouts of your fantasy team so you can drive in the carpool lane. That’ll work great! And bravo on the 38 years single, we knew you could do it! 2020 Projections: 31/7/30/.293/1 in 210 ABs
34. Andrew Benintendi – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 60 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Do I feel warm to you?” By the tier name I mean, am I sick? Do I have a fever? I want to make sure I’m thinking clearly because I like these guys and I want to make sure I’m not delusional and/or sick in the head. Please put your hand on my forehead and see if I feel warm to you. This tier, unlike the Mercado tier, is guys I like, but I can see the downside for all of them, and I’m not rocking a Moncler on a yacht excited. I’m more like standing in line for a while to see a movie I heard good things about while snacking on popcorn, which I’m enjoying but I know popcorn gives me gas. As for Benintendi, I could see drafting him in some leagues and purposely not drafting him in other leagues, because the ‘bounceback’ is not clear with this young brother. Young is a key word though. He’s 25, and we’ve written him off already? That seems, how do I say this, stupid. Then again (and there’s gonna be a lot of then agains), his strikeouts went a little nuts last year. Then again, he was slumping and sometimes players just start swinging at everything when they’re slumping, and his chase rate shows this. Then again, he wasn’t even unlucky (.333 BABIP). Then again, his Hard Contact went up from 28% to 38.1%. Then again, his fly balls went up. Then again, he hits a ton of 350-foot fly balls, and he’d be better served with line drives. His launch angle went from 12.6 to 17.3, which is the birds and bees getting a hotel room as they’re about to consummate a young player into a superstar, but it actually worked against Benintendi. He needs to either hit balls into the seats with his new launch angle (possible) or hit more line drives again (possible), but if he repeats what he did last year, obviously that doesn’t work. Also, I go over Benintendi in the video at the top of the page. 2020 Projections: 34/7/31/.284/3 in 211 ABs
35. Franmil Reyes – Full disclosure alert! I wrote a Franmil sleeper post, but ran out of time to post it, so I will now co-opt that post for your reading pleasure. Franmil Reyes hit 37 homers last year in only 494 ABs. Why is he being drafted around 120th overall? I know, I know, I KNOW! Everyone hits for power nowadays. Fair enough, but Franmil Reyes actually hits for power without a juiced ball. Have you seen this guy? He looks like the Mountain and the Hound had a third brother, the Stadium. The Stadium can fit 50,000 men on his shoulders and charge $12 for a hot dog. Franmil Reyes had the 4th highest average exit velocity (93.3 MPH). The top five: Judge, Sano, Nelson Cruz, Franmil and Yelich. These guys are “goodbye juiced ball”-proof as far as homers go. The bigger misconception with Franmil, and it has to be a very, very large misconception to have anything to do with size and Franmil, is he’s a strikeout machine. The Stadium is not. Reyes kinda reminds me of Nelson Cruz, in this respect. Reyes should strikeout around 25% and hit .270-.275. The one snafu is he hits a lot to center field (38.6% — 7th in the league), which means he’s going to hit a few fly ball outs to center that would be out to left field. If he pulled the ball about 3-5% more and maybe launched his angle a tad more, he’d hit 50 homers easily. That doesn’t seem like a major adjustment, but who knows. I’m not going to say he’ll do it. He can easily hit 37 homers again though, while combining that with a .275 average. At a time when there’s a lot of unknowns about the ball — to juice or not to juice — and who is really a 35+ home run hitter and who isn’t, Franmil is. No doubt. Easy power. A 40-ish homer hitter that won’t kill you in other categories. The Stadium’s got parking for plenty with his current ADP. He’s basically an insurance play. If the ball is juiced, and everyone is hitting homers, then you trade Franmil in May if you don’t need the power. If the ball comes back from Rawlings dry, juice-free, then you have a power backup plan. 2020 Projections: 27/14/33/.271 in 201 ABs
36. Kyle Schwarber – Schwarber doesn’t fit properly in any tier in this post — he’s not a guy I love or hate or fully trust to repeat or fully trust to not disappoint, which means maybe he is the perfect guy for this tier, i.e., if I loved him or knew how exactly to feel about him, he would’ve fit properly into a tier. He doesn’t. On one hand, I feel like he could be Joey Gallo better than Joey Gallo’s ever been — 40+ homers, .250+ average, great counting stats. On the other hand, he appears to be a platoon player who should be benched vs. lefties. On a third hand that is actually Joe Buck’s hand every time he sees Schwarber, he just had a 38-homer, .250 season and he’s only 26, so maybe I should just love him and forget what he could or could not be. By the way, for those of you worried you wouldn’t have outfielders to draft when I was saying to ignore “Braille boobs” or “an awards speech in the mirror,” there are so many guys to draft here. 2020 Projections: 27/14/31/.257/1 in 192 ABs
CLICK THRU TO TOP 60 OUTFIELDERS FOR 2020 FANTASY BASEBALL