Last Updated: 2/16
A couple of things to note before reading:
- These rankings are for 10- and 12-team head-to-head category leagues with standard scoring and a starting lineup consisting of 1 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS, 3 OF, 2 UTIL, and a shallow bench, and were created by me with input from Nick Pollack.
- Within the write-ups, I will call out individual players who would see value boosts or drops in alternative formats, such as rotisserie leagues, deeper leagues, or points leagues.
- Projected stat totals assume that teams each play at least 145 games unless specifically stated otherwise.
- I am more than happy to answer your questions, requests, and counter-points in the comments!
Tier 8: Even Deeper League Options
No. 61: Tyler O’Neill (St. Louis Cardinals)
He finally had a (mostly) starting gig in 2020, and hit for some power and chipped in a bit of speed, albeit with a dismal .173 batting average. In a full season, he could probably hit 25 home runs and threaten to reach double-digit steals, but the batting average will always be a problem that needs to be worked around. That’s tough to do in roto leagues, but head-to-head players can probably manage if they need the pop.
No. 62: Bryan Reynolds (Pittsburgh Pirates)
He’s got mostly doubles power, but will probably get to 17 home runs or so by the end of the season with a .270 batting average. He took some big steps backwards in 2020 against breaking pitches, hitting just .106 against them on the season, but he was above average against them in 2019 which leads me to believe that he can make the adjustments and be productive again for deep league players.
No. 63: Alex Dickerson (San Francisco Giants)
When healthy, he’s flashed some meaningful power with a good approach at the plate that leads to a plus batting average. “When healthy” isn’t very often for Dickerson, but with the Giants ready to give him a mostly starting role in 2020, I bet he can swat 20 home runs and hit .275, even if he only plays 120-130 games. In a shallow league, that’s not too shabby at all when you combine it with whatever you replace him with in the other 30 games. In deeper leagues, though, you may want to look elsewhere
No. 64: Victor Robles (Washington Nationals)
The power completely evaporated (as many suspected it might), and we were left with a very disappointing player who neither hit for power nor stole many bases. While I doubt that he has the bat skills to hit better than .255 or so, I do think brighter days are ahead for Robles, and if you’re OK with the fact that he’s an incredibly flawed hitter, there’s potential for 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
For a deeper dive on Robles, check out Travis Scherer’s work from earlier this offseason.
No. 65: Mitch Haniger (Seattle Mariners)
Haniger missed all of 2020, but it sounds like he’ll be ready to go for the 2021 season. The last time we saw him, he struggled his way to a 28.6% strikeout rate and a .220 average while missing almost two-thirds of the season. Haniger has shown the ability to hit for a high average and mix in both power and a bit of speed, but in shallow leagues, I’m likely taking a wait-and-see approach if I can. In deeper leagues, his ADP is low enough that he may be an interesting fifth outfielder, or better yet, a reserve one.
No. 66: Jarred Kelenic (Seattle Mariners)
Forget the projections—Kelenic can rake. If he managed to play in 120 games, I would not be shocked at all if he hit 25 home runs and stole 15 bases. Obviously, 120 games for Kelenic is an extremely aggressive number, but it highlights the talent. There are very few players with that kind of potential at this point in the rankings, so whenever I find it, I move it up.
No. 67: Jo Adell (Los Angeles Angels)
It wasn’t long ago that Adell was a consensus top-five prospect in the game due to his explosive power and plus speed. Strikeouts have plagued him so far in the majors, and the addition of Dexter Folwer to the Angels roster clutters up the outfield enough to assume that Adell will report to triple-A by the end of camp. That said, Adell has elite athleticism and if he turns it around, he could be an electrifying piece to the outfield puzzle.
No. 68: Aaron Hicks (New York Yankees)
I always want to like Hicks more than I end up liking him. Despite batting third for the Yankees and having elite plate discipline, he fails to put up strong counting numbers and has been unable to stay healthy at any point in his career. OBP players can slide him up a bit if they’d like, but otherwise he’s best left for deeper leagues where his playing time is more of a deal breaker.
No. 69: Garrett Hampson (Colorado Rockies)
There’s only one question you need to ask yourself with Hampson—are you ready to get hurt again? On one hand, we’ve believed that he has 15 home run, 25 stolen base upside thanks to his speed and power. On the other hand, he sort of can’t hit.
