The outfield position is simultaneously the easiest yet also hardest to analyze for prospects. Not only are there prospects that could land in the OF at any time due to team constraints (see: Walker, Jordan) but the valuation of outfield production is much more varied. Adding to the complexity, league settings can inform how you might need to consider a player (is he a LF only or a CF that’s likely moving to RF?). However, this current class of outfield prospects are so talented, all 10 listed here are ranked within the top 50 of our Top 100 Prospects. Regardless of skillset or need, there’s something here for every type of manager.
With that said, let’s get to the list.
Top 10 Outfield Prospects for Fantasy Baseball
1. Corbin Carroll, ARI, #1
Age: 21/2022 Stats (Rk-AA-AAA): 362 AB/.307/.425/.611/24 HR/31 SB/89 R/62 RBI
MLB Stats: 115 AB/.260/.330/.500/4 HR/3 SB/13 R/14 RBI
Number 1 with a bullet, there’s a reason that Carroll has been high on everyone’s list from re-drafts to dynasty to real-life prospect rankings coming into this season. After bouncing back from a season-ending shoulder injury in 2021, Carroll decimated Triple-A pitching (even accounting for the PCL bump) and made his MLB debut in late August.
Carroll’s combination of elite speed, highly advanced plate discipline, and burgeoning power has turned him into a five-tool player able to contribute in any league setting as a core part of the roster. It will be notable to watch where he bats in the lineup as the Diamondbacks continue their rebuild through their farm system. A move from leadoff into the middle of the lineup might decrease the stolen base outcome but greatly advance his RBI opportunities.
2. James Wood, WAS, #6
Age: 20/2022 Stats (Rk-Low A): 291 AB/.313/.420/.536/12 HR/20 SB/70 R/62 RBI
Wood made waves as an amateur player thanks to his size and equally gargantuan-sized home runs. The majestic raw power continued as a pro—even though Wood only had eight extra-base hits in Rookie ball, his EVs were one of a kind.
Coming into 2022, the major question was if Wood could adjust to the next level of competition by lowering his strikeout rate, to which the answer appeared to be “Yes.” After posting a 32% K rate in 2021, Wood’s first 50 games at Low-A Lake Elsinore saw it cut almost in half, 18%(!) while putting up a 15% walk rate. Though it appeared he would be part of San Diego’s future, he was sent to the nation’s capital along with rookie MacKenzie Gore as part of the blockbuster Juan Soto trade. Finishing 2022 at Low-A Fredericksburg, Wood’s strikeouts began to tick up which is a concern given his slugging profile. He also dealt with a wrist injury before being dealt. Those seemingly minor types of injuries (wrist, hand) are the kind that can have an outsized impact on a hitter, especially a young one with big power but a fringy hit tool. Wood is TNT: potentially explosive but highly volatile.
3. Jackson Chourio, MIL, #8
Age: 18/2022 Stats (A-/A+/AA): 400 AB/.288/.342/.538/20 HR/16 SB/75 R/75 RBI
What can’t Chourio do? That’s the question the teenage phenom will be looking to answer in 2023 after setting everyone’s hair on fire in 2022. While we were awestruck seeing Julio Rodríguez begin to fulfill his All-World potential as AL Rookie of the Year, Chourio could potentially make a similar impact for the Brewers in the National League very soon.
He did show his first signs of struggle finishing his year with six games at Double-A Biloxi. In 26 PAs, Chourio struck out 11 times while only walking twice and only managing two hits. Maybe he was outmatched, maybe he was just out of gas, or maybe he was just due to hit a cold patch. One thing’s for certain: all eyes will be on him as he starts the new season. If he performs anywhere close to his 2022, Chourio could be patrolling the OF at American Family Field by 2024.
4. Druw Jones, ARI, #13
Age: 18/2022 Stats: Did Not Play (Injury)
The #1 overall pick of 2022 unfortunately saw his pro debut derailed with a shoulder injury and as a result, his peer and #2 overall selection, Jackson Holliday, seems to have gained and surpassed him on many dynasty boards. Thankfully, it sounds as though Jones has healed fully and should expect to begin his 2023 season in the Diamondbacks farm system.
Jones has been on the radar for a while given his bloodlines and his ability to produce against the best prep competition. Now it will be important to see how well and how quickly those tools translate as a pro ball player. Given Arizona’s still a few years away from legitimate contention and has a set of MLB OFs in Carroll, Jake McCarthy, and Alek Thomas, there’s no rush to move Jones through the system. Dynasty managers should keep an eye on how well his plate discipline and recognition skills develop as he moves level to level.
5. Evan Carter, TEX, #20
Age: 20/2022 Stats (A+/AA): 397 AB/.295/.397/.489/12 HR/26 SB/86 R/73 RBI
Carroll is the consensus #1 OF prospect, Chourio has made the highest climb, but Evan Carter may be the buzziest of all prospects coming into this season, bar none. There’s a fair amount to like, as Carter snuck under radars thanks to the lost season of 2020 before making a splash at Low-A in ’21. A back injury cut his season short but he came back last year, healthy with the same advanced plate skills.
