As we enter the final stretch for drafting it is time to take a look at the latest iteration of points leagues rankings from our amazing hard working rankings staff. Starting with the outfield is always fun because there is so much depth at the position, especially if you only require three of them, as many points leagues do. However, even if your league has switched to five outfielders there is still a lot of value, both within the top-60 at the position and below.
Points leagues are always tough to assess because there are so many different variations that can be used. Many leagues use fairly similar settings, with slight variations when it comes to stolen bases or walks. However, some leagues really like to put a twist on certain elements. Therefore, it is crucial to know your league and then to use these rankings as a base to adjust off to optimize them for your draft.
Keep an eye out for all other positions to follow and without any more delay, let's take a look at the 2019 outfield points league rankings for March.
Outfield Tiered Ranks - H2H Points Leagues (March)
In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.
|65||8||Jackie Bradley Jr.||OF||228||200||265|
|74||9||Steven Souza Jr.||OF||266||278||253|
|108||12||Albert Almora Jr.||OF||437||#N/A||375|
|153||13||Victor Victor Mesa||OF||#N/A||589||#N/A|
Outfield Points League Rankings: Upper Tiers
There has been no change to this tier from January, and frankly for these six I could not phrase it any better than Nick did back then.
Even Harper's signing in Philadelphia did not move the needle in this format, because we already expected so much from him, given his high walk rate.
Again this is the same group as January, but with a slightly different order. Most people are scared off Judge in points leagues because of a 30% strikeout rate. However, his walk rate is high enough, and his upside great enough that he leads this tier.
The drop from eight to 12 for Soto is correct in my view. I love Soto, and his numbers last year were awesome, but at just 19 there are likely a couple of tough stretches ahead in 2019. He absolutely has the upside to be a Tier One hitter this time next year, but equally I think he has the most chance of falling a tier as well.
Benintendi's all around profile and discussions about being more of a contact hitter in 2019 make him a really interesting pick. Any worries you have about a loss of RBI leading off should be negated by the gain he will see in runs hitting in front of Betts and Martinez. It is the same story for Blackmon who is going to hit above a combination of Nolan Arenado, Daniel Murphy and Trevor Story. He just needs to offer average returns for his career at the other numbers and his run total will drag him close to the top-10.
Stanton and Bryant both had slightly off seasons in 2018, but both had legitimate cases. Stanton was making the switch to the AL and that can often bring some teething problems. If he gets it right in that park then 50 home runs could be more than possible, to package with 200 or more R+RBI. It doesn't matter how much you strikeout in a points league if you are returning those numbers on the other side. As for Bryant, he was hampered with a shoulder injury, but we know enough about what he can do healthy to trust him to finish somewhere close to the top-10.
This is a weird group for me. Hopefully, the move back to first base will focus Hoskins' mind and we can see him get his BB% back over 15%. In a stacked Phillies lineup all he has to do is consistently get on base and the R+RBI will sort themselves out, and the combination of that with a bump in OBP will make him a valuable points league contributor. The drop in power for Springer last season gives me some concerns, but at this stage, we know what floor he has and it is good enough to be right around the top-20 at the very least. However, if things do click then he has top-10 potential and that is why he deserves a ranking inside the top-15.
Marte's 6% walk rate does somewhat cap his ceiling when it comes to the points league format, where steals are valuable but not as valuable as in roto. However, he got back to hitting 20 home runs and is still capable of stealing over 25 bases, while having an average in the .280 region. When you add all of those things up then his value is good enough, but the lack of walks stops him having the upside of Springer and Hoskins. If you want upside then Bellinger is your man. A solid walk rate, combined with the ability to hit .260 and a potential 40 home run hitter is a lot of fun to own.
Merrifield is generally slightly overvalued in roto leagues but in points leagues, the sheer weight of what he can bring across the board is enough to put him in the top-20 discussion. I question if there is much upside above this ranking but in Kansas City where he should run plenty the floor is also safe enough. The increase in Cain's BB% last season helps his value, but I do worry we may see it regress back below 10%. If it does then the relative lack of RBI, and home runs, means that despite a good average and stolen bases the bottom of this tier might be the best return you can hope for from Cain.
Outfield Points League Rankings: Middle Tiers
This tier has an interesting combination of names. My absolute favourites in the tier are Puig and Brantley. For Puig, it all comes down to the change in scenery. Nearly every park factor in Dodgers Stadium is below one, while in Cincinnati there is a sharp rise in the park factor for home runs and doubles. If Puig can combine that with getting his walk rate back close to 10% then we could be looking at a top-15 outfielder. I have some concern about the change in park for Brantley, but the depth of lineup surrounding him has increased so much that I can see him getting enough R+RBI to counteract any negative hitting effects. Of course, the concern is always injury with Brantley, but with a full 2018 season there is a reason to be optimistic.
Among the concerns in this tier are the aging Justin Upton, who has had injury concerns this spring, and Tommy Pham. Pham holds more value in roto leagues where he can contribute in most categories, but in points league his strikeout rate is somewhat of a concern. However, there was an interesting increase in exit velocity last season, which if he can maintain this season could make him a top-20 candidate. However, there is enough concern as the 23rd outfielder that I would look to stay away.
The values in this tier are Marcell Ozuna and David Peralta. Both offer similar strikeout to walk ratios as some of the players in the tier above and both should be able to contribute enough R+RBI to be values. Gallo is also interesting because despite the strikeouts the power and walks are superior to most you will find at this level. When you look at the overall picture, those almost cancel out and you are looking at a player who could contribute 200 R+RBI in a surprisingly versatile Rangers offense.
Dee Gordon is my big loser here. The steals options are only useful in this format f they can offer some power and Gordon cannot. Additionally, when Mallex Smith is healthy he could find himself stuck down in the ninth spot in the lineup.
Tiers 6 & 7
I really like Nomar Mazara here. We know his floor, as he has hit at least .250 with 20 home runs in each of the last three seasons. However, we also seen flashes, both in monthly performances and his exit velocity that there is a higher ceiling. His K:BB ratio is not great but at this stage of the draft it does not need to be.
Corey Dickerson is only a name you are really looking at if you need five outfielders in your points league. Much like Mazara, the K:BB ratio leaves something to be desired, but there are some promising trends, especially in his batting average. Hopefully, he can reverse the loss of power last season, and age 29 he should still be capable of getting to the 25 home run mark.
Outfield Points League Rankings: Lower Tiers
Tiers 8 and below
Max Kepler is a fun name, simply because if he can put it together in terms of connecting with the ball then his K:BB is nice at this stage of the draft. Three years of consistent home run production around the 20 mark is a solid floor and there is some talk he could hit at the top of the Twins order this season.
Jake Bauers is another name to consider. I went into depth on power in this recent article, but the keys for points league is that despite a rough season his BB% was high and he was a consistent solid OBP hitter in the minor leagues. In the late round of drafts, Bauers could prevent some solid upside.
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