Outfield is incredibly deep again.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to say that.  There really isn’t one true working strategy for this position either.  If you get one guy early, one guy in the middle, and one or two guys late, you should be pretty balanced and solid.  Some people like to target 3 guys early and dominate the position.  That also makes your team look pretty strong.  I’ve never taken that approach personally.  I’d rather spread out my OF picks throughout the draft.  If it’s getting late your lacking outfielders, don’t worry.  There are plenty of guys late.  Plus there are 1B’s that you can put in your OF spots.  I talked about that a little in my 1B article.  I really like the idea of having at least one 1B in your OF.  If you draft a good 1B, a good utility 1B, and put one in your OF, you’ve got 3 power hitting 1B’s on your team.

2012 Fantasy Outfield Rankings:
1. Matt Kemp (LAD)
2. Ryan Braun (MIL)
3. Jose Bautista (TOR)
4. Carlos Gonzalez (COL)
5. Justin Upton (ARI)
6. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
7. Curtis Granderson (NYY)
8. Jason Heyward (ATL)
9. Josh Hamilton (TEX)
10. Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
11. Hunter Pence (PHI)
12. Desmond Jennings (TB)
13. Jay Bruce (CIN)
14. Matt Holliday (STL)
15. Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
16. Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)
17. Nelson Cruz (TEX)
18. Michael Cuddyer (COL)
19. Carl Crawford (BOS)
20. Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)
21. Adam Jones (BAL)
22. Peter Bourjos (LAA)
23. Brandon Belt (SF)
24. Drew Stubbs (CIN)
25. Logan Morrison (MIA)
26. Corey Hart (MIL)
27. Michael Morse (WAS)
28. BJ Upton (TB)
29. Kendrys Morales (LAA)
30. Lance Berkman (STL)
31. Michael Bourn (ATL)
32. Nick Markakis (BAL)
33. Andre Ethier (LAD)
34. Brennan Boesch (DET)
35. Yoenis Cespedes (OAK)
36. Delmon Young (DET)
37. Alex Gordon (KC)
38. Emilio Bonifacio (MIA)
39. Brett Gardner (NYY)
40. Mark Trumbo (LAA)
41. Lorenzo Cain (KC)
42. Melky Cabrera (SF)
43. Howie Kendrick (LAA)
44. Chris Young (ARI)
45. Cameron Maybin (SD)
46. Mike Carp (SEA)
47. Chris Heisey (CIN)
48. Jayson Werth (WAS)
49. Ben Zobrist (TB)
50. Nick Swisher (NYY)
51. Alejandro De Aza (CWS)
52. Carlos Beltran (STL)
53. Shane Victorino (PHI)
54. Jeff Francoeur (KC)
55. Alfonso Soriano (CHC)
56. Bryce Harper (WAS)
57. Colby Rasmus (TOR)
58. Dexter Fowler (COL)
59. Angel Pagan (SF)
60. Jose Tabata (PIT)
61. Torii Hunter (LAA)
62. Yonder Alonso (SD)
63. JD Martinez (HOU)
64. Carlos Lee (HOU)
65. Lucas Duda (NYM)
66. Jason Bay (NYM)
67. Ryan Raburn (DET)
68. Ben Revere (MIN)
69. Carlos Quentin (SD)
70. Kyle Blanks (SD)
71. Josh Willingham (MIN)
72. Jesus Guzman (SD)
73. Coco Crisp (OAK)
74. Austin Jackson (DET)
75. Grady Sizemore (CLE)
76. Alex Rios (CWS)
77. Dayan Viciedo (CWS)
78. Vernon Wells (LAA)
79. Mike Trout (LAA)
80. Martin Prado (ATL)
81. Luke Scott (TB)
82. Mitch Moreland (TEX)
83. Alex Presley (PIT)
84. Will Venable (SD)
85. Travis Snider (TOR)
86. Garrett Jones (PIT)
87. Raul Ibanez (NYY)
88. Allen Craig (STL)
89. Jason Kubel (ARI)
90. Bobby Abreu (LAA)
91. Jon Jay (STL)
92. Bryan LaHair (CHC)
93. Nolan Reimold (BAL)
94. Matt Joyce (TB)
95. John Mayberry (PHI)
96. Norichika Aoki (MIL)
97. Tyler Colvin (COL)
98. Eric Thames (TOR)
99. Ty Wigginton (PHI)
100. Aubrey Huff (SF)