Carter has gone from an unknown to a soon-to-be major leaguer in a short amount of time but not without some cracks in the facade. While he’s shown an incredible degree of patience and pitch recognition (his SwStr rate was below 10% throughout 2022), he has still not shown the power many expect from someone with his 6’4 frame. Some analysts assume the power will come, others don’t see any more optimization in swing mechanics or plate approach to get more than HR totals in the teens. A year likely split between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock will be a good test of whether Carter has one more level to his game.
6. Elijah Green, WAS, #26
Age: 18/2022 Stats (Rookie): 43 AB/.302/.404/.535/2 HR/1 SB/9 R/9 RBI
Suddenly, the Nationals have two prospects who could soon contend to hit the longest home runs in the Statcast era. While only a year younger than Wood, Green is much rawer with only 12 games of Florida Complex League under his belt. Green’s hit tool is generally considered to be even fringier than Wood, and one would expect even a best case outcome to be a .230-.240 hitter. However, Green has incredible speed to go along with his prodigious power potential which could result in 30/20 seasons in that same best-case scenario.
Green is still only 19 years old so there’s a long road to go before he’s major league-ready. A player this young has a high variability but as such a high draft pick, he’ll get multiple bites at the apple. Green should play a full season at Low-A Fredericksburg and dynasty managers should treat it as a free run to see him as a professional.
7. Zac Veen, COL, #32
Age: 20/2022 Stats (A+/AA): 466 AB/.245/.340/.384/12 HR/55 SB/84 R/67 RBI
There seem to be more mixed opinions about Veen’s value in dynasty now than during his draft year of 2020. Whereas he seemed like a definite 20/20 player with 30/30 upside, there are more questions about whether he’ll hit well enough to reach any of those milestones.
Veen dominated both level of A ball, posting wRC+ numbers of 137 and 126 respectively but once he arrived at Double-A, everything fell out of whack. The K rate climbed to nearly 30% while the power shriveled up; Veen began looking like an over-matched kid struggling to make quality contact. Veen seemed much improved during his stint in the Arizona Fall League in the offseason and has carried over his progress into the early days of spring training. If you believe, Veen represents a quintessential buy-low candidate.
8. Jasson Dominguez, NYY, #33
Age: 19/2022 Stats (A-/A+/AA): 451 AB/.273/.376/.461/16 HR/37 SB/92 R/59 RBI
The man, the myth, the legend. Dominguez has gone through the full fantasy prospect cycle in a little over one year. From hype comparing him to Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle, to being seen as a full-fledged bust when he didn’t immediately bat .1000 while hitting a home run in every AB, to now being acknowledged as an above-average player…you know, for a 20-year-old.
Dominguez showed off his incredible bat speed during the 2022 Futures Game with a colossal home run to center field. That combination of bat speed and lift is the calling card for Dominguez, as he generates optimal exit velocities. His 2022 was spent mostly in A ball (though he finished with 5 games at Double-A Somerset) and he actually improved his plate discipline as he moved to High-A. If he can continue with his contact rate in the 70%, his upside increases in BA leagues especially. While he’s still a couple of years away from playing in the Bronx, Dominguez seems to finally found his groove as a prospect.
9. Colton Cowser, BAL, #37
Age: 22/2022 Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 510 AB/.278/.406/.469 /19 HR/18 SB/114 R/66 RBI
Cowser continues his ascent up dynasty rankings. Shortly after his surprise selection by the Baltimore Orioles as the #5 overall pick in 2021, Cowser put up a 158 wRC+ in 25 games at Low-A Delmarva. Cowser returned in 2022 and made the unique minor league triple jump, moving from High-A to Triple-A.
Cowser did run into some strikeout issues at Triple-A Norfolk but there’s not much in the underlying data to suggest a major change in approach. 2023 should be considered a “kick the tires” season for dynasty managers; Cowser will need to show he can adapt to decrease strikeouts but ultimately he seems ready for the next step into the big leagues.
10. Pete Crow-Armstrong, CHC
Age: 20/2022 Stats (A-/A+): 423 AB/.312/.376/.520/16 HR/32 SB/61 R/89 RBI
Pete Crow-Armstrong‘s pro career has had a couple of false starts, between trades and a season-ending injury. But he used 2022 to get himself going and remind everyone why he had been a much-coveted prospect only three years prior.
PCA has above-average acceleration on the basepaths coupled with a swing that produces natural lift with balls in the zone. The main area of focus now will lie in making hard contact with pitches away and becoming patient enough to draw more walks. His defense will boost his real-life value to the Cubs as he can go get most anything in center, but there’s little evidence to show he’ll be a major impact in the fantasy community. Currently, he profiles more as a starter for deeper dynasty leagues (15+ teamers, with 25 or more active roster spots).
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
“The #1 overall pick of 2022 unfortunately saw his pro debut derailed with a shoulder injury and as a result, his peer and #2 overall selection, Jackson Holliday, seems to have gained and surpassed him on many dynasty boards.”
Holliday was the #1 overall and Jones was #2.