Yesterday was the top 40 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball. In that post, I dazzled your retinas and made your brain say, “This guy is some kind of beautiful. Damn, I wish I were gay like that guy I used to share a bed with in college. Platonically.” Within these twenty outfielders, there’s some guys I’m excited about and some guys I don’t like at all. It’s important to read the whole post, even if you’re not reading this sentence. I think that’s irony, but I’m not sure; you need to ask a British person to be sure. All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are there. As always, where my tiers start and stop and my projections are included. Anyway, here’s the top 60 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball:
41. Mookie Betts – This tier started in the top 40 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball. This tier goes until here. I called this tier, “Sexy sexy hot hot dot com that makes you clear your cookies.” Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.
42. Ryan Zimmerman – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Harrison. I call this tier, “Draft them for their other position eligibility.” I went over Zimmerman in top 20 3rd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.
44. Chris Carter – Went over him top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.
Yasmany Tomas – I want to draft all the guys in this tier. I especially want a taste of Cuba like that street festival that’s in your Little Havana section of town. I look at Yasmany and Rusney like this, could they bomb out, causing me to tent my fantasy team and exterminate? Of course. And so can Jay Bruce, Wil Myers, Heyward, Calhoun, Springer, etc. etc. etc. Anyone can bomb, but we’re firmly in a tier of guys that could well outperform their draft spot and you want to take a chance on those guys. As for Yasmany, I went over him in the top 20 3rd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball. I still gots no idea where he’ll be eligible.
50. Melky Cabrera – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Choo. I call this tier, “Even in their worst year, they are so awesomely awesome, right? Uh, no.” This tier gives you the impression that you went safe with your third outfield. I can hear someone drafting Melky right now, “If Melky just gives me what he did last year, I’m golden like the shower I got from a prostitute in Southeast Asia.” Yes, that’s true. The thing is — and there is a thing — you’re not playing for last year unless you’re in a throwback league. You’re playing for 2015. You want to draft players for what they’re going to do in the upcoming year. Melky has stayed healthy zero times since 2011 and is now 30 years old. Also, I said this in the offseason, “(Melky) signed with the White Sox. Who lit a fire under Jerry Reinsdorf’s ass? The Dorf’s on a spending spree (that was the one where Tim Conway, as The Dorf, reenacts the Rodeo Drive spending spree from Pretty Woman). Some players seem to languish on lousy teams and never get to play for an offensive juggernaut. Melky is the exact opposite. He seems to always land somewhere he’s going to rack up counting stats. Maybe it’s his HTML skills. Maybe it’s that most powerhouse teams are run by men that are lactose intolerant and they’re trying to make up for their inadequacies off the field by getting Melky. It’s prolly the latter reason.” And that’s me quoting me! 2015 Projections: 85/14/65/.304/8
51. Alex Rios – I could see someone drafting Rios and saying, “If he bounces back, this is great value.” Yes, what is also true is that Rios is old and no guarantee to bounce back. Also, this offseason, I said this, “(Rios) signed with the Royals. He has a ton of performance-based incentives in his contract like, “Are you at least pretending to care?” “Okay, we know hustle is asking a lot, but maybe you gait a little longer,” and the final clause, “Don’t curse out our fans.” Last year, Rios’s batted ball profile suggests that he’s getting old, but his 2011, when he hit 11 homers, suggested the same and then he turned on his heart light in 2012 and 2013. The only difference is now he actually is getting old. He’ll be 34 years old in February, which is not an age when players go out and hit 20 homers and steal 35 bases after hitting 4 homers and stealing 17. His projections are hard to pin down due to the swings in value from year to year and because the Royals could plug him into the three hole or leadoff or 7th.” And that’s me copying and pasting me! 2015 Projections: 72/14/67/.274/20
52. Shin-Soo Choo – I’m not sure what someone is thinking when they draft Choo. Maybe they’re thinking, “Kim Jong un won’t hack my computer if I draft him.” They’d be wrong, of course, wrong Korea. Maybe they’re thinking, “Choo can do it all,” and unless they know Choo to make house calls and do laundry, I’m not sure what they mean by do it all. He can do 15 HRs and…well, I’m not sure what else. Last year really has me concerned with Choo. I get that he was injured, but to only have 3 steals. I mean, Jay Bruce said his knee hurt him and he stole 12 bases. Then you throw in his K-rate skyrocketing, his average bottoming out and he’ll be 33 years old by the All-Star break. I’m likely staying away, i.e., I don’t Choo Choo choose Choo. (By the by, thanks for saying “Gesundheit” every time I said “Choo.”) 2015 Projections: 77/15/49/.271/10
53. Joc Pederson – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Brown. I call this tier, “I need a lil somethin’ somethin’ in the middle of this nothin’ nothin’.” What I mean by the tier name is I didn’t love that last tier and I don’t love the next tier, so I wanted to break it up with some guys I’m a bit more fond of in the middle here. Clowns to the right of me, jokers that I don’t want to draft to the left, stuck in the middle with youse. Here’s my Joc Pederson fantasy. I wrote it prior to the Kemp trade so it’s slightly crumby with crackers, but the general gist remains the same. General Gist was also my high school band. You might remember us from the song, “I’m Going To The Prom With My Mom.” It was a hit in Canada. Pederson could be a top 15 outfielder this year. I haven’t been quite as jazzed about a rookie since Trout. Yes, I realize what that statement does to the adrenaline that courses through your veins. I’m not yelling fire in the theater of Razzball; I mean it. Pederson looks special. Steamer, who is usually conservative, projects him for 19 homers and 22 steals with a .230 average. Who is that, Mike Cameron? Hey, Mike Cameron, say hello to your mother for me. Pederson has a strikeout problem, like every other gee-dee major leaguer. He also has 30-homer power and 30-steal speed. Okay, now I need to have my inseam taken out. I’m still concerned he might platoon at times, but he’s absolutely worth the gamble. 2015 Projections: 66/15/59/.247/19
