Here comes the re-ranking with some of the most movement (the most goes to starting pitchers). Outfielders are plentiful and many come off of waivers every year to contribute in every format. What struggles are bound to change for the better and which surprise performers may fall off the rest of the way?
1. Ryan Braun – Should have his second consecutive 30/20 season with 100-plus runs and 100-plus RBI.
2. Alex Rios - On pace for a 30/40 season, but he has never hit 30 home runs or stolen 40 bases in a season. His current pace should fade a bit, but this was a very talented offensive player before last season’s struggles, so there is no reason to think he can’t put together his career year in 2010.
3. Carl Crawford
– Top-level stolen base numbers should once again combine with AVG, runs scored and 15 or so home runs.
4. Matt Kemp – Had a big second half last season and still on pace for 20/20 with 100/100. Current struggles should be temporary.
5. Josh Hamilton – Absolutely on fire this month, Hamilton is looking like the hitter he was two years ago. There is still risk of little injuries keeping him from playing enough games to accrue the counting stats to shoot him to the top three.
6. Justin Upton – Upton did not get off to a good start this season and the signs of life he showed in May have faded a bit in June. still, his talent is top-of-the-scale and we could be looking at a season similar to Matt Kemp’s when all is said and done. Maybe less potential to hit for AVG.
7. Andrew McCutchen – He’s Carl Crawford light, but in a less potent lineup, which equals fewer R/RBI.
8. Vladimir Guerrero – Health is the key for Vlad and the Rangers have used him sparingly in the outfield for this very reason. His 10 home runs in May could stand alone as his best power month, so I wouldn’t expect another outburst like that, but the AVG, R and RBI are showing no signs of slowing down.
9. Andre Ethier – Came back from injury as if he never missed a beat. We can count on him to be a productive hitter the rest of the way.
10. Colby Rasmus – .368 BABIP should regress and his AVG along with it, but something close to a 25/20 season is in the works.
11. Ben Zobrist- The Zobeast is back! Well, sort of. After a miserable April in which Zobrist failed to homer, he came on strong in May hitting .352/.400/.514 with four home runs. He’s not going to produce at the pace he did last season, but the is still upside for something just under a 20/20 season when all is said and done.
12. Jayson Werth- Last season may have just been his career year, but Werth still has a few hot streaks in him yet. He’ll need to pick up the stolen base pace to gain ground in the rankings, but a 25/15 season seems likely with upside for more.
13. Carlos Gonzalez – AVG may not remain at or above .300, but 20/20 with good runs scored and RBI numbers.
14. Shin-Soo Choo – On pace to come very close to last season’s numbers.
15. Matt Holliday – His track record tells us that he will pick up the pace in the second half. Also, his HR/FB rate is a bit low for his standards and he has raised his line drive rate each month.
16. Nick Swisher - A new, aggressive, line drive approach is paying off. A drop in AVG is likely, but maybe not to the depths of his .249 career AVG. In that lineup, in that ballpark, Swisher could drive in close to 100 and score close to 100 runs while taking a show at 30 home runs.
17. Corey Hart- In the midst of a comeback season, Hart is slugging the ball at an incredible pace. His career high is 24 home runs and he’s only six away from that right now. While this current home runs pace should slow in the second half, Hart has a real chance to reach 30, but with a low AVG. It would be nice if he brought back some of the 20-plus stolen base potential he had shown in the past.
18. Brett Gardner – AVG may not last as BABIP inflated with a below AVG line drive rate. However, 45-55 stolen bases a real possibility.
19. Vernon Wells – As long as he stays healthy, he should approach 25-30 HR with 90-plus runs and RBI.
20. Torri Hunter – Has a chance to approach last season’s HR/SB numbers and prime spot in the Angels lineup keeps R/RBI totals high.
21. Magglio Ordonez- Health will be the key. There is no reason, if he stays healthy, that Maggs can’t approach .300/20/100 this season.
22. Ichiro Suzuki- It’s not really anything Ichiro is doing wrong, it’s the lineup that he hits in. Who is going to drive him home when he gets on base? Until that questioned is answered, his value will take a slight hit.
23. Adam Dunn – AVG could regress due to a .356 BABIP, but power should pick up. 18% HR/FB rate would be his lowest since 2002.
24. Hunter Pence – Back on track after a poor start and should end up close to 25/15 with good R/RBI numbers, though production will be limited due to poor lineup.
25. Carlos Lee – Hitting .298 with five home runs in June and has improved every month. He’s too good of a hitter to struggle as bad as he did early on, even if he is declining a bit.
Stay tuned for 25-50 coming up next…