Using tiers rankings can be very beneficial when drafting and when forming your draft strategy. A strategy of using a tiers ranking is to not reach for one player if you think that you can get another player in the same tier in a later round. I think that these rankings are especially useful for drafting 1B, OF, and SP this year, seeing that these positions are very deep and you will have many opportunities to pass up one player for another similar player in a later round.
The outfield is where you can get a great combination of speed and power. Outfield is always a very deep position, and there are a lot of solid options. I think that when drafting, you can wait till later rounds and still draft a good outfield because of the depth at the position.
Tier 1: Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp
These two players are studs, I expect Braun’s line to be around .320-40-20, and Kemp to be .300-30-35. Both are young and still improving which is why they are so highly valued, however I do not think that either are quite worth it at the spot they are being drafted at, and should only be picked if they fall to you with a later first round pick.
Tier 2: Carl Crawford, Justin Upton, Matt Holliday, Jacoby Ellsbury, Grady Sizemore, Ichiro Suzuki
Crawford and Ellsbury give you a huge number of steals which will let you focus on other stats later on, while Upton and Sizemore will give you both a great combination of power and steals. Holliday moving back to the NL should mean that he will go back to his past production of his days with Colorado, as shown by his stint with STL last season. Ichiro should give you his usual 200+ hits and 30-40 SB which is always nice.
Tier 3: Jason Bay, Jayson Werth, Curtis Granderson, Adam Lind, Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz, Adam Dunn, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Lee, B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton, Bobby Abreu, Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez
I think that these players are all very solid players and do not carry much risk other than Upton, who will still give you at least 40 stolen bases. Choo, Lind, and Cruz are players that broke out last year, but they are still young and improving so I see them being able to improve on their last seasons stats.
Tier 4: Ben Zobrist, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Carlos Quentin, Torii Hunter, Andrew McCutchen, Adam Jones, Jason Kubel
The production of these players was pretty much on par with the players from tier 3, however there are still some question marks around some of these players. Ibanez, Hunter, and Quentin are a bit of injury risks. Zobrist, Jones, McCutchen, and Kubel had their first season of real success, so there is still some uncertainty in what their production will be this year.
Tier 5: Carlos Gonzalez, Jay Bruce, Denard Span, Alfonso Soriano, Nate McLouth, Michael Bourn, Brad Hawpe
The potential of Carlos Gonzalez and Jay Bruce is outstanding and both should be superstars in the near future. Soriano is getting older but if healthy, could be of very good value. Bourn will probably swipe at least 50 bases this year and should be looked at as a poor man’s Ellsbury.
Tier 6: Julio Borbon, Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Ludwick, Johnny Damon, Chris Coghlan, Vladimir Guerrero, Nyjer Morgan, Alex Rios
The players in this group all offer different stat contributions, but can help fill some holes late in the draft. Borbon and Morgan are good speed options, while Cuddyer, Ludwick, and Vlad will be good sluggers. There are a lot more players that could probably be in this tier, and I think that there are many outfielders after this tier that can still be solid contributors.