March 31 update: George Springer has officially been placed on the injured list because of his oblique strain. Such a move has been long expected, and I moved Springer down a couple of spots last week because of it. He’s still at No. 13 with the assumption that he will return in mid-April.
The Padres’ Trent Grisham (hamstring) and the Mariners’ Kyle Lewis (knee) will also begin the year on the IL. Both have been moved down a handful of spots, to No. 24 and No. 42, respectively.
The Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic has been sent to the minors. He must have needed more seasoning, because Seattle would never hold players down solely because of service time, right? Anyway, Kelenic should debut soon and remains at No. 63
March 26 update: White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez suffered a rupture of his left pectoral tendon, per GM Rick Hahn. He’ll require surgery and be out for 5-6 months. He has been removed from these ranks. He was No. 10 among outfielders, No. 35 overall.
Diamondbacks OF/C Daulton Varsho was optioned to the minors on Wednesday. He should be up with the big club fairly soon, but with this demotion, he has been dropped 13 spots to the very bottom of this top 80.
March 24 update: George Springer has a moderate oblique strain. Those kinds of injuries have kept players out for a month or more, but the Blue Jays think Springer will be ready for Opening Day. That seems really optimistic, however, so I have lowered Springer a little bit, from No. 12 to No. 14.
Trent Grisham hasn’t played in a game in almost two weeks because of his strained hamstring. He did take batting practice over the weekend, so he’s trending in the right direction.
Jackie Bradley Jr. has been out for the past few days due to wrist soreness. No need to overreact to that, but something to track.
On a positive note, Jarred Kelenic, Lorenzo Cain and Ramon Laureano all returned to game action last week after missing time due to injuries. The most surprising return belongs to Kelenic, who was out for less than two weeks after suffering a Grade 2 knee strain. I have moved him up from No. 77 to No. 64.
March 9 update: A couple of significant injuries have popped up over the past week or so at this position. The Diamondbacks’ Kole Caulhoun is likely out through April due to a torn meniscus in his right knee. And much-ballyhooed Mariners rookie Jarred Kelenic has a moderate knee strain. There is no official timetable for his return, but he will miss a handful of weeks. Those two players have been moved down, respectively, from 53 to 63 and from 69 to 77.
One player who has been added to the top 80 is new Brewers outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. He signed with Milwaukee last week and enters these ranks at No. 75. He could turn in a 15-homer, 15 steal season if everything goes right for him.
Bradley is slated to play right field most of the time in Milwaukee, but he may move back to center for a bit as Lorenzo Cain has been shut down for a week due to quad tightness. I will keep Cain at No. 52 for now.
You can’t be afraid to take chances when constructing the outfield of your fantasy baseball roster — it’s a necessity. Since you will be starting three or five or seven or more outfielders depending upon your league’s settings, some of those spots will be filled by players who are far from sure-fire commodities. So, after you select one or two of the top 20 here, players who can act as franchise tentpoles, identify your favorite later-round outfielders and see how it pans out.
George Springer earned the offseason’s richest free-agent contract as he signed a $150 million deal with the Blue Jays. The backend of that six-year agreement probably won’t be pretty as Springer already has some injury concerns and turns 32 this season. However, for this year, he should continue to bash 30-40 homers and score 100-plus runs if he plays a full slate. Expect his batting average to rise from last year’s .265, too.
Eddie Rosario will continue his career in the AL Central after moving over from the Twins to the Indians. The 29-year-old will probably hit third or fourth for Cleveland. It’s doubtful that he’ll rack up 109 RBIs like he did in 2019, but Rosario could be a 30-homer, 90-RBI player with an average around .270.
Kyle Schwarber signed with the Nationals during the winter and will likely be their everyday clean-up hitter. Thirty home runs feels like the floor for the former Cub.
Cody Bellinger suffered one of the weirdest and most famous shoulder injuries ever in 2020, when he dislocated his right shoulder while celebrating a World Series home run. Bellinger underwent arthroscopic surgery in November and says he is ahead of schedule in his rehab. He’s hoping to play in spring training games by mid-March.
