Last time we looked at fantasy outfielders that were ranked one through twelve before the season according to Yahoo six category rankings. This time we will look at the next group of outfielders. For a standard twelve team league, this would be your second outfielder. Obviously, outfield is an extremely deep position, but as we will see, the best laid plan of mice and men often goes awry. We are comparing the preseason rankings to the current rankings according to Yahoo. With a little more than a month left in the regular season, some of these players can improve their rankings, but some have buried themselves into too deep of a hole. Numbers and rankings are accurate through action from Wednesday night.
Khris Davis–Oakland Athletics
He hit a home run last night, so maybe the slump is over. He’s hit .247 four seasons in a row. He needs to really hustle to get back there, but he is the kind of hitter that hits home runs in bunches. If he gets hot he could concievably surpass 30 home runs. 25 homers might be a little more realistic at this point. He is one of those players you hate to cut because you know he can correct the ship. Still, it’s hard to justify starting the 69th rated outfielder in six category leagues.
George Springer–Houston Astros
Springer missed a few weeks with injury. Otherwise, his numbers would look really good. The bigger difference has been hitting for average this season. He has led off ten games with a home run. The big key is the fact that the Astros bottom of the order hitters have been more productive than most, so he gets more RBI opportunities than the typical leadoff hitter.
Cody Bellinger–Los Angeles Dodgers
Baseball is by far the best game on the planet. Naturally, this is an opinion that can’t be proven, but the individual nature of the sport is a perfect blend with the team concept. You never know when a young player will blossom into the player he is destined to become. Bellinger could concievably get to 100 walks in addition to already reaching 100 runs and RBI. There aren’t many guys that have hit 50 home runs with 100 walks.
Lorenzo Cain– Milwaukee Brewers
Cain still has value as a baseball player because he is still an above average defensive centerfielder. As a fantasy baseball player he is marginal. He has some speed and that plays decently, but he’s not a fantasy regular anymore. He is a nice guy to have around though and he could get hot down the stretch.
Tommy Pham– Tampa Bay Rays
Pham is a very underrated player in six category formats. He had an impressive on base streak in the first half, but has fizzled a little down the stretch. The key for him is also combining good speed with good power. He is not an elite outfielder, but he is a great guy to have on a fantasy team because he gives you a little of everything.
Marcell Ozuna–St. Louis Cardinals
The Marlins traded Ozuna at the right time. The back of his baseball card is starting to have a familiar feel to it. One of the problems with going with aggregate projections is that they include out of context seasons. 2017 seems like an out of context season. He is on pace to hit close to 30 home runs and drive in between 80 and 90 runs. That’s still pretty good considering he missed about a month.
Yasiel Puig–Cleveland Indians
Puig has been the same player for three seasons now. There are times when he makes you want to pull your hair out. There are times when he looks like he’s on the verge of becoming a star. If you are the some of your performance then you’d call him good, but not great. As an impending free agent he has a lot to play for in Cleveland. Plus, they are making a push for the playoffs, so he should be motivated.
Nelson Cruz–Minnesota Twins
If it weren’t for a few weeks off with a bad wrist (total) Cruz would be putting up monster numbers. He has played in only 90 games when the Twins have played nearly 130. If he had played in even 120 games he would likely already have 40 home runs and 100 RBI. That would have made him an interesting MVP candidate considering the Twins surprising success.
Eddie Rosario–Minnesota Twins
Rosario has grown every season and this year is no different. He hasn’t grown in terms of plate discipline and that is a bit disappointing, but he has hit for more power each season, He likely will end up with around 35 home runs which is a significant step forward. The Twins may not have the pitching to survive long in the playoffs, but they may have the most impressive lineup when everyone is healthy.
Justin Upton– Los Angeles Angels
Poor Mike Trout. The Angels have a ton of money sunk into either injured or underperforming players. They are essentially the 2010s version of the 2000s White Sox. They are occasionally successful and seem to succeed just often enough to keep going for it. Upton is a perfect representation of that. He succeeds just often enough to tease fantasy players into thinking he could be elite. He’s not as bad as he has been this year, but he’s not quite elite either.
Mitch Haniger–Seattle Mariners
Ouch. It is painful just thinking about why Haniger has been sidelined most of the season. He looked like he was ready to take the next step to stardom. That didn’t happen this season, but that doesn’t it won’t happen. The path to stardom is not always a straight one. Sometimes there’s a detour here and there. He may come back in September long enough to kick off some of the rust.
Joey Gallo–Texas Rangers
Gallo is a great example of how much luck teams need to succeed. Unheralded players step up and young, promising players produce more than you thought they would. Gallo was on pace to do that before breaking his hamate bone (or hamster bone as a beatwriter put it). Injuries happen, but the injury to Gallo probably ended any idea of a run for the Rangers. He could be back by mid September.