Adam vs Adam: 2018 Top 30 OFers to Own in Dynasty Leagues

Adam Lawler and Adam Garland end the season by breaking down and debating the top 30 outfielders to own in dynasty leagues.

(Graphic by Justin Paradis)

2018 End of the Season Positional Dynasty Rankings

The season may have ended, but dynasty and keeper league discussion never stops. Our colleague Brennen Gorman has been putting together an end of season position by position rankings for dynasty leagues which you can read more about in the table below.

Top 25 Catchers Top 60 Outfielders
Top 30 First Basemen Top 90 Outfielders
Top 30 Second Basemen Top 30 Starting Pitchers
Top 30 Shortstops Top 60 Starting Pitchers
Top 30 Third Basemen Top 90 Starting Pitchers
Top 30 Outfielders Top 50 Relief Pitchers

We are here to finish off the 2nd half of the rankings that are left, and we thought we’d do so in a creative way by bringing you all a new series called “Adam vs. Adam” in which we, both Adam Garland and Adam Lawler, each share our own rankings and debate back and forth in places that we differ. Let us know what you think of our rankings in the comments below, where are we right and where are we wrong? Let’s begin!

The Top 30 Outfielders

Rank Garland Team Age Lawler Team Age
Tier One
1 Mike Trout LAA 27 Mike Trout LAA 27
2 Mookie Betts BOS 26 Mookie Betts BOS 26
3 Ronald Acuna ATL 20 Ronald Acuna ATL 20
4 Aaron Judge NYY 26 Aaron Judge NYY 26
5 Christian Yelich MIL 27 Juan Soto WSH 20
6 Juan Soto WSH 20 Bryce Harper FA 26
7 Bryce Harper FA 26 Giancarlo Stanton NYY 29
8 Andrew Benintendi BOS 24 Christian Yelich MIL 27
9 J.D. Martinez BOS 31 Andrew Benintendi BOS 24
10 Giancarlo Stanton NYY 29 J.D. Martinez BOS 31
Tier Two
11 Rhys Hoskins PHI 25 Rhys Hoskins PHI 25
12 George Springer HOU 29 Charlie Blackmon COL 32
13 Eloy Jimenez CHW 22 Yasiel Puig LAD 28
14 Victor Robles WSH 21 Victor Robles WSH 21
15 Charlie Blackmon COL 32 Eloy Jimenez CHI 22
16 Michael Conforto NYM 25 George Springer HOU 29
17 Starling Marte PIT 30 Aaron Hicks NYY 29
18 Lorenzo Cain MIL 32 Kyle Schwarber CHC 25
19 Mitch Haniger SEA 27 Marcell Ozuna STL 28
20 Aaron Hicks NYY 29 Nicholas Castellanos DET 26
Tier Three
21 Eddie Rosario MIN 27 Michael Conforto NYM 25
22 Kyle Tucker HOU 21 Mitch Haniger SEA 27
23 Nicholas Castellanos DET 26 Tommy Pham TB 30
24 Brandon Nimmo NYM 25 A.J. Pollock FA 31
25 Marcell Ozuna STL 28 Lorenzo Cain MIL 32
26 Justin Upton LAA 31 Kyle Tucker HOU 21
27 A.J. Pollock FA 31 Brandon Nimmo NYM 25
28 Gregory Polanco PIT 27 Gregory Polanco PIT 27
29 Jesse Winker CIN 25 Jo Adell LAA 19
30 Nomar Mazara TEX 23 Ender Inciarte ATL 28

Thoughts from the Adam’s:

Tier One

Q: Adam Lawler –  With regards to Christian Yelich. Why should recency bias affect my rankings as a dynasty analyst as much as it appears to have affected your rankings?

A: Adam Garland – See I don’t think recency bias is a thing with Yelich, I think it’s simply a belief in the continued growth in Yelich’s game along with the ability to contribute across the board that has me excited about him short and long term. He has cut into his groundball rate 4 consecutive years now, and while he may have only posted a 23.5% flyball rate, he makes the most of that contact with a crazy 47.6% Hard Contact rate which ranked 7th best in the majors among qualified hitters, and he supported it with a 92.3 MPH avg exit velocity which was a top 15 mark in baseball. He barrels balls at such a high level as his barrels per PA mark ranked 16th. That ability to impact the ball, along with the shift from one of the worst hitting parks for lefties in Marlins park to one of the very best in Miller Park (COL is better overall but MIL is best for power) last year has me believing that the power growth is sustainable to a point. I’m not expecting 36 HRs again, but I think there’s 25 HR pop which along with a batted ball distribution that supports higher BAPIPs and therefore average, along with the aggressiveness on the basepaths of the Brewers, is a really strong 5 category performer for dynasty leagues. A .300 hitter with 25+ HRs and 20 SBs is worth that ranking and I think it’s a realistic expectation.

Q: Adam Garland – What are you doing ranking the often injured and highly inconsistent 29-year-old Giancarlo Stanton 7th, you really think he’s going to age well?

A: Adam Lawler – I’m glad you asked about the 2016 NL MVP. You know, the one who almost hit 60 home runs and 132 RBI? The one who’s “down year” consisted of 38 HR and 100 RBI while scoring 102 runs?

