Written by: Ray Butler
Though we’ve hit the homestretch of our LORG positional ranks series, we still have two of the most impactful positions (outfield, which we’ll rank now) and starting pitching (which we’ll rank last). Let’s not talk about relief pitching. Simply put, it’s hard to win a LORG Championship with a weak outfield.
There are so many quality outfielders, I decided to use a similar scale (slightly modified) to the one I used to rank our farm systems. Here’s the outfielder scale:
1st Outfielder – 3rd Outfielder: 60 points
4-5: 50 points
6-10: 40 points
11-15: 35 points
16-20: 30 points
21-25: 25 points
26-30: 20 points
31-35: 15 points
36-40: 10 points
41-45: 5 points
46-50: 3 points
50+: 1 point
This one’s a doozy. It took me awhile to create the list, so I’ll keep the write-ups short and sweet. Here’s to late night debate in the GroupMe:
#1. Gregg Morris- Outfielders: Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, Christian Yelich, Miguel Sano, Manuel Margot. Outfield Score: 161
Gregg once-again takes home a preseason positional title. Mookie Betts leads the way for Gregg’s elite outfield, but I think Bryce Harper will be back on top of fantasy lists this time next year.
Note: Check out the gap between #s 2, 3, and 4.
#2. John Morrison- Outfielders: Keon Broxton, Charlie Blackmon, Starling Marte, Wil Myers, Ryan Braun, Kyle Tucker, Victor Robles. Outfield Score: 153
Future hall of famer Keon Broxton lands John in second place. Really though, Blackmon, Marte, Myers, and Braun are about as solid of a group of four as it gets in the outfield.
#3. McKinnon Ray- Outfielders: Kris Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton, Billy Hamilton, Mark Trumbo, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Tyler O’Neill. Outfield Score: 152
It’s kind of Kris Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of the gang for McKinnon this year, but Byron Buxton could (should?) be noteworthy on lists like these in 2018.
#4. Ray Butler- Outfielders: Trea Turner, J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton, Andrew Benintendi, Matt Kemp, Ronald Acuna. Outfield Score: 151
Ray has five top-105 overall players who hold outfield eligibility. Andrew Benintendi’s progression could move this group up the list next season.
#5. Matt Smith- Outfielders: Mike Trout, Gregory Polanco, Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Bautista, Adam Duvall, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Outfield Score: 141
Matt owns the best outfielder in baseball, but Gregory Polanco is certainly no slouch either. JBJ and Jose Bautista top off a formidable group for last year’s runner up.
#6. Caleb Stumpf- Outfielders: AJ Pollock, Yoenis Cespedes, Kyle Schwarber, Adam Jones, Kole Calhoun, Alex Verdugo. Outfield Score: 126
If Pollock and Schwarber can stay healthy, Caleb has a really strong outfield group. The performances of Adam Jones and Kole Calhoun could prove to be key in a potential playoff run for this team.
#7. Zach Gerhart- Outfielders: George Springer, Carlos Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Khris Davis. Outfield Score: 120
A super solid starting three, Springer, Gonzalez, and McCutchen bring a super balance of power, on base percentage and stolen bases to the table. If Khris Davis can find a way to get on base more this season, Zach will have an elite group.
Note: The drop-off between Zach and Adam is pretty pronounced. There’s actually a wider gap between Zach and Adam than there is from Gregg to Zach.
#8. Adam Stumpf- Outfielders: Ian Desmond, Jose Ramirez, Willson Contreras, Nomar Mazara, Yasiel Puig, Jorge Soler, Jurickson Profar, Corey Ray. Outfield Score: 67
Though they finished with the same outfield score, Adam tops Ben here due to 2017 upside. It really feels like at least one of Mazara, Puig, and Soler will break out this season.
#9. Ben Roach- Outfielders: David Dahl, Stephen Piscotty, Lorenzo Cain, Ben Zobrist, Raimel Tapia, Austin Meadows, Juan Soto, Mickey Moniak. Outfield Score: 67
Ben is the highest ranked owner on the list whose future outfield (maybe in its entirety) is currently in the minor leagues. Dahl needs to get healthy, but he has the potential to be a star.
#10. Bobby Morrison- Outfielders: Nelson Cruz, Odubel Herrera, Dexter Fowler, Jay Bruce, Carlos Beltran, Bradley Zimmer, Christin Stewart. Outfield Score: 53
Boomstick Cruz needs to equal his 2016 success for Bobby to have a solid outfield. Herrera and Fowler will be table setters for solid lineups in 2017; Jay Bruce and Carlos Beltran still have plenty of power left in the tank.
#11. Van Moore- Outfielders: Adam Eaton, Kendrys Morales, Joc Pederson, Clint Frazier, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Lewis, Blake Rutherford, Lewis Brinson. Outfield Score: 28
Van’s not ranked last in something! Though his active outfielders are average (especially for fantasy standards), Van should have an elite, high-upside outfield as early as next season.
#12. Frank Selesky- Outfielders: Marcell Ozuna, Michael Brantley, Michael Conforto, Aaron Judge, Jose Peraza, Josh Bell, Eloy Jimenez. Outfield Score: 25
When was the last time Michael Brantley was truly healthy? Some questions may never be answered. Ozuna had a super nice rebound in 2016, and I’m interested if he can repeat it this season. Michael Conforto may or may not get another playing time to be useful in 2017, but Aaron Judge and Josh Bell are both young and have some upside for Frank’s future.
On Deck: LORG 2017 Relief Pitcher Rankings
Link to LORG 2017 Catcher Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/01/lorg-2017-catcher-rankings/?frame-nonce=6f3eacd168
Link to LORG 2017 First Base Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/03/lorg-2017-first-baseman-ranks/
Link to LORG 2017 Second Base Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/05/lorg-2017-second-base-rankings/
Link to LORG 2017 Third Base Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/09/lorg-2017-third-base-rankings/
Link to LORG 2017 Shortstop Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/11/lorg-2017-shortstop-ranks/