Fantasy Baseball: 2011 A.L. Only Top 20 Outfielder Rankings

Mar 9, 2011

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Here’s an look at the A.L. Only 2011 Outfielder rankings.
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1.  Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox:  Crawford won’t give you the power as some of the elite outfielders, but he makes up for it with his speed. He’s familiar with the AL East pitching and should flourish in Boston’s lineup. He’ll help in all five categories. He could hit 15+ home runs with 40+ stolen bases.
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2.  Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers:  Hamilton was a beast last yea, leading the majors with a 1.044 OPS and a .359 batting average. He added 95 runs, 32 HRs, 100 RBI, and eight SBs, easily making him one of the top hitters in the game. His only downside is the risk of injury, but he plays in a great lineup in a great hitters’ park.
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3.  Alex Rios,  Chicago White Sox:  Rios (.284-89-21-88-34) was one of two outfielders with 20+ HRs and 30+ SBs. He has averaged 89.3 runs, 19.3 HRs, 80.8 RBI, and 26.8 SBs over the past four seasons. He’s a poor man’s Carl Crawford.
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4.  Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland Indians:  He gets little fanfare because he plays in Clevleand, but Choo has averaged a .300-84-21-88-21.5 line over the past two seasons.
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5.  Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers:  He’s only averaged 118 games in the past two seasons, but when he’s played he’s been a force averaging 67.5 runs, 27.5 HRs, 77 RBI, and 18.5 SBs. There is risk associated with Cruz, but there is also plenty of reward.
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6.  Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees:  It took him a little while to get going with New York, but Granderson hit 17 HRs in his final 241 at bats after hitting just seven in his first 225. In his second season in the Bronx, Granderson should approach 30 HRs with 90 runs, 70 RBI, and 20 SBs. Last year’s average should get him to you at a slight discount.
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7.  Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays:  While a sharp decline in HRs (54) and RBI (124) is expected, it’s still hard to overlook that kind of production, especially when it comes with positional flexibility (3B).
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8.  Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners:  The run total (74) slipped for the second straight year and he makes barely a blip in your HR category, but the .310+ average and the 40+ SBs are enough to earn him a slot in the top  ten slot in A.L. Only leagues.
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9. B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays:  The average is brutal, but he’s swiped 40+ bases the past three years. He hit 18 home runs last year, meaning a 20 HR/40 SB season is not out of the question.
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10.  Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles:  Markakis hit around .300 last year, but dropped off in most categories. A better O’s lineup should help Markakis produce more like the player that averaged 99 runs, 20.3 HRs, and 100 RBI from 2007-2009.
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11.  Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:  It’s not likely that he’ll steal 15+ bases like he did from 2007-2009 with the Halos, but he should give you solid contributions in the other four categories.
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12.  Vernon Wells, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:  Last year’s numbers are out of reach, but Vernon should hit 20+ HRs with 80+ RBIs.
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13.  Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians:  Thanks to his injuries, Sizemore has become a huge risk/reward player. No way he approaches 2008 numbers, but 20 HRs and 20 SBs is a possibility.
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14.  Bobby Abreau, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:  Until he shows that he’s lost a step, you can’t bet against Abreau, who churns out 85+ run, 20+ HR, 80+ RBI, 20+ SB seasons with relative ease.
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15.  Delmon Young, Minnesota Twins:  Young made huge strides last year, knocking in 112 runs. His defense remains shaky, and if the Twins can stay healthy, he could see fewer at bats as they try to fit Delmon, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Jim Thome into three outfield spots and DH.
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16.  Nick Swisher, New York Yankees:  His two seasons in the Bronx have produced similar numbers, aside from his average last year. That number will come down, but 80+ Runs, 25+ HRs, and 80+ RBI are well within reach.
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17.  Denard Span, Minnesota Twins:  Span battled injuries and a below normal .295 BABIP. His average should increase to around .300 and he should scored close to 100 runs with 20+ stolen bases.
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18.  Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox:  Ellsbury has the type of speed to give you a huge leg up in the stolen base category while providing a solid average and a bunch of runs.
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19.  Juan Pierre, Chicago White Sox:  Similar to Ellsbury. He’ll give you runs, average, and stolen bases, though Pierre will come at a better value.
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20.  Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles:  Jones struggled last year, but like Markakis should rebound in 2011. Five category potential.
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