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Fantasy Baseball 2011: AL/NL-Only Outfielder Rankings

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I already covered my 2011 overall outfielder rankings here and here, and Jeremy offered some outfielder breakout candidates here. I own several of his breakout candidates including Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward and Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton in the UBA league, so I hope they make Jeremy look good in 2011.

NL-Only rankings

1. Ryan Braun, MIL

2. Matt Kemp, LAD

3. Carlos Gonzalez, COL

4. Matt Holliday, STL

5. Andrew McCutchen, PIT

6. Jason Heyward, ATL

7. Justin Upton, ARI

8. Jayson Werth, WAS

9. Hunter Pence, HOU

10. Corey Hart, MIL

11. Jay Bruce, CIN

12. Mike Stanton, FLA

My AL-Only rankings and commentary after the jump:

AL-Only Rankings

1. Carl Crawford, BOS

2. Josh Hamilton, TEX

3. Shin-Soo Choo, CLE

4. Alex Rios, CHW

5. Nelson Cruz, TEX

6. Jose Bautista, TOR

7. Juan Pierre, CHW

8. Nick Swisher, NYY

9. B.J. Upton TB

10. Curtis Granderson, NYY

11. Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS

12. Vernon Wells, LAA

Yes, I am giving Wells some love here. I think he can hit well in the Angels lineup this year. He may not hit 30 HRs again, but could hit 26-27 with 90 RBIs. Most lists include Ichiro Suzuki in the top 12 overall, but I am not a fan. I prefer speedsters like Pierre and Ellsbury who will steal more bases and score more runs than Ichiro, while hitting for a solid .280-.300 BA.

I rank Hamilton as my #2 AL-only outfielder, but think he has bust written all over him. I hope I am wrong because I love the story, but he's been injury prone and I don't see him hitting .359 again either. What he has going for him is hitting in the Rangers lineup and that home ballpark.

Is it me or does the NL have more talent at each position, with the exception of maybe third base? With the exception of Carl Crawford and Josh Hamilton, I think I would take the top 8 NL-only outfielders before Choo. And one can make the argument that Andrew McCutchen is a mini-Crawford, who might beat Crawford to the 20 HR/40 SB club.

Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Upton all have the talent to have a 30-20 season in the near future. I think Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton can easily move up the rankings should he be able to build on him 2010 rookie season. He has 40 HR potential and has the speed to steal double digit bases as well. His weakness is the strikeout, but his work ethic tells me he will work to reduce those Ks as he matures.

Reds outfielder Jay Bruce could easily move up this list as well, as long as he can meet/beat the 30 HR projection for him this year. He needs to build on his solid second half where he hit 15 HRs in August and September, but did not hit one HR in July. A bit more consistency from Bruce, and he could hit 30+ HRs in 2011.