With more outfielders than random hairs growing from my grandfather’s ear, we take it to the top 60 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball.  And, just like your grandfather’s ear hair, a lot of these guys are gross.  I don’t know what happened to the outfielders, they just went and got ugly.  You look at Ryan Braun like he ruined your childhood by taking a performance-enhancing drug, but at least he’s trying to put some offense back into the modern-era of baseball.  Now someone start manufacturing aluminum bats painted to look like a wooden bat.  Thank you.  As with the other 2012 fantasy baseball rankings, where tiers start and stop are mentioned and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 60 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball:

41. Carlos Beltran – This tier started in the top 40 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball and ends at Ichiro.  I called this tier, “Vets that I’m either lukewarm about or slightly more than lukewarm about.  Read the temperature gauge.”  If you get 140 games from Beltran, then you’re going to get a solid 3rd outfielder.  But if that “if” had hips it would drop it like it’s hot and never get up again.  On a side note, how awesome would it be if during Spring Training, the Cards have a split squad game and Wainwright throws Beltran nothing but knee-buckling curves?  2012 Projections:  65/18/80/.275/7

42. Nick Swisher – I’m not super excited about Swisher when I look at his ground ball rate going up and his fly ball rate going down, but I do like his side burns.  If Luke Perry were a ballplayer and I were Jennie Garth and we both hated Shannen Doherty then… Well, I have no idea where this is going so I’ll stop now.  2012 Projections:  80/25/90/.270

43. Carlos Quentin – A guy that has 30 homer power + Injuries + Petco = Death + Breathing.  2012 Projections:  60/22/75/.250/3

44. Ichiro Suzuki – I was telling people to avoid Ichiro for years and it seems like the public perception of him has finally caught up to my reality.  To incorrectly quote Drake’s lyrics, “Ichiro has faded way too long, he’s floatin’ in and out of public consciousness.”  Crazy for me to say, but I think Ichiro is slightly undervalued now.  Is he that different than Brett Gardner?  Yeah, maybe a tad.  Fielders sic Ichiro’s choppers and his gams aren’t what they were, but he doesn’t look done done, just maybe medium done.  2012 Projections:  80/6/40/.310/30

45. Jose Tabata – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Fowler.  I call this tier, “At least two of these guys will break out and shoot up the rankings for 2013.”  Even in his tizzerible 2011 season, Tabata still was on pace for 25+ steals if he got in a full season.  Also, he hit 4 homers.  Is he going to be a 15/40 guy?  Nah, not likely.  But 7/30 with a solid average and runs is… Okay, you know what I’m most worried about.  How am I gonna find players I’m excited about for the top 80 outfielder post?  Seriously, the entire top 80 outfielder post might be just one giant tier of guys I don’t like since I’m only at the 45th ranked outfielder and I’m hardly building much enthusiasm.  This is an issue.  Okay, enough negativism.  Tabata is one of my best bets to shoot up the rankings from this tier.  He has some power, steals bases and isn’t an average drain.  2012 Projections:  90/7/50/.285/30

46. Austin Jackson – Jackson is basically Tabata with the possibility of an average drain.  Jackson’s K-rate is tizzerible so he’ll need to luck into an average over .260.  With Fielder inserted into the Tigers lineup, opposing pitchers will have to attack the first two hitters in the Tigers lineup.  Keep that in mind when you read Boesch’s blurb, I may or may not repeat it.  You’ll have to wait and see!  2012 Projections:  100/9/50/.260/27

47. Delmon Young – Let’s see what Young has going for him.  1) He was good after his trade to the Tigers. 2) He’s out of Hubert H. Homerfree Retrodome.  3) He’s still only 26 years old.  4) There’s no 4.  5) He can fling a bat at an ump better than most.  Now, let’s see what he has going against him.  1) 4 of 5 seasons in the majors have been yawnstipating.  2) Blimpotence. 3) A hideous walk rate. 4) Still no 4.  5) He can fling a bat at an ump better than most.  2012 Projections:  70/17/80/.285/3

48. Cameron Maybin – Some may say that Maybin already broke out last year, so why is he so low on my rankings?  Some may be right, but you want to rely on Padres hitters?  Yeah, me neither.  Put Maybin on the Rockies and I’d have him in the top 25 outfielders.  2012 Projections:  75/7/35/.255/30

