Fantasy baseball rest-of-season outfield rankings: Ronald Acuna breaks the game

·6 min read

Shuffle Up season is here. How would we rank and sort players if a fantasy league were assembling from scratch right this second? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

Included on this list is everyone roster-worthy who qualifies at outfield in the Yahoo game.

I will not debate ranks on injured players. Of course, baseball is most fun when the best players are healthy and doing their thing; I root for everybody. But these weekly staples are not meant to be injury arguments.

If you have different ranks and thoughts, that’s great! That’s why we have a game, and that’s the soul of what fantasy baseball is.

The numbers are more gut-feel than scientific, and there’s no formula here. You’re getting my instinct take on the market at this point in time. Players at the same number are considered even.

I may tweak this list within the opening 24 hours of publishing. I welcome your feedback on Twitter: @scott_pianowski.

To the ranks.

The Big Tickets 

$42 Ronald Acuna

$38 Mookie Betts

$37 Juan Soto

$35 J.D. Martinez

$31 Christian Yelich

$30 Bryce Harper

$28 Aaron Judge

$28 Kris Bryant

$28 Yordan Alvarez

$26 Nick Castellanos

$24 Marcell Ozuna

$23 Whit Merrifield

$23 Kyle Tucker

Acuna was already a god on his power potential alone, but if he’s going to continue to run this aggressively and mix in improved plate discipline, he’s simply unfair. He’d be my first pick if I were heading into a redraft today . . . Martinez sure looks like a different player with his video back, even if it might be a placebo effect. The Red Sox pitching is going to be a mess all year, but this should be a Top 5 offense for the full season . . . Merrifield critics always have a plausible angle — he came up too late, he was never a prospect, he’s not elite in the power categories, his stolen bases could drop at any point. Some day the faders will be right, because gravity eventually wins on anyone. In the meantime, Merrifeld has been ADP-priced for profit his entire career. The Raul Ibanez All-Stars have become the Whit Merrifield All-Stars.  

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 05: Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals watches a sacrifice fly during the seventh inning of the home opener against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 05, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Whit Merrifield is often overlooked, but he continues to be a valuable fantasy contributor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Set-and-Forget 

$21 Jesse Winker

$19 Alex Verdugo

$18 Jared Walsh

$18 Ramon Laureano

$17 Randy Arozarena

$17 Ketel Marte

$16 Trent Grisham

$16 Teoscar Hernandez

$16 Adolis Garcia

$16 Trey Mancini

$16 Cedric Mullins

$15 Mitch Haniger

$15 Franmil Reyes

$15 Nick Solak

$15 Tommy Edman

$15 Robbie Grossman

$14 Austin Meadows

$14 Mike Yastrzemski

$14 Mark Canha

$14 Jarred Kelenic

$14 Andrew Benintendi

$14 Avisail Garcia

All Winker has ever really needed is good health and a team to leave him alone. His hard-hit metrics are all pinned to the right, and a dip in his walk rate has been mitigated by more regular contact. He’s at minimum a very good player, and maybe a star . . . The Betts deal is never going to play well in Boston, but Verdugo was a smart piece for the Red Sox to acquire. Verdugo has elite contact skills, isn’t a pumpkin against lefties, and has hit just as well on the road as he does at Fenway . . . Walsh made changes to his game during a monster 2019 season in the minors, and at this point he’s a fully vested player we can believe in. The Angels even moved Albert Pujols out of the way, to make sure Walsh’s playing time isn’t messed with. . . . A slow start and a minor injury have held Yastrzemski back thus far, but the way the ball is flying in San Francisco in the post-archway world, I want as many lefty bats as I can get there. It’s not clear if those archways will stay closed all year, but here’s hoping they do. It’s been fun to see that park play differently for a couple of seasons . . . Funny how Grossman has turned into the player we expected Cavan Biggio to be; modest average, but an elite OBP and plenty of category juice. And unlike Biggio, Grossman’s lineup spot at the top is secure. Not that I’m throwing Biggio away for the season, but I expect Grossman to be relevant all year. 

Reliable Mid-Tier Options 

$13 Chris Taylor

$13 Garrett Hampson

$13 Randal Grichuk

$13 Raimel Tapia

$12 Michael Brantley

$12 Josh Rojas

$12 David Peralta

$12 Andrew McCutchen

$12 Manuel Margot

$11 Wil Myers

$11 Cavan Biggio

$11 Joey Gallo

$11 Austin Riley

$10 Charlie Blackmon

$10 Dylan Carlson

$10 Jorge Soler

$10 Tommy Pham

$10 Bryan Reynolds

$10 Brandon Belt

$10 Adam Duvall

McCutchen’s game has picked up the last couple of weeks, and I’m always going to want to bet on the smarter players . . . Rojas is probably here to stay in Arizona, even when others get healthy. He’s batted second, third, or fourth in his last 13 games, and his seasonal numbers are still screened by his horrendous start. He’s been on every pitch for a month . . . Pham deserves patience, given a stable K/BB rate and his willingness to run (and man, that entire teams wants to run) . . . The Coors undertow will keep Blackmon from sinking too low, but he’s shut down the running game for three years and the power is hissing out of the balloon. I’d rather be a year early than a year late. 

Worth a Conversation 

$9 Brandon Lowe

$9 Kyle Lewis

$8 Eddie Rosario

$8 Lourdes Gurriel

$8 Niko Goodrum

$7 Tyler Naquin

$7 Dominic Smith

$7 Adam Frazier

$7 Max Kepler

$7 Adam Eaton

$7 Austin Hays

$6 Michael Taylor

$6 Harrison Bader

$6 Pavin Smith

$6 Willie Calhoun

$6 Justin Upton

$5 Matt Beaty

$5 Ian Happ

$5 Kyle Schwarber

$5 Nick Senzel

$5 Kike Hernandez

$5 Alex Dickerson

$4 Austin Slater

$4 Josh Naylor

$4 Ryan Mountcastle

$4 Luis Arraez

$4 Gregory Polanco

$4 Jurickson Profar

$4 Myles Straw

$4 Akil Baddoo

Calhoun has never really had a position, but leave him alone and he can conk 25 homers . . . Given Beaty's broad skills, I don’t understand why the Dodgers bothered to sign Pujols. They have more than enough regulars, and roster flexibility . . . Bader’s strikeouts have come way down while he’s kept his walk rate in a juicy area. His expected batting average is .277. He’s only 70 plate appearances into his season, but it’s possible he’ll be triple this value the next time we do this exercise. 

Bargain Bin

$3 Marwin Gonzalez

$3 Victor Robles

$3 Andrew Vaughn

$3 Lorenzo Cain

$3 Tim Locastro

$3 Joc Pederson

$3 Brian Anderson

$2 Corey Dickerson

$2 Hunter Renfroe

$2 David Fletcher

$2 Brad Miller

$2 Mike Tauchman

$2 Clint Frazier

$2 Yonathan Daza

$1 David Dahl

$1 Amed Rosario

$1 Jackie Bradley

$1 Charlie Culberson

$1 Jordan Luplow

$1 Jason Heyward

$1 Seth Brown

$1 Garrett Cooper

$1 Leury Garcia

$1 Daulton Varsho

$1 Jonathon Berti

$1 Darin Ruf

$1 Sam Haggerty

$1 Stephen Piscotty

$1 Billy Hamilton

Injured Courtesy Ranks — Not For Debate 

$36 Mike Trout

$30 Cody Bellinger

$27 Giancarlo Stanton

$25 Byron Buxton

$23 Starling Marte

$18 George Springer

$15 Michael Conforto

$13 Tyler O'Neill

$10 Anthony Santander

$7 Jeff McNeil

$6 Kole Calhoun

$5 Dylan Moore

$5 J.D. Davis

$2 AJ Pollock

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