Farm Futures: Outfield Tiers

Farm Futures: Outfield Tiers

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

I obviously didn't list every outfielder ranked in my top 400 (there will be a big top 400 update late this week/early next week, mostly to the back half) like I did for the other positions. I wish I had time to break these into around 20 tiers and list every fantasy-relevant outfield prospect, but they are all covered as part of the divisional prospect rankings. I mostly wanted to leave you with an idea of where I have the most notable guys and where I think the gaps in value are within the top 400.

Here are the 2019 outfield prospect tiers:

TIER ONE

1. Eloy Jimenez, White Sox
2. Victor Robles, Nationals

I selected Robles over Jimenez in my TGFBI league because I needed speed. The difficulty of finding speed from a player who also has the potential to be helpful in the other four roto categories pushes Robles up redraft boards. Jimenez, who I project to perform roughly like David Peralta in 2019, is still incredibly talented, but the value he provides is easier to find this year in less-hyped players. That said, these guys will obviously grow as players, and I could see Jimenez settling in as a .300 hitter who bangs out 35-plus homers annually and bats cleanup. I like that stability as a building block in a dynasty league. Robles will likely outearn Jimenez on occasion – it will be close this year – but I think Jimenez's potential to be elite

I obviously didn't list every outfielder ranked in my top 400 (there will be a big top 400 update late this week/early next week, mostly to the back half) like I did for the other positions. I wish I had time to break these into around 20 tiers and list every fantasy-relevant outfield prospect, but they are all covered as part of the divisional prospect rankings. I mostly wanted to leave you with an idea of where I have the most notable guys and where I think the gaps in value are within the top 400.

Here are the 2019 outfield prospect tiers:

TIER ONE

1. Eloy Jimenez, White Sox
2. Victor Robles, Nationals

I selected Robles over Jimenez in my TGFBI league because I needed speed. The difficulty of finding speed from a player who also has the potential to be helpful in the other four roto categories pushes Robles up redraft boards. Jimenez, who I project to perform roughly like David Peralta in 2019, is still incredibly talented, but the value he provides is easier to find this year in less-hyped players. That said, these guys will obviously grow as players, and I could see Jimenez settling in as a .300 hitter who bangs out 35-plus homers annually and bats cleanup. I like that stability as a building block in a dynasty league. Robles will likely outearn Jimenez on occasion – it will be close this year – but I think Jimenez's potential to be elite in four of the five categories makes him more appealing long term. If Robles proves to be a 40-plus-steal guy (not impossible) instead of a 30-steal guy, that could change the equation.

TIER TWO

3. Nick Senzel, Reds
4. Kyle Tucker, Astros
5. Alex Kirilloff, Twins
6. Jo Adell, Angels

Take your pick. I wouldn't bat an eye if anyone ranked these four guys in any order. They all have significant upside – don't let anyone tell you differently. I don't think any of these guys will truly bust, but if I had to pick one, it would be Adell. There's a very slight chance he struggles to make consistent contact at the highest level. On the other hand, you could argue that if they all hit their ceiling, Adell would be the best player. Again, even I go back and forth in my head about how these four should be ranked, so if you disagree with the order, I probably agreed with your order at one point during the last five months. I even conducted a poll a while ago so that you could all share in the struggle.

TIER THREE

7. Kristian Robinson, Diamondbacks

For the second week a row, we've got a Diamondback prospect in his own tier. Like Jazz Chisholm last week, Robinson is an extremely hot commodity. I was closer to including him in Tier Two than in Tier Four, just because the upside is so extreme that people are rightfully unwilling to part with him right now in dynasty leagues unless they are made godfather offers. However, as a big (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) player with some swing-and-miss and no full-season experience, I decided it would be a slight on the players in Tier Two to give Robinson that much benefit of the doubt.

TIER FOUR

8. Victor Victor Mesa, Marlins
9. Trevor Larnach, Twins
10. Yusniel Diaz, Orioles
11. George Valera, Indians
12. Taylor Trammell, Reds
13. Jesus Sanchez, Rays

I like this tier because it illustrates how fluid the valuations are on players in the 26-49 range of the top 400. As I've said all offseason, Victor Victor is my top pick in first-year player drafts, but it's very close. I know that may seem unsatisfying, but that's just the nature of this class. Diaz and Larnach have the highest floors in this tier, while Victor Victor, Valera and Trammell have slightly higher ceilings and Sanchez is a combination of floor and ceiling.

TIER FIVE

14. Daz Cameron, Tigers
15. Alex Verdugo, Dodgers
16. Drew Waters, Braves
17. Bubba Thompson, Rangers
18. Khalil Lee, Royals
19. Austin Beck, A's
20. Jarred Kelenic, Mariners
21. Luis Robert, White Sox

Cameron and Verdugo are ranked where they are because of their proximity to the big leagues. The other six are fun to dream on from an upside standpoint, but they all carry quite a bit of risk for varying reasons.

TIER SIX

22. Brandon Marsh, Angels
23. Estevan Florial, Yankees
24. Adam Haseley, Phillies
25. Jhon Torres, Cardinals
26. Everson Pereira, Yankees
27. Antonio Cabello, Yankees
28. Heliot Ramos, Giants
29. Jordyn Adams, Angels
30. Julio Rodriguez, Mariners

These are all high-risk/high-upside prospects with the exception of Haseley, who should develop into a viable mixed-league outfielder if he can get everyday at-bats in 2020, but who has fairly low ceiling.

TIER SEVEN

31. Tirso Ornelas, Padres
32. Austin Hays, Orioles
33. Cristian Pache, Braves
34. Jake Fraley, Mariners
35. Travis Swaggerty, Pirates
36. Brennen Davis, Cubs
37. Kyle Isbel, Royals
38. Micker Adolfo, White Sox
39. D'Shawn Knowles, Angels
40. Garrett Whitley, Rays
41. Corey Ray, Brewers
42. Moises Gomez, Rays
43. Alexander Canario, Giants
44. Alek Thomas, Diamondbacks

Everyone from the first six tiers is owned in any competitive dynasty setting where 150-plus prospects are rostered. However, in Tier Seven you can probably find a player or two who is unowned, even if your league rosters 250 prospects.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Tristen Lutz (MIL), Jake McCarthy (ARI), Akil Baddoo (MIN), Misael Urbina (MIN), Blake Rutherford (CWS), Mike Siani (CIN), Calvin Mitchell (PIT), Cole Roederer (CHC), Monte Harrison (MIA), Luis Alexander Basabe (CWS), Mickey Moniak (PHI), Leody Taveras (TEX), Johnathan Rodriguez (CLE), Seuly Matias (KC)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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