49. Lorenzo Cain – From this tier, Cain has the most upside, but he also has the most downside.  I mean, he’s gonna be 26 years old and he’s still yet to break into the majors.  Capricorns are late bloomers, but Cain is an Aries so I have no New Agey reason why he’s looking like a career minor leaguer.  But if I needed to shoehorn in a New Agey reason… An Aries is a Ram, it’s quality is a Cardinal and it’s element is Fire.  So it seems like Cain should play for the St. Louis Cardinals with their fire-red uniforms, but his planet is Mars, which has “ram” in it backwards.  Now the opposite of fire-red is ice blue and if you face St. Louis behind you is Kansas City.  So this is his year!   As of right now, he’s set to play center in Kay Cee and bat leadoff.  The table has been set, now it’s up to Cain to step up to the plate.  2012 Projections:  80/8/50/.280/25

50. Lucas Duda – This is more of a general point for upside outfielders than specifically about Duda.  The lack of enthusiasm you hear in my typees as I write up these blurbs is that some of these upside outfielders are on the Pirates, Padres, Royals and Mets.  Um, yay?  I’m not a Mets hater as some have accused me of, but Metco has a well-warranted bad rep.  Maybe the fences coming in will change all of that and we’ll be calling for a humidor in Metco.  One can hope, I suppose.  2012 Projections:  75/20/85/.280/3 (<–optimistic and still kinda whatever)

51. Brennan Boesch – If Boesch gets in a whole season, he could get you 25 homers and 10 steals.  Assuming he doesn’t take a dump in the 2nd half of the year or get injured.  To summarize what I said about twelve words ago in Spanglish, sin dumpo o mal healtho, then bueno.  2012 Projections:  90/20/70/.270/7

52. Dexter Fowler – One year with the Rockies, he stole 27 bags.  One year in the minors, he hit 9 homers.  Mark him down as a sleeper and move on (without mentioning he was caught stealing nine times last year and only successful 12 times).  Hey, it took me saying Maybin was a sleeper for 3 years before he finally broke out, maybe this is Fowler’s time.  You know, even a broken clock is right twice a day.  That’s more than Matthew Berry.  2012 Projections:  90/7/50/.270/20

53. Jeff Francoeur – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Joyce.  I call this tier, “Price is too steep for guys coming off career years so I’m probably going to miss out on these schmohawks.”  22 steals last year while being caught 10 times is, how do they say it?  Terrible.  So put that back to the 5-7 steals that he’s actually good for and you have a guy that has worse plate discipline than someone on The Biggest Loser with the upside of Vernon Wells.  Yes, his ceiling is Vernon Wells.  Sorry for the shot of reality.  2012 Projections:  70/22/80/.260/7

54. Melky Cabrera – Another guy with the caught stealing percentage that could even turn Joe Morgan against the steal.  Can we please get Michael Lewis to write a Dayton Moore book?  Call it “No Moneyball.”  Chapter 1:  Willie Bloomquist, Chief Justice of the Supreme Crap.  Chapter 2:  Stealing — If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try and Try Again.  2012 Projections:  75/14/65/.270/15

55. Matt Joyce – He hit 12 homers in the first half with a May where he donged 7 dingers.  I loved him then.  It was like a shawl made of a giant mustache wrapped around both of our shoulders as we watched When Harry Met Sally in an outdoor screening in a park.  There’s a very outside chance I end up with Matt Joyce on a team or two this year if he goes for cheap enough.  I don’t think he comes close to his 2011, but if he can start the year hot again, then maybe you can get a couple months of production and flip him for a Brain Freeze.  2012 Projections: 55/17/65/.265/10

56. Brandon Belt – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the top 80 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “You may get a top 20 outfielder from any of these guys.  Or a guy you want to drop by April 15th.”  I went over Brandon Belt’s projections in the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.