With no obvious starting position, a team that seems wholly unwilling to play their young players, and a whole lot of unseized opportunity, I’m likely to pass on Hampson in drafts. If you want to toss him on your watch list, I say go for it. Just don’t get your hopes too high unless he starts to show improved discipline at the plate and, more importantly, gets a chance to play more than three or four times a week.
Weirder things than Hampson finally breaking out have happened, presumably.
No. 70: David Dahl (Texas Rangers)
He has a career .286/.334/.494 line in 264 games, but if you didn’t know any better you’d think the guy was chopped liver after his horrific 2020. I’m not sure what the change in scenery and move to Texas will do for Dahl, but unless it keeps him healthy and on the field, I’m not sure it will matter.
No. 71: Randal Grichuk (Toronto Blue Jays)
He can hit 30 home runs and bat .245, but at the moment he looks like he’s locked in a platoon with Rowdy Tellez. Grichuk isn’t all that exciting when he’s in a full-time role due to his on-and-off health issues and low batting average, and when he’s in a platoon he’s even less interesting.
Still, having 30 home run power still means something, and if he wins a job outright, he’ll be picked up by someone in your league as their last outfielder.
No. 72: Austin Hays (Baltimore Orioles)
Some projection systems are rosier than others on Hays outlook, but when a guy can hit 25 home runs, steal 10 bases, and bat .265 on multiple projection systems if given 140 games, I take notice of it. Consider this my taking notice of it.
No. 73: Corey Dickerson (Miami Marlins)
A former (and current?) Yancy Eaton favorite, Dickerson will play a lot (when healthy), drive in some runners and probably have a decent batting average with 20 home runs. He’s boring, dependable, and a decent back-end guy in a deep league.
Tier 9: Taking a Flyer
No. 74: Brandon Nimmo (New York Mets)
In OBP leagues, there’s considerably more interest thanks to his career 15.1% walk rate and .390 OBP. Health has been a concern, though, as he only has one season where he’s played in 70 games (2018), and he doesn’t have 20 home run power or 10 steal speed.
Put all of that together and I guess you have a decent final outfielder in some formats, but keep an IL spot warm for him.
No. 75: Leody Taveras (Texas Rangers)
Our own Nate Handy ranked Tavares as the fourth-best prospect in the Ranger’s system, and it doesn’t take too much imagination to see 15 steals and 15 home runs.
I worry about the batting average, though, and if he can’t keep the strikeout rate below 30%, it’ll be really difficult to make it to either of those numbers.
No. 76: Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota Twins)
Earlier this offseason, Kyle Brown pegged Kirilloff as the top prospect in the Twins system due to his pretty swing and plate discipline, and with a chance to be the starter right out of the gate for the Twins, he could capitalize on his promising upside right away.
While projections will be conservative for a guy who hasn’t played above double-A ball yet, he could very well hit 20 home runs, steal 7-10 bases, and hit .280 if things break right for him in 2021. That kind of upside is exactly what folks should be targeting in their back-end outfielders.
No. 77: Franchy Cordero (Boston Red Sox)
Cordero has been a guy whose name pop ups quite a bit due to his surprising barrel rates and exit velocity. While we haven’t seen much in on-field results from Cordero, the Red Sox appear ready to make him their left fielder for 2021 after acquiring his services from the Royals earlier this year.
Even in a platoon role, Cordero could hit 15 home runs and steal 10 bases, though his strikeout rate would probably keep his batting average below .250 or so. If you want to take a flyer or put a guy on your watchlist, you could do a lot worse than Franchy Cordero.
No. 78: Avisaíl García (Milwaukee Brewers)
He’ll bat in the middle of a lineup and can hit the ball really, really hard. That’s more than enough to get ranked, especially when you can steal a few bases while you’re at it.
A long history of injury and disappointment hangs over his head, but Anders Jorstad thinks you should really consider buying in if you can.
No. 79: Justin Upton (Los Angeles Angels)
Injuries have given Upton a rough go of things over the last two seasons, but it’s hard for me to believe that there aren’t still 25-30 home runs in that bat if he could just stay on the field. I don’t know what the batting average will look like, but his 91.7 mile per hour exit velocity in 2020 suggests he can still hit the ball pretty dang hard.
No. 80: Hunter Dozier (Kansas City Royals)
After a breakout campaign in 2019, Dozier had a difficult 2020. While he managed to take significantly more walks, he just couldn’t find the same power stroke he had in 2019 that carried him to 26 home runs and a .279 batting average.
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