Fantasy baseball 2013 is in full swing. It's not too late to grab a couple players for a rainy day -- or if your team is already in shambles.

Fantasy baseball outfielders are possibly the most important of the hitting positions in fantasy baseball for several reasons. You have to draft five of them (or three in Head-to-Head), so you can’t “just wait” on them until the end of the draft like you might for a middle infielder.

One reason this position is so important is that it covers a wide range of statistics:

• Three of the six players that hit over 40 home runs last year, three were outfielders.
• Fourteen of the 27 players that hit over 30 home runs, were outfielders.
• Eight of the 11 players that stole 35 bases or more in 2012 were outfielders.

Fantasy baseball outfielders will more than likely hit half of your team’s home runs this season, and they’ll probably steal two-thirds of your bases.

They’re … awesome.

  • 15

    Adam Jones

    Baltimore Orioles

    Back-to-back good seasons has people telling the naysayers, “Nay!” about their disinterest in Jones. He gives you something in each category – including “happiness!” He's like a poor man's Andrew McCutchen, or a rich man's Dexter Fowler. He's also an extra-base machine, which makes him a solid Head-to-Head fantasy player, also.

  • 14

    Yoenis Cespedes

    Oakland A's

    If you haven’t seen this video of Cespedes from before his rookie season, then watch it. Now, stop giggling with excitement and try to keep from drafting him in the first round. He has a great mix of power and speed, and if not for Harper and Trout, he would have been a much more celebrated rookie. The A's don't have much around him, however.

  • 13

    Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston

    After a breakout 2011, Ellsbury was a top-12 overall pick last year, not just among outfielders. Injuries and reality set in, however. The Red Sox have reset their lineup, bringing in Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, and moving out Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. The odds of Ellsbury ever hitting 30 homers again are slim, but he's still a run-scoring machine with good wheels.

  • 12

    Matt Holliday

    St. Louis Cardinals

    He has averaged a .301 batting average, 26 homers and 93 RBI in three years in St. Louis. He's one of the least flashy fantasy players you'll ever own, but he does a little of everything well. Granted, he doesn't have speed, but his .300-plus batting average more than makes up for it. And despite being 33 years old, he has played in over 150 games in three of the past four seasons.

  • 11

    Bryce Harper

    Washington Nationals

    The hype continues for the former No. 1 pick, so let me pile on. He has a very reasonable chance of having a better sophomore season than Trout. he led all hitters this spring training with a .478 batting average, with three homers and 15 RBI. Would anyone be surprised if he became a top-five outfielder next season?

  • 10

    Jason Heyward

    Atlanta Braves

    Speaking of awesome 24-year-olds, Heyward now has a couple o’ Uptons in the lineup behind him. Life is good! He was pegged to have a big year anyway, and then his club added two stud speed-power combo guys behind him. While his strikeouts doubled from two years ago to last, so did his power numbers. Gotta take the good with the bad.

  • 9

    Giancarlo Stanton

    Miami Marlins

    Right now you're asking "how can you have the best young power hitter in the game ranked ninth among outfielders!?!" I say to you, Ted, that pitchers aren’t going to pitch to Stanton in that Marlins lineup, and he will swing at bad pitches. Although, many point to the fact that the Marlins will be out of most games by the fourth inning, so pitchers won’t be too worried about pitching to him at that point. Hence, I still rank him in the top 10. He also won't have many guys on base to knock in, like previous years.

  • 8

    Josh Hamilton

    Texas Rangers

    After April, everyone looked at Kemp as the possible 2013 No. 1 pick. But after the May, when Hamilton hit .344 with 12 homers and 32 RBI, we were ready to ordain Hambone as the top pick. But he fell back to earth, and now hits in a less-friendly park in Anaheim.

  • 7

    Justin Upton

    Atlanta Braves

    The 25-year old outfielder has 35-25 potential, but much like his brother, B.J., he hasn’t been able to put it together for a full season. With the Upton brothers happily roaming Atlanta’s outfield, this could be the younger Upton’s MVP season. Strangely, Justin has the speed to steal 30-plus bases, but he has never nabbed more than 21.

  • 6

    Jose Bautista

    Toronto Blue Jays

    “Joey Bats” will help you in the power categories, especially now with the lineup in front of him (Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera will hit at the top of the order.) And Bautista might even get third-base eligibility again this year. He has 124 homers in his past three seasons – after hitting just 43 in the three years previous to that.

  • 5

    Carlos Gonzalez

    Colorado Rockies

    Much like Kemp, injuries seem to derail Car-Go’s Fantasy potential each season. He has missed an average of 26 games over each of the past three years. He’s also at the magical age of “27,” which sometimes portends a huge season by hitters. He just needs a healthy season for it to be huge.

  • 4

    Mike Trout

    L.A. Angels

    It’s at this point, you’re probably saying, “This jive turkey don’t know nothin’ about no Fantasy Baseball!” To which I would say to you, my friend from 1974, “THAT was a double-negative, which means I DO know Fantasy Baseball! Huzzah!!!”

    Everyone else has Trout ranked in the top three overall because of his absolutely insane rookie season. There are way too many variables, including a full offseason of people telling him he’s the “Next Mickey Mantle,” to warrant that high of a ranking. “Give me a second super season,” said this doubting Gonos. (However, Trout did have the best rookie Fantasy season since Ichiro in 2001.)

  • 3

    Andrew McCutchen

    Pittsburgh Pirates

    No, seriously. A Pirate! Along with Braun and Mike Trout, “Cutch” was a member of the 30/20 club (Braun had more in both categories, however.) The Pirates star also plans on stealing more bags this year. Unfortunately, the Pirates lineup around him isn’t as prolific on the bases, which means his scoring and run producing potential is a little more limited than others.

  • 2

    Matt Kemp

    L.A. Dodgers

    At the start of last season, Kemp looked like the future No. 1 overall pick in 2013, after he hit .417, with 12 homers and 25 RBI in April. Injuries are his bugaboo, however. If he can stay healthy, he can pass up all hitters ranked above him – and become the No. 1 overall pick in Fantasy next season.

  • 1

    Ryan Braun

    Milwaukee Brewers

    Braun is the consensus No. 1 Fantasy outfielder, and in many cases, he’s also the No. 1 pick overall in many leagues. He’s the only player from 2012 with more than 30 homers and more than 20 stolen bases. (There are concerns about his ties to PEDs, but not enough concern to scare you away.)

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