Dynasty Performance Report: Major League Outfielders 3.0

Martin looks at the latest risers and fallers in his report.

The Dynasty Performance Report is a regular series, highlighting each position and providing insight into the risers and fallers of both the major leagues and prospects.

The Inaugural Major League report for the 2024 season will set the foundation for this monthly series. Each month, I will provide a brief recap of the players outlined in the previous edition of the article, followed by players who I’ve identified as current risers and fallers. If you’re prospect-focused, a Minor League edition of this report will also run monthly.

Any mention of rankings in this article is directly from my personal Top 350 Dynasty Rankings.

In the first version of this Dynasty Performance Report, I mentioned that the landscape surrounding the outfield position was bleak and uninspiring. Over the past three months, not much has changed. Four distinct tiers of outfielders comprise the Top 30 at the position, immediately followed by a dramatic fall-off. Within those four tiers is minimal movement, with most players remaining in that crop, occasionally shifting tiers but rarely exiting. The fall-off is still there, but the players atop that next tier are improving their value with unexpected success. I will look at three fantasy-viable outfield options on the rise and three who have seen their values dramatically shift.




Ceddanne Rafaela, BOS


As a Red Sox fan and apologist, I admit that I doubted Rafaela and his ability to produce at the Major League level. His MiLB profile up until 2021 was that of an elite defender at multiple positions with occasional power and game-changing speed. Things changed in 2022 as Rafaela found his power stroke and began driving the ball more. As a result, he produced consecutive 20+ homer seasons in 2022 and 2023. The problem was that I was close-minded on Rafaela, refusing to believe in the skill change, instead thinking he’s two things: speed and defense. That’s where I was wrong. As of June 10th, Ceddanne Rafaela leads all qualified rookies in runs scored and RBI while ranking in the Top 10 in hits, doubles, triples, home runs, and stolen bases. Not bad for a speed-only guy, right? If the season ended today, Rafaela would be on the shortlist to win the American League Rookie of the Year. He’s outperformed pre-season favorites Wyatt Langford and Colt Keith, while dark horse Jackson Holliday was here and gone so fast. It’s becoming a two-horse race with Rafaela and Yankees’ starter Luis Gil.

The defense has been incredible, and Rafaela has a legitimate chance to earn a Gold Glove in center field. Every night, Rafaela patrols centerfield at Fenway Park, making the most impossible catches look possible while creating a daily highlight-reel grab. His defensive versatility (also plays SS) has improved the Red Sox defense immensely, and his presence has them among the highest-performing outfields in the league.

Rafaela is not without warts. His Statcast page is dark blue, and he is in the bottom ten percentile in nearly every offensive category. His chase rate is 44.8%, his strikeout rate is 27.9%, and his average exit velocity is 86.1 mph. But he’s producing. And he’s running. Both of which make him viable in deeper formats. He’s also playing every day for the Red Sox, and the way he’s defending will keep him in their lineup.

Rafaela is still 23-years-old and has a measly 309 at-bats in the big leagues. Rafaela is OF34 on the 2024 Razzball Player Rater and should continue to climb with his power/speed combination. While his viability may change in time, it’s reckless to omit a possible 20-20 bat from an otherwise weakened position. If you’re looking for an upside Dynasty play with outstanding speed, Rafaela looks to be a foundational piece for the Red Sox moving forward.


Brenton Doyle, OF, COL


Brenton Doyle continues to shine for the lowly Rockies. The fourth-round pick in 2020 made his ascent through the Minors after displaying his own combination of power and speed. Doyle had two seasons of 15+ homers and 20+ steals playing across three levels in 2021 and 2022. Those seasons came on the heels of an impressive post-draft debut in the Pioneer League in 2019 that saw him hit .383 with eight homers and 17 steals in 51 games.

Doyle survived the Rockies’ platoon game last season and has emerged as an everyday regular in centerfield. The second-year professional is on pace for a 15-35 season with a respectable batting average. In 63 games, Doyle has a .269/.341/.404 slash with five homers and 17 steals. Much like Rafaela, Doyle possesses plus speed and above-average defensive ability. In addition, Doyle ranks in the 100th percentile for arm strength, a nice perk for a centerfielder. With a growing number of injuries in the Rockies’ outfield (Beck, Jones, Bouchard), Doyle is here to stay.

The underlying numbers for Doyle are underwhelming, but he’s in a much better range than Rafaela. Most of his batted ball data is in the 45th percentile or higher, with his 8.1% barrel rate and 9.5% walk rate leading the way. The most obvious advantage for Doyle is playing his home games in Coors Field, the king of hitter-friendly ballparks. Oddly, Doyle has more home runs and RBI on the road, although his overall slash line (.216/.288/.312) away from the Mile High City is ugly. Doyle is a sneaky asset in Dynasty leagues, providing a safe floor of stolen bases and batting average.


