I am taking a break from the Roto Roundup pieces for a few days, maybe longer. With the MLB and fantasy season winding down, I am going to start posting my early 2013 position rankings. These rankings will be just the rankings with a few comments about some of the players.
Once the season is over, we will begin our annual review of our Preseason Position Rankings. Once those are complete, we will post our Position Rankings with detailed commentary on each player ranked. Yes, the offseason will be busy for us, but it is a long offseason, and it helps us get through the offseason just a little bit quicker.
In addition to our MLB Position Rankings, we will also be ranking our annual Prospect Position Rankings, which will be loads of fun.
My early look at the Top 20 Outfielders for 2013 is after the jump:
Remember this ranking is for 2013, so I included some guys who weren't Top 20 outfielders in 2012:
1. Mike Trout, LAA
2. Matt Kemp, LAD
3. Ryan Braun, MIL
4. Andrew McCutchen, PIT
5. Josh Hamilton, TEX
6. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
7. Justin Upton, ARI
8. Jason Heyward, ATL
9. Matt Holliday, STL
10. Carlos Gonzalez, COL
11. Allen Craig, STL
12. Jay Bruce, CIN
13. Bryce Harper, WAS
14. Jose Bautista, TOR
15. Josh Willingham, MIN
16. Adam Jones, BAL
17. Alex Rios, CHW
18. Desmond Jennings, TB
19. Andre Ethier, LAD
20. Curtis Granderson, NYY
NOTE: I have adjusted rankings to include Justin Upton, who for some reason, I forgot to include. I think Upton will have a Jason Heyward-like bounce back in 2013.
I might rearrange a few of these guys before the 2 013 season starts, but it should be no surprise that Mike Trout is the No.1 ranked fantasy outfielder. He is on pace for a 25+ HR, 50 stolen base and 100+ runs season in 2012. All that, and he missed all of April. I don't expect him to him THIS well in 2013, but anyone who can hit near .300 with 20+ HRs and 50+ stolen bases, will be very valuable next season.
I have not been shy in my projection for Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in my daily Roto Roundups. I can see Harper hitting 25+ home runs and stealing 25 bases in 2013, making him quite valuable to fantasy owners. I would not be surprised to see Harper drafted in the early part of the second round in NL-only leagues next season. It might be aggressive, but it is no secret that this guy can hit. He may pull a Eric Hosmer on us, but I am not counting on that.
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is having one heckuva follow up to his MVP season last year, and sadly, he probably won't get many MVP votes from the old-school baseball writers who vote. Sure he failed a drug test, but he is having as good a season as he did in 2011, with a few more home runs, and a little less stolen bases and batting average.
I already told you how much I like Allen Craig in 2013 here, and he is eligible in the outfield and at first base.
Braves outfielder Jason Heyward is on the verge of a 25 home run and 25 stolen base season in 2012, and he is just 23 years old. He has a 30-30 season in him in the next few years. Is he a first round pick in NL-only leagues in 2013?
One of the guys who could fall out of the Top 20 is Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. He recently had surgery on his left wrist, and I am worried how this will impact his power in 2013. We will learn more at some point in spring training, assuming he doesn't have any set backs. Wrist injuries can linger, so anything is possible.
Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings struggled in June and July, after hitting in the .260 range for the first two months of the season. Since his two month slump, Jennings has hit .291 in August and .368 in September. I can see him hitting 16-17 home runs and stealing 40 bases in 2013.