Fantasy Baseball 2011: Top 30 Outfielders for OBP Leagues

Eric StashinSenior Writer IMarch 15, 2011

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait during Photo Day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 24, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

If you play in a standard 5×5 format, you can view our rankings by clicking here

If you play in a league that uses OBP instead of average, things change fairly significantly. Who moves up? Who moves down? 

Let’s take a look:

  1. Ryan Braun—Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Matt Holliday—St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Carlos Gonzalez—Colorado Rockies
  4. Carl Crawford—Boston Red Sox
  5. Matt Kemp—Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Josh Hamilton—Texas Rangers
  7. Andre Ethier—Los Angeles Dodgers
  8. Andrew McCutchen—Pittsburgh Pirates
  9. Shin-Soo Choo—Cleveland Indians
  10. Alex Rios—Chicago White Sox
  11. Jay Bruce—Cincinnati Reds
  12. Hunter Pence—Houston Astros
  13. Jason Heyward—Atlanta Braves
  14. Nelson Cruz—Texas Rangers
  15. Justin Upton—Arizona Diamondbacks
  16. Mike Stanton—Florida Marlins
  17. Colby Rasmus—St. Louis Cardinals
  18. Jose Bautista—Toronto Blue Jays
  19. Jayson Werth—Washington Nationals
  20. Ben Zobrist—Tampa Bay Rays
  21. Jacoby Ellsbury—Boston Red Sox
  22. Brett Gardner—New York Yankees
  23. Nick Swisher—New York Yankees
  24. Curtis Granderson—New York Yankees
  25. Chris Young—Arizona Diamondbacks
  26. Shane Victorino—Philadelphia Phillies
  27. B.J. Upton—Tampa Bay Rays
  28. Jason Bay—New York Mets
  29. Ichiro Suzuki—Seattle Mariners
  30. Nick Markakis—Baltimore Orioles



  • When OBP is factored in, how can you not love Matt Holliday? He has a .388 career OBP, but he has been even better than that the past four seasons (.405, .409, .394 and .390). We all know he hits for a good average and he consistently draws walks (over 10 percent each of the past three seasons). I know Carlos Gonzalez and Carl Crawford are going to be the more popular picks, but don’t underestimate the boost OBP plays. Plus, it’s not like he doesn’t also contribute in other categories (.312, 28 HR, 103 RBI, 95 R in ’10)
  • I have my doubts about Shin-Soo Choo (click here to see my 2011 projection), but the guy clearly knows how to get on base. Over the past three seasons, he has posted OBPs of .397, .394 and .401.  Yes, an inflated BABIP played a role in ’08 & ’09, but last season he was at .347 and posted a career best OBP. That’s what happens when you have a career BB/9 of 11.9 percent (and a 12.8 percent mark in ’10).
  • It doesn’t matter what type of league you play in, the question when it comes to Nelson Cruz is if he can stay healthy. When he plays, he has proven that he is one of the most talented outfielders in the game.
  • Mike Stanton does run the risk of posting a lower average, but you have to think of him as a similar player to Adam Dunn. He has a ton of power and, while he may strikeout a fair share, he should also draw some walks. Obviously, he’s not at Dunn’s level (at least not yet), but remarkable power goes a long way to get us to overlook the negatives. How many players are a threat to hit 40 HR at this point?
  • Ben Zobrist is big benefactor from the inclusion of OBP. Over the past two seasons, he has posted walk rates of 15.2 percent and 14.0 percent, plus you have to expect a pretty sizable rebound from his ’10 struggles.
  • The reason for Ichiro’s fall in this type of format is that his advantage in average dissipates since he hardly walks. That allows other players who perform better in the counting stats to leapfrog him, especially since he is no lock to pile up the runs, given the state of the Mariners offense.
  • While Nick Swisher may not have shown it in 2010, he has a career 13.2 percent walk rate. That helps offset the risk of a low average, as demonstrated by his .358 OBP. With HR, RBI and R potential, he’s a great option in this type of format.

What are your thoughts on these rankings? Who’s too high? Who’s too low?


Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide + the 2011 OBP League Supplement, selling for just $8, by clicking here.

Make sure to check out our 2011 OBP rankings

Also make sure to check out our standard 5×5 format 2011 rankings: