Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Outfielders
Published: Feb 20, 2023
Updated: Mar 01, 2023
When building your fantasy baseball rosters there are plenty of fantasy baseball projections and fantasy baseball player rankings to assist in your draft prep. You can even go ahead and join some fantasy baseball mock drafts to help you better understand the fantasy baseball ADP for certain MLB players and positions so you can find those mid-to-late round values. Then, of course, there are the things that you just know, and what you know are the top players at each position. Generally, you find them going among the top 25 in fantasy baseball drafts and for the outfield position this season, there are seven players with a first-round ADP this year. Let’s highlight the top 5 MLB outfielders for the 2023 fantasy baseball season!
Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Outfield ADP
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
When looking at consensus ADP we see Judge just slightly ahead of Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna for the top ADP spot. Judge, of course, is coming off a historic season that saw him hit .311 with 133 runs, 62 home runs, 131 RBI, 16 stolen bases, and an OPS of 1.111 on his way to the American League MVP. After some contract controversy, Judge decided to return to the Yankees this offseason where he will once again get to play his games in one of the more hitter-friendly ballpark divisions in the MLB. Judge hit 30 of his 62 home runs in Yankee Stadium and added an additional 15 home runs in opposing American League East ballparks.
While the 62 home runs is a number that feels unlikely to repeat itself in 2023, we do know that Judge has the home run potential to once again lead the league in long balls. Couple that with the Yankees lineup and he should have little trouble maintaining strong RBI and run-scoring totals. The biggest surprise from Judge in 2022 was not the 62 home runs but the 16 stolen bases he gave his fantasy managers as well. His previous high was just nine stolen bases back in 2017 but he got the green light to go a bit more in 2022 and with the expectations that we could see stolen bases on the rise in 2023, there is a chance that this number is going to be repeatable, especially with all the walks that Judge tends to draw.
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
Teased by the talent. It’s now been three seasons since Acuna’s breakout 2019 campaign which saw him his .280 with 41 home runs and 37 stolen bases. We then got another glimpse in 2021 when he had 24 home runs and 17 stolen bases in just 82 games before going down with a season-ending injury. Unfortunately, 2023 was not the year fantasy managers had hoped for. We knew going in that Acuna would not be ready for the start of the year but the hope was that when he got the green light that there would be first-round production coming from the star outfielder. While 15 home runs along with 29 stolen bases are nothing to wipe your nose at, he hit just .266 with an OPS of .764. The upside of taking Acuna among the top three picks in your draft is that you end up with the 1.01 overall player in fantasy baseball but there is certainly some risk potential here as well.
Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners
Talk about a player who lived up to the hype! The 2022 American League Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger Award winner hit .284 with 84 runs, 28 home runs, 75 RBI, and 25 stolen bases over 132 games last season. He was the number two overall prospect in baseball heading into last year and dominated during spring training which landed him a spot on the Mariner's Opening Day lineup. It wasn’t all roses for JRod as he hit just .206 over the first 20 games of the year but as soon as May hit the season turned and he never looked back, in fact, over the final 40 games of the season he hit .303 with an OPS of .937 while launching 12 of his 28 home runs. Fantasy Alarm fantasy baseball projections for the 2023 season have Rodriguez flirting with another 30/30 season with a solid average and OPS.
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros
Proving that his breakout 2021 was no fluke, Tucker hit 30 homers for the second straight season while adding 25 stolen bases and driving in 107 runs in 2022. We did see his batting average and OPS drop along with his runs scored but this Astros offense continues to be among the best in baseball and this offseason they added José Abreu to the middle of their lineup as well. Tucker’s average drop can also be attributed to a .261 BABIP. A correction there should allow for the average to bump closer to .280 than .250. Tucker should also benefit from the new ban on the shift as Tucker faced the shift in 90.9% of his plate appearances last season. With the shift no longer legal, we could expect to see more hits for Tucker and therefore increase production across the board. The one real question regarding his 2023 projections will be whether or not the stolen base totals repeat themselves.
Juan Soto, San Diego Padres
Soto may have been one of the bigger “busts” in fantasy baseball last season as he hit just .242 with 27 homers, 62 RBI, and 93 runs scored. Some down production could have been expected given the state of the Nationals lineup but things actually got worse for Soto following his trade to the Padres as he hit just .236 with an OPS of .778. Of course, fantasy managers are willing to give Soto another shot here because we know what can be with Soto. That is an elite fantasy producer when in a lineup that can help score and drive in runs. Soto was also a bit snake-bitten last season, owning a .249 BABIP. A BABIP closer to his career mark would obviously help boost his average back towards .300. The Padres lineup added Xander Bogaerts and will be getting Fernando Tatis back at some point as well following his suspension for PEDs. Soto is also still only 24 years old and entering his power prime. A season of 30 homers, 100 RBI, and 100 runs scored is certainly in the conversation and thus the reason Soto is going among the top five outfielders despite his down 2022 season.
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Related MLB Links:
- 2023 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide
- 2023 Fantasy Baseball MLB Preseason Projections
- 2023 MLB Fantasy Baseball Rankings
- Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Fantasy Alarm Staff Mock Draft 1.0
- Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Fantasy Baseball Outfield Position Depth
- Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: 2023 Late-Round Fantasy Baseball ADP Draft Targets