Looking back at outfielders 21 - 40 in my 2012 Outfielder Rankings, I wonder what I was thinking with ranking some guys where I did. There were some hits, such as Jason Heyward, Corey Hart and Carlos Beltran, but the misses were BAD, including Lance Berkman, Brett Gardner, Drew Stubbs and Jeff Francoeur.
Going through this series will certainly help me with my rankings going forward, as it shows you should always look at how you expect the player to perform in the coming year, rather than how they performed last year.
Here's a look at at outfielders 21 - 40 from 2012:
21. Shin-Soo Choo, CLE
Choo had a bit of a bounce back season in 2012, hitting .283-.373-.441 with 16 HRs, 88 runs, 67 RBI and 21 stolen bases. He isn't a big time power hitter, and he probably has more value in OBP leagues, but he provides decent power and stolen base totals, as he has stolen 20 or more bases every year he has had more than 400 plate appearances.
22. Nelson Cruz, TEX
Cruz is a streaky hitter, but continues to provide solid power totals in the high scoring Rangers lineup. Cruz hit .260-.319-.460 with 24 HRs, 86 runs, 90 RBI and he added 8 stolen bases as well. Cruz has hit 22 or more home runs in each of the last four years, but his ISO is in a three year downtrend that fantasy owners should be aware of on draft day 2013.
23. Jason Heyward, ATL
Heyward had the bounce back season every fantasy owner was hoping for back on draft day. Heyward hit .269-.335-.479 with 27 HRs, 93 runs, 82 RBI and 21 stolen bases this season, and there is more power to come. Heyward has the potential to put up a 30 home run, 20 stolen base season as soon as 2013. He will be ranked pretty high in my outfielder rankings for 2013.
24. Andre Ethier, LAD
Ethier is one of the more consistent fantasy outfielders, as he provides solid power totals with a very good batting average. Ethier hit .284-.351-.460 with 20 HRs, 79 runs and 89 RBI in 2012, but fantasy owners have to take notice of his platoon splits, as he doesn't hit left handers, and manager Don Mattingly has hinted that he may platoon Ethier in 2013, even though he just signed a 5 year, $85 million deal. As a Dodgers fan, I like that Mattingly thinks out of the box and would consider platooning Ethier. Should Ethier be in a strict platoon, I think his value will stay the same as his batting average will be in the .300-.310 range rather than the .280-.290 range.
25. Shane Victorino, PHI
It appears Victorino's power surge in 2011, his ISO was .212, was short lived, as his power fell to career low levels in 2012, as his .128 ISO shows. Victorino hit .255-.321-.383 with 11 HRs, 72 runs, 55 RBI and 39 stolen bases in 2012, all near or at career low levels except for the stolen base totals, which were a career high. Victorino is a free agent this offseason, and it will be interesting to see if he can get more than a two year deal.
25.a. Nick Markakis, BAL
Markakis battled a few injuries in 2012, but when healthy was a decent contributor, hitting .298-.363-.471 with 13 HRs, 59 runs, 58 RBI and just one stolen base. He won't provide much power, and I probably ranked him too high in the offseason, but he provides solid batting average and runs for fantasy owners.
26. Corey Hart, MIL
Hart put up another excellent power year at the plate in 2012, hitting .270-.334-.507 with 30 HRs, 91 runs and 83 RBI in 562 at bats, the most he has had since 2008. Hart now owns five seasons with 20+ HRs, and has hit 30 or more home runs in two of the last three seasons. Only five other NL-only hitters have hit more home runs than Hart over the last three seasons.
27. Chris Young, ARI
I certainly ranked Young too high this season, as he hit just .231-.311-.434 with 14 HRs, 36 runs, 41 RBI and 8 stolen bases, easily his worst season as a big leaguer. He missed a lot of time early in the season due to a shoulder injury after crashing into the center field wall at Chase Field, and I imagine that affected his power production the rest of the season. Young, now a member of the Oakland A's, will struggle to make my top 75 outfielders for 2013 until we learn how much playing time he will have in 2013.
28. Lance Berkman, STL
I didn't think Berkman could duplicate his tremendous bounce back season in 2011, but I also did not think he would miss so much time and be a zero for fantasy owners in 2012 either. There is a good chance Berkman will retire this offseason.
