DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles catches the ball in center field against the Detroit Tigers during a MLB game at Comerica Park on September 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Orioles won 6-5. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
On Monday, I published my Top 50 outfielder rankings, and followed that with the profiles for outfielders 1 - 25, and today I finish with the profiles for outfielders 26 - 50. As I stated in the comments section of my Top 50 outfielder rankings article, you could change the order of outfielders 26 - 50 and I would not argue. One can make a case for ranking outfielder #50 as the 26th best outfielder, as each of them have a question mark about how they will perform in 2012.
Please note that I may have missed a few guys in my early rankings, especially here in the 26 - 50 rankings, but will adjust them in early 2012 in my final Top 50 outfielder rankings. In addition, once all of the early 2012 position rankings are completed, we will post rankings for much deeper leagues.
Here are my profiles of outfielders 26 - 50 for 2012:
26. Adam Jones, BAL-Jones flashed more power in 2011 as he hit 25 HRs after hitting 19 in each of the previous two seasons. Jones doesn't walk much and doesn't strike out a lot either, but provides a solid batting average, decent power and throws in some stolen bases as well. He stole a career high 12 bases in 2011, and I wonder if he could steal more in the future. I can see him duplicating his 2011 performance, with a .280ish batting average, 22-25 home runs, 85 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
27. MIchael Bourn, ATL-Bourn is more valuable in fantasy baseball than he is on the field, as his stolen base totals can carry a team. He's good for about 2 home runs, 40 RBI, 90 runs and 55+ stolen bases each year. He has stolen 174 bases over the last 3 seasons, and will continue to run wild on the base paths for fantasy owners. I see a solid batting average in the .285 range and close to 60 stolen bases from him in 2012.
The rest of my profiles for outfielders 28 - 50 are after the jump:
28. Brett Gardner, NYY-Gardner is another guys who can carry a fantasy team in the steals category, as he has stolen 49 and 47 bases in each of the last two seasons. Gardner hit .259-.345-.369 with 7 HRs, 36 RBI, 87 runs and 49 stolen bases last year, and should continue to give fantasy owners solid run and stolen base totals in the productive Yankees lineup. If manager Joe Girardi was smart, he would bat Gardner leadoff and he could steal 50+ in 2012.
29. Carlos Beltran, ?- I think Beltran will end up signing with the Red Sox or Yankees this offseason, and think he could benefit from playing the OF a few days a week and DHing a few days per week. Beltran was healthy last season and hit .300-.385-.525 with 22 HRs, 84 RBI, and 78 runs playing in pitchers parks for most of the season. Just think of what he could do playing half his games in Yankee Stadium or in the Red Sox lineup everyday. He could easily move up into the Top 25 outfielders for 2012 if he ended up with either team this offseason. Assuming he does, I can see him approaching 27-28 home runs with 90 RBI and a .290-.300 batting average in 2012.
30. Lance Berkman, STL-Berkman had a huge comeback season in 2011, hitting .301-.412-.547 with 31 HRs, 94 RBI and 9 90 runs for the World Series champs. But, what can we expect from him in 2012? Berkman will be 36 in 2012, and is an injury risk, so I would not count on him to duplicate his performance from 2011. I will go with a 25 HRs, 80 RBI and a .280 batting average in 2012 if he is healthy.
31. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA-Ichiro is not the type of hitter I usually target in fantasy drafts, but I think he just had a down year in 2011, and will bounce back in 2012. He hit just .272-.310-.335 with 5 HRs, 47 RBI, 80 runs and 40 stolen bases last season, but he had a career worst BABIP of .295. He just turned 38 years of age in October, but I can see him returning to the .300 hitter with close to 40 steals and 90 runs scored in 2012.
32. Coco Crisp, ?-Crisp had a good year on the base paths in 2011, hitting .264-.314-.379 with 8 HRs, 54 RBI, 69 runs and 49 stolen bases in 58 attempts, both career highs. He won't hit for much power, but he doesn't strike out too much, and walks about 8% of his at bats, so he won't hurt you in any category, and could approach 40 stolen bases again in 2012, assuming he lands with a team that gives him the green light.
