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Top 40 outfielders for 2023 fantasy baseball are here and they’re purdy like your little mouth! Sorry, been wanting to watch Deliverance, but can’t find it streaming, so been reenacting it from my memories with some toys I bought at a yard sale. *holds up Miss Piggy plushie* Squeal, Piggy! So, here’s Steamer’s 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2023 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 40 outfielders for 2023 fantasy baseball:

NOTE: 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 II: 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.


21. George Springer – This tier started in the top 20 outfielders for 2023 fantasy baseball. This tier goes until Yelich. I called this tier, “The lovely resort town, Should Be.” As for Springer, here’s a funny-not-funny thing. If you look at just Springer’s peripherals, you see a guy who Should Be regressing, but if you look at just his actual stats, ya know, the stats that matter, you see a guy who Should Be pretty dependable for fantasy number two outfielder numbers, barring any health complications. Here’s what I’m seeing in its most general. A guy whose BABIP is falling; his ground balls are rising, not literally; his selectiveness at the plate has become almost nonexistent, but his strikeouts fell. He’s actually held onto his Sprint Speed, at the age of 32, which is no small feat, like a clown’s shoe collection. Springer could be 40/15/.270 or 20/5/.240, but Should Be somewhere in-between. Springer Should Be Eloy’s Chief of Staff, if not for Mr. Make Believe’s surprising win. If you have no idea what I’m talking about. Keep it that way. It’s much funnier to me if I’m talking total nonsense. You really should be reading the top 20 outfielders though. It might help.  2023 Projections: 78/24/68/.262/11 in 477 ABs

22. Christian Yelich – Once I’m done with the positional rankings, I will drop the top 100 and top 500 overall. This is roughly around 80 overall. Last year, Yelich was 85th overall on the Player Rater, i.e., this might feel like I’m high on Yelich, but it’s about what he did last year, i.e., I before E except in Yelich. So, I’m expecting Yelich to sail out to Should Be and just repeat what he’s done most recently. To just expect Yelich to repeat needs us to ignore all the weird permutations his career has taken. When switching from the telephoto to the wide angle, Yelich becomes complicated and fascinating. He is the Banner Boy for “changing your swing is easier said than done.” From the Right Field Fences to the 2nd Baseman’s Mitt: A Story of the Ball Off Yelich’s Bat is the title of the ball off his bat’s autobiography, and also, oddly enough, the whole book. Maybe the shift ending might help him, but the numbers don’t back that up, as he hit better when there was a shift last year. In the end, Yelich Should Be a 15 to 20 homer, 12 to 17 steal guy with a lot of counting stats, and that’s around this ranking. 2023 Projections: 104/17/63/.257/16 in 571 ABs

23. Tyler O’Neill – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Reynolds. I call this tier, “I sunk your battleship! Wait, that’s not Risk.” By this tier name I mean, these guys could totally screw you up and sink your battleship, but their upside is so sexy I need to risk it for the Triscuit. As for O’Neill, already gave you my Tyler O’Neill sleeper. It was written while holding my hand to my ear like Hulk Hogan. 2023 Projections: 74/31/88/.246/17 in 531 ABs

24. Byron Buxton – Just saw that since 2015, Buxton has only one season of 100 games played, and I chuckled. In fact (Grey’s got more!), if you were to add any two of his back-to-back seasons together, besides the year of 100+ games, no two-year period saw him play more than 162 games. They gave him $100 million through 2028. That has nothing to do with fantasy but, yeah, I don’t know. Mr. Prorater should be writing this blurb. “Did you know if every person on earth was Italian the only thing ever said would be ‘Whatsa matta you?'” That doesn’t sound right, Mr. Prorater. “If Buxton were to play in 162 games, he’d go 50/25.” Okay, Mr. Prorater, that’s enough. Buxton seemed to slow a little on steals, but that might be more about the kid gloves Baldelli was using with him. His strikeouts skyrocketed with his fly balls. He seems to have embraced his under-100-games-played pace and went all-or-nothing in a small sample. The main allure with Buxton is in shallow leagues where you can get all his 85 games of stats, then grab a hot bat for the other 60-ish games, and the allure becomes even more, uh, alluring the shallower the league. 2023 Projections: 58/25/63/.233/8 in 331 ABs

25. Amed Rosario – Already went over him in the top 20 shortstops for 2023 fantasy baseball.

26. Jake McCarthy – Already gave you my Jake McCarthy sleeper. It was written while calling a bottle of cinnamon a Spice Girl. 2023 Projections: 86/11/71/.263/33 in 561 ABs

