The outfield position is quite interesting for fantasy baseball purposes. While it is stacked at the top, the position seems to fall off a lot, especially in a five-outfielder league. The good news is that reinforcements are on the way. There are plenty of talented outfield prospects that have already debuted or could this year. This creates great value for not only dynasty leagues but also redraft leagues. Let’s discuss those top outfielders!
(Each player included still holds MLB Rookie eligibility)
Be sure to check out each installment of FantasyPros’ Top 5 Prospects Per Position series:
- Top 5 Prospects Per Position: First Base
- Top 5 Prospects Per Position: Second Base
- Top 5 Prospects Per Position: Shortstop
- Top 5 Prospects Per Position: Third Base
- Top 5 Prospects Per Position: Catcher
Top 5 Prospects Per Position: Outfield
Below are the top five OF prospects that could emerge for fantasy managers in 2023.
Corbin Carroll is a consensus top-two prospect with Gunnar Henderson, and there is a fair argument that he could be number one overall. His dominant Minor League performances and even a strong MLB debut signify a high floor with plenty of upside as well. Some people question Carroll’s power and believe that his home run totals were inflated by him playing in hitter-friendly environments. While there is some truth to that, Carroll still posted high-end exit velocities. His 106.2 mph 90th percentile exit velocity and 89.9 mph average are both impressive for someone who is 5’10/165 lb. A hitter-friendly environment does not change the fact Carroll still hit the ball hard.
For most of his Minor League career, Carroll has been labeled as a 70-grade hitter. I am not quite there, but Carroll still has strong plate skills. In the Minors last season, Carroll posted an 80.7 percent zone-contact rate and a 75 percent overall contact percentage. His chase rate was also below 20 percent, which is highly impressive.
Where Carroll is a game-changer with his speed. He is the fastest player in baseball. He topped out at 30.7 feet per second, topping Bobby Witt Jr.‘s 30.4 ft/sec. The speed plus his instincts on the base paths should lead to 30 stolen bases regularly for Carroll, which he pairs with good power and contact skills.
Jackson Chourio had one of the more impressive debuts for an 18-year-old prospect that we have seen in a long time. His 160 wRC+ in Low-A was the highest by an 18-year-old since Giancarlo Stanton. The fact that he made it all the way to Double-A was highly impressive. He did struggle when he made it to Double-A, but that is not surprising or concerning.
Over 439 plate appearances, Chourio hit 20 home runs and slashed .288/.342/.538 over three levels. He didn’t post elite exit velocities, but a 102.5 90th is still impressive, considering his age. There are some chase rate concerns, but overall, Chourio is a fun profile that could be baseball’s top prospect at some point.
James Wood was a featured prospect in my “Prospects to Acquire in Dynasty” article I wrote last week. Wood is a physical presence at 6’7/240 lb. His massive power should surprise no one. It is more impressive that despite his size and long levers, that Wood brings very strong contact skills plus plate discipline to the table. Wood’s 90th percentile exit velocity was elite and would have ranked above Major League hitters like Pete Alonso, Austin Riley, and others, and he coupled it with strong zone contact rates. Beyond what he does with his bat, Wood is an impressive athlete and moves well for his size. He stole 20 bases in 76 games last year.
Wood was part of the Juan Soto deal that sent him from San Diego to Washington, but the move did not seem to phase him. He did miss time with injury in 2022 but finished the year with a .313/.420/.536 slash with 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases across 348 plate appearances. There is effortless 30-home run power with a solid feel to hit and even some speed in the profile. Wood is a player I want to acquire everywhere in a dynasty because he has a strong chance to be the top prospect in baseball after Gunnar Henderson and Corbin Carroll graduate.
Druw Jones was the second overall selection in the 2022 MLB draft, and if the name sounds familiar, he is the son of Andruw Jones. Like his father, there is a true five-tool upside with Druw Jones. He plays an elite center field with a strong arm. He already shows a strong feel to hit and has projectable power in his 6’4/180 frame. He controls the bat well through the zone and has significantly improved his ability to lay off breakers out of the zone.
Jones also brings plus or better speed to the table and should be effective at stealing bases. A shoulder injury prevented Jones from making his professional debut in 2022. But he should be good to go for 2023 and be able to showcase his five-tool potential. Jones is the clear number-one pick in FYPDs, in my opinion.
At this point, I appear to be higher than most on Jasson Dominguez. “The Martian” was deemed the second coming of Mike Trout, Micky Mantle, and Bo Jackson all in one, but his stock fell quickly after a somewhat disappointing debut in 2021. No one could ever live up to the hype that was placed on Dominguez.
In 2022, Dominguez did not get the love he deserved. He finished the year with a slash of .273/.376/.461 between Low-A, High-A, and Double-A. He added 16 home runs and 37 stolen bases. Eleven of his 16 home runs came after June 1. His data was also quite impressive as he posted an impressive 106 mph 90th percentile EV and showed good contact skills. Jasson Dominguez is an excellent buy-low candidate in dynasty, as he still has a ton of upside to offer.
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