57. Eric Thames – With a full season of at-bats, Thames stands to have a huge break out…Or he’ll hit 20 homers and .250.  Right now, he’s in the 2 hole — not that there’s anything wrong with being in the two hole — while Rasmus is in the 7 hole.  Heresy!   Blasphemy!  Other words in the thesaurus!  I imagine Rasmus and Thames will flip-flop by May at the latest, possibly as soon as Opening Day.  Either the hoo, we’re just talking about runs vs. RBIs…Or are we?!  Yeah, we probably are, but Thames may see better pitches in the two hole.  It’s worth noting, so I did.  Worth Noting, II:  The Return of Worth Noting, the Blue Jays have, like, a dozen outfielders.  I like Thames for power, which is also called hydroelectricity.  Al Gore invented that.  After the internet.  2012 Projections:  70/20/75/.255/5

58. Yonder Alonso – Went over my Alonso projections in the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.

59. Nolan Reimold – I already went over my Nolan Reimold 2012 fantasy.  I wrote it prior to the O’s being boneheads and getting Betemit.  Play some Bruno Mars in the O’s front office and send in Tyler the Creator to kill everyone.  I think Reimold will still get his 500 ABs because Betemit will play some 3rd, isn’t an everyday player and Chris Davis is at 1st.  Only people that know how well Davis will do at 1st is your deity of choice and Bill James, which might be the same thing in some circles. (Which should not to be confused with Google Circles.  BTW, if Google+’s whole point was to see how fast people will abandon a social networking site, it’s a success.)  2012 Projections:  65/24/80/.250/10

60. Roger Bernadina – If I didn’t get burned by Bernadina last year, he might’ve showed up higher on these rankings.  Ooh, hold on, someone’s knocking on my door.  “Hey, it’s Excitement For Bernadina here.  I just moved into the building and wanted to say you shouldn’t give up hope on Bernadina.  He should be starting this year.”  Me, “The Nats sent Bernadina down last year and decided to start Brian Bixler.  If you know who Brian Bixler is, you’re related to him.”  Excitement For Bernadina, “I know, that was a tough blow.”  Me, “Blow?  Sending down Bernadina and starting Bixler was the equivalent of Bixler taking a bat and hitting Bernadina in the balls – assuming Bixler would actually make contact.”  Excitement For Bernadina, “I appreciate you, Grey Albright.  Please give Bernadina another chance.  Us Excitement For Bernadina’s have to stick together.  By the way, did you see a package from Amazon by my door?  It’s missing.”  Me, “Nope.”  2012 Projections:  55/10/65/.260/20

  1. OaktownSteve says:

    I like the law firm of Delmon, Young, Fowler and Reimold

    Not sure why I am still up. Actually I am sure. I’m posting in the forums too.


  2. chata says:

    “… I like Thames for power, which is also called hydroelectricity. Al Gore invented that. After the internet. ”

    are you sure this is correct ?
    pretty sure my 1st computer was powered by hydroelectricity .

  3. Hemmo says:

    Keeping 3, $200 auction budget.

    Which 3 do I go with? (only <20$ players after $7 inflation can be kept)

    Madson, $8
    S.Santos, $8
    Beckett $15
    Kipnis, $8
    Asd.Cabrera, $9
    Chacin, 13$
    Lind, 13$
    D.Jennings, $8
    D.Hudson, $16

    I'm thinking Desmond Jennings at $8 is my one sure thing. Which other 2 do I go with? Thank you!

    • M.C. Antil says:

      @Hemmo, Kipnis, Cabrera and Jennings. Low-cost, high-upside offense beats low-cost, high-upside pitching any day. Way more predictable and much less likely to kill you when you guess wrong.

  4. JEH says:

    So I was at google.com and typed in “matthew berry” projections outfielder “broken clock” and it took me here.

    Fate, I think.

    I like the Andrus projection.

  5. xrayxtals says:

    Grey, most things I’ve read about Cain are that he will start the year batting 7th or lower, and that Gordon will keep the leadoff spot. Maybe Cain can earn the 2nd spot with a hot ST. Just thought I’d pass that along.

  6. TheNewGuy says:

    Ouch…rough list.

    The only guys I like to provide decent value on this list are Beltran (if healthy), Ichiro (should bounce back somewhat), Reimold (good finish too last year) and Tabata (the dark horse of the OF).

  7. Hawk says:


    I know you ranked speed guys like Pierre, Davis, Crisp etc… ahead of them but would you actually draft them over someone like Tabata? I just couldn’t see myself doing so.

  8. Steve Stevenson says:

    OBP league, keep 2 with a 2-rd penalty per year: Santana 8th rd, Beltre 8th, Hosmer 10th, Lawrie 10th? (if it’s 2 guys in same rd, you lose the previous as well)

  9. KCJordan says:

    Grey, love the site. Just thought I’d give you the KC perspective of the lineup this year. On interviews I’ve heard Yost and Dayton Moore on multiple occasions say that Gordon will continue to bat leadoff, and that Giavotella will get first crack at batting second in the order.

