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Top 25 Fantasy Outfield Prospects for 2015

As a part of outfield rankings week, the prospect staff takes a look at their top 25 fantasy outfield prospects for the 2015 season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As you have already seen so far this week, we're taking a comprehensive look at one position each week in preparation for the fantasy baseball season. That look would not be complete without a look at the future as well, and with that in mind we will be providing a top prospect list at each position also. While I won't be ranking the same amount of prospect at each position, the goal is to provide enough that will be fantasy relevant in both shallow and deeper formats.

These rankings represent how I view the players at this time, and speak to their value long-term. This means that players like Clint Frazier, who has a higher upside but is a bit further away than some of the other prospects, is ranked higher here based on what his future potential is, rather than his 2015 value.

With outfielders, there are some fairly clear tiers in my opinion, where players within each tier are fairly close in overall ranking and I wouldn't argue too heavily if you have one player ahead of where I have them. For me, those tiers fall at #5-#8, #9-#13, #14-#19 and #20-#25. Within each of those groups, I had the outfield prospects fairly evenly ranked, but little nuances (proximity, home park, etc) led me to rank one ahead of the other.

1. Byron Buxton (Twins)

The top outfield prospect fairly easily, Buxton is one of the only prospects in the minors that could have multiple seasons as the top fantasy player in the game in his future. Despite the lost year, Buxton could still be on the cusp of the majors by the end of this season, and ready to take over in center field for the Twins by mid-2016.

2. David Dahl (Rockies)

Dahl had a much better 2014 season, splitting time between two levels of A-ball and showing the potential to be a true five-category contributor. Add in the bonus of potentially playing his home games at Coors Field, and it's possible that Dahl ends up as a first round talent each year. He's probably still two years away from the majors, but the potential for above-average production in all five categories remains.

3. Jorge Soler (Cubs)

We've already seen a little bit of the potential in Soler's brief call up this past year, and he will likely slot in as the everyday right fielder for the North Siders in 2015. The potential for a 30+ home run hitter with a high average makes him one of our consensus top 40 outfielders, and there's the potential that he could finish the year in the top 20 if it all clicks.

4. Joc Pederson (Dodgers)

Pederson is coming off a 30 HR/30 SB season at AAA Albuquerque, and with Matt Kemp now slightly further south, will likely get a consistent shot at the starting center field job for the Dodgers this year. We have him as our #53 outfielder for this year, and if it becomes clear that he will play everyday, could finish up with a 20 HR/20 SB season in his rookie year.

5. Clint Frazier (Indians)

The upside remains tantalizing, as Frazier can be a consistent 25 HR/20 SB outfielder who also provides above-average production in the other three categories. He remains at least three seasons from the majors in all likelihood, and with that comes more risk than any of the prospects in front of him.

6. Kyle Schwarber (Cubs)

The assumption is that Schwarber's bat will force the Cubs to move him faster than he is likely to develop as a catcher, and with him a move to left field awaits. If that move happens soon, he could be in the majors by season's end, and is capable of providing 25+ home runs and a high batting average as soon as 2016.

7. Raimel Tapia (Rockies)

While Tapia doesn't have the same power upside as the six prospects ahead of him, he should provide 10-15 home runs a year, to go with 30+ stolen bases and a batting average that should be above .300 most years. He'll be helped just like Dahl by his home park, and we could see him there by the end of 2017.

8. Alex Jackson (Mariners)

The top high school hitter in the 2014 draft class, Jackson is capable of providing 25+ home runs a year, even with Safeco Field expected to be his home park. He should also provide batting averages north of .270 on a regular basis, but his distance to the majors keeps him down the list a little bit more.

9. Hunter Renfroe (Padres)

Renfroe gets a bit lost as his path to playing time by 2016 is a slight bit murkier with all the moves the Padres made. That said, a 20+ home run hitter who won't kill your batting average, should provide some value in stolen bases, and has the potential for more home runs some years should force his way into their lineup by then.

10. Yasmany Tomas (Diamondbacks)

We like home run hitters, and Tomas can potentially provide 20-25 at least with 30 being a possibility some years as well. He continues to get reps at third base as well as in the outfield this spring, and his bat will play well at either position.

11. Rusney Castillo (Red Sox)

Castillo can potentially be another five-category contributor, although this ranking honestly feels like it will either be much too low, or potentially too high. There is the potential for 15-20 home runs and 25+ stolen bases to go along with a decent batting average. It's not clear yet how much he'll play in 2015 with the ridiculously crowded outfield in Boston, but he is definitely one of the three best outfielders on their roster.

