Ranking the Top 30 Outfielders Before the 2024 MLB Season (30-21)

Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, MLB Outfielders Ranked

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 30-21 outfielders for the 2024 MLB season. Click here for an archive of other positions, including the remaining top 20 outfielders in MLB (when available).


30. Austin Hays

We kick off the list with Baltimore’s left fielder. Hays has been on the rise over the past couple of years with his wRC+ improving every season since 2020. Last year, he smashed 16 home runs, slashed .275/.325/.444, and had a 112 wRC+. He was also pretty solid in the field where with 5 DRS. The Orioles are a promising team heading into the 2024 season, and even though the spotlight will be on Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, Hays will almost certainly be an X-factor on this team.

29. Jack Suwinski

The Pirates’ left fielder is a relatively tough player to rank. On one hand, you always love a guy who will get you 26 home runs and drive in 74 runs. On the other hand, it’s pretty tough to have full faith in a guy who strikes out in nearly one-third of his at-bats and hits just .224. With this being said, last year was his first full season in the pros and he is only 25. I fully expect his plate discipline to improve as the 2024 MLB season proceeds.


28. Spencer Steer

Steer is the third consecutive left fielder. He is an interesting player to rank after hitting 23 homers, slashing .271/.356/.464, and totaling 118 wRC+ in his first full season last year. Yet, he was a liability in the field with -1 DRS and -5 OAA. The Reds shocked the world last year with how much they overachieved. To improve even more, Steer will have to be a driving force.

27. Kyle Schwarber

A couple of years ago, this would have been way too low. From 2021 through 2022, Schwarber slashed .238/.344/.525 and had a 136 wRC+. Even though he hit 47 home runs last year, he only hit .197. In addition, he was abysmal in the field with -21 DRS and -19 OAA. A player who is so power-heavy and a horrendous fielder is tough to rank. Even though he is not getting any younger, I think he has earned the benefit of the doubt to make the list.

26. Anthony Santander

A second Orioles outfielder makes the list. Santander is an interesting player to rank. Last year, he hit 28 home runs, slashed .257/.325/.472, and had a 119 wRC+. Santander was roughly average in the field where he had 1 DRS and -2 OAA. Like Hays, the Orioles’ success will be centered around Santander’s production.

25. Lars Nootbaar

The Cardinals’ left fielder comes in at No. 25. Nootbaar has immense potential heading into his fourth season as a big-leaguer, and he was consistently solid over his first three. In his last two campaigns, he owns a 162-game average of 28 home runs, a .261/.367/.418 slash line, and 120 wRC+. Last year, defensively, he had 3 DRS and 3 OAA. Nootbar’s main concern has been his availability, missing over 40 games each of the last two seasons. However, if he can stay healthy, he will have a great year.


24. Ian Happ

You might be surprised to learn that Happ is only 29 years old. He comes in as the 24th-best MLB outfielder for the 2024 season. Happ has been very consistent over the past couple of years. Last season, he hit 21 home runs, slashed .248/.360/.431, and had a 118 wRC+. In the field, he hovered around mediocrity with 2 DRS and -7 OAA. A player like Happ has proven his consistency through the years, and I don’t see many reasons that won’t stay the same.

23. Nolan Jones

One of the better hitters on this list comes in at No. 24. Jones was very impressive at the plate last season, hitting 20 home runs, slashing .297/.389/.542, and adding a 130 wRC+. He was relatively unpredictable in the field with 10 DRS and -4 OAA. Jones turns 26 in May, so even though his inconsistencies in the outfield might be a concern, the sky will be the limit once he gets more reps in the field.

22. Masataka Yoshida

My pick for the 2023 Rookie of the Year comes in at No. 22 in this ranking of MLB outfielders. Even though he did not win the award, he was still solid for the Red Sox. He hit 15 home runs, slashed 289/.338/.445, and had a 109 wRC+. On the flip side, he turned in a pretty brutal performance in the field with -4 DRS and -8 OAA. Even though he was well below average on defense, we must remember that getting adjusted to MLB at 30 years old is a lot harder than people think. I expect Yoshida to have a great second season for the Red Sox.

21. Byron Buxton

RELATED: Byron Buxton is Finally Healthy

Buxton has one of the sadder injury histories in MLB. He has not played over 100 games in a season since 2017. When healthy, though, he is easily one of the best hitters in baseball. The former No. 2 overall pick had a wRC+ of 171 in 2021 and 136 in 2022. Meanwhile, he has consistently been solid in the field where he usually finishes with more than 8 DRS. There is little evidence suggesting that Buxton will suddenly stay healthy this year, but one can hope.

Byron Buxton is Finally Healthy

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Embed from Getty Images


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