Just about finishing up the hitting portion of the 2022 fantasy baseball rankings, to which I say, “I can’t feel my fingies.” The top 80 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball will fall in the overall range of near 215 overall and later. This is your late 4th outfielder and 5th outfielder range, or 6th outfielder for utility spot, or 7th outfielder if you’re trying to draft so many outfielders that everyone in your league is like, “Who invited the giant dope with seven outfielders and zero corner men?” Here’s Steamer’s 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Subscriptions are up and running, and you can already get Rudy’s Draft War Room. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball:
NOTE: All 2022 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games, due to the CBA. Also, I’m going on the assumption the NL is getting the DH.
NOTE II: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.
NOTE III: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.
61. Robbie Grossman – This tier started in the top 60 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball and goes until Santander. I called this tier, “Full bar booing as I sway side-to-side like Axl Rose, singing, ‘Patience.’” As for Grossman, something a lot of people will never tell you is the difference between Grossman, Renfroe and, say Carl’s Jr. Jr., Mike Yastrzemski, who hasn’t been ranked yet, is nothing but luck. I ranked the players in the order I want them, all things being equal, but if Renfroe and Grossman struggle and Carl’s Jr. Jr. starts hot and ends up hitting 3rd, then you’re not going to be able to tell the difference between Renfroe, Carl’s Jr. Jr. and Grossman by mid-April. Throw in a bunch of other guys who fit that too. Conforto lands in LA, between Bellinger and Pollock and all three start off hot in April, and you’re gonna be like, “Why didn’t I draft Conforto instead of Renfroe?” Or things will land as they are supposed to and Renfroe will be solid. There’s plusses and minuses with everyone. Then throw in how all fantasy teams are snowflakes, and none are alike, so you have to draft based on needs. Do you need a few steals from Grossman or Carl’s Jr. Jr.’s power? There’s so much voodoo in these rankings, you’re lucky you don’t have to drink chicken blood before reading them. Though, it could help. As for Grossman, a career year at 31, oh…*bounces on a pogo stick around the world*…kay. Not just a career year either, but a career high in games played and steals. His last year was like a poor man’s Semien. Call him Artificial In-Semien-ation. Grossman, indeed. 2022 Projections: 71/17/59/.241/10 in 481 ABs
67. Austin Hays – It sucks that Camden Yards became Camden Miles this offseason, because it had become a top-end home run factory. It was almost like MLB was only using the Super Bouncey Ball in Baltimore. For unstints, Hays had 22 homers last year and, if he played in Coors, he would’ve had 11 homers. As mentioned previously, I think the whole “expected home runs by park” is a little wonky and/or janky. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Hays beat teammate, Mullins, in power in 2022. Sadly (for Hays), he doesn’t have great speed like Mullins, and the fences in Baltimore went back about five hundred feet. Hays should have more than four steals, but maybe not a ton (ending sentences with palindromes for the win!). Finally, I don’t have to squint too hard to see why I thought Hays was a sleeper not that long ago, but the patience wearing thin comes from me screaming, “Break out already!” 2022 Projections: 77/23/69/.264/6 in 521 ABs
68. Ramon Laureano – Will miss the first 27 days of the 2022 season, due to ingesting an illegal supplement, accidentally. Crazy how athletes, who carefully calibrate exactly what to put in their bodies, always accidentally take PEDs. What’s bizarre is Laureano will miss 27 days and he just turned 27. That’s why I counted up to my 27th most favorite place to gamble, flew to Reno and put 27 dollars on 27 on the roulette wheel only to watch 28 come up. Damn, that means next year Laureano’s gonna be so good, and I’ll have to fly to a Louisiana riverboat to place my bet! So, figure Laureano will miss a month, which takes 100-ish at-bats off his line, and his average at-bats/season is 450, so he’s down to 350. Yikes, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, that he’ll play the entire year after he returns but not sure why he would. For shallower leagues, Laureano has produced in limited appearances, so I’m fine with him if you can sit on a guy for a month, but, remember, he’ll take up a bench spot vs. an IL spot. 2022 Projections: 58/18/51/.267/15 in 421 ABs
69. Anthony Santander – Want a guy who could be a seemingly out-of-nowhere Adam Duvall-type home run breakout? Look no further! By ‘look no further,’ I mean don’t look at how I said nearly the same thing last year. Seriously, stop looking at my past thoughts on him. It’s not cool. I asked you nicely! 2022 Projections: 67/26/82/.241/1 in 498 ABs
70. A.J. Pollock – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Myers. I call this tier, “Lesser known dwarves like Dusty, Snoozy and Old.” This tier has nothing to do with Dusty Baker, but some of these guys were playing still when Dusty Baker was a player. This entire tier is filled with guys that Bud Black would love to rebuild around. Some of the guys in this tier aren’t exactly Old, but they play like it, or they’re Dusty and/or Snoozy. As for Pollock, I’m pretty sure Dave Roberts is a warlock who can make anyone usable. Roberts wiggles his nose, Pollock goes 20/10/.280, and the entire nation gets a free taco from Taco Bell. 2022 Projections: 63/18/69/.277/7 in 444 ABs