Top 80 OF rankings
Outfielder rankings 2021
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||Atlanta Braves|
|2||Juan Soto||Washington Nationals|
|3||Mookie Betts||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|4||Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels|
|5||Christian Yelich||Milwaukee Brewers|
|6||Cody Bellinger||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|7||Bryce Harper||Philadelphia Phillies|
|8||Kyle Tucker||Houston Astros|
|9||Marcell Ozuna||Atlanta Braves|
|10||Whit Merrifield||Kansas City Royals|
|11||Starling Marte||Miami Marlins|
|12||Aaron Judge||New York Yankees|
|13||George Springer||Toronto Blue Jays|
|14||Michael Conforto||New York Mets|
|15||Nick Castellanos||Cincinnati Reds|
|16||Charlie Blackmon||Colorado Rockies|
|17||Luis Robert||Chicago White Sox|
|18||Teoscar Hernandez||Toronto Blue Jays|
|19||Austin Meadows||Tampa Bay Rays|
|20||Randy Arozarena||Tampa Bay Rays|
|21||Brandon Lowe||Tampa Bay Rays|
|22||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||Toronto Blue Jays|
|23||Cavan Biggio||Toronto Blue Jays|
|24||Trent Grisham||San Diego Padres|
|25||Jeff McNeil||New York Mets|
|26||Tommy Pham||San Diego Padres|
|27||Mike Yastrzemski||San Francisco Giants|
|28||Eddie Rosario||Cleveland Indians|
|29||Byron Buxton||Minnesota Twins|
|30||Wil Myers||San Diego Padres|
|31||Dominic Smith||New York Mets|
|32||Michael Brantley||Houston Astros|
|33||Joey Gallo||Texas Rangers|
|34||Ian Happ||Chicago Cubs|
|35||Alex Verdugo||Boston Red Sox|
|36||Ramon Laureano||Oakland Athletics|
|37||Anthony Santander||Baltimore Orioles|
|38||AJ Pollock||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|39||Trey Mancini||Baltimore Orioles|
|40||Dylan Moore||Seattle Mariners|
|41||Ryan Mountcastle||Baltimore Orioles|
|42||Kyle Lewis||Seattle Mariners|
|43||Tommy Edman||St. Louis Cardinals|
|44||Max Kepler||Minnesota Twins|
|45||Dylan Carlson||St. Louis Cardinals|
|46||Victor Robles||Washington Nationals|
|47||Kyle Schwarber||Washington Nationals|
|48||Andrew McCutchen||Philadelphia Phillies|
|49||Nick Solak||Texas Rangers|
|50||Clint Frazier||New York Yankees|
|51||Lorenzo Cain||Milwaukee Brewers|
|52||Andrew Benintendi||Kansas City Royals|
|53||Mark Canha||Oakland Athletics|
|54||Brandon Nimmo||New York Mets|
|55||Hunter Dozier||Kansas City Royals|
|56||Leody Taveras||Texas Rangers|
|57||Raimel Tapia||Colorado Rockies|
|58||David Peralta||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|59||Jesse Winker||Cincinnati Reds|
|60||Aaron Hicks||New York Yankees|
|61||Mitch Haniger||Seattle Mariners|
|62||Joc Pederson||Chicago Cubs|
|63||Jarred Kelenic||Seattle Mariners|
|64||Nick Senzel||Cincinnati Reds|
|65||Chris Taylor||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|66||David Dahl||Texas Rangers|
|67||Austin Hays||Baltimore Orioles|
|68||Randal Grichuk||Toronto Blue Jays|
|69||Manuel Margot||Tampa Bay Rays|
|70||Jackie Bradley Jr.||Milwaukee Brewers|
|71||Jurickson Profar||San Diego Padres|
|72||Justin Upton||Los Angeles Angels|
|73||Kole Calhoun||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|74||Bryan Reynolds||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|75||Adam Eaton||Chicago White Sox|
|76||Avisail Garcia||Milwaukee Brewers|
|77||Myles Straw||Houston Astros|
|78||Victor Reyes||Detroit Tigers|
|79||Alex Dickerson||San Francisco Giants|
|80||Daulton Varsho||Arizona Diamondbacks|