Draft Prep Tiers:| | | | | | |
Trying to wrangle all of the names at this position into the same number of tiers as at each of the scantly populated infield positions is a hair-pulling experience rife with second-guessing.
Case in point: I kind of feel like Tommy Pham and Rhys Hoskins belong in their own tier. Grouping them with Justin Upton and Khris Davis understates their potential and undermines the tiering concept since I'm acknowledging disparate expectations for players within the same tier.
So here's my rationalization: Every owner will draft at least three outfielders, probably more, so if you're waiting for the very end of a tier to target an outfielder, you're approaching the position all wrong.
And frankly, if some of The Near-Elite remain at other positions -- such as Brian Dozier at second base, Jose Abreu at first base, Anthony Rendon at third base or Alex Bregman at shortstop -- you probably shouldn't be taking Pham or Hoskins yet. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, of course, but my point is there's an internal logic to all of this. And if you still don't have your first outfielder by the time The Near-Elite are gone, well, Pham and Hopkins are perfect picks for you
And there's a good chance you won't. Outfield, given how many players it offers, is outrageously thin at the top. Of course, it also offers no shortage of breakout candidates, if only because of volume, so no need to get panicky on Draft Day.
The Unmatched: Mike Trout
The Elite: Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon, Giancarlo Stanton, Mookie Betts
The Near-Elite: J.D. Martinez, Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger, George Springer
The Next-Best Things: Tommy Pham, Rhys Hoskins, Christian Yelich, Andrew Benintendi, Marcell Ozuna, Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Pollock, Justin Upton, Khris Davis, Lorenzo Cain, Starling Marte
The Fallback Options: Billy Hamilton, Byron Buxton, Eduardo Nunez, Jay Bruce, Ryan Braun, Yoenis Cespedes, Domingo Santana, Eddie Rosario, Adam Jones, Marwin Gonzalez, Chris Taylor, Adam Eaton, Nicholas Castellanos, Yasiel Puig, Ronald Acuna, Michael Conforto, Adam Duvall, Ender Inciarte, Brett Gardner, Kevin Kiermaier, Eric Thames, Steven Souza, Avisail Garcia
The Last Resorts: Ian Desmond, Kyle Schwarber, Mitch Haniger, Corey Dickerson, Odubel Herrera, Michael Brantley, Carlos Gonzalez, Gregory Polanco, Nomar Mazara, Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini, Manuel Margot, Ian Happ, Dexter Fowler, Austin Hays, Jesse Winker, Jackie Bradley, Stephen Piscotty, Aaron Hicks, Bradley Zimmer, Willie Calhoun
The Leftovers: Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Martinez, Lewis Brinson, Josh Reddick, Aaron Altherr, Kole Calhoun, Teoscar Hernandez, Nick Williams, Jose Bautista, David Dahl, Melky Cabrera, David Peralta, Max Kepler, Chris Owings, Delino DeShields, Hunter Renfroe, Michael Taylor, Matt Kemp, Scott Schebler, Yasmany Tomas, Carlos Gomez, Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier, Kevin Pillar, Jorge Bonifacio, Joc Pederson, Eloy Jimenez, Nicky Delmonico, Jose Pirela, Keon Broxton, Randal Grichuk, Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist, Gerardo Parra