- Yoenis Cespedes
- Dexter Fowler
- Mark Trumbo (DH)
- Jose Bautista
- Carlos Gomez
- Josh Reddick – signed with Astros
Normally I would rank these into each section of outfield, i.e. right, center and left but I felt that with the market below average this may work a bit better.
Yoenis Cespedes is clearly the best outfielder and free agent in this years class. After coming over from Detroit at last years trade deadline, Cespedes made a case for being the MVP of the National League with his instant offensive prowess. In his full year with the Mets the numbers were a little underwhelming as he only hit 31 home runs and drove in less than 85 runs during the season. He did miss some of the season with an injury but that shouldn’t impact his stock in free agency. His bat still contains a ton of power and can inject some life into a lacking lineup. His blunders in the field are worth it when you see the outfield assists and timely batting that Cespedes provides.
Dexter Fowler was a key component in the Cubs World Series run this past year. He hit .276 and posted a career high .393 on base percentage that makes him a deadly leadoff man that teams will most certainly covet. He was able to cover more ground in center field this year after some adjustments that he made in the offseason and it paid off defensively. Fowler is a great addition for almost every team looking for centerfielders in this years free agent market.
Mark Trumbo will most likely be a designated hitter if he decides to stay in the American League, but for rankings sake he plays right field. He can’t play a lick of first base so that leaves him to playing in the easiest outfield spot. Trumbo led the league in home runs last year with 47. He also drove in 108 runs and hit over .250 on the year. The Orioles did this with Nelson Cruz but let him walk after he led the league in home runs that year. I don’t expect much of the same for them as Trumbo is arguably the best power bat in the market. The career high in home runs and in slugging percentage (.533) gives Trumbo something to aim for next year with which ever team he decides to sign with.
Jose Bautista is coming off an injury riddled year that only allowed him to play 116 games. During those games however he was able to post 22 home runs and 69 runs batted in. Obviously those numbers are down compared to the year he had before. Some may believe that Bautista is on the decline as he enters his 13th season in the majors. He posted one of his worst averages in recent years with a sub .240 average. Not helping either is his sub .500 slugging percentage that he regularly above or around since 2010. He’ll continue to play right field as his arm is still stellar despite his lack of range.
Carlos Gomez flourished when he was traded to the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline. Moving on from the Astros it seemed that Gomez was much happier with the team he was playing with. In 85 games with the Astros he hit .210 with a sub .300 on base percentage while being non-existent when it came to power numbers. After the trade? In just 33 games for the Rangers he hit .284 and improved his on base percentage to .362 and slugged over .500. Meanwhile he hit eight home runs and drove in 24 runs while only hitting five homers and driving in 29 runs for the Astros. Gomez’s resurgence with the Rangers has helped his stock quite a bit as he proved that he was still a force to be reckoned with at the plate. My guess would be he goes back to the team where he found recent success.
Josh Reddick has already signed with the Houston Astros. Before Reddick was traded he was having a very successful year with the Oakland Athletics. The Dodgers didn’t receive the same type of season when they acquired him in late July. Almost hitting .300 with the A’s he posted a sub .260 average for the Dodgers and was pretty much non-existent when it came to the playoffs. Reddick’s power numbers have declined in recent years but his left handed bat is enough for him to make an impact in the lineup for the Astros this upcoming year.