Outfielders will be reviewed 20 at a time in an effort to keep this list from getting too lengthy. These are the Top 20 and they are among the elite of the elite in fantasy baseball.
As with every other one of these rankings, the comments verify or deny the ADP base. Tiers are included where I determine there’s a break.
1. Ryan Braun — This top tier holds Braun and Kemp. There’s more on Braun in our Top 10 for 2010.
2. Matt Kemp — Projections and discussion on Kemp in our Top 10 for 2010.
3. Carl Crawford — New tier runs from here to Werth. Lot’s of multi-category talents here. Read more about Crawford in our Top 20 for 2010.
4. Jacoby Ellsbury — The ranking’s too high, but ADP has him in the Top 20 for 2010.
5. Matt Holliday — How is it that Ellsbury gets in the Top 20, but Holliday does not? Ellsbury’s projected for elite steals and runs, Holliday for fantasy-winning stats across the board. Projections: 105/25/110/15.310
6. Justin Upton — People have begun calling him J-Upside. After what he did last year at age 22, I’ve got one foot in the bandwagon. Projections: 90/25/80/20/.295
7. Jason Bay — Of Bay’s 36 homers in 2009, 15 were hit at Fenway. Only six of those were ballpark specials. Still, let’s say the Mets’ stadium takes away five more, that puts him closer to 25 homers than 35 homers. Projections: 100/30/105/10/.270
8. Grady Sizemore — Had surgery on his elbow and his abdominal wall. He played with the sports hernia from Spring Training on. What you should do at home right now is pick up a bat, swing it and imagine what it must have felt like to hit a 95-mile-an-hour pitch. Next, sprint at full speed for 90 feet then jump and land on your gut. Wonder why he had so few stolen bases last year. He’s healthy now and only 28. Projections: 100/25/80/35/.270
9. Jayson Werth — His ranking feels a bit high, but there are few players who can contribute so well in so many categories. Projections: 85/30/85/20/.270
10. Ichiro Suzuki — This is a new tier, it goes to Granderson and still boasts elite talent. I’ve beaten down Ichiro at every opportunity. I’m not a big fan of picking players who produce great batting average but only help marginally in other categories this early. Ichiro is 37, so I might bet on the under on his steals. Projections: 90/10/55/30/.320
11. Adam Lind — Came out of practically nowhere to join the 35-homer 110-RBI club in 2010. He’s 27 this season. What’s his encore look like? Projections: 80/30/100/1/.295
12. Nick Markakis — Pushed him hard last season. It doesn’t seem like he’s going to advance beyond what he is. That is a very, very good OF, just not one that belongs in the Top 5. He does turn 27 this season, which is magical for some players. Projections: 95/20/95/10/.300
13. Curtis Granderson — What the Mets’ stadium taketh away from Bay, Yankee Stadium giveth to Curtis Granderson. At age 29, expect Granderson to take full advantage of the opportunity and spike his runs and homers. Projections: 100/25/80/20/.270
14. Josh Hamilton — Hamilton starts the new tier because of his question marks. There are two questions, two specialists and an underrated player in this tier that runs to Ramirez. Bum shoulder is still hampering his throws. I won’t pick him. I’ve got to know he’s back first. There’s quite a bit of risk/reward here. Projections: 70/20/80/5/.285
15. BJ Upton — A specialist, Upton could produce elite speed and runs with some helpful pop. The then 25-year-old’s OBP dropped him out of the Rays leadoff spot in 2009. Projections: 80/15/65/40/.270
16. Adam Dunn — A source of consistent elite power and run production should never be overlooked. Projections: 90/35/100/1/.250
17. Nelson Cruz — Past performance shows that he’s capable of the 33-20 season he produced last year. But that might be his ceiling, too. If he gets close to last season’s numbers he’ll be a nice pick at this slot. Projections: 80/30/85/15/.270
18. Manny Ramirez — So, now when we say “Manny just being Manny,” do we mean that Manny isn’t being chemically enhanced? Projections: 75/25/90/.290
19. Andre Ethier — He needs to hit lefties better. If he does that, he might jump 10 spots. Projections: 85/20/90/5/.285
20. Shin-Soo Choo — His projections mirror last year’s production — 87/20/86/21/.300. If you gave him five more on each counting stat, I wouldn’t throw my arms up and walk out. Projections: 90/20/85/20/.300
The bonus round will come after all 80 outfielders have been profiled. If you sill yearn for more content, please check out our fantasy baseball page with links to our 2010 rankings page and strategy and advice archive.