With Opening Day coming up on Sunday there are sure to be a great deal of fantasy drafts going on between now and then. For anyone that has a draft in the next few days it would be a wise decision to draft an outfielder with one of your first picks. ESPN fantasy experts project that in most drafts five of the top 10 players picked will be outfielders. With that being said, here are my top five fantasy outfielders:
1. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Braun is a fairly easy pick at No. 1, and if you have the first pick in your draft he would be an excellent choice. Last season he recorded 41 home runs, 112 RBIs and a .319 batting average. Those stats speak for themselves but the stat that puts him at No. 1 for me was the 30 stolen bases that he recorded last season. In addition, Braun has proven to be very durable. Since the 2008 season he has played in at least 150 games each year.
2. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Trout is similar to Braun in many ways, he is a player that can hit for power and average and steal bases as well. In his historic rookie season last year he hit 30 home runs, had 83 RBIs, a batting average of .326 and stole 49 bases to top it all off. Trout is the real deal and I see no sign of him slowing down this season.
3. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
I am not going to bore you with another paragraph full of stats and numbers, when it comes to Kemp there is not a lot of explaining that needs to be done. Despite being bothered by an injury last season he was still one of the most productive players in baseball. If he stays healthy this season look for him to put up monster numbers and be right up there with guys like Braun and Trout. Kemp will be right in the middle of a stacked Dodger lineup so he will definitely have plenty of opportunities to produce.
4. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburg Pirates
Last season McCutchen quickly became one of the best players in baseball. On a mediocre Pirates squad he still managed to record 31 home runs and 96 RBIs. He is also a threat on the base path as well; in his first four seasons in the MLB he has stolen at least 20 bases each year. I would have put McCutchen over Kemp, but because he is on the Pirates he will not get as many opportunities as Kemp will to drive in runs.
5. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
There is no doubt that Gonzalez is extremely talented but he does have some injury concerns. He has not spent a significant amount of time on the DL, but he missed 27 games last season and 35 games in 2011. Despite missing those games last season he was still able to hit 22 home runs and 85 RBIs. There is no telling what kind of numbers Gonzalez would be able to put up if he could stay healthy for an entire season.