29. Michael Bourn, ATL
Bourn was a bit of a disappointment in 2012, as his stolen base totals dropped from 61 to 42, and his batting average dropped to the mid-.270 range. Bourn hit .274-.348-.391 with 9 HRs, 96 runs, 57 RBI and 42 stolen bases and is a free agent this offseason. Bourn should garner at least a three year deal this offseason, and I am curious if we have seen the last of the 50 stolen base seasons from him.
30. Jayson Werth, WAS
Werth missed half the season with a broken wrist, and struggled to hit for power when he returned from the DL. He hit .300-.387-.440 with 5 HRs, 42 runs, 31 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 300 at bats this season. I think we have seen the best from Werth going forward, as he turns 34 in May 2013, and I will be curious how long the power will take to return, if at all.
31. Drew Stubbs, CIN
I was concerned with Stubbs heading into this season as I thought manager Dusty Baker would tire of the strikeouts, which he did at a 30.5% rate. Stubbs hit just .213-.277-.333 with 14 HRs, 75 runs, 40 RBI and 30 stolen bases. The Reds may look to replace him in 2013, and have moved top prospect Billy Hamilton to center field in the AFL
32. Brett Gardner, NYY
Gardner played just 16 games this season due to an elbow strain, but did return for the playoffs. Gardner should be the Yankees starting left fielder and possibly their leadoff hitter with Derek Jeter coming off ankle surgery. He should provide value for fantasy owners should he stay healthy in 2013 in the runs scored and stolen base categories.
33. Carlos Beltran, STL
Beltran was a candidate for the National League MVP award after the first half of the season, but he slumped a bit in the second half. He his .286-.367-.569 with 20 HRs and 65 RBI in the first half, and ended the season hitting .269-.346-.495 with 32 HRs, 83 runs, 97 RBI and 13 stolen bases. He will rank highly in my outfielder rankings for 2013, but is an injury risk.
34. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
Suzuki is another guy I had concerns about coming into the season, but Suzuki put together a decent season at the plate, hitting .283-.307-.390 with 9 HRs 77 runs, 55 RBI and 29 stolen bases in 2012. His walk rate, OBP and stolen bases were down, but saw his batting average and RBI totals increase slightly.
35. Nick Swisher, NYY
Swisher put up his 8th straight 20+ HR season in 2012, hitting .272-.364-.473 with 24 HRs, 75 runs, and 93 RBI. Swisher is a free agent this offseason and will more than likely be leaving New York and signing for top dollar elsewhere. I think his fantasy value drops the day he signs his free agent contract as he will be leaving one of the better lineups and hitters parks in the game.
36. Torii Hunter, LAA
Hunter surprisingly had a very productive season at the plate, hitting .313-.365-.451 with 16 HRs, 81 runs, 92 RBi and 9 stolen bases. Hunter is also a free agent this offseason and I would not be surprised to see him re-sign with the Angels. I don't see him playing 140 games again in 2013.
37. Howie Kendrick, LAA
Kendrick had a breakout (career?) year in 2011 hitting 18 HRs, surprising most fantasy owners with his power display, but the power returned to the norm in 2012, as he hit just 8 home runs. He hit .287-.325-.400 with 8 HRs, 57 runs, 67 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 2012, and continues to provide a solid batting average with double digit stolen bases for the fourth straight season, although he has stolen 14 bases in each of the last three seasons.
38. Logan Morrison, MIA
Morrison was a disappointment in 2012, hitting .230-.308-.399 with 11 HRs, 30 runs and 36 RBI in just 93 games. His season was cut short by a knee injury this season, and his run-ins with the Marlins front office could result in Morrison playing in a different uniform in 2013.
39. Jeff Francoeur, KC
Frenchy's performance returned to the norm in 2012, as he hit .235-.287-.378 with 16 HRs, 58 runs, 49 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 148 games. I see his fantasy value dropping in 2013, especially with Wil Myers expected to man an outfield spot in 2013.
40. Colby Rasmus, TOR
Rasmus has displayed trouble making contact in each of the last two seasons, as his BABIP has dropped almost 100 points over that time frame. He still shows decent power, but he doesn't hit for average of walk enough to be anything more than a late round pick in mixed leagues in 2013. Rasmus hit just .223-.289-.400 with 23 HRs, 75 runs, 75 RBI and just 4 stolen bases in 2012. If his BABIP could regress to the norm, he could approach 30 home runs in 2013.