Fantasy Baseball Outfield Shuffle Up: It's Aaron Judge's world, we're just living in it

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Today we rank all the outfield-eligibles in the Yahoo fantasy game. I stripped out anyone with catcher eligibility; they already had their own shuffle. I also did not rank injured players — it feels like a fool’s errand to me. If you’re an injury optimist, cool. If you’re an injury pessimist, that’s fine too. I am not a doctor and it’s foolish to pretend otherwise.

Assume a 5x5 scoring system, as usual. Players at the same salary are considered even. The salaries are unscientific, merely a way to show where the pockets of value lie.

I am trying to project how the players will perform going forward; what’s happened to this point is merely an audition.

Disagree with stuff? Excellent. That’s why we have a game. Send me a tweet and we can talk: @scott_pianowski.

To the outfield.

The Big Tickets

$42 Aaron Judge

$42 Yordan Alvarez

$38 Bryce Harper

$38 Mike Trout

$36 Ronald Acuna

$32 Julio Rodriguez

$32 Kyle Tucker

$31 Juan Soto

$31 Luis Robert

$30 Byron Buxton

$29 J.D. Martinez

I was surprised when Judge turned down a major contract extension before the year, but he’s bet on himself and is smelling like a rose now. He’s been the AL MVP to this point . . . Alvarez isn’t far behind, though, and I always love left-handed batters who crush lefties as well as righties. There are 100 ways to pitch Alvarez, and they’re all wrong. And it’s absurd to note that Alvarez has actually been unlucky in the batted-ball metrics; his average and slugging should actually be much higher than it is. This is David Ortiz 2.0.

Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros is a fantasy star
Yordan Alvarez has been a fantasy star this season. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

I doubt a buy-low on Tucker would work in any league of sophistication, but maybe you can try. He’s still running, and he’s another player unlucky on his batted-ball profile . . . Soto is too good to bury in the ranks, though he has expanded his chase zone this year and it’s been to his detriment . . . Martinez is insulated by a great lineup and park, but the homer column is a little depressing . . . Does Rodriguez go in the first or second round next year? He’s run a little less of late, but he’s still a 30-30 season waiting to happen, perhaps as soon as next season.

Legitimate Building Blocks

$23 Nick Castellanos

$22 Tommy Edman

$22 Giancarlo Stanton

$21 Adolis Garcia

$21 Randy Arozarena

$21 Starling Marte

$19 Luis Arraez

$19 Whit Merrifield

$19 Bryan Reynolds

$17 Kyle Schwarber

$17 Andrew Vaughn

$17 George Springer

I didn’t expect the secondary tier would have this much of a drop-off. Castellanos deserves the benefit of the doubt off back class, despite his sluggish start to the year . . . I wasn’t sure Edman had the OBP profile to keep the leadoff gig, especially for a new manager, but he’s proven me wrong . . . Garcia will swing at almost anything, but ignore the K/BB profile in this case and soak in the category juice. He’s also hitting for a reasonable average . . . Arraez has more walks than strikeouts and although he’s never going to be a slugger, he’s not a zero in the power categories. Useful player . . . Tony La Russa finally saw the light, slotted Vaughn in the No. 2 slot and has left him alone. Much rejoicing.

Talk them up, talk them down

$16 Cedric Mullins

$15 Ketel Marte

$15 Jon Berti

$14 Jurickson Profar

$14 Ian Happ

$14 Harrison Bader

$14 Teoscar Hernandez

$14 Christian Yelich

$13 Austin Hays

$13 Marcell Ozuna

$13 Anthony Santander

$13 Thomas Pham

$12 Charlie Blackmon

$12 Joc Pederson

$12 Brandon Drury

$12 Christopher Morel

$12 Ryan Mountcastle

$12 Josh Bell

$12 Jared Walsh

$12 Alex Verdugo

$12 Taylor Ward

$11 Brendan Donovan

$11 Mike Yastrzemski

$11 Hunter Renfroe

$11 Ramon Laureano

$10 Kole Calhoun

$10 Jeff McNeil

$10 Jack Suwinski

$10 Jorge Soler

$10 Josh Rojas

$10 Chris Taylor

$10 Trey Mancini

$10 Michael Brantley

$10 Andrew Benintendi

$10 Lourdes Gurriel

$10 Randal Grichuk

Berti is on one of those binges where it feels like he’ll run every time he reaches base. And joy to the world, he reaches base at a healthy clip. He also grabs multiple positions in the Yahoo game. It’s hard to see this being sustainable all year, but I have no intentions of trading my shares at the moment, short of a major offer . . . You’d like to see a little more power from Bell, but his strike-zone judgment protects his average and provides a nice floor . . . Donovan qualifies at every field position except catcher, a wonderful thing. The Cardinals love him in the No. 2 slot. Not a lot of category juice, but he’ll score runs and protect your average.

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Brantley and Benintendi are mostly average sources and not much else, though I still think Benintendi could push double-digit homers by the end of the year . . . Hays is having a solid year, obscured by some bigger names in Baltimore. There are some underwhelming pins on his Statcast page, but at least the data validates his playable average and slugging . . . Pham might not be welcome in your Fantasy Football league, but he still has a useful Fantasy Baseball profile. He’s been somewhat unlucky with his batted-ball results, he still draws plenty of walks and he’ll push for 20 homers and 15 steals by year’s end. He’s underrated.

Some plausible upside

$8 Garrett Cooper

$7 Lane Thomas

$7 Patrick Wisdom

$7 Michael Harris

$7 AJ Pollock

$7 Brandon Nimmo

$7 Dylan Carlson

$6 Hunter Dozier

$6 Gavin Lux

$6 Franchy Cordero

$6 Cody Bellinger

$6 Juan Yepez

$5 Seth Brown

$5 Adam Duvall

$5 David Peralta

$5 Raimel Tapia

$5 Jesse Winker

I liked Thomas a lot more when he was batting first or second, but he’s percolated to the bottom of the lineup in recent games . . . Nimmo’s big bugaboo is generally injuries, but he’s been ineffective for about a month now. The OBP skills still play, but he hasn’t been interested in running this year, and he’s not a major power source . . . Harris has to bat last in the loaded Atlanta lineup, but everything else about him leaps off the screen. He might be a $13-16 outfielder as soon as next year. A few more walks would be nice, but who’s quibbling about a .345/.375/.571 slash through four weeks, with some pop and speed?

Bargain Bin

$4 Amed Rosario

$4 Mark Canha

$4 Max Kepler

$4 Joey Gallo

$4 Connor Joe

$4 Jorge Mateo

$4 Jarren Duran

$4 Franmil Reyes

$3 Trent Grisham

$3 Alek Thomas

$3 Yonathan Daza

$3 Tyrone Taylor

$3 Jesus Sanchez

$3 Darin Ruf

$3 Avisail Garcia

$3 Dylan Moore

$3 Michael Taylor

$3 Andrew McCutchen

$3 Brandon Marsh

$3 Orlando Arcia

$3 Alex Kirilloff

$3 Riley Greene

$3 Jo Adell

$2 Albert Almora

$2 Danny Mendick

$2 Harold Ramirez

$2 Victor Robles

$2 Jace Peterson

$2 Adam Engel

$2 Luis Gonzalez

$2 Josh Naylor

$2 Rafael Ortega

$2 Odubel Herrera

$2 Josh Harrison

$2 Cavan Biggio

$2 Myles Straw

$1 Nomar Mazara

$1 Steven Kwan

$1 Nick Senzel

$1 Robbie Grossman

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