2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Outfield

Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez flips his bat after striking out against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 13, 2010 in Denver. The Padres beat the Rockies 6-4. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

All 2011 Fantasy Articles | 2011 Position Rankings

We’ve always viewed outfield as your one-stop shopping when it comes to fantasy baseball. Once your roster has taken shape and you’re looking to address potential weaknesses, the outfield position can be extremely useful.

Obviously we don’t need to sell you on Ryan Bruan, Carl Crawford or Carlos Gonzalez. They’ll go in the first round. We also don’t need to convince you to take Josh Hamilton, Matt Holliday or Matt Kemp, who will all go in the second. We even don’t need to say much about Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Justin Upton or Andrew McCutchen, because you know their value in the third and fourth rounds.

But when you start to get deeper into your draft and you notice that you lack speed or power, that’s when knowing what players can help is beneficial.

Need speed?…

Juan Pierre, White Sox
Pierre gets labeled as a “one category player,” but that’s not really the case. Sure he stole a whopping 68 bases last season, but he also hit .275 and scored 96 runs. Obviously you’re not drafting him for his power, but he’s more than just a base stealer – draft him with confidence.

Michael Bourn, Astros
The problem with Bourn is that he’s usually overrated on draft day. He was one of only three players to steal 50 bases last season and people will overpay to have him on their roster. Unlike Pierre, who’ll score 90-plus runs and hit between .275 and .280, Bourn will probably top out at 85 runs, hit .265 and rack up only 40 RBI. Granted, those numbers are only slightly worse than Pierre’s, but just know that if you draft Bourn, you’re probably overpaying for steals (which maybe you’re fine with).

Raja Davis, Blue Jays
Along with Pierre and Bourn, Davis was one of the three players last year to swipe 50 bags. The problem is that he might not come close to doing it again if he doesn’t draw more walks. That said, he’s projected as the Jays’ starting centerfielder and his defense will give him plenty of opportunities to play. He may not steal 50 bases again this year, but 45 is certainly a reasonable expectation.

Looking for power?…

Jay Bruce, Reds
Dude strikes out way too much but he’s only 24 so one would think that the more plate appearances he receives, the less he’ll spend walking back to the dugout after a punch out. Don’t expect Bruce to hit .300 but there’s reason to believe he’ll crack 30 home runs after hitting 25 dingers last season. His best years are still ahead of him.

Delmon Young, Twins
Just like Bruce, Young (25) hasn’t even reached his prime yet. He started to find his power stroke last year when he hit 21 long balls, so 25 is a realistic number for him this season. He’ll also hit .290 and drive in 100 RBI, so he’ll give you a boost in other categories as well.

Mike Stanton, Marlins
Stanton hit 22 home runs in his first 100 big league games so the sky’s the limit for this young Fish. But tread lightly: he’s only 21 and could be in store for a major letdown as pitchers start to find holes in his swing. Still, this kid has future home run champ written all over him.

Late Round Bargains…

San Francisco Giants Andres Torres gets high fives at the dugout after scoring in the fifth inning against theTexas Rangers in game one of the World Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco on October 27, 2010. UPI/Terry Schmitt

Andres Torres, Giants
Some people believe that Torres is a one-hit wonder but some people are also idiots. (Just look at me! Wait…what?) Torres may only hit .260 and he’s not going to drive in more than 65 runs but he’ll swipe 25 bags this year and hit at least 15 home runs. He also bats leadoff, so scoring 85-90 runs shouldn’t be a problem either (more if guys like Freddy Sanchez, Auburey Huff, Buster Posey and Kung Fu Panda have good seasons batting behind him). If he finishes with a stat line of .260-86-15-64-24 and you drafted him in the 17th or 18th round are you really going to be upset? We didn’t think so.

Denard Span, Twins
Span’s average should jump back up from .264 to around .285 and he’ll hit more than three home runs this year. Considering he’ll steal around 25 bases, drive in 60-plus RBI and score around 90 runs, you could do much worse in the later rounds.

Ryan Raburn, Tigers
Raburn probably won’t steal more than five bases and his average might drop with more plate appearances (the Tigers plan on starting him in left field, so he’ll have an everyday role this season), but he could hit 20 home runs with 85 RBI and score 75-80 runs. Again, not bad for a guy you can get late in your draft.

Dexter Fowler, Rockies
Fowler has had a bumpy experience in the big leagues, but he could be ready for a breakout campaign. He could easily double the 13 steals he had in 2010 and his average should rise as he gets more and more comfortable with big league pitching.

2011 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings:

1. Ryan Braun, Brewers
2. Carl Crawford, Red Sox
3. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
4. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
5. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
6. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
7. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
8. Nelson Cruz, Rangers
9. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
10. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
11. Jose Bautista, Rays
12. Jayson Werth, Nationals
13. Jason Heyward, Braves
14. Alex Rios, White Sox
15. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
16. Hunter Pence, Astros
17. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
18. Andre Ethier, Dodgers
19. B.J. Upton, Rays
20. Jay Bruce, Reds
21. Shane Victorino, Phillies
22. Mike Stanton, Marlins
23. Corey Hart, Brewers
24. Chris Young, Diamondbacks
25. Delmon Young, Twins
26. Curtis Granderson, Yankees
27. Michael Bourn, Astros
28. Colby Rasmus, Cardinals
29. Torii Hunter, Angels
30. Drew Stubbs, Reds
31. Aubrey Huff, Giants
32. Ben Zobrist, Rays
33. Brett Gardner, Yankees
34. Juan Pierre, White Sox
35. Bobby Abreu, Angels
37. Carlos Quentin, White Sox
38. Vernon Wells, Angels
39. Adam Jones, Orioles
40. Nick Markakis, Orioles
41. Grady Sizemore, Indians
42. Angel Pagan, Mets
43. Carlos Lee, Astros
44. Nick Swisher, Yankees
45. Michael Cuddyer, Twins
46. Jason Bay, Mets
47. Sean Rodriguez, Rays
48. Travis Snider, Blue Jays
49. Andres Torres, Giants
50. Manny Ramirez, Rays

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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