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Ranking the Top 30 Outfielders Before the 2024 MLB Season (20-11)

Michael Harris, Braves MLB outfielders
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This represents the continuation of a series ranking the top players at each position for the 2024 season. Next up, we take a look at MLB outfielders.

Given that this is a forward-thinking projection, please remember: if a younger player is on the rise, I will project them to be better. If an older player is on the decline, I will project them to be worse. If a player had a freak awful 2023 season after being on the rise, I will project them to be better as long as there are no off-the-field issues.

Let’s dive in and explore Chris’ top 20-11 outfielders for the 2024 MLB season. Click here for an archive of other positions, including the remaining top 10 outfielders in MLB (when available).

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20. Christian Yelich

Yelich was one of the better stories during the 2024 MLB season. After having a 174 wRC+ in 2019, he never reached a mark higher than 114 from 2020 through 2022. Last year, though, he hit 19 home runs, slashed .278/.370/.447, and had a 122 wRC+. While this is not close to who he was in 2019, it is still a massive improvement from 2022. Yelich hovered around average in the field with -3 DRS and 4 OAA. Altogether, he was 13th amongst MLB outfielders in WAR. I think he’ll take a slight dip in 2024, but not enough to push him outside the top 20.

19. Bryan Reynolds

The Pirates’ right fielder comes in at No. 19. About a year ago, he signed an eight-year, $106.75 million extension. This was a no-brainer given that he averaged a 132 wRC+ between 2021 and 2022. However, his production did not respond well to the extension. Last year, he hit 24 home runs, slashed .263/.330/.460, and had a 110 wRC+. He has never been the strongest fielder, but last season represented a big improvement. He went from -14 DRS and -7 OAA in 2022 to -1 DRS and -4 OAA last year. With all this being said, I think Reynolds will have less pressure and more confidence one year removed from signing the extension.

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18. TJ Friedl

The Cincinnati Reds’ center fielder comes in at No. 18. Friedl had an awesome season last year as he hit 18 home runs, slashed .279/.352/.467, and contributed a 118 WRC+. He was pretty solid in the field, too, with 1 DRS and 5 OAA. In addition, Friedl is one of the best base runners in the league. Last year, he finished first amongst MLB outfielders in BsR (Base Running Runs Above Average). No. 18 might feel too low, but I do expect the players ahead of him to have great years, too.

17. Seiya Suzuki

The third-year right fielder for the Cubs comes in at No. 17. Suzuki had a very underrated season last year as he hit 20 home runs, slashed .285/.357/.485, and had a 128 wRC+. Suzuki was also solid in the field where he had 2 DRS and 2 OAA. Even though he was not good on the basepaths, it’s still hard to come by players who are talented with the bat and glove. Suzuki should have no problem ranking among the top 20 outfielders this MLB season.

16. Cedric Mullins

Back in 2021, Mullins blossomed into one of the best center fielders in the game. He hit 30 home runs, slashed .291/.360/.518, had a 136 wRC+, and contributed 11 OAA. However, he took a massive step back in 2022 and suffered an injury in 2023. With this being said, Mullins is only 29. Talent does not usually fall off at random, and getting back on track is typically just a matter of getting healthy. As long as Mullins stays healthy, he will have a big bounce-back season.

15. Randy Arozarena

Arozarena has been one of the most underrated hitters in the league for the past couple of seasons. Since his rookie season in 2019, he has not had a single year with a wRC+ below 124. Last year, Arozarena hit 24 home runs, slashed .254/.364/.425, and had a 126 WRC+. He has always been inconsistent in the field, finishing with 4 DRS and -6 OAA last year. Arozarena just turned 29, so there’s no reason to believe his bat will get much worse anytime soon.

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14. Adolis Garcia

The World Series champion comes in at No. 14. Garcia was phenomenal last year as he hit 39 home runs, slashed .245/.328/.508, and had a 124 wRC+. Garcia was even better in the postseason with an outstanding 197 wRC+. He was also solid in the field with his 6 DRS and 2 OAA. No. 14 might seem low, but I expect a few of the younger guys ahead of him to take big jumps.

13. James Outman

The Dodgers’ sophomore comes in at No. 13. Outman had one of the more underrated seasons last year, hitting 23 home runs, slashing .248/.353/.437, and adding a 118 wRC+. Outman was also solid defensively with 1 DRS and 9 OAA. Even though he did not have any hits in the Dodgers’ games in South Korea, I still expect the 26-year-old to have a massive season.

12. Michael Harris II

The 2022 National League Rookie of the Year comes in at No. 12. After having a terrific rookie season, Harris took a slight step back in 2023, but he was still quite impressive. He hit 18 home runs, slashed .293/.331/.477, and had a 115 wRC+. Harris was also one of the better defensive center fielders in the league with 10 DRS and 12 OAA. Harris just turned 23, so I would be shocked if he takes another step back. If anything, Harris will only get better by the end of the season.

11. Brandon Nimmo

Nimmo is one of the most underrated players in the league. Nimmo has emerged as a four-tool player with the bulk of his concerns pertaining to his throwing. At the plate last year, he hit 24 home runs, slashed .274/.363/.466, and had a 130 WRC+. His subpar arm contributed to him logging -7 DRS in 2023. However, he still has phenomenal range and there are not many catches that he can’t make. In addition, the Mets signed defensive specialist Harrison Bader over the offseason; that should lead to Nimmo playing a lot of left field. It will be interesting to see him adjust to the smaller defensive role.


Main Image Credit:

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