72. Andrew Benintendi – Originally I called this tier “Old or old-like” but I could already feel people saying, “Benintendi (and Bader) aren’t old, Grey. By the way, very handsome face.” Yeah, Benintendi (and Bader) just happen to be old-seeming young guys. Benintendi feels like a time traveler from the ’40s, who came in fifth in the majors for homers with 17. Kansas City, while great for BBQ and jazz, is doing no one any favors for power, and Benintendi seems like he’s on a network TV Guy Frieri game show called, “385-foot Flyout or 395-foot Homer.” Where contestants watch a replay of Andrew Benintendi hitting the ball and guessing 385-foot out or 395-foot homer. By the way, the people who guess “395-foot homer” invariably lose. 2022 Projections: 70/15/77/.272/10 in 505 ABs
73. Harrison Bader – Rankings don’t mean anything. There, I said it. No, it’s not crazy that I spend 40,000 man hours writing up rankings if they mean nothing. The blurbs and projections mean everything. In some leagues, I could see going Bader 20 picks before this, or after, depending on your team. You can move guys around in a tier, and move them around from tier to tier. If you have Boba Chette, Straw, Buxton and Mondesi, well, stop drafting steals, but also you might want a power threat like Kyle Lewis over even a Grossman, because steals don’t matter and power does. Rudy has his War Room to help you with this. (I wouldn’t draft without his War Room.) As for Bader, instead of Dusty, or Old, I’d say he’s most like the dwarf, Snoozy. Not sure we know exactly what kind of player Bader is yet, but since he’s about to turn 28, he looks a lot like the player Benintendi is, and that’s not a compliment. 2022 Projections: 61/18/74/.261/10 in 526 ABs
74. Charlie Blackmon – On the cover of a harlequin romance novel, it’s Chazz Noir, wearing nothing but his Rockies uniform and his beard flowing in the wind. The title reads, “Blackmon Fulfills Your Fantasy,” then below the title, “*Fantasy Baseball, and only if you want average, and nothing really else.” Now that’s romantic! 2022 Projections: 74/15/79/.282/2 in 492 ABs
75. Wil Myers – If Myers bounces back, he’s had the longest “this is just a down year” than anyone else in history. His “down year” has been since 2018! His “down year” was through his entire prime. *pays $30 million to go up to Mars with Jeff Bezos, travels six months to get there, steps off the rocket, lets out a long, echoing chef’s kiss just for Wil Myers being shizzy for so long, then* Okay, take me back to earth. 2022 Projections: 63/19/72/.251/7 in 474 ABs
76. Akil Baddoo – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 100 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Honey Bunches of P-oats-Its.” All along my wall I have hundreds of Post-Its with players’ names to remind myself who to draft late. That’s when I got the brilliant idea to combine my favorite cereal with Post-Its, since they’re both made by Post. (At no point, do I google if they’re both made by Post.) So, if Post-Its had a Honey Bunches of Oats taste, when you were done with the notes, you could just eat them. No one, and I mean no one, steal this idea from me. I will hunt you down. As for this tier, I’ve written them in cereal all around my room, and the only way to get rid of them is if I open my mouth right as a tidal wave of milk bursts through my front door.
As for Akil, he’s currently leading in the category, “Biggest Difference in ADP from one Draft to the Next.” I’ve seen some drafts where Baddoo is going in the 120 overall range, and other drafts where he’s going in the 300th overall range. At some point in the preseason, Baddoo’s ADP will stabilize. My guess is I’m low on him. “Not feeling the Yabba Dabba Baddoo?” I ask my reflection inquisitively while wearing a loincloth. Well, what’s weird is I actually thought I was gonna be Yabba Dabba Baddoo for Akil. Would’ve expected to be the high man on him, because I do like him, but some of you have lost your mind. Him going around 120 with Austin Meadows and Grisham and Kelenic? Well, that’s Yabba Dabba Dumb. He can’t hit lefties at all, so he’s at best a righty-only guy. That’s fine in daily and/or shallow leagues. But he’s not producing top 30-ish outfielder stats missing 150-ish at-bats. The Launch Angle and speed makes me think 20/25 is a possibility, but the K-rate could make .240 a reality. Not saying I don’t like Baddoo, because I Yabba Dabba Doo. 2022 Projections: 76/17/57/.235/21 in 431 ABs
79. Steven Kwan – First off, how’d this Kwan person go from elite female figure skater to potential Guardians’ leadoff hitter? Huh?! Give me answers! So, while I’m late to the Kwan party, I’m still very early, and you will be too. You’re welcome. He’s a potential batting title champion, who is figuring out pull-side power. Think Trea Turner or Daniel Murphy. The Guardians had a 40-man crunch and they protected him, so they know, and appreciate what they have. He played college with Madrigal and Adley in Oregon, and looks like a .300 hitter on day one. Like 92% contact with no chase. Never swings at junk. Can run and play all three outfield spots. Elite contact guy that adjusted his swing path to get in front of the ball. Tight launch angle guy that gets the most of his power despite well below average raw power. This shouldn’t be Madrigal. If you’re looking for a guy off all radars as a fifth outfielder? Look no further! Well, look a little further, because there’s gonna be another sixty outfielders ranked still. 2022 Projections: 68/11/51/.307/14 in 481 ABs
80. Kyle Lewis – In roughly 82 games in his career across two seasons, he has a line of 16/7/.258, so across a full 162-game season, he’s going to go 32/14/.260. Don’t read into that. Take it and run with it! What’s that, he only went 5/2/.246 last year with a 30% strikeout rate and might platoon? Haha, whatever, bro! He’s a 32/14/.260 hitter, deal with it! Okay, so he lowered his Ks last year, hit the ball hard, but obviously has a knee injury just about every fifteen games, so it’s hard to trust. Don’t mind the flyer, because I think the upside is still there, but there’s more buts here than a centipede. A centipede has a butt for every two legs, right? I should be on Jeopardy! I’m so smart. 2022 Projections: 67/24/77/.233/4 in 471 ABs