The top 60 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball will be filled with guys you absolutely should and will own, and guys you absolutely will and should not own. Was like that last year, was like that the year before and has been like that since the dawn of time. In 6,000 B.C., a caveman scratched his butt on a stick and thought, “Hey, I wonder if I can patent a stick for butt scratching, and should I hold this top 60 outfielder or drop him?” Such is life with the top 60 outfielders. So, here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As with all of my 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping. Anyway, here’s the top 60 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball:
41. Ryan Braun – This tier started in the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball. This tier ends at Desmond. I called this tier, “An empty IKEA box by the curb.” As for Braun, went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball.
44. Harrison Bader – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Mallex. I call this tier, “The greatest gift of all.” If I ask you what the greatest gift of all is, naturally, you say it’s love. Everyone knows it’s love. I’m kidding, it’s a huge inheritance. Well, put aside everything you know then about love and coming into money someone else earned, because the greatest gift of all is this tier of guys. (At least as far as fantasy value vs. where they’re being drafted, inheritance is really the answer to, “What is greatest gift of all?”) This tier could’ve been called, “I either wrote a sleeper post for all of these guys, or I seriously considered it or I just wrote one for them last year.” Not as pithy, though, of course. You, “Pithy? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” As for Bader, I already gave you my Harrison Bader sleeper. It was written while making a homemade kaleidoscope. 2019 Projections: 78/24/83/.268/17 in 531 ABs
46. Hunter Renfroe – I wrote sixteen sleeper posts for Renfroe over the course of the last three years. Even wrote one completely in the voice of Scooby Doo, which I called, “Hunter Renfroe sleeper.” It took him so long to get where he needed to be, but he’s finally there. This is also another reminder for every prospect who breaks out in his first year in the majors, there’s 300 prospects who take a few years to get there. Last year, Renfroe’s K-rate fell, his walks went up, his fly balls and homers are where they needed to be, and he made some of the best contact in the majors. He is barely a .250 hitter, which is why he’s not higher, but, to give a not entirely off-base comparison, Khris Davis is also a “barely .250 hitter.” 2019 Projections: 71/32/87/.241/2 in 533 ABs
48. Mallex Smith – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Traded to the Mariners for Mike Zunino. Saw a lot of people upset with the M’s over this move. If the M’s turn around and trade away Mallex immediately, then obviously everything I’m about to say is cockeyed through a hindsight lens, but Zunino for Mallex is bad? I get it, in real baseball you have to have a catcher, but Zunino is so replaceable and Mallex is on the come. I don’t know nothing about nothing (which is why you’re here), but I’d want Mallex too. Get a Maldonado-type if you need a catcher.” And that’s me quoting me! 2019 Projections: 82/3/37/.286/42 in 546 ABs
49. Odubel Herrera – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Mullins. I call this tier, “Fifty Shades of Grey Albright.” By the tier name I mean, you can’t peg me. Though, if we’re going on that title name and it’s cheesy erotica literature, pegging me might be what I mean. No, it’s not. What I mean is, I usually don’t like the type of guys in this tier, but I don’t mind these guys. Also, there’s barely differences between the above and below tier, but just enough shades of difference that I’d draft these guys. As for Herrera, I almost wrote a sleeper post for him, but I was afraid I’d get laughed out of the fantasy baseball community that was built on the backs of thousands of middle-aged white men who were seeking refuge from their families. I could not let them down. Why am I suddenly hot like Mariah for ODB? He’s only 27 years old. I know! I thought he was much older too. He is set to be somewhere advantageous in the Phils’ lineup and seems to finally be coming into some power. He went 22/5 last year and the steals actually seem a bit low, and the power doesn’t appear flukey. His 37.1% fly ball rate and 13.9% HR/FB look repeatable and his .290 BABIP was actually a tad low for him. He does hit a bit too many ground balls, which is why no one is expecting him to repeat his power, but 20/8/.270 looks well within his wheelhouse. 2019 Projections: 66/23/77/.271/6 in 567 ABs
50. Jackie Bradley Jr. – This ranking surprised me. I expected to be way lower on JBJ. Maybe I’ve been married so long now that any acronym involving a BJ is enough for me. Okay, so this is convoluted, but there’s a reason behind the ranking. He stole 17 bags and was only caught once, so I don’t think he’s gong to fall back below ten steals on the year for 2019. His Ks went up and he’s barely a .250 hitter, so there’s not much to see there, but average is fickle, so who knows. Hopefully, .245+. Finally, his power looks a lot closer to 20+ vs. the 13 he hit last year. He upped his fly balls, had a 400+ foot average homer distance, and a top 20 exit velocity. He was the 4th lowest in the major leagues for soft contact. For guys who had under 12% soft contact (JBJ was at 10%). Only two guys (Votto, Zobrist) had a lower HR/FB than JBJ, and both guys are old and Zobrist was more of a medium contact guy vs. hard contact. So, what does this mean? If you hit the ball hard, in the air and under the age of 30, you hit home runs. JBJ didn’t, but that should correct itself. 2019 Projections: 61/22/70/.244/12 in 512 ABs
51. Corey Dickerson – He really became a different player this past year. He cut his strikeouts from 24% to 15%, a huge difference for someone his age (29). He upped his line drives from 22% to 27% and held onto his fly ball rate. He made a ton of garbage contact, which is why he only hit 13 homers and is ranked here vs. 30 spots earlier. There are fleas on all of these guys — though, I guess for Dickerson, they might be better illustrated with crabs — so Dickerson is no slam dunk, but worth a late flyer for an older player. 2019 Projections: 77/19/80/.294/6 in 521 ABs
53. Trey Mancini – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Hamilton. I call this tier, “The Ska Spangled Banner.” By this tier name I mean, they sound like good ideas, but *makes face* The Ska Spangled Banner? Maybe, if the horn section is up to snuff (and their price is cheap enough). As for Mancini, went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball.
