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2015 Top 80 Outfielder Rankings: Updates for the Nelson Cruz signing and more

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Ray updates his 2015 Top 80 Outfielder rankings to reflect Nelson Cruz moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park in Seattle, and some other changes.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We learned a few days ago that the 2014 MLB home run king, Nelson Cruz, has left Baltimore and signed a four year, $58 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. Seattle wanted to sign him last year, but ownership decided against signing him. Instead of signing him to a cheaper deal last offseason, they had to pony up $58 million for the 34 year old outfielder/designated hitter this offseason, after Cruz put up a career year in 2014.

Cruz is coming off a terrific season, hitting .271-.333-.525 with a major league leading 40 home runs, 87 runs scored and 108 RBI. He was the only hitter to hit 40 home runs in 2014, and i doubt we see him repeat that feat in 2015. But, with that said, I do see him hitting for solid power, approaching, or even exceeding 30 home runs in Seattle. One would think moving to Safeco Park would hurt his home run totals, and maybe they will, but here is a look at his 2014 home/road splits:

Home: .252-.320-.463, 15 home runs, 40 RBI in 331 plate appearances

Road: .289-.346-.584, 25 home runs, 68 RBI in 347 plate appearances

There is one concern, though. He had a great 2014 season, but he did a lot of his damage in the first half last season:

1st half: .287-.353-.570, 28 home runs, 74 RBI in 397 plate appearances

2nd half: .249-.306-.463, 12 home runs, 34 RBI in 281 plate appearances

A conservative 2015 projection for Cruz is a .260 average with 27-30 home runs and 85-90 RBI, assuming he stays healthy. I kept Cruz at #18 in my outfielder rankings, mainly due to the power he provides. Like I said, he won't hit 40 again, but could hit 30 home runs, something only 10 other hitters accomplished in 2014.

Other updates

Yasmany Tomas

I have moved recently signed Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas down in my rankings from the low 30 range to #40 as I may have been a bit too optimistic in my ranking for the Diamondback outfielder. He has loads of power, but with that comes plenty of swing and miss, and I am concerned he could be in for a rough 2015 season adjusting to major league pitching. I am going to go with a conservative view on him for now, but may change it again once we see more of him in spring training.

Ryan Braun

Braun had surgery on his ailing thumb this offseason, and I can see him as a solid bounce back candidate in 2015, especially in the potent Brewers lineup. With the thumb bothering him for most of the season, Braun still hit .266-.324-.453 with 19 home runs, 68 runs scored, 81 RBI and 11 stolen bases. If fully healthy in 2015, Braun could put up a .290, 25 home run, 90 RBI season.

Rusney Castillo

I ranked Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo as my #53 outfielder for next season, as he has earned comps to teammate Shane Victorino from some. I might be a little low on him, but reserve the right to move him up in my rankings as we learn more about him in spring training. In 40 plate appearances in September, Castillo hit .333-.400-.528 with 2 home runs, 6 runs, 6 RBI and 3 stolen bases.

Now let's take a look at my updated Top 80 Outfielder Rankings for 2015:

 

Rank

Name

Team

1

Mike Trout

Angels

2

Giancarlo Stanton

Marlins

3

Andrew McCutchen

Pirates

4

Carlos Gomez

Brewers

5

Jose Bautista

Blue Jays

6

Adam Jones

Orioles

7

Matt Kemp

Dodgers

8

Justin Upton

Braves

9

Bryce Harper

Nationals

10

George Springer

Astros

11

Ryan Braun

Brewers

12

Michael Brantley

Indians

13

Hunter Pence

Giants

14

Yasiel Puig

Dodgers

15

Matt Holliday

Cardinals

16

Carlos Gonzalez

Rockies

17

Alex Gordon

Royals

18

Nelson Cruz

Mariners

19

Charlie Blackmon

Rockies

20

Corey Dickerson

Rockies

21

Jacoby Ellsbury

Yankees

22

Starling Marte

Pirates

23

Yoenis Cespedes

- - -

24

Billy Hamilton

Reds

25

Shin-Soo Choo

Rangers

26

Jay Bruce

Reds

27

Jayson Werth

Nationals

28

Marlon Byrd

Phillies

29

Jorge Soler

Cubs

30

Wil Myers

Rays

31

Jason Heyward

Cardinals

32

Marcell Ozuna

Marlins

33

Brett Gardner

Yankees

34

Mark Trumbo

Diamondbacks

35

Christian Yelich

Marlins

36

Mookie Betts

Red Sox

37

Ryan Zimmerman

Nationals

38

Melky Cabrera

Blue Jays

39

Kole Calhoun

Angels

40

Yasmany Tomas

Diamondbacks

41

Gregory Polanco

Pirates

42

Josh Harrison

Pirates

43

Khris Davis

Brewers

44

Drew Stubbs

Rockies

45

J.D. Martinez

Tigers

46

Ben Revere

Phillies

47

Denard Span

Nationals

48

Curtis Granderson

Mets

49

Brandon Moss

Athletics

50

Oswaldo Arcia

Twins

51

Ben Zobrist

Rays

52

Carlos Beltran

Yankees

53

Rusney Castillo

Red Sox

54

Carl Crawford

Dodgers

55

A.J. Pollock

Diamondbacks

56

Lorenzo Cain

Royals

57

Adam Eaton

White Sox

58

Michael Cuddyer

Rockies

59

Josh Hamilton

Angels

60

Torii Hunter

Twins

61

Shane Victorino

Red Sox

62

Desmond Jennings

Rays

63

Dustin Ackley

Mariners

64

Jon Jay

Cardinals

65

Nick Markakis

Orioles

66

Danny Santana

Twins

67

Austin Jackson

- - -

68

Dexter Fowler

Astros

69

Seth Smith

Padres

70

Allen Craig

Red Sox

71

Domonic Brown

Phillies

72

Coco Crisp

Athletics

73

Alex Rios

Rangers

74

Leonys Martin

Rangers

75

Josh Reddick

Athletics

76

Angel Pagan

Giants

77

Rajai Davis

Tigers

78

Alejandro De Aza

- - -

79

Michael Morse

Giants

80

Nori Aoki

Royals

 

Other 2015 Position Rankings

Top 30 Catchers for 2015

Top 30 First Baseman for 2015

Top 30 Second Baseman for 2015

Top 30 Shortstops for 2015

Top 30 Third Baseman for 2015

 

Top 75 Starting Pitchers for 2015

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