Steven Kwan, OF, CLE


Unapologetically, the theme of today’s risers is speed. Steven Kwan is no stranger to speed and has become one of the most consistent performers in fantasy. 2024 is Kwan’s third season in the Majors, and although he missed several weeks due to injury, he has picked back up with his production. In his first two seasons, Kwan is averaging .282 with five homers and 20 steals. Over that span, Kwan ranks in the top 25 in batting average, hits, runs scored, OBP, and walk-to-strikeout ratio, while also posting the 12th most plate appearances. Kwan is a perfect volume play in fantasy, and nothing he does hurts your overall performance.

His profile is built around his outstanding hit tool, evidenced by a .292 career batting average. While his power is marginal, the elite batting average and significant speed output carry his value. Kwan’s expected stats are fantastic, and he excels in plate discipline. For three consecutive seasons, including 2024, he’s in the 100th percentile in Whiff and strikeout rate and the 90th percentile or higher in chase rate. The remainder of his batted ball data is poor, but when you make zone contact at a 95% or better clip, good things will happen. It’s unlikely that Kwan will become a power hitter, but you never know.

Kwan leads off every day for the Guardians, providing outstanding run totals while hitting ahead of Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor. His floor of high average with consistent stolen base production and high volume makes Kwan a must-own dynasty asset and continues to push Kwan up in the outfield hierarchy.




Randy Arozarena, OF, TBR


2024 has been a perplexing journey for the Rays’ Randy Arozarena. The 29-year-old Cuban-born outfielder has struggled immensely this season after three consecutive seasons ranking among the Top 15 outfielders. The logical explanation is that Arozarena is playing through injury, as it’s unlikely his skills would regress that drastically so quickly. His .175/.284/.320 slash line has been detrimental to fantasy owners, and he’s likely losing playing time on your roster. Before this year, you could pencil Arozarena in for a .260-ish batting average with 20 homers, 20+ steals, and 160+ combined runs and RBIs. His place in the middle of the Rays’ lineup was safe, and aside from the occasional day off, Arozarena was among the few players who could transcend the Rays’ platoon. In nearly every iteration of Dynasty rankings, he was a consensus Top 50 asset.

So, what’s going wrong? The short answer is everything. Across the board, Arozarena’s profile is unrecognizable. Aside from his poor production, every metric is significantly down this season, including all of his expected stats and batted ball data. His barrel rate is down 6%, his average EV is down 1.4 mph, his hard hit rate is down 9%, and his infield fly ball rate is up to 11.3%. The only metric on the rise for Arozarena is his 26.5% strikeout rate, his highest since 2021. Among qualified hitters, Arozarena ranks in the bottom 10 in batting average, SLG, and OPS.

I’m not sure what’s actionable with Arozarena in Dynasty. The track record of high-level performance gives me hope that it’s just an extended slump or an undisclosed injury. Unfortunately, nothing in his metrics shows that a turnaround is coming, but you’ve got to think it will. If you can buy low on Arozarena in your league, it may be the best time to do it, especially with his value at an all-time low. For rankings purposes, I’ve got to move Arozarena down until he turns it around, much like I have with Corbin Carroll.


Jordan Walker, OF, STL


It hurts my heart to see Jordan Walker struggle like he has. As a long-time believer in Walker, his performance has been frustrating, and I don’t know what to make of him. In his three MLB stints, Walker has a .262 batting average with 16 homers and seven steals in 137 games. That’s not a terrible stat line for a 22-year-old prospect, but Walker has yet to stick in the Majors. Since his most recent demotion on April 24th, Walker has understandably lost his mojo. At Triple-A, he’s slashing .261/.306/.381 with ONE home run and an improved 17.9% strikeout rate. The problem is Walker’s profile projects a high-end power asset with above-average speed and a solid batting average. Aside from his average, nothing has come to fruition.

His MLB debut in 2023 was rushed, and while he was performing well, the Cardinals demoted him. Upon his return in June, he hit .276 with 16 homers in 117 games. But things didn’t start well in 2024. Walker hit .155 with no homers and a 31% strikeout rate, leading to a return trip to Memphis. As a former top prospect, the pedigree and talent are there for Walker. He just turned 22 in late May and has plenty of time to live up to his billing. But, do the Cardinals have an appetite for him? At this point, it’s got to be mentally draining for Walker. 2024 aside, he’s performed well in the Major Leagues. Not ELITE, but well. Much better than other Cardinals’ outfield options like Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar (more coming).

I still think Walker is a fantastic Dynasty asset, and I’m confident he’ll perform in St. Louis or elsewhere. The question is where to rank Walker moving forward. Given the recent performance issues at AAA and the uncertainty of his next MLB appearance, I’ve got to move Walker down in my rankings, but I do encourage a buy-low scenario if it presents itself.



Martin Sekulski

Martin is a Dynasty writer for PitcherList. He is a lifelong member of Red Sox Nation and attributes his love of baseball to his father, Marty. As a father and a husband, Martin now loves sharing his love of America's pastime with his family. You can find his work on Twitter and SubStack

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