Red Sox Nationals Baseball
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto bats during a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Washington. The Red Sox won 7-5. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


Mike Shara

This will be the last positional breakdown of the preseason. After this I will have some suggestions of sleepers, players who are overrated and underrated and positional battles to keