OUTFIELD (OF) RANKINGS 2009
1. Grady Sizemore – Cleveland Indians (26)
Sizemore has all the tools that every fantasy baseball team wants and needs to win their league championship in 2009. His combination of 30 plus homeruns, 30 plus stolen bases, and 110 plus runs scored from his leadoff spot give him the #1 overall outfield ranking heading into the 2009 season. Sizemore’s 2009 stats should resemble 30-35 homeruns, 35-40 stolen bases, 110 runs scored, 85-95 rbi, and a solid .270-.280 batting average.
2. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers (25)
With two straight excellent fantasy baseball seasons under his belt, Braun is firmly entrenched as a top 3 overall fantasy baseball outfielder for the 2009 season. At just age 25, Braun is entering the prime of his career and he has the potential to post 40 homeruns, 110 rbi, 100 runs scored, 15 stolen bases, and a solid .290 batting average for the 2009 season.
3. Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers (28)
Hamilton took the fantasy baseball world by storm in 2008, and with power and strength galore, he should easily finish the 2009 season as a top 5 overall fantasy baseball outfielder. Entering the prime of his career at just age 28, Hamilton has the ability and potential to put up new career high stats in 2009. 40 plus homeruns, 120 plus rbi, 100 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and a solid .300 batting average is likely for Hamilton in 2009.
4. Matt Holliday – Oakland Athletics (29)
Holliday didn’t match his outstanding stat totals from the 2006 and 2007 seasons last year, but he also missed nearly 20 more games last year then he did in the those two prior years which didn’t help his cause either. Unfortunately Holliday will enter the 2009 season not playing in the Colorado air, so a drop off in stats is possible. However 25-30 homeruns, 100 rbi, 100 runs scored, 15-20 stolen bases, and a solid .300 plus batting average is still likely for Holiday in 2009.
5. Alfonso Soriano – Chicago Cubs (33)
Injuries have limited Soriano’s value over the past two years, but he is still capable of being a 30 homerun and 20 stolen base outfielder if he can manage to play in just 130 games during the 2009 season. If Soriano played a full schedule with over 150 games played and over 600 at bats during the 2009 season, then a 40 homerun and 40 stolen base season would be possible. As it stands, Soriano is still a premiere fantasy baseball outfielder entering the 2009 season. His stats for 2009 should come close to 30 homeruns, 90 rbi, 90 runs scored, 25 stolen bases, with greater stats possible if he plays in more than 130 games.
6. Carlos Beltran – New York Mets (32)
Entering the pinnacle of his career at age 32 for the 2009 season, Beltran is a safe bet for another 25 homerun and 20 stolen base season in 2009. Beltran should remain a five scoring category outfielder in 2009, with stats approaching 30 homeruns, 110 rbi, 100 runs scored, 20-25 stolen bases, and a .280 batting average.
7. BJ Upton – Tampa Bay Rays (24)
Even though Upton will likely enter the 2009 season a bit banged up from off-season surgery on his shoulder, the good news is that it was his non-throwing shoulder. At just age 24 for the 2009 season, Upton has excellent potential to post his fist career 30 homerun and 40 stolen base season. Upton’s overall 2009 stats could include 25-30 homeruns, 40-50 stolen bases, 100 runs scored, 80 rbi, and a solid batting average around .290.
8. Jason Bay – Boston Red Sox (30) BREAKOUT
No longer in need of carrying the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates offense, Bay should enjoy hitting in a heavy run producing Boston lineup. With 150 plus games played in the Boston lineup during the 2009 season, Bay could very easily have a career year in 2009. 35 homeruns, 110 rbi, 110 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and a batting average approaching .300 for the 2009 season is very possible.
9. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers (24)
With the releasing of former outfielder Andruw Jones, Kemp appears set to take over an everyday starting outfield job in Los Angeles for the 2009 season. With a 35 stolen base season in 2008 already under his belt, Kemp has excellent potential to post a 20 homerun and 40 stolen base season in 2009. Kemp’s overall 2009 stats could include 20-25 homeruns, 90-100 rbi, 100 runs scored, 35-45 stolen bases, and a solid .300 batting average.
10. Carlos Lee – Houston Astros (33)
Lee has been one of the most consistent and steady fantasy baseball outfielders for the past ten years. And now entering the summit of his career in 2009 at age 33, Lee should once again be good for 30 homeruns, 100 rbi, 90 runs scored, 5-10 stolen bases, and a solid .300 batting average.
11. Manny Ramirez – Free Agent (37)
Even after a 37 homerun, 121 rbi, 102 runs scored, and .332 batting average last year, Ramirez at age 37 for the 2009 season, is hard to trust for that kind of production from him again for the 2009 season. Yet even considering all that, Ramirez is still deserving of a top 15 overall fantasy baseball outfield ranking heading into the 2009 season. As a free agent, Ramirez would likely benefit if he could sign with an AL and play some at DH to keep him healthy for the entire season. So as your fantasy baseball draft approaches, if Ramirez signs with an AL team, he could very easily match his 2008 stats, but if he signs with an NL team, beware of a drop off in stats from his 2008 numbers. Overall a positive outlook for Ramirez is likely in 2009, with numbers potential reaching 30 homeruns, 100 rbi, 100 runs scored, and an excellent .300 plus batting average.
12. Carlos Quentin – Chicago White Sox (26)
There was never any doubt about Quentin’s potential, however up until last year, he was a constant disappointment. Now with a 36 homerun season in just 130 games under his belt, there is no doubt Quentin has the potential for a 40 plus homerun campaign in 2009. However, be cautious not to draft him too high, as he clearly does not have a good major league track record. If all goes as well as it could for Quentin during the 2009 season, then a final 2009 stat line could include 40 homeruns, 110 rbi, 100 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and a .285 batting average.
13. Carl Crawford – Tampa Bay Rays (27)
Injuries put a damper on Crawford’s 2008 season, however at just age 27 for the 2009 season, Crawford could actually post a career high in stolen bases, homeruns, and runs scored. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Crawford notch 60 plus stolen bases, 15-20 homeruns, 110 runs scored, 80 rbi, and a very good batting average around .300 for the 2009 season. It’s hard to call Crawford a breakout player, but with his age in his favor and an excellent run scoring offense in Tampa Bay, Crawford could very easily be in store for a career year in 2009.
14. Alex Rios – Toronto Blue Jays (28)
Even though Rios may have seemed like a huge disappointment in 2008 because of all the high expectations placed on him, he actually had a very solid fantasy year last season. Rios nearly doubled his career high for stolen bases in a season, going from 17 as his previous high to 32 in 2008. At just age 28 for the 2009 season, Rios could very easily have a career year. His 2009 season stats could finish at 25-30 homeruns, 30-35 stolen bases, 90-100 rbi, 100 runs scored, and a solid batting average around .295.
15. Magglio Ordonez – Detroit Tigers (35)
Even at age 35 for the 2009 season, Ordonez appears headed for another solid fantasy baseball year. His 2009 stats could include 25 homeruns, 110 rbi, 100 runs scored, and an excellent .310 plus batting average.
16. Corey Hart – Milwaukee Brewers (27)
Hart will be entering the 2009 season at the magic age of 27, and even though he is a proven 20 homerun and 20 stolen base outfielder, it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see him take his game to the next level and post a 30 homerun and 30 stolen base season in 2009. Hart definitely has the potential, so a career year could be in store for him. 25-30 homeruns, 25-30 steals, 90-100 rbi, 90 runs scored, and a batting average around .290 is possible for Hart in 2009.
17. Nate McLouth – Pittsburgh Pirates (27)
With his power stroke developing, McLouth is a good bet to post another 20 homerun and 20 stolen base season in 2009. By seasons end, 20 homeruns, 25 stolen bases, 80 rbi, 100 runs scored, and a .280 batting average seem realistic to expect from McLouth for the 2009 season.
18. Nick Markakis – Baltimore Orioles (25)
Unfortunately for fantasy baseball managers who bet big time on Markakis for a breakout year in 2008, where gravely disappointed. In fact Markakis actually posted lower homeruns, rbi, and stolen bases in 2008, then he had in 2007. Playing at just age 25 for the entire 2009 season, Markakis is a big time threat to post 25 homeruns and 20 stolen bases during the 2009 season. His overall 2009 stat line could include 25 homeruns, 20 stolen bases, 100 rbi, 100 runs scored, and a .300 batting average.
19. Curtis Granderson – Detroit Tigers (28)
If Granderson wouldn’t have missed the beginning of the 2008 season because of injury, he may very well have posted career highs in several scoring categories. However as it stands, Granderson enters the 2009 fantasy baseball season as somewhat of a disappointment for fantasy baseball managers because he didn’t produce a lot of stolen bases last year. In other words, Granderson will likely be ranked and get drafted a lot lower in 2009 fantasy baseball drafts than his potential warrants for the 2009 season. I fully expect Granderson to be a top 15 overall fantasy baseball outfielder by the end of the 2009 season, with stats in the range of 20-25 homeruns, 20-30 stolen bases, 120 runs scored, 70-80 rbi, and a batting average around .300.
20. Vladimir Guerrero – Los Angeles Angels (33)
Guerrero clearly isn’t a top 5 or even top 10 overall fantasy baseball outfielder anymore, and he definitely doesn’t steal bases anymore either. However Guerrero isn’t completely useless on fantasy baseball teams either. His stats may likely fall again in 2009, but 25 homeruns, 90 rbi, 80 runs scored, and a solid .300 plus batting average is still very useful on 2009 fantasy baseball teams.
21. Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners (35)
Even though Ichiro will be 35 for the 2009 season, it doesn’t look like his best fantasy baseball asset of stolen bases, runs scored, and batting average will be declining anytime soon. I think it is safe to bank on Ichiro posting 5-10 homeruns, 40-50 rbi, 100-100 runs scored, 35-45 stolen bases, and an excellent .300 plus batting average with the potential for a .320 plus batting average during the 2009 season.
22. Adam Dunn – Free Agent (29)
If you draft Dunn, you can take 35-40 homeruns and 100 rbi to the bank for the 2009 season. However Dunn’s .243, .233, .234, .247, .215, and .249 batting averages over the past couple of seasons is also something you can take to the bank in 2009. I guess it depends how important those 35 homeruns and 100 rbi are to you. If batting average isn’t a scoring category in your fantasy baseball league, then Dunn could easily be ranked in the top 15 on this list.
23. Ryan Ludwick – St. Louis Cardinals (31) BUST
After posting a career high in every single scoring category in 2008, a drop off in production only seems obvious from Ludwick for the 2009 season. His 37 homeruns and 113 rbi from 2008 probably won’t resemble anything that he will produce in 2009. My guess is to keep your expectations a bit low and don’t draft Ludwick too high or over a proven outfielder. 20 homeruns, 90 rbi, 90 runs scored, and a .285 batting average seems realistic for Ludwick in 2009.
24. Jacoby Ellsbury – Boston Red Sox (25) BREAKOUT
Ellsbury didn’t excel like many had hoped last year, but 50 stolen bases and 98 runs scored sure isn’t terrible either. Now that CoCo Crisp is gone, Ellsbury has the starting center field job all to himself entering the 2009 season. A career year could be in store, as another 50 plus stolen bases combined with 10 homeruns, 100-110 runs scored, 50 rbi, and a batting average around .290-.300 is a realistic bet for Ellsbury in 2009.
25. Hunter Pence – Houston Astros (26)
Even though Pence regressed a bit in 2008 after his outstanding major league debut in 2007, expectations will remain high for him as he will be just 26 years old during the 2009 season. Pence has the potential to be a 20 homerun and 20 stolen base outfielder, and 2009 could be his year to finally hit that plateau. Numbers in the range of 25 homeruns, 15-20 stolen bases, 90 rbi, 80-90 runs scored, and a batting average around .290 is reasonable to expect from Pence in 2009.
26. Jay Bruce – Cincinnati Reds (22) BREAKOUT
At just age 22 for the 2009 season, Bruce could make a meteoric rise into the top 10 overall fantasy baseball outfielders by the end of the 2009 season. 30-40 homeruns, 100 rbi, 100 runs scored, 5-10 stolen bases, and a batting average around .285 is possible for Bruce in 2009.
27. Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers (27) BREAKOUT
Ethier is anything but an unknown, however now that Andruw Jones is out of the Dodgers outfield, Ethier will be assured of a starting outfield job entering the 2009 season. Entering the prime of his career at age 27, Ethier has the potential to post 25-30 homeruns, 10-15 stolen bases, 80-90 rbi, 90-100 runs scored, and a batting average above .300.
28. Jermaine Dye – Chicago White Sox (35)
Dye will be 35 for the 2009 fantasy baseball season, and even though he is coming off of five excellent seasons, it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see his stat production decrease in 2009. It would be wise to stay on the conservative side with Dye, as stats in the range of 20-25 homeruns, 80 rbi, 75 runs scored, and a .285 batting average is realistic to expect from him for the 2009 season.
29. Raul Ibanez – Philadelphia Phillies (37)
After signing with Philadelphia in the off season, Ibanez now finds himself firmly entrenched in the high scoring Phillies offense. With this in mind, Ibanez, even at age 37 for the 2009 season, has the potential for a posting an all-star caliber season. 25-30 homeruns, 110 rbi, 100 runs scored, and a solid .290 batting average seem very realistic for Ibanez in 2009.
30. Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies (28)
With back to back 35 plus stolen base seasons in 2007 and 2008, the 28 year old Victorino shouldn’t be slowing down anytime soon. A 40 stolen base season is possible in 2009, as well as 100-110 runs scored, 60 rbi, 10-15 homeruns, and a batting average around .290.
31. Brad Hawpe – Colorado Rockies (30)
With Matt Holiday out of Colorado, Hawpe should take over the lead roll as the top homerun and RBI man for the Rockies in 2009. Another solid season of 25-30 homeruns, 100 rbi, 80 runs scored, and a batting average around .285 is likely for Hawpe in 2009.
32. Jayson Werth – Philadelphia Phillies (30)
To say it lightly, Werth’s batting order was the single most reason for his success in 2008. Batting after Jimmy Rollins and before Chase Utley and Ryan Howard is probably the best lineup spot in all of major league baseball! With this in mind, assuming Werth continues to bat #2 in the Phillies lineup, he could easily post 25 homeruns, 20 stolen bases, 90-100 runs scored, 80 rbi, and a batting average around .280.
33. Xavier Nady – New York Yankees (30) BUST
After posting a career year in 2008, many fantasy baseball managers will be extremely high on Nady entering the 2009 season. If Nady remains in the potent Yankees offense, then he has a great chance of matching his career numbers again in 2009. However if Nady gets traded to a team that doesn’t have as much offensive potential as the Yankees, then his fantasy baseball value should decrease quite a bit. Numbers in the range of 15-20 homeruns, 80 rbi, 70 runs scored, and a .275 batting average seem like a safe bet for Nady in 2009.
34. Rick Ankiel – St. Louis Cardinals (30)
With a full season of major league playing time under his belt as a starting outfielder, Ankiel could easily take another step forward during the 2009 season. After posting 25 homeruns in 2008, Ankiel could easily notch 30 homeruns, 90 rbi, 70 runs scored, and a batting average around .280 for the 2009 season.
35. Vernon Wells – Toronto Blue Jays (30)
Once the best offensive player on the entire Blue Jays team, injuries have hampered Wells’ production over the past two seasons. After accounting for injuries and missed games, Wells should post 500 at bats and could tally 15-20 homeruns, 80-100 rbi, 90 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and a batting average around .290-.300 for the 2009 season.
36. Mark DeRosa – Cleveland Indians (34) BUST
After posting a career year in 2008, the Cubs quickly bailed on the 34 year old DeRosa in hopes of getting good value for him while they still could. DeRosa’s fantasy outlook for 2009 looks solid, but with a track record that includes just 13 homeruns as his career high prior to his 21 homeruns in 2008, I highly doubt DeRosa will come close to 20 homeruns again in 2009. Expect solid numbers, but not great numbers from DeRosa in 2009. His best fantasy baseball asset is definitely his versatility, as DeRosa should qualify at second base, third base, left field and right field in your league, and if an injury occurs to a starter, DeRosa can even play first base and shortstop if needed, which would give him even more position eligibility in fantasy baseball leagues for the 2009 season. 15 homeruns, 70 rbi, 80-90 runs scored, 5 stolen bases, and a batting average around .285 seems realistic for DeRosa in 2009.
37. Torii Hunter – Los Angeles Angels (34)
Even though Hunter will be 34 years old for the 2009 season, he still offers a very good combination of power and speed. Expecting 20 homeruns, 15-20 stolen bases, 90 runs scored, 80 rbi, and a batting average around .280 is very likely for Hunter during the 2009 season.
38. Johnny Damon – New York Yankees (35)
Damon is clearly getting up there in age, but a stacked Yankees lineup should still give Damon plenty of opportunities to put up very good fantasy baseball stats in 2009. 15 homeruns, 20-25 stolen bases, 90-100 runs scored, 60-70 rbi, and a batting average around .290 can be very helpful on any fantasy baseball team in 2009.
39. Delmon Young – Minnesota Twins (23)
Even though Young has seemed like a major disappointment thus far in his career, it is important to remember that he will be just 23 years old for the entire 2009 season! It only seems reasonable for him to improve upon his 2008 stats. Expecting 15-20 homeruns, 15-20 stolen bases, 80 runs scored, 80 rbi, and a batting average around .290 is a good bet for Young in 2009.
40. Bobby Abreu – Free Agent (35) BUST
Granted Abreu had a very solid fantasy baseball season in 2008, however he will be 35 years old during the 2009 season, and he is currently a free agent without a team really wanting him. I would expect a decline in homeruns and steals for the 2009 season, with a final 2009 stat line of 15-20 homeruns, 12-15 stolen bases, 80 rbi, 80 runs scored, and a .290 batting average.
41. Pat Burrell – Tampa Bay Rays (32)
Burrell is no longer in the high run scoring Phillies lineup, but the Rays lineup sure isn’t terrible at scoring runs either. Expecting 25-30 homeruns, 90 rbi, 70 runs scored, and a batting average around .260 is likely for Burrell in 2009.
42. Conor Jackson – Arizona Diamondbacks (27)
If Jackson ever develops some power and homerun potential, he could easily be a top 20 overall fantasy baseball outfielder. However if Jackson can just improve a little upon his 2008 numbers, then stats in the range of 15-20 homeruns, 10 stolen bases, 90 rbi, and a .300 batting average is very possible for him in 2009.
43. Milton Bradley – Chicago Cubs (31)
A spot in a very good Chicago Cubs lineup should net Bradley 20 homeruns, 70 rbi, 70 runs scored, 5 stolen bases, and a batting average around .295 for the 2009 season. However injury concerns are always a problem with Bradley, so make sure you have a good backup plan to replace him ‘when’ not ‘if’ he gets injured.
44. Eric Byrnes – Arizona Diamondbacks (33)
After injuries decimated his 2008 season, Byrnes still has the potential to return to form during the 2009 season with the chance of posting 15-20 homeruns, 20-30 stolen bases, 90-100 runs scored, 70-80 rbi, and a batting average around .280. If you are looking for a backup outfielder with plenty of potential, Byrnes is a great late round draft pick to take a chance on.
45. Chris Young – Arizona Diamondbacks (25)
Even though Young has posted back to back seasons of 32 homeruns and 27 stolen bases, and 22 homeruns and 14 stolen bases, the jury is still out on him. The main reason for this mixed jury, his batting average is absolutely horrendous! With a career .243 batting average over 1,264 major league at bats, it is hard to expect anything above a .250 batting average for Young in 2009. Not good, but if you need the homeruns and stolen bases, then Young is worth a shot.
46. Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers (29) SLEEPER
At age 29 for the 2009 season, Cruz is no longer a young prospect anymore, but he is still fairly limited in his major league experience. Cruz has so much power potential that he could easily post 40 homeruns and 100 rbi in 2009 if he is a full time starter. However Cruz has had a terrible time of translating his minor league success into major league success, so he clearly cannot be counted on entering the 2009 fantasy baseball season. With 500 plus at bats in 2009, Cruz could very easily post 35-40 homeruns, 100 rbi, 80 runs scored, 5 stolen bases, and a .300 plus batting average.
47. Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks (21) SLEEPER
Upton has the name and popularity among fantasy baseball managers, but after a disappointing 2008 season, he will likely get drafted a lot lower than his potential warrants for the 2009 season. Upton could very easily skyrocket to being a top 20 overall fantasy baseball outfielder by the end of the season. His 2009 stats could approach 25-30 homeruns, 15-20 stolen bases, 80-90 rbi, 90-100 runs scored, and a batting average around .280.
48. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles (23) SLEEPER
With a full season of major league experience under his belt from 2008, Jones has the potential to shoot up the fantasy baseball outfield rankings by the end of the 2009 season. His combination of speed and power is something all fantasy baseball teams can use. 10-15 homeruns, 15-20 stolen bases, 90 runs scored, 70 rbi, and a batting average around .280 is likely for Jones in 2009, with more possible if he plays up to his full potential.
49. Carlos Gomez – Minnesota Twins (23)
With the ability to rack up 40 plus stolen bases and 100-120 runs scored in 2009, Gomez should offer outstanding value as a late round pick in fantasy baseball drafts in 2009. Gomez’s overall 2009 stat line could include 40-50 stolen bases, 5-10 homeruns, 100-120 runs scored, 60-70 rbi, and a batting average around .270.
50. Lastings Milledge – Washington Nationals (24)
Even though Milledge has not yet lived up to his high billing, the young 24 year old outfielder should continue to improve his stats in 2009. His biggest weakness is his batting average, as Milledge hit just .268 during the 2008 season in 523 at bats. With improvement likely on the horizon for Milledge in 2009, numbers in the range of 15-18 homeruns, 25-30 stolen bases, 70 rbi, 70 runs scored, and a batting average around .275 is possible for him during the 2009 season.