The Corona Virus has taken a bite out of the baseball season and has taken a bite out of our coverage. It’s been almost a week since my last article. However, it’s time to get back on the horse even if baseball is taking some time off. If you’ve missed the first part of these articles, we are taking the top 15 players at each position according to their aggregate projections. We are looking at players projected to be right fielders for the most part.
Most leagues still treat outfielders as one group, so feel free to mix and match as needed. Right field is more leaded than the other two outfield positions, so someone in the bottom of this group might be middle of the pack in center field or left field. Also, there will likely be some adjustments based on recent news. Enough with the caveats. Let’s go.
Christian Yelich–Milwaukee Brewers
Projection: .305/36 HR/108 Runs/104 RBI/22 SB
Who knows if they are playing 162 games this season. He likely would have been the MVP in the NL last year if he had not been hurt in the last few weeks last year. Now, he has a long-term contract to tie him down. Some have him pegged as the number one player on the board. That might even be more true in six category leagues.
Ronald Acuna Jr.–Atlanta Braves
Projection: .284/37 HR/112 Runs/97 RBI/32 SB
Acuna was the youngest person in history to post a 30/30 season. That isn’t a big deal in real baseball, but in fake baseball it’s a huge deal. He doesn’t walk as much as Yelich or Juan Soto, but everything else is there. Adding Marcell Ozuna to that outfield will make that lineup that much deeper.
Bryce Harper–Philadelphia Phillies
Projection: .261/38 HR/101 Runs/107 RBI/12 SB
A sad thing happens to players that sign huge contracts. They don’t become any better, but the world expects more from them. Harper is brilliant in six category formats because of all of those walks. He will likely never be the best player in baseball like he was several years ago, but he earns his money when healthy.
Mookie Betts–Los Angeles Dodgers
Projection: .290/32 HR/117 Runs/91 RBI/19 SB
People are comparing the trade of Betts to the Babe Ruth trade. Here is the problem: the 2018 numbers that earned him an MVP are likely a farce. He is a great player overall, but much of that is the 20+ defensive runs saved he adds in right field. Having him and Bellinger together in the outfield will be something to be something to behold defensively.
J.D. Martinez–Boston Red Sox
Projection: .298/37 HR/97 Runs/111 RBI/3 SB
Martinez will be an interesting guy to profile once he becomes eligible for the index. He has been a primary DH for much of his career and there is a tossup as to whether he qualifies in right field or left field. He should be eligible in both in most outfield specific formats. Without Betts, there might be fewer RBI opportunities, but he has been productive everywhere.
Aaron Judge–New York Yankees
Projection: .260/37 HR/97 Runs/92 RBI/5 SB
The two week delay to the start of the season helps the Yankees as much as anyone. Both Giancarlo Stanton and Judge were slated to miss opening day. Now, they might be there for the whole season. The Yankees have been linked to the cheating scandal at least in 2017 and that was a runaway great season for him. The above numbers are probably much more in line.
Joey Gallo–Texas Rangers
Projection: .228/44 HR/90 Runs/97 RBI/7 SB
New ballparks are hard to project. There was a jetstream in the Ballpark at Arlington that made it the second best hitter’s park for much of its existence. The retractable roof will likely suppress offensive numbers some, but there is no way to know for sure.
Giancarlo Stanton–New York Yankees
Projection: .262/42 HR/88 Runs/104 RBI/2 SB
Like with Judge, the delay in the season may serve to help Stanton meet the new opening day without rushing back. He hasn’t gotten a lot of action this spring, so he may be rusty to start, but he is good for 40+ home runs every time he is healthy.
Charlie Blackmon–Colorado Rockies
Projection: .297/28 HR/100 Runs/81 RBI/7 SB
Blackmon can be penciled in for 100 or more runs every season. I’ve never been one to go gaga over counting numbers, but this is fantasy baseball we are talking about. A move to right field might prolong his career another couple of seasons. He probably isn’t quite a Hall of Famer, but he’ll be in the Hall of pretty good.
Franmil Reyes–Cleveland Indians
Projection: .257/35 HR/78 Runs/95 RBI/1 SB
Padres fans mourned his trade last year, but it might have been for the best. Reyes has a ceiling based on a lot of swing and miss in his game. He had a huge slump following the trade and that might be a portend of things to come as the league gets to know him.
Jorge Soler–Kansas City Royals
Projection: .257/35 HR/84 Runs/93 RBI/2 SB
Soler finally came of age last season. If the Royals had been smart they would have found a way to deal him at the deadline last season or during the offseason. He will likely never be as good as he was last season, but he is still a dangerous hitter.
Michael Conforto–New York Mets
Projection: .255/31 HR/84 Runs/81 RBI/5 SB
Conforto is another guy that probably is beathing a sigh of relief that the beginning of the season has been delayed. He is a nice pick in six category formats, but he isn’t particularly special in standard formats. He at least is capable of playing all three outfield positions.
Max Kepler–Minnesota Twins
Projection: .256/29 HR/89 Runs/85 RBI/4 SB
Kepler is another guy that probably played above his pay grade last year. The projection systems all are pretty bearish on him this year as they are with most of the Twins. He is still a great guy to have around as a third or fourth outfielder in global outfield formats.
Trey Mancini–Baltimore Orioles
Projection: .273/30 HR/85 Runs/89 RBI/1 SB
It was just reported this afternoon that Mancini underwent a procedure to remove a tumor from his colon. Cancer is always a scary deal and it is unpredictable as to the recovery time. Fortunately for him, he gets a little bit of extra time before he has to come back.
Adam Eaton–Washington Nationals
Projection: .284/13 HR/85 Runs/57 RBI/13 SB
Eaton is one of those guys that does a little bit of everything. If he plays regularly he does enough to be a productive fantasy bench guy. The problem for him has always been staying healthy. He is also a good defensive player. It doesn’t matter much in fantasy terms except that it keeps him on the field when he is healthy.
Author’s Note: The Hall of Fame Index Part II will still be available on Kindle on March 26th even if the season isn’t opening yet. Paperback versions are available now for 14.99. It’s perfect for the dead period while we are waiting for the Corona virus to come and go.