27. Anthony Santander – Already gave you my Anthony Santander sleeper. It coulda been a contenda. 2023 Projections: 77/35/92/.244/1 in 563 ABs

28. Taylor Ward – Already gave you my Taylor Ward sleeper. It was written while swerving. 2023 Projections: 73/31/97/.282/6 in 541 ABs

29. Bryan Reynolds – He should be a 4th outfielder for the Yankees behind Aaron Hicks. Wait, this is like that great cliffhanger on Lost. We’ve gone too far with the Aaron Hicks. We have to go back. If you’ve never seen Lost, you don’t get the reference, so now watch 78 hours of TV to understand what I’m saying. Go ahead, this will be here when you get back. Back? Great! So, the Smoke-The-Ball Monster aka Oneil Cruz is hitting leadoff or third? Does it matter since Reynolds will hit 2nd either way and for another team? Not sure, but Reynolds has the distinct feel of a Mancini-type. Was kidding about Hicks, but Reynolds to a great team could become their five-hole guy and possibly platoon candidate. Unlikely, but I didn’t think Mancini would be benched on the Astros either. 2023 Projections: 81/24/70/.272/6 in 555 ABs

30. Steven Kwan – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Giancarlo. I call this tier, “Ceilings are nice and all, but don’t forget the floors.” This was what Pope Julius II said to Michelangelo after he finished the Sistine Chapel. Pope Julius II was colloquially known as P.J. or Pajamas or Pope Dr. J. He could’ve also been talking about this tier. Pajamas would’ve hated The Vatican Girl doc on Netflix, but would’ve loved this tier. “Floors, mama mia! That’s-a my favorite, and this stunod painted all the ceilings. Who wants to look up so much?” That’s Pajamas going on about the Sistine Chapel. So, this tier is guys who have decent floors, but I think you’re prolly gonna be disappointed if you’re waiting on ceilings.

As for Kwan, some guys who I tell you to draft who do well show up the following year, and their gains are mostly ignored. For unstints, my Adolis Garcis sleeper last year, after he was already good in 2021. Then you have a guy like Steven Kwan do well — that’s different than Kwando, which is also not Taekwondo – and they shoot so far up the following year’s draft boards. I, honestly, think it has a lot to do with approach. Some of you approach this like a game! And this ain’t no game! Kidding, I mean the player’s approach. Some of you obviously are much more sold by a guy if he gets on base at a good clip. That was always Kwan’s can do — again, there’s no such thing as Kwancando. He was going to be a .300 hitter. Which is great, terrific, adjective! He also hit six homers last year, and the speed is just nice (19 steals). 5/20/.300 is totally fine, but fine in a “forgettable even if it’s on your team” way. Forgettable in the good way. Like “set it and forget”able, but still. And if you think I’m being too harsh, ask anyone who followed my advice and drafted him last year. I had him on teams and forget about him for long stretches. Forty twenties have a way of doing that. 2023 Projections: 103/7/56/.303/17 in 574 ABs

31. Hunter Renfroe – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Traded to the Angels. Ah, I see what’s going on. Hunter Renfroe looks like Mike Trout. I mean, it’s uncanny. So, if your farm system can’t produce another Mike Trout, then you do the 2nd best thing — make fans think you cloned Trout! “Hey, did you hear Barbara Streisand cloned her dogs?” “Yeah, and the Angels cloned Mike Trout.” “Ah, cool, smart organization.” What else is going on here with Arte Moreno is very familiar to me. It reminds me of the time I tried to sell my Toyota Corolla by putting a Mercedes emblem on it. Call him Smartie Arte! So, Milwaukee was a great park, but the Big A, as Anaheim is known to those that like fat rears, has gotten so much better recently — I think it’s the humidor, tee bee aitch. The lineup looks as good, if not better, in Anaheim if Trout and Rendon are healthy, and, well, I’m being silly now, but it’s not a bad lineup. For fantasy, it feels like at worst a push on Renfroe’s value, and he’s always underrated.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 63/30/79/.251/2 in 508 ABs