    Cain will probably start the year batting 7th, and then will eventually move up to the 2-hole.

    Doesn’t change much fantasy wise, but I thought I should share my semi-inside information.

  10. Cole says:

    With the loss of puj and fielder NL only drafts are going to get shmohawk-ie in a hurry. Do you know if you guys will be doing the LABR league again this year yet?

  11. schlitzy says:

    I was kinda nervous that 4 of my 5 keepers are OF (Kemp, Jupton, Stanton, Jennings) but now not so much.

  12. GT says:

    4 words – Roger, Arvin, Berna, Dina.

  13. MH says:

    I’m surprised Alex Presley is outside your top 60. I mean, yeah, his upside is a bit blah in each individual category for a deep guy, but he looks like a pretty safe bet to give you positive value in the three major categories (AVG, HR, RBI) and that kind of balance has its own kind of value. .285-10-25 with some upside and little downside as a 5th OF is a pretty good get. I like him more than Tabata. Didn’t you do a sleeper post on him?

  14. MH says:

    Also, why do you think that projection on Duda is optimistic? He’s a big dude who always projected for power but a broken hamate bone set him back as a prospect. He always walked a lot and make contact, and just when you thought the power wasn’t going to show up he went and had a .217 ISO in Double-A and a .295 ISO in Triple-A (in the EL and IL, mind you, not the hitter friendliest of leagues, not like we’re talking a PCL masher here), the latter over a pretty substantial sample size, and has a .195 ISO over his first 440 majro league PAs. He doesn’t have any speed or anything, but its hard not to believe in the power at this point. Plus he walks plenty, doesn’t strike out too much, and has the batted ball profile to match his tools. I’m not saying I’d project him much better than you have him, but he has some upside and doesn’t have a whole lot of bust potential. I love him as a bench OF/CI sub you can get late.

  15. EDUB says:

    Getting closer to the starter rankings…CAN’T WAIT! (Bart Scott voice)

  16. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    Nice write-up as always. I’m as depressed as you are looking at the OF pool this year. I’ve found (in early mocks) that if I don’t get one of the top 5 guys, my OF looks terrible. Here’s my question: am I crazy for ranking Upton at #4 overall after Cabrera, Kemp, and Pujols? I still don’t completely trust Bautista or Tulo (health) and I like Votto, but not sure if I top 4 like him. Talk me out of it, Grey.

  17. Wake Up says:

    So, there is probably no way that you leave the first two rounds without an OFer?

    *Melky blurb- write a Dayton Moore book?

  18. royce! says:

    Huh…I wanted to see how much OF has changed from last year, so I looked at your 2011 top 60 OF, and despite the move to Petco, Quentin is actually ranked in exactly the same spot. So it’s almost like every OF is now playing for SD, and have had their projections reduced accordingly.

  19. bfeels says:

    @Grey: I have a keeper question for my 12 team mixed league. Active lineup is pretty small with just 1b, 2b, ss, 3b, utility, 3OF, 2SP, 2RP, 2P. In addition to 5×5 categories, OPS and Loses are also categories. Keepers do not affect the draft and there is no limit on how long you can keep a player. Thanks as always for the excellent ranking and advice…out of this mix, which 5 to keep?….


  20. bfeels says:

    @Grey @bfeels

    I should have added Uggla to my list above. So the 5 to keep are…


  21. Tony says:

    @BKK or MOOSE! I know you’re lurking, I dont use my hotmail anymore man, had some virus issues. I was going to send you an email today, but I dont have your address! Hit me up at the same address except yahoo.com

    Stop taking notes on everything i say.

    Go WPA

  22. KeeblerMN says:

    I fell like the Excitement for Bernadina character should have said “Say Hello to your mother for me.”… he sounded like Mark Wahlberg in my head for some reason…. unless Excitement for Bernadina is a woman. Then I picture her hanging out with Mike Napoli’s mom and drinking wine spritzers… why? I have no freakin clue.