33. Jayson Werth, WAS-Werth had a down year in 2011, probably for two reasons. One, he was probably trying to live up to his new contract that overpaid him by tens of millions, and two, because he moved to Washington from the solid Phillies lineup. Werth hit just .232-.330-.389 with 22 HRs, 58 RBI, 69 runs and 19 stolen bases last season. I think he could have a bounce back season in 2012, hitting .275 with 25 home runs, 85 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Werth's .286 BABIP and 16.8% line drive rate was the lowest of his careers, so he just needs a little more luck in 2012 to return to the guy GM Mike Rizzo signed last offseason.
34. Nick Swisher, NYY-Swisher is a very consistent hitter, one that you can get late in drafts and count on to provide 25 HRs, 80-85 RBI and a .260 batting average. There are rumors that the Yankees are dangling him in trade talk, so if he is traded, his value would drop a bit.
35. Logan Morrison, FLA-Morrison had his ups and downs in 2011, highlighted by run-ins with the front office and being demoted to AAA as a result. Once thought to not be a big home run hitter, Morrison surprised many by hitting 23 home runs in 2011, but managed to triple slash just .247-.330-.468 with 23 home runs, 72 RBI and 54 runs scored. Morrison is another outfielder who could be moved this offseason, which could benefit fantasy owners, depending on where he ends up. I always thought Morrison would be a .300 hitter every year, and maybe he will, but if he is asked to focus on hitting for power, which may have happened last season, his batting average may suffer.
36. Howie Kendrick, LAA-where did this power come from? Kendrick hit .285-.338-.464 with 18 HRs, 63 RBI, 86 runs and 14 stolen bases in 2011, but he benefitted from a career high 16.5% HR/FB rate. He has never been a big home run hitter, and doesn't hit many fly balls, as his 26.5% fly ball rate indicates, and he hits plenty of balls on the ground so the power won't be repeated in 2012. But, what he does do well is hit for average and steal some bases, and that is valuable in fantasy. I can see double digit home runs and stolen bases from Kendrick again in 2012, along with the always solid batting average around .280-.290.
37. Drew Stubbs, CIN-after a breakout season in 2010, Stubbs increased his stolen base and strikeout totals, but his power dropped along with his batting average. Stubbs hit just .243-.321-.364 with 15 HRs, 44 RBI, 92 runs and 40 stolen bases. His defense keeps him in the lineup everyday, but I am concerned that his strikeout rate, 30% in 2011, could lead to less at bats in 2012. Stubbs struck out 205 times in 2011, and I have a feeling he could sit more in 2012, with Chris Heisey and Dave Sappelt able to play center field as well. Stubbs could easily drop out of the top 50 by midseason, but I project him to hit double digit home runs and steal 30+ bases in 2012.
38. Andre Ethier, LAD-it is well known that I am down on Ethier, as he has been injury prone the last few seasons, and I just don't see the power returning anytime soon. Here are his HR/ISO/SLG stats over the last 3 years:
He plays right field, but is putting up middle infielder-like power numbers. He is another guy who could easily fall out of the top 50, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and project a return to 20 HRs, 85 RBI and .300 BA.
39. Matt Joyce, TB-Joyce received regular playing time in 2011, hitting .277-.347-.478 with 19 HRs, 75 RBI, 69 runs and 13 stolen bases in 141 games. Joyce strikes out a bit-20.3%, but also walks some-9.4%, and hits an extra base hit in one of every 10 plate appearances. Bill James expects him to duplicate his 2011 performance, and I can't say I disagree.
40. Jeff Francoeur, KC-Kansas City brought the best out of Francoeur in 2011, as he hit .285-.329-.476 with 20 HRs, 87 RBI, 77 runs and 22 stolen bases. 22 stolen bases? Coming into the 2011 season, Francoeur had a total of 23 stolen bases in his career, and he doubled them in one season. If he gets regular playing time in 2012, and he probably will as he signed a two year extension this offseason, he could duplicate the HR and SB totals, but can see his BA dropping from the .285 level.
41. Michael Cuddyer, ?-at this point, we are not sure where Cuddyer will sign this offseason, so that could affect his ranking for future outfielder rankings. In 2011, Cuddyer hit .284-.346-.459 with 20 HRs, 70 RBI, 70 runs and 11 stolen bases. I think the fact that he won't call Target Field home anymore could help his power numbers in 2012, depending on where he lands. I will hold off on a projection for him till we learn where he will play in 2012.