First, let’s dispel the notion he’s oft-injured. Fastballs hit him in the face and the wrist. These aren’t soft tissue injuries that linger. You heal and you move on. That’s exactly what he’s done in the last 2 years. Now, let’s address your ageism. Listen here you little millennial punk, he’s 29, not 36. If you’re worried about age, start reconsidering your ranking of a far less interesting and powerful George Springer. Now, granted the K rate is downright abysmal. It always has been. However, it’s not because of bat speed, it’s because he tries to murder the baseball. Next, you labeled Stanton as “highly inconsistent”. Say whatttt? Barring the errant fastball, you can write in pen, 35+ HR/100+ RBI/100+ R. At least for the next 5 years. How many outfielders can you say that about? Trout, Judge, and JD. The latter of which you ranked ahead of Stanton despite his being 2 years older than Stanton. In closing, is he 2016 Stanton? Probably not. But he’s not Josh Hamilton either.

Tier Two

Q: Adam LawlerWhat’s more overrated: a wrong-side-of-30, PED using, single category contributors like Starling Marte or the stolen base category?

A: Adam Garland – Overrated, I feel like you’re highly underrating Starling Marte at this point. He is now 30 and his best asset, speed, will likely be on the decline, but I still think there are a few years of high-level performance left fantasy wise. He’s stolen 30+ stolen bases in 5 of the last 6 years, and the only season in which he didn’t was due to the PED suspension you referenced in which he played just 77 games and still stole 21 bases. Oh and unlike a lot of other speedsters, Marte can contribute across the board with a batting average that has finished no worse than .275 since 2013, and he just posted his first 20 HR season on the back of the highest fly ball rate of his career. He finished as the 6th ranked OF in standard 5×5 scoring formats last year, he’s still a stud and I feel he can still return quality value for a few more years yet!

Q: Adam Lawler – What is it about Yasiel Puig that bothers you so much? Are you anti-bat flip? Do you hate fun baseball? The only thing holding Puig back from a 30-35 HR, 15-20 SB season are his hamstrings and a full slate of ABs. I’m going to go ahead and post the gif below. Please stare at it as you tell me why he’s not a top 20 OF.

Home Run Sport GIF by MLB - Find & Share on GIPHY

A: Adam Garland – Last I checked, “fun baseball” wasn’t a category in fantasy baseball…but I do think you mentioned the big factor in my ranking of Puig being so much lower comparatively, the hamstrings and the lack of full-season ABs. He’s missed chunks of the season in 3 of the last 4 years and has had multiple DL stints due to those pesky hamstring issues. The hamstring issues don’t give me confidence towards projecting 15-20 SBs going forward consistently as he ages, and while I think 30+ HR is possible given his quality of contact figures (38.4% Hard Contact rate and 89.4 MPH average exit velocity) and improved launch angle, he’s yet to reach that mark so far in his career. He’s also been a lower BAPIP guy since 2015 and I think the shift to more flyballs may further dampen his batting average slightly. The potential is there, trust me I see it, but I just don’t trust the body to hold up and allow him to hit his ceiling.

Tier Three

Q: Adam Garland –  Jesse Winker last year showed elite contact skills, he walked more than he struck out, he posted above-average quality of contact numbers, plus he hits enough flyballs to get to 25 HRs…do you even use analytics?

A: Adam Lawler – Nope. I use #manalytics. My gut tells me that (1) I shouldn’t have eaten that meatball sub so quickly and (2) Jesse Winker is a hit-for-contact, light power bat with no speed. I’ll grant you that he’s certainly more interesting in OBP leagues and for those ever-popular BB-K% leagues. However, his Steamer projection shows him at a 17 HR, 78 R, 69 RBI clip with a few stolen bags. So you’re trying to sell me on an OF that kinda helps you in average, but he’s not actively helping you in any other batting category? Whoop-a-dee-doo. Hard pass.

Q: Adam Garland: No doubt that the upside is high, but Jo Adell is still a teenager and raw at the plate evidenced by his below-average swinging-strike rates at all 3 levels of his minor league season last year. This seems like a case of disrespecting the proven commodities for a mystery box to me, what gives?

A: Adam Lawler – You’re right! He’s still a teenager. Which is exactly why I love him so. The Los Angeles Angels thought highly enough of him to promote him to AA as a teenager. A place where he was 5 years younger than most of the other players. Why was he promoted so aggressively? Oh, that’s right. Because he shredded the California league with a slash line of .290/.345/.546 which was good for a 135 wRC+. The kid is a physical specimen. His speed is legit. Scouts have him reaching first in less than 4.6 seconds. Reports have the sound of the ball off his bat reaching Ronald Acuna type decibels (read this as high exit velocity). Recognizing the age and approach, it should have been expected that he would struggle in his first go around, certainly not alarming. I will not be the least bit surprised when he comes back with a vengeance to start the 2019 campaign. Less surprising – and part of the reason why I ranked him as high as I did – would be a big league promotion in 2019 after he tears it up in AA and a brief stint in AAA. Mystery box? The only mystery to me is if he’ll wind up a star or superstar.

Adam Lawler

Fun dad. Generally tired. Follow me @TheStatcastEra.

4 responses to “Adam vs Adam: 2018 Top 30 OFers to Own in Dynasty Leagues”

  1. Zachary Lowry says:

    Am I missing Bregman and Altuve or did you guys not include them? Why?!? You cant convince me that guys like Aaron Hicks, Justin Upton, ect have more dynasty value than Bregs or Altuve. Correa too for that matter. I’m not even an Astros fan.

  2. Mark DePaolis says:

    Great lists and article. Just wondering about Bellinger, are you considering him as 1st Base only? If he were listed, where would you each place him? Thank you

  3. Michael Rivera Jr says:

    Think you meant 3.6 seconds for Adell? 4.6 seconds is sloooooooooow for the MLB level.

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