  23. MH says:

    @Grey re: Duda

    You make it sound as if he’s never really flashed much power. He’s hit 14 HR in 439 major league PAs, which is about a 20 pace over a full season. 4 of those came during a September callup in 2010, and then he hit zero in the first half of 2011 while playing sporadically and shuffling between the majors and minors. Then he hit all 10 over his final 235 PAs once he started playing every day (thanks to injuries and the Beltran trade), which is more like a 25 HR pace. If that was out of context with his minor league production, I might agree with you that it looks like an abberation. But he also hit 33 HR over 652 PAs across Double-A and Triple-A, 27 of which came over 455 PAs in Triple-A, during which time he had roughly a .430 wOBA and 170 wRC+ (again, keeping in mind the IL is not the PCL, which the 170 wRC+ accounts for). Yes, he was 24 and 25 in Triple-A, which is on the old side, but its not completely past prospect age and those are some gaudy #’s.

    Duda was a prospect I’d been following for a while. I’d always felt if he could ever tap into his size and hit for some power, he’d have a shot at a nice career, thanks to his solid walk and contact rates. I was just about to give up on him before he had a strong second half in Double-A in 2009, and he’s basically been on a tear every since. And it may seem a bit homerish to pimp him, but FWIW, I’m not optimistic at all on guys like Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada (my money is on Reese Havens eventually playing 2B for as long as he can stay healthy–much more complete skillset, problem is he’s made of glass). Murphy is deep mixed league MI schmohawk fodder, while Tejada is the same for NL-Only.

    IMO, an opstimistic projection for Duda would be .285-80-25-90-3, while the one you have here is more about where I’d expect projections to land. Even if its tough to project more than 20 HR, he’s a much safer AVG and even R play than a lot of the other no-speed OF sluggers ahead of him. That means solid floor, and the power potential also means high ceiling. He’ll probably be on nearly all my 5OF teams.

  24. Justin says:

    who wins this blockbuster trade

    A gets: Votto, Latos
    B gets: Pujols, CJ Wilson

    League uses the standard 5 cats, plus BB and XBH for hitters, and L for pitchers. 16 team league w/ 16 keepers. I would be giving Votto/LAtos and my current keeper pitchers are Kershaw, Hamels, Lester, Cain, Latos.

    What do u think?

  25. Justin says:


    Im in the same boat, i want to keep Votto/Latos, but wanted to see if i was thinking right. Doesnt make sense to downgrade a pitcher to go from votto to pujols right?

  26. Long Bawls says:

    Because this pursuit is not sufficiently nerdy as is, every year at this time I start thinking of the players as Star Wars characters:

    Neil Walker and Luke Scott, Olsen-twins-style, sharing the role of Luke Skywalker

    Garrett Jones as Han Solo Home Run (ironically, he tried out for the part of R2D2)

    Derek Jeter as Dexter Jettster (hey, I had to look it up)

    Jayson Werth as Chewbacca (with significant contract dispute because he read it as Chew Tobaccy)

    Joba Chamberlain as the fatter half-brother of Jaba the Hutt

    Prince Fielder as Princess Pad Me Any More And I Won’t Reach My Shoelaces

    Juan Pierre as an Ewok (changed, last year, to EWon’tWok)

    Jar-Jar as himself

    Okay, I’m ready for the season to start.

  27. James Redacted

    James says:

    10 team league 6×6 (avg obp hr RBI sb runs X era whip wins saves k’s AND k/9) keep 4:
    Justin upton – 3rd round
    Jose Reyes – 3rd
    David price – 16th
    Ian Kennedy – 19th
    Cole hamels – 9th

    If I keep reyes and upton both then it would cost a 3rd and 4th round pick. Basically picking between Reyes and hamels unless I’m missing something. Thoughts? Thanks!

  28. MKEeast says:

    Grey: On a side note, how awesome would it be if during Spring Training, the Cards have a split squad game and Wainwright throws Beltran nothing but knee-buckling curves?

    Beyone awesome.

    Waino: I’m gonna throw the nastiest curveball I have ever thrown…if he hits it, I’ll tip my cap, but if not we’re going to the Series

  29. Grey

    Grey says:

    ***THERE’S A NEW POST****

  30. Eric says:

    Now that Brandon Belt looks like he might be starting up with the giants all year should i pick him up?

    • Grey

      Grey says:


      • Eric says:

        @Grey, who would you drop out of minor, cahill, chacin, jimenez, sanchez, or Moustakas for him?

        • Eric says:

          @Eric, forgot to say my league counts R,HR,RBI,SB,OBP,XBH
          pitching is IP,W, ERA,K9,QS

        • Grey

          Grey says:

          @Eric, Chacin

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