These are the players who I believe to be the top 20 fantasy baseball outfielders in the American League going into the 2011 season.
Here are my other 2011 fantasy baseball rankings:
If Sizemore could stay healthy he would be where his teammate Shin-Soo Choo is on this list. When healthy, he's one of the most prolific offensive players in baseball. He's high risk, high reward.
Gardner can bat for decent average, but the obvious reason why anyone drafts him is for his speed. He's a threat to lead baseball in stolen bases every year, although he was hindered by an injury late last season.
Sure, he's getting old, but he can still play ball. He hit 20 HR and 78 RBI last season. He even stole 24 bases. Not too shabby for an old guy.
Jones can be considered an underrated player. His numbers were good last season, partly because fellow outfielder, Nick Markakis, missed some time so Jones had more opportunities. Still, Jones has a lot of talent and can do almost everything. His average has increased every season for the past five seasons. He hit .284 last season.
Wells is kind of a risk because of the new scenery. He was on a tear with Toronto at the beginning of last season. We all know he can hit for power and drive in runs but can he maintain a respectable average? His production will probably go down some with guys like Kendry Morales, Hunter, and Abreu in the same lineup.
He's basically the same as Gardner: you draft him because of the stolen bases, but he can hit for a decent average too.
He hit 26 HRs and 87 RBI and didn't really get the credit he deserved. It may have something to do with the .243 average, and the season Paul Konerko had.
Zobrist had a good season in 2010 and should have an even better on in 2011 with the departure of Carl Crawford. He'll have more responsibilities and more opportunities. Expect him to keep producing.
Hunter was the lone all-star for the Angels last season, although Morales probably would have been if he hadn't been injured. Hunter is the guy who keeps the Angels going and he's had a fairly consistent career. He's a safe middle-round pick.
He hit 24 HRs last season but also had a .247 average. He didn't have as many stolen bases and owners would have liked either but it was his first season with a new team. Expect the numbers to increase this season, even the homers.
Young picked up the slack when the Twins kept suffering injuries. Aside from Joe Mauer, you could argue that Young was the next best player on the team last season. He's young and has a lot of talent, why wouldn't you want him?
The Red Sox have some barn burners in their outfield. Ellsbury is a threat to steal 50 bases every season when he's healthy. That alone is why he's a top 10 outfielder. He can hit for a pretty good average too, not to mention the talent he's surrounded with. That being said, he is somewhat of an injury risk.
If you look up the word "talent" in the dictionary you might see B.J. Upton mentioned somewhere. He hasn't really played to his full potential yet but he's still showed us what he can do. He has the power and speed but the average has been lacking the past two seasons.
One important reason why you should draft Ichiro- consistency.
Rios had a great season in 2010. It wasn't talked about as much as it should have been because of the success of Paul Konerko, but Rios had a .284 average, 21 HR, 88 RBI, and 34 SB.
When recalling some of the most dramatic walk-off homers last season, it comes to memory that Cruz was usually involved. He had a 22 HR, 78 RBI, and a .314 AVG. He probably would have been given more credit if it weren't for that Hamilton guy.
Choo was Mr. Everything for the Indians in 2010. In past years that was up to fellow outfielder Grady Sizemore, but he's had injury problems the last couple of season. Choo is a solid pick and won't let owners down.
Bautista came out of nowhere last season en route to leading baseball in home runs with 54. His previous season high in homers was 16! I don't think he'll be hitting 50 bombs again, maybe not even 40, but he's definitely capable of hitting 30+ again.
Who wouldn't want Josh Hamilton? His life story is awesome and his talent level is almost as awesome. He hits for average, has power, and even some speed. There is the concern of injury but he's worth the risk.
If Crawford can be a stud in Tampa Bay then he can be a super stud in Boston. He's in the same lineup as Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, etc. which means more opportunities. I'd say he's a top five pick.