54. Steven Souza – I already gave you my Steven Souza sleeper post. I wrote it while grounding myself before seeing Chuck McGill. 2015 Projections: 58/12/65/.234/22
56. Domonic Brown – Liking Domonic isn’t for the lily-livered, or just to get into Tehol’s good graces. I poured over Domonic Brown’s stats from last year, and there’s some disconcerting trends. His ground balls went way up (not literally) and his fly balls went down (literally). It’s hard to hit home runs when you’re grounding out to 2nd base. It wasn’t all bad….Actually, the good is just really being told the bad while listening to Anne Murray. The amount of pitches he swung at outside the strike zone went up, the contact he made on pitches outside the zone went soaring and his first pitch strike percentage went straight into ugly territory. So, how is this good? Well, first you need to be listening to Anne Murray. Okay, it’s good because he was a flailing mess last year. If a batter gets a first pitch strike, he’s already in the hole. So, what does he do? He starts flailing at pitches outside the strike zone. What happens when you hit a ball outside the strike zone? Nothing, you’re not a major league hitter. My apologies to David Eckstein, if he’s reading. A major league hitter hits a pitch outside the strike zone and he hits it weakly on the ground. I.e., Brown was crap, literally and figuratively. So how was this good? Great question, self! It wasn’t, but it’s in the past and he’s only 27 years old. People have written him off like that meal with your grandma that’s now getting you audited by the IRS. He is one year removed from a 27 homer, 8 steal, .272 year. No, he isn’t that good. He wasn’t that good when he actually did those marks as I warned you last year. He’s also not as bad as he was last year. In the minors, he routinely hit a homer about every five games and had one year when he stole 22 bases. A homer every five games is asking a lot from him. He doesn’t have the prototypical homer stroke and his homers per fly balls has never been good outside of his huge 2013. Right now, Steamer has him projected for 13 homers. Even after his calamitous year in 2014 that feels low. He struggled in April last year to hit for power (1 homer), then forced the issue in May (hitting .146), and, by that point, his season was an official mess. He needs to hit a few more fly balls, less ground balls and he should be a lock for 18-22 homers. Throw in the 7-10 steals he’s good for, a .260-ish average, the prime of his career and the upside that comes with that and he’s worth the gamble. Oh, and it is a gamble, because if he struggles in April, he could end up a platoon outfielder. 2015 Projections: 61/20/74/.262/8
57. Marlon Byrd – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 80 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball. This tier is called, “The childhood game of Hot Schmotato.” For all of you that are as old as the guys in this tier who forgot how to play Hot Schmotato, I’ll refresh your melon ball. A player is passed around from team to team for many years, and they keep putting up stats, then one day they stop performing and the last one holding them loses. You don’t want to be the person holding the old players when they finally stop performing. You know, like the Phils. Speaking of which, I enjoyed the constant rumors of interest from other teams for Byrd prior to him going to the Reds. 99.9% of those rumors were likely generated by Byrd himself. “Reports are saying that Marlon Byrd would play on any team, and even off the bench for a contender or even as the equipment man. Inquire within!” 2015 Projections: 67/21/78/.251/3
58. Torii Hunter – Here’s what I said this offseason about Torii, “Signed by the Twins. The Twins management put this signing to a vote and the I’s had it. Bam! Big Pun ain’t got nothing on me. (Plus, he’s no longer with us; I miss you, Big Pun. On a side side note, I guarantee you can’t find another sentence in the Google machine that has a semicolon and Big Pun.) Hunter is exactly who you think he is at this point in his career — 17 HRs, .280, 80 runs, 80 RBIs. Then you put those numbers through a “Have To Play For The Twins” Generator and you get 70/14/73/.277/4.” And that’s me quoting me! 2015 Projections: 70/14/73/.277/4
59. Jayson Werth – In 2013, he hit 25 homers. In 2014, he hit 16 homers. His HR/FB% went from 18 to 9.4. His fly ball rate went from 38% to 40%. SAT Question Alert! If a guy hits as many fly balls or more and his home runs go down dramatically when he’s 35 years old, what’s the likely cause? No, not because he played his home games at Space Camp in an anti-gravity chamber. I appreciate your thoughtful response though. Likely: he’s getting old and just not hitting the ball as far. To wit! In 2013, his home run distance on average was 410 feet. In 2014, it was 400.8 feet. Oh, and he just had shoulder surgery and might not be back for the start of the season, which means even if we see him in April, he won’t be great. 2015 Projections: 68/14/79/.272/5
60. Curtis Granderson – Offense is so bad — Game Show Refrain, “How bad is it?!” — Granderson ranked 45th overall last year at the end of the season with the line of 73/20/66/.227/8. That’s hideous. I wouldn’t have wanted the 45th best outfielder last year. Even if I was omniscient and knew in April he would give me the 45th best OF season. Well, I should say more omniscient than I already am. Can one be “more omniscient?” If I was “more omniscient,” I would know the answer to that. As CC Sabathia would say, things that make you go hmm… 2015 Projections: 68/22/72/.229/7