The top 60 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball are roughly around the top 150th overall to about the 225th overall mark. That’s in your late third outfielder to early fourth outfielder range, or very early fifth outfielder and did you even draft any other position? You might be doing this all wrong. Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 60 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball:
NOTE: All 2021 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games.
NOTE II: 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 III: Free agents outside the top 100 are not yet written up or projected. They are approximately ranked, obviously subject to change.
41. Mike Yastrzemski – This tier started in the top 40 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball. This tier ends at Davis. I called this tier, “Any song that gets better after a third listen.” As for Yaz Jr. Jr., very sleeper outfielder will be compared to the likelihood they will be Trent Grisham. There’s Grisham-to-be, unlikely-but-possible-Grisham, and won’t-be-Grisham. For example, Mike Yastrzemski will be a won’t-be-Grisham. A “will be” is a “won’t be?” Yes, he will one hundred percent be a won’t be. Yaz Jr. Jr. could be valuable, I might draft him if I need power, but he’s nowhere near the same type of player as Grisham. Last year the Giants hit Yaz Jr. Jr. leadoff, and the only reason they did, that I can ascertain, is a nod to Joe Maddon batting Schwarber or Rizzo leadoff in Chicago a few years back. If you want Maddon to manage your team just ask him, and stop making overtures. Yaz Jr. Jr. should be a cleanup hitter, or even a three-hole hitter. Unless you want to see someone hit 25 homers, leading the club in power, and having only 60+ RBIs. 2021 Projections: 76/23/87/.267/3 in 581 ABs
42. Victor Robles – It’s pretty wild that the Nats still have Jim Bowden fluffers twelve years after the fact. His shadow is as long as his dipshittery. Robles is an unlikely-but-possible-Grisham. The UBPGs framework hangs predominantly on the ability to slip anyone into the Grisham cast and allow for it to harden into a recognizable shape after someone else points out who it is. “Hey, Robles could go 17/30/.255. That sounds very Grishamian.” Nope, that’s UBPG, because it was only after you compared him to Grisham did I actually see it. A key element to the Grisham Laws of Sleeperness are recognizing someone who might be a Grisham without it being pointed out. Once someone points out a possible Grisham, it’s very difficult to backtrack and make them a Grisham-to-be. Grisham-to-be’s have to be organic. 2021 Projections: 73/18/70/.230/21 in 562 ABs
45. Kyle Schwarber – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Kepler. I call this tier, “Have you seen this show called The Sopranos on HBO?” By the tier name I mean, how long have you been living off-the-grid in a dumpster to not know these guys? As for Schwarber, here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Nats. (Schwarber) hit .188 last year, but last year was two months and I’d crumple that up and toss it in the nearest garbage can. Schwarber is who we think he is. If you don’t know who he is, welcome to baseball. It’s a sport played with a ball. Sometimes that ball is doctored so it can do things no ball should be able to do, but sometimes the players are doctored to hit the doctored ball. But if players are doctored, they could get fined, but if the ball is doctored, it’s fine, assuming it’s the league doing the doctoring.” And that’s me quoting me! 2021 Projections: 80/32/94/.239/3 in 503 ABs
46. Clint Frazier – Here’s yet another guy who makes me so confused when I see insane enthusiasm for anyone due to their 60-game season. If you’re just out here prorating stats, Frazier just had a 32/12/.265 season. “Did you know if you were to say hello to everyone you ever saw, you’d be saying hello every second of every day for 285 years?” That’s Mr. Prorater making up some prorating. But I’m not making up prorating with Frazier. He might’ve broke out last year, and, even though it feels like he’s been around forever — wasting his time saying hello to people perhaps — he’s still only 26 years old. His FB rate and HR/FB don’t quite back up him hitting 32 homers, and the Yankees are low-key Bud Blacks playing every garbage veteran over Frazier, but at this price I love Clint AL Eastwood. UPDATE: With the signing of Brett Gardner, I tweaked Frazier down a little bit (removed 75 ABs). It’s so frustrating that the Yankees won’t just play Frazier. He’d be the number one outfielder on some teams. Stop giving me an ulcer, major league teams! 2021 Projections: 62/21/67/.264/6 in 434 ABs