32. Ian Happ – Nearly moved Happ into the next tier of a bit more upsidey (and downsidey) plays, but Happ feels pretty safe, even though I don’t know what he’s safe for. HUH! Safe! What is it good for?! Absolutely nothing! Happ has the widest range of possible outcomes. For two years, he hits .230ish, two years .270ish. Two years, he hits 25ish homers, two years he hits 15ish. Only thing that seems repeatable is his 9ish steals that he’s done for four years. With the reduction in strikeouts, I’m going to give Happ the benefit of the doubt for average, but he’s cut his average before, then saw an increase, so it’s far from a lock. The Launch Angle seems to stabilized at 10ish, but HR/FB% is one of his most stabilized stats, so, yeah, I don’t know, but the floor feels maintainable and decent. 2023 Projections: 79/19/83/.256/9 in 581 ABs

33. MJ Melendez – Already went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2023 fantasy baseball.

34. Andrew Vaughn – Already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball.

35. Kris Bryant – Last year, Kris Bryant hit .306. The Coors BABIP bump is real! The Rockies did it again! Just such a smart organization. Wait, what was the sample size of games we saw from Bryant? Oh. Hmm, at least the Rockies have a stocked farm system to fill-in for him, like Sam Hilliard, Garrett Hampson, Elehuris–Okay, my sarcasm is thicker than Lizzo. Bryant got $450 million to help Bud Black fill out his lineup card, and act as the bench coach. Maybe the Rockies can do him a favor and trade him to the Yanks and promise to pay all of his contract. It’s been so long since the Rockies made magic by just putting someone in Coors, and doing nothing more, that I’m starting to think we imagined the days of Todd Helton and Larry Walker. There was a good 25 years there where no one ever hit for a bad average in Coors, and even that feels like a thing of the past. Can’t someone take a baseball bat to their humidor? 2023 Projections: 79/22/68/.276/5 in 454 ABs

36. Giancarlo Stanton – Super sad to see Giancarlo this low. First time I can remember being down on Giancarlo, in a non-sexual way. He’s gotta be the biggest disappointment for a guy who is sculpted by Rodin. ACKSUALLY, I just re-familiarized myself with Canseco’s stats, and he takes the cake for the biggest Beefcake/Disappointment Equivalent (BDE) of the modern era, but Giancarlo still has time to pad his stats. Just speaking to the five lady readers now, but the top BDE of all-time, historically: Dick Allen, Canseco, Giancarlo, Ralph Kiner, McGwire, Albert Belle, and Ryan Klesko. I will not be taking questions at this time. 2023 Projections: 61/33/74/.238 in 407 ABs

37. Oscar Gonzalez – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 60 outfielders for 2023 fantasy baseball. I call this tier,”Horseshoes and grenades.” The old saying goes, “Close doesn’t count, except for horseshoes and hand grenades.” Frankly, that is anti-Italian, because close counts in bocce ball too. Better not let Pope Dr. J catch you disrespecting the Italians. Though, putting aside the clear anti-Italian discrimination of that saying, and taking it on its face, the guys in this tier were all nearly boosted up higher and I nearly wrote a sleeper post for all of them, and did for a few of them.

As for Gonzalez, a few months ago, Coolwhip contacted me and asked if I were writing an Oscar Gonzalez sleeper, because he was considering it, and he didn’t want to double up. What he didn’t know, what he couldn’t have known unless he was hiding in my closest…Uh, one second. *checks closet* Whew. What he couldn’t have known was how close I was to writing that Oscar Gonzalez sleeper post. Guardians have become the north’s version of Houston. They are getting a lot of high-contact guys, which is great. Would be greater if Gonzalez had any speed, which was why I eventually nixed my sleeper on him, but 25/3/.300 isn’t that far off from Kwan’s 7/20/.300 in its inverse on speed and power. (As promised, here’s Coolwhip’s Oscar Gonzalez sleeper.) 2023 Projections: 67/23/75/.294/2 in 519 ABs

38. Thairo Estrada – Already went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball.

39. Seth Brown – Already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball.

40. Brandon Nimmo – Re-signed with the Mets. We have a little sub-tier within a tier here called, “Nimmo and Yoshida,” which sounds like a Flaming Lips song, but is just two guys who make great contact, won’t steal a lot of bases or hit a ton of power, but should score a ton of runs. You got all that, Wayne Coyne? I want a song that expresses all that. Check out me, sounding like a very white guy. Nimmo won’t be great in all leagues, because he only gives certain stats, but you’d be smart to find room for Nimmo if you were 10,000 leagues deep. 2023 Projections: 107/17/66/.276/5 in 584 ABs