42. Carlos Lee, HOU-here's a guy who could find himself out of the Top 50 outfielders come February 2012. He does have first base eligibility as well, so that gives him a little bit more value. Lee one one of the few bright spots in Houston in 2011, hitting .275-.342-.446 with 18 HRs, 94 RBI and 66 runs scored. I can see him going 23-90-.280 in 2012.
43. Lucas Duda, NYM- the Mets finally decided to move in the fences at Citi Field this offseason, and I think Duda could be one of the biggest beneficiaries from the decision. In 301 at bats, he hit .292-.370-.482 with 10 HRs, 21 doubles, 50 RBI and 38 runs scored in 2011, more than likely earning himself the starting right field job in 2012. Unlike many power hitters, Duda doesn't strike out a lot-16.4% in 2011, and he walks a fair amount-9.5% in 2011, and he has done so throughout his minor league career as well. I can see him approaching 25 HRs, 85 RBI with a .275 batting average in 2012.
44. Cameron Maybin, SD-Maybin might end up higher in these rankings come draft day, as he is still just 25 years old and has not reached his peak years yet. He hit .264-.323-.393 with 9 HRs, 40 RBI, 82 runs and 40 stolen bases in 2011, but his home/road splits indicate he could benefit from a trade out of San Diego. He hit just .231-.294-.324 at home and .294-.349-.457 on the road. Maybin improved his strikeout rate from 28.6% to 22.0% and his walk rate slightly, so he is maturing at the plate and could be a breakout candidate. I project him to go 15-55-45-.275 in 2012.
45. Jason Bay, NYM-Like Lucas Duda, Bay should benefit from the Mets moving the fences in. He won't hit for a high average, but should be able to improve upon his 12 HRs and 57 RBI in 2011. Bay still runs a bit on the basepaths, and I can see him hitting 20+ HRs, driving in 80 runs and stealing 15 bases in 2012.
46. Peter Bourjos, LAA-Bourjos played everyday in Anaheim in 2011, hitting .271-.327-.438 with 12 HRs, 43 RBI, 72 runs and 22 stolen bases. Bourjos stole 50 bases in High A back in 2008, so he has the speed to increase his SB totals in the future. If he can hit the ball on the ground a bit more, utilizing his speed more, he could raise that BA a bit as well. I can see him hitting 10-13 HRs, 50 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 2012.
47. Torii Hunter, LAA-age might be catching up to Hunter, but he has been a steady hitter the last 4 years hitting around 20-23 home runs driving in 80-90 runs, scoring 70-80 runs and stealing a few bags as well. I see him going 22-80-80-.280 in 2012.
48. Colby Rasmus, TOR-is 2012 the season where we see Rasmus finally break out and reach his potential? Rasmus was obviously not happy in St. Louis and he was dealt to Toronto before the trade deadline. Rasmus struggled all year, hitting just .225-.298-.391 with 14 HRs, 53 RBI, 75 runs and 5 stolen bases in 2011. Rasmus hit just .173-.201-.316 in 133 at bats after the trade, so he will have to step up his production in 2012 or we might start hearing the bust label attached to him.
49. Jose Tabata, PIT-Tabata struggled with injuries in 2011, hitting .266-.349-.362 with 4 HRs, 21 RBI, 53 runs and 16 stolen bases in 334 at bats. Tabata won't hit for much power, but he is capable of hitting for a solid batting average and stealing 30 bases playing regularly, and he will be the starting left fielder in Pittsburgh in 2012.
50. Yonder Alonso, CIN-Alonso should win the Reds starting left field job in 2012, or get traded so he can play first base everyday in 2012. The Reds have announced that they will listen to offers for Alonso, but want a starting pitcher or closer in return for him. If he plays everyday in 2012, I see him hitting .290 with 20 HRs and 75-80 RBI, with a few stolen bases thrown in as well.
Who will have the better season for fantasy owners in 2012?
Cameron Maybin (39 votes)
Colby Rasmus (40 votes)
Drew Stubbs (40 votes)
119 total votes