12. Nomar Mazara (Rangers)

Mazara reached AA for a brief period last year, and is making the Rangers' large investment in him look very smart. The best case scenario is a .280 hitter who provides 20-25 home runs a year, while playing a solid right field, and he could be in Arlington by the end of the year if it all clicks.

13. Dalton Pompey (Blue Jays)

Pompey tore through three levels in the minors before reaching the Majors in September, and is the favorite for the starting center field job this year in Toronto. I'll have a profile of Pompey later today.

14. Manuel Margot (Red Sox)

Margot has burst onto the scene at this point, giving the Red Sox another future top 30 fantasy outfielder. Brian Creagh will have a profile of Margot later in the week.

15. Jesse Winker (Reds)

The Reds' outfielder could be ready to contribute by midseason, and is capable of providing above-average production in batting average and on-base percentage, along with 15-20 HR each year.

16. Aaron Judge (Yankees)

The top hitting prospect for the Yankees, Judge is known for his excellent power potential. Whether he can translate that into 30+ home runs on a regular basis or if it drops below because of issues with strikeouts remains to be seen, but another solid performance like 2014 would go a long way towards minimizing those questions.

17. Nick Williams (Rangers)

The potential for a high average and solid power potential makes Williams one of the more interesting outfield prospects overall, but concerns about his strikeout and walk rates keep me from moving him up into the top 15.

18. Austin Meadows (Pirates)

Meadows can potentially be a solid four-category contributor with a good batting average and 20+ home runs a year. He needs to show he can stay healthy after appearing in just 45 games last year, and could be three seasons away still.

19. Michael Taylor (Nationals)

The questions about Taylor stem from whether his batting average in 2014 is the real deal or a one-year blip. He should provide counting stats galore, with 20/20 seasons a possibility. However, if he hits below .250, those counting numbers are going to take a hit as well. How you view his ability to make adjustments and keep his average up with determine whether this ranking is much too low or not.

20. Michael Conforto (Mets)

The top draft pick of the Mets last year should move quickly, and can be a solid producer of batting average and 20+ home runs a year in fairly short order.

21. Teoscar Hernandez (Astros)

A name we first heard about on the Up-and-In podcast, Hernandez can potentially be a 10-15 HR, 25+ SB hitter with a solid average to go with it. There are some questions about whether his average can hold up (he hit .292 last year), but should have solid value even if he hits just .260.

22. Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals)

Piscotty is that prospect that should provide good production, but no one feels like all that much of a genius for drafting him. He still doesn't have a clear shot to playing time in St. Louis this year, and the questions for him stem from how much power he provides long-term. Another one of those prospects that may be more valuable to the Cardinals than your fantasy team.

23. Rymer Liriano (Padres)

We love counting stats, and Liriano can potentially provide 20+ home runs and stolen bases, but they are likely to come with lower batting average than you'd appreciate. There's value to it, but it is depressed some with his ballpark and the likelihood he doesn't hit above .260.

24. Steven Souza (Rays)

An offseason trade has moved Souza to a place where he will be an everyday player in 2015, and while I'm not as high on him as PECOTA (23 HR/24 SB, with a .260 batting average), I think he can be a 15/15 outfielder this year fairly easily.

25. Brett Phillips (Astros)

Phillips emerged on prospect radars this year, and is another potential 15/15 outfielder with a solid batting average. I want to see what he does once he is out of Lancaster this year, but he is another outfield prospect that could jump up these rankings in a year's time.

Just Missed the List (Alphabetical Order)

Albert Almora (Cubs) - Almora continues to get high marks in part as a result of his defense, but he's not going to be a slouch at the plate by any stretch. He should provide a good batting average and decent power production to go with it, and is practically a lock to stay in center field.

Michael Gettys (Padres) - Gettys is a high-risk, high-reward outfield prospect that will need to answer questions about his hit tool before jumping into the top 20 on this list. That said, a high speed outfielder with at least 10-15 home runs a year can be amazing if he hits enough.

Billy McKinney (Cubs) - McKinney should be an above-average hitter overall, but with his power more likely to translate into a lot of doubles than a lot of home runs, he falls just short of this list.

Brandon Nimmo (Mets) - It's been a long path toward the Show for Nimmo, who was considered one of the more interesting but rawest bats in the 2011 draft. None of his production is likely to be particularly above-average, but should be a solid five-category contributor that has value in most formats.

Tyrone Taylor (Brewers) - The top prospect from the Brewers, Taylor was the last cut for me, as he can be another 15/15 outfielder, but is further away than Souza and carries a little more batting average risk than Phillips.

Bradley Zimmer (Indians) - Zimmer can be a high-average decent power outfielder that arrives in fairly short order, but it's more likely in the 10-15 home run range than the 20-25 range that some of the players in the top 25 have as potential outcomes.