55. Billy Hamilton – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Royals. With Merrifield and Mondesi, the Royals are moving towards an 80’s style go-go offense. Now they just need Ron Washington. Not to manage them, but to provide them with cocaine. The Royals will also be moving towards using mini-souvenir bats, but they will be using them as batons.” And that’s me quoting me! 2019 Projections: 54/3/34/.241/41 in 521 ABs
56. Byron Buxton – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Brantley. I call this tier, “Unlimited house calls are impossible.” You’re drafting your fantasy team. It’s unseasonably hot out. You have your wall unit AC on full blast. There’s word it might break 95 degrees. That’s hot for March. Scientists changed it from global warming to climate change to get people to listen. Maybe they should change it back, you think. It’s your turn to make a selection. You’re about to draft a guy in this tier, when your power goes out. Was it the strain on the electricity from everyone’s air conditioning? You’re not sure, but you don’t have time to waste. You need to draft a guy and you have 90 seconds. 89…88…87…You count in your head as you run down the steps. You’ll use your neighbors’ wifi. You know their password is NeighborsWhoSwing. Just as you get to the foot of your steps, you trip and fall through your screen door. Before you pass out from heatstroke, you look up on your stoop and standing there…it’s me, Grey Albright, the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it). I look at you fallen by my feet, and I tell you, “I just wanted to make sure you didn’t draft a guy in this tier.” You mutter something, and I ask, “Also, can you buy a box of Samoa cookies from my niece?” By the tier name I mean, I can’t be at everyone’s house making sure you don’t draft a guy from this tier so let the one guy who died of heatstroke while drafting in this tier be a reminder. As for Buxton, he hit zero homers last year, .156 and stole five bags. How, pray tell, are people still drafting this guy? Have you not been burned enough times? He’s such garbage he wasn’t even recalled in September by the Twins. Please pass on him. 2019 Projections: 52/12/46/.223/17 in 404 ABs
57. Brandon Nimmo – He hit .227 in Triple-A with a .306 BABIP and 25% strikeout rate. Last year, he hit .263 in the majors with a 26% strikeout rate. How was that possible? He had a .351 BABIP. He’s around a .310 BABIP guy. With neutral luck, he’s going to hit .240. If he had huge power or speed, that could be offset. He has 17-homer power and 7-10 steal speed. Right now, he’s projected to hit leadoff for the Mets. I bet they either trade him (rightfully) or he moves down the lineup (righteously). If he does 90/20/40/.250/10, then great, terrific, adjective. That’s his ceiling, though, and his floor is much lower than you think; Nimmo could be found below sea level. 2019 Projections: 71/14/44/.246/7 in 478 ABs
58. Michael Brantley – For full disclosure purposes, or porpoises if dolphins have already taken over the world, I wanted to rank Brantley even lower, but this will be plenty low enough for you not to draft him. Here’s what I said this offseason, “(Brantley) signed with the Astros. It’s a shame it didn’t happen about three weeks later, because I was going to say in my rankings there’s no way the Astros go with Tony Kemp in a starting outfielder spot, and now you won’t ever see how brilliantly prescient I was. *sucks teeth* Shucks! This also takes some shine off Kyle Tucker, but I do think there’s less than a 5% chance Springer, Brantley and Reddick all stay healthy this year. Hey, another chance for me to look prescient — Sweet!” And that’s me quoting me! 2019 Projections: 66/13/52/.291/9 in 434 ABs
59. Austin Meadows – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 80 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Riding crop.” To flamboyantly pimp out my outfits I’ve started carrying a riding crop everywhere I go as a last little touch. Guys in this tier, will pimp out your fantasy teams as a last little touch. As for Meadows, I already gave you my Austin Meadows sleeper. It made a snow angel in bleached cornflakes. 2019 Projections: 76/15/63/.277/18 in 484 ABs