Fake Teams Consensus Prospect Rankings: Top 15 Outfielders

Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

The prospect staff at Fake Teams releases their top 15 fantasy outfield prospects for 2013.

With each week being dedicated to our consensus rankings at a particular position, the prospect staff at Fake Teams will also be providing position-specific coverage during these weeks. This will include a pair of prospect profiles, as well as a comparison post between two similar prospects at the position. And of course, we will be releasing our top 20 prospects at the position. This differs slightly from what we did last year, as these rankings are for the long term, rather than providing a separate list for the upcoming season only.

Bret Sayre, Craig Goldstein, and I have discussed the ranking of each player on these lists, and have come to a determination on each them of where they belong on the list. There are a number of groupings where, if you believe a prospect should move up or down a slot, we would probably not disagree. Prospect rankings remain a picture of what we see based on the information available at that moment in time, and are likely to change as the offseason progresses. Also note that these rankings are for fantasy purposes, so while we take a players' position into account, we only account for their defense in terms really of their ability to stay at the position long term.

The top 15 prospects will be released on Tuesday of each week, and prospects 16-30 will be released on Thursday. With that, our top 15 outfield prospects:

1. Wil Myers (TAM) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Probably one of the most surprising trades of the offseason sent Myers to Tampa, the first time Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year was traded coming off of that award. The path for Myers to the Majors just got a bit clearer, as we could see him as the starting right fielder for the Rays on Opening Day.

Estimated ETA: 2013

2. Oscar Taveras (STL)

You've probably seen the violent swing, and in spite of that you have a hitter who should hit for an excellent average with above-average power potential, and will be in St. Louis to stay by the start of 2014

Estimated ETA: Late 2013

3. Billy Hamilton (CIN) (Profile in MLKT Series)

The Reds are converting Hamilton to be their long-term answer in center field, and his speed should help him make the change easily. Realistically, as long as he hits somewhere over .250, he's going to help his owners win the stolen base category in many years. He should be able to do that, and much more though.

Estimated ETA: Late 2013

4. Byron Buxton (MIN) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Buxton was widely viewed as the top player available in the 2012 draft, and has the potential to be a true five-tool center fielder in the long term. He could get a full season assignment to start the 2013 season for Minnesota.

Estimated ETA: 2017

5. David Dahl (COL) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Dahl was the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft, and proceeded to absolutely destroy the Pioneer League on his way to winning the league's MVP award. I look forward to seeing what he can do in a full season assignment, as he could have the potential to be a fantasy monster when he arrives in Colorado, providing both excellent power and speed.

Estimated ETA: Late 2016

6. Christian Yelich (MIA) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Yelich had a great season at High-A this year, and the biggest concern about him long term may be whether he can stay in the outfield or if he will need to move to first base. He should be another outfielder who provides decent power and good speed, but the value it provides takes a large hit if he does move.

Estimated ETA: Late 2014

7. Oswaldo Arcia (MIN) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Arcia will likely start the season with the Twins' AAA affiliate, and with both Ben Revere and Denard Span being traded recently, we could see Arcia in Minnesota by midseason.

Estimated ETA: Late 2013

8. Jorge Soler (CHC) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Soler had a great year between Rookie ball and Low-A, and I would agree with Craig's assessment that he will return to Low-A to start the 2013 season. He could be the long-term answer for the Cubs in right field, providing above-average power numbers for them.

Estimated ETA: 2016

9. Rymer Liriano (SD)

Liriano is a player where the performance remains a bit behind the anticipated tool profile. Liriano had 8 home runs and 32 stolen bases between High-A and AA last season, and it sounds like he could hit for a bit more power as he matures. The key concern right now for Liriano may be contact, as he struck out 119 times last year.

Estimated ETA: Late 2014

10. Brian Goodwin (WAS)

A personal favorite of Bret's, Goodwin showed excellent plate discipline (61 walks in 452 plate appearances) to go along with power (14 HR) and speed (18 SB). He reached AA in 2012, and could vault even higher on these rankings by the end of the 2013 season.

Estimated ETA: Late 2014

11. George Springer (HOU) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Springer reached AA by the end of the season, and could be an elite level power/speed outfielder IF he can keep his contact rate up and strikeouts down. I just wouldn't bank on him helping your team with batting average particularly.

Estimated ETA: 2014

12. Gregory Polanco (PIT) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Polanco emerged this season almost out of nowhere, and showed the potential to be a 15 home run, 30 stolen base per season fantasy outfielder. He is obviously still a long way from the Majors, as he will start the 2013 season in High-A Bradenton.

Estimated ETA: 2016

13. Tyler Austin (NYY) (Profile in MLKT Series)

It was hard to tell exactly where Austin would play in the long term, but his excellent performance this year cemented him as a corner outfielder. We could conceivably see him debut in 2013 at some point after he reached AA last year, but 2014 would seem a lot more likely.

Estimated ETA: 2014

14. Yasiel Puig (LAD) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Puig showed both power and speed in his brief 23 game stint between rookie ball and High-A. Obviously that is not a huge sample, but with a crowded outfield already in the Majors, there is no reason to rush Puig as he adjusts to professional ball and the United States. He could potentially be an elite level talent, but remains extremely raw to this point.

Estimated ETA: 2015

15. Mason Williams (NYY) (Profile in MLKT Series)

Williams came into the season the recipient of large quantities of hype, and despite missing nearly 40 games due to injuries, the future still looks very bright for Williams. He could be a solid power/high speed combo type of hitter with batting average, and would probably be my pick out of our top 15 to move into the top 5 next year.

Estimated ETA: 2015

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