Fantasy Baseball 2013: The Outfielders

Ryan Braun headerThe 2013 baseball season is weeks away, and for us that means only one thing: it’s time to start drafting. Over the next two weeks the Gunaxin team is going to be putting out our 2013 Fantasy Baseball guides, with rankings for every position and some extra content for hardcore players. We will be breaking down the top fantasy options by position, putting the players in tiers to make your draft day experience easier.

We continue our breakdown with the outfielders. The list is topped by a sophomore sensation, and the youth movement carries over further down the list with a majority of the top 20 being under 28. We are not separating the list by position as we think LF/CF/RF leagues are awful.

The Sophomore Star

Mike Trout21. Mike Trout

Trout nearly won the MVP in his rookie season and there is no reason to think that he can’t be better over a full season in 2013. A five category contributor, Trout should be going in the top two spots on draft day.

The Studs

Justin Upton2. Ryan Braun

3. Justin Upton

4. Andrew McCutchen

5. Matt Kemp

6. Carlos Gonzalez

We absolutely love Justin Upton this season, as the 25-year-old finally gets out of Arizona and is reunited with his older brother in Atlanta. Upton is a legitimate 30-20 threat, and assuming he is fully recovered from last season’s thumb injury it might be time for him to live up to his mammoth expectations.

The Solo Power Hitter

Giancarlo Stanton7. Giancarlo Stanton

Stanton has as good of a chance as anyone to lead the league in HRs with 50 HRs a reasonable goal. The problem is that most of those HRs are likely going to come with the bases empty, as the Marlins purged much of the talent from their roster in the offseason.

TheĀ  Veterans

Jose Bautista8. Josh Hamilton

9. Jose Bautista

10. Matt Holliday

11. Shin-Soo Choo

Hamilton and Choo changed teams during the offseason, and Bautista is coming off an injury that cost him most of his 2012 season. All four players in this group are 30+, so we can’t expect them to improve on their career highs, but if they come close to those numbers they have OF1 potential.

The Youngsters

Jay Bruce12. Jason Heyward

13. Jay Bruce

14. Bryce Harper

Harper was overshadowed in his rookie year by Trout, but he won the National League Rookie of the Year and just missed a 20/20 season. If he can continue to improve his patience at the plate we could be looking at a .280 average with 30 HRs and a respectable number of steals.

The Speedsters

Ellsbury jacoby15. Michael Bourn

16. Jacoby Ellsbury

17. Brett Gardner

If you want to win steals you need to walk away from the draft with one of these three players. Any of them could record 40 SBs, with the runs to go with them. Gardner is the riskiest of the three, but as a single category star he’s among the most valuable in fantasy.

The Potential All-Stars

Alex Gordon18. Adam Jones

19. Allen Craig

20. BJ Upton

21. Austin Jackson

22. Yoenis Cespedes

23. Alex Gordon

24. Carlos Gomez

25. Alex Rios

26. Desmond Jennings

27. Mark Trumbo

Trumbo and Craig have multiple position eligibility, elevating their value over where their numbers would normally land them. They can be drafted around the same place as both corner infielders and outfielders and provide flexibility in case of injury.

The Big Risks

Curtis Granderson28. Curtis Granderson

29. Melky Cabrera

Granderson will miss the first month of the season with a broken arm. As for Melky, last year’s PED suspension has us worried about what he can provide sans drugs. Both players are in decent offensive lineups, but the risk associated with picking them keeps their draft value down.

The Average Starters

Nelson cruz30. Carl Crawford

31. Angel Pagan

32. Josh Willingham

33. Carlos Beltran

34. Hunter Pense

35. Shane Victorino

36. Alejandro De Aza

37. Nelson Cruz

38. Michael Morse

If you have one of the members of this group as your OF1 or OF2 you are in trouble, but for the final starter at the position each can fill the roll. These are every day starters, though it’s always possible to draft 2-3 of them and play matchups.

The Breakouts

Cameron Maybin39. Chris Davis

40. Colby Rasmus

41. Dexter Fowler

42. Josh Reddick

43. Ben Revere

44. Cameron Maybin

After a few years of middle of the pack performance, every one of these six players is primed for a breakout. Davis hits age 27 with a guaranteed position for the first time, and offers HRs and RBIs in a suddenly stacked Orioles lineup.

The Backups

Corey Hart 560x28045. Torii Hunter

46. Andre Eithier

47. Ichiru Suzuki

48. Nick Markakis

49. Norichika Aoki

50. Corey Hart

51.Jayson Werth

52. Dayan Viciendo

53. Coco Crisp

54. Lorenzo Cain

55. Cody Ross

Health issues finally caught up with the durable Markakis last season, as he missed most of the Orioles playoff run. If healthy, he probably deserves a higher ranking, but we’re not sure we can count on him playing all season. Aoki is still a question mark, as the Japanese league vet enters his second MLB season and first as a full-time starter.

The Rookies

Wil Myers56. Wil Myers

57. Oscar Tavares

58. Adam Eaton

59. Aaron Hicks

60. Billy Hamilton

Myers was traded to Tampa this offseason and has a clear shot to be promoted by the second month of the season. Eaton will likely open the season with Arizona, but it’s unreasonable to expect him to repeat his Pacific League performance from last season. If Tavares had a clear path to the majors he would be 30 spots higher on this list, but St. Louis has a backlog of outfielders, so Tavares will spend the first chunk of the season in AAA.