It’s inarguable that Matt Kemp is #1. In my opinion he should have been MVP last year. His numbers looked better to me than #2 Ryan Braun. Braun’s numbers will dip slightly with the loss of Fielder. He’s still good enough to be #2. Kemp is ahead of Braun by far. Jose Bautista will see a big drop in average. I mentioned in my 3B article that he only hit .257 in the second half and he’s a career .254 hitter. So I definitely don’t think he will hit over .300 again. .270 to .280 is respectable and is still good enough to go in late round 1. The problem with him is that he goes early round 1. I wouldn’t take him there. Late 1 to early 2 is good value for a head to head league.

Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Upton are being drafted late round 1-early round 2. They will put up solid numbers. Giancarlo Stanton will continue to increase his HR total. I see him hitting more HR than Curtis Granderson, who is right behind him. I have Jason Heyward much much much higher than other sites. He is a 6th-7th round pick. I have him as having 2nd round value. Target him in the middle rounds. He has the ceiling to be a high 1st round pick in the future. I see no reason why someone as good as him would struggle two consecutive years. Josh Hamilton puts up nice numbers despite his yearly injuries. He will get injured at some point, he always does, and always will. I do like him a little more than usual during a contract year.

Jacoby Ellsbury is low on my list. I don’t trust him repeating that power again. If he falls to mid round 2 I’d take him. I would not take him in mid round 1. Pence, Jennings, Bruce, and Holliday are all fine picks. I think Pence will carry the Phillies offense this season and have a career year. Jennings finished strong last year and is ready to break out. Bruce is still only 26 years old and continues to get better than better each year. He was a former Baseball America #1 overall prospect so he has a high ceiling. Matt Holliday is what he is. He is consistent year to year.

Everyone loves McCutchen’s play, but I don’t like where he he’s typically being drafted. He is being drafted in front of guys like Bruce, Holliday, and Heyward, and I don’t think he’s going to beat their statistics. I would only draft him if he falls. And he probably won’t fall. I think Carl Crawford plays pretty good once he’s back. He’s a good bounce back pick. So is Ichiro. I believe Ichiro will once again hit .300.

Everyone in Baltimore wants to know about Adam Jones. He is fine. He will put up similar numbers to last year. The problem with him is that guys like Heyward and Ichiro are being drafted around him, and I’d rather have them. Make sure you target Bourjos and Belt. Bourjos is leading off in front of Pujols. He has more power than a typical lead off hitter. He could hit 18 HR and steal 40 bases. Brandon Belt is probably going to start every day. He has a ceiling close to Joey Votto’s. I can see him hitting .280 this year with 20 HR and 15 SB. You can get him in the last few rounds of your draft. He makes an incredible #3-#4 outfielder and is one of those 1B/OF I spoke of.

Morse, Morales, Berkman, Trumbo, Alonso, Guzman, and LaHair are all 1B/OF. Morse is much more expensive than the rest so I’d stay away from him. Especially with his new injury. Morales is being drafted very late. Belt is the best 1B/OF to get. Morales is second. Trumbo also has good value for where he’s being drafted.

Most of the guys I have ranked in the late 30’s are guys that are being drafted much lower than that. Which makes them all good values. I think Cespedes will get stronger as the season progresses and will have a decent season. Boesch and Young could both have big seasons for Detroit. I really like them both this year. I also like Bonifacio. You can read why in my SS and 3B articles. Both links will be at the bottom of the page.

The 40’s include Lorenzo Cain, Mike Carp, and Chris Heisey. All of these guys are drafted at the end of drafts and have some nice value. Cain is hitting better than anyone in baseball this spring. Carp looked like a superstar at times last season. Heisey is a late sleeper who could produce better than someone like Victorino now that he is getting the shot to play everyday.

Everyone wants to know about Bryce Harper. I see Harper coming up in June. Once he comes up he plays everyday. I can see him hitting between 11-18 HR this season. He probably doesn’t get to 18 unless he comes up in May. Trout will come up even later. I can see Trout being an end of the season/playoff hero the same way that Jacoby Ellsbury did a few seasons ago with Boston.

You can get my thoughts on every player in the league immediately with my fantasy cheat sheet.  It uses a unique color coded system that tells you exactly who to draft.  If you want to dominate your draft, it’s a must have.  If your interested in that you can click here.

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