47. Max Kepler – I could’ve put Kepler and Yaz Jr. Jr. in their own tier called, “Guys who are not prototypical leadoff hitters, who are inconceivably thrust into that role.” Kepler is even more of an odd fit since his lineup is filled with better options. Ryan Jeffers prolly makes more sense leading off than Kepler, but here we are, or rather, there Kepler is. Any hoo! Kepler is a 30-homer, .250 hitter. Established in 2019. Where you been? 2021 Projections: 91/31/71/.247/3 in 549 ABs
48. Tommy Pham – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Carlson. I call this tier, “Instacart bringing you raw kabocha juice.” In the bleakness of winter, you reached into the fridge and picked up something called Strawberry Serenity raw kombucha juice that your wife bought. “Serenity comes in Strawberry flavor?” You thought to yourself. Then, after one sip, you were transported to an island in the South Pacific, being fanned with palm fronds by bare-chested natives, as you played poker with a black & white Humphrey Bogart. This isn’t that tier. This is you ordering another kombucha, and them accidentally bringing you kabocha squash juice, which is mealy and gross. As for Pham, let’s take a stab at this–I mean, um, let’s discuss his offseason. He needed surgery on his wrist. He injured himself ‘making it rain’ at a strip club where he was stabbed. You couldn’t pay me enough in singles or Lincolns to draft him. 2021 Projections: 61/17/72/.257/12 in 461 ABs
49. Michael Brantley – Re-signed with the Astros. A team other than the Mets, Padres or Jays signing someone? Ron Burgundy, “I don’t believe you.” Brantley doesn’t get a huge bump in value but he gets a silent nod and–Wait, what does a silent nod mean again? Fastball? Change? These new non-trash can signals are tough to decode. 2021 Projections: 86/21/72/.291/5 in 501 ABs
50. Joey Gallo – As someone who was fully out on Gallo last year because I assumed the park in Arlington would play like a pitchers’ park, and was worried what would happen when pitchers were better vs. Gallo, how much do you think I’m in on him after my concerns were confirmed? To give you something to make you feel smarter than your other fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!), if there’s a roof in Texas, it won’t be as insanely hot during the summer, which will be less of a toll on pitchers. That makes pitchers better. Also, the dimensions in Arlington are not great, either, but that’s less of a concern for Gallo since he averages about 550 ft/homer. 2021 Projections: 71/34/87/.204/7 in 507 ABs
51. Dylan Carlson – Struggled with where to rank Carlson. I wanted to be far enough down on him in the non-sexual way to not give any of youse a tough choice on whether to draft him or not. Since this tier was smallish and the next tier is bigly, I decided to rank him here because ranking him all the way into the top 80 outfielders seemed slightly crazy, even though I want no part of him. If you follow my rankings, there’s no way you draft him here, so I’m good with it. For unstints, if you get this late and Carlson is available, there’s no way Reyes, Solak or Leody or others are taken already, so you’d have to be ignoring who I say to draft to make some kind of point to draft guys I’m out on. You drafting or you spiting me? As for Carlson, here’s my Dylan Carlson fantasy. I wrote it on a lifeboat. 2021 Projections: 69/17/72/.272/8 in 467 ABs
52. Hunter Dozier – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here Winker. I call this tier, “Big Bird is an accidental cannibal.” There’s no way Big Bird eats so much to be that big and has never accidentally eaten poultry. It’s impossible. Imagine Big Bird at a buffet and just casually eating meatballs to maintain his girth then afterwards, the waiter refilling his glass of Fanta, casually says to him, “Did you enjoy the ground chicken meatballs?” Big Bird might try to spit it up, but he’s already ingested bird, and that’s not the first time that’s happened to him. This tier is also big and it’s impossible to not cannibalize at least a few of these guys. As for Dozier, already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
55. Raimel Tapia – He’s become a ground ball, worm-killing machine, but with his speed it’s fine. It does take away a lot of his supposed power upside, and there might be fear that PETA gets in his head with graphic photos of dead worms as he stares out the team bus window. “Their heads grow back, don’t they?” That’s Raimel looking at a dead worm’s photo as the rain beats against the bus window, making it look like he’s crying. 2021 Projections: 81/8/53/.287/20 in 541 ABs
56. Jarred Kelenic – Already gave you my Jarred Kelenic fantasy. It brought sexy back, then lost it again. Note: Because I am a horny old man for upside, I refuse to let anyone rank Kelenic above me, and, with news coming that he might get the Kris Bryant Treatment (trademark pending), which is kept in the minors for only three weeks, I moved Kelenic up and gave him an extra 60 ABs from his rookie outlook post. All aboard the hype train! 2021 Projections: 52/16/56/.269/14 in 396 ABs
57. Austin Hays – The only thing stopping Austin Hays from being a top 25 outfielder is the fact he’s never even been close. Of course, all guys are top 25 outfielders that just haven’t been top 25 outfielders yet. Also, all outfielders who haven’t been top 25 outfielders yet are not top 25 outfielders until they are. Is this confusing you? Cool, it confused me. Steamer projections for Hays (22/11/.256) are borderline top 25 outfielder. His raw power (60-grade) and speed (55-grade) are there. He’s even hit .272 in 74 career major league games. Could I see a 30/15/.295 season from him? I could. I could also see… 2021 Projections: 74/19/53/.278/8 in 531 ABs
58. Jesse Winker – How long can the charade go on with Votto as the Reds’ three-hole hitter? The chaReds, if you will, but it’s prolly best you don’t. Their lineup has, like, five guys better suited as their three-hole hitter. It’s just out of habit now, and it’s not even the same mothereffer’s habit. David Bell’s doing it now, and he picked up that habit from Bryan Price, who picked it up from Dusty Baker. Dusty Baker is currently managing two major league teams! Winker’s Launch Angle went up, but still not high enough for a big fly ball rate. Actually, he has a pretty sad one, which is why he’s ranked here and not maybe 25 spots higher. There’s an outside chance he grows his power like last year (12 homers in 54 games), and regains his plate discipline that could produce a .280+ average. 2021 Projections: 64/24/75/.277/2 in 471 ABs
59. Brandon Nimmo – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 80 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Hey, I grew up right by that strip club in The Wrestler!” You remember the movie The Wrestler? Depressing flick with Mickey Rourke? Well, they filmed parts of it in my hometown. So, there’s pride with seeing your town, then you realize it’s all a bunch of dirtbags, and it’s not the greatest claim to fame. That’s this tier. I like these guys, but I’m not exactly brimming with pride when I draft one. Here’s a big picture — a 50,000 feet up view. You’re drafting a Utility guy or your last outfielder around here. So, there’s a few different tiers mentioned here, but: Nimmo or Sam Hilliard? Meh, more or less the same thing, depending on the rest of your team. All things being equal, Nimmo will be safer, but not necessarily better. As for Nimmo, my flimsy appreciation for him is that he cut his strikeouts last year in that joke of a season. Could that all disappear and he goes back to being a .220 hitter? I guess, but his Launch Angle changed markedly, and his better discipline might be due to him finally finding his footing in the majors. 2021 Projections: 81/16/65/.277/10 in 489 ABs
60. Manuel Margot – If Margot had a 162-game season like his partial season last year, he would’ve been ranked about thirty spots sooner than this, and been coming off a 8/35/.270 season. Yes, I’m picking and choosing when to regard the 60-game season with anything but scorn, but it’s not like 26 years old is a bad time for a hitter to finally show themselves. Yes, Manuel Margot is really that young. 2021 Projections: 54/7/48/.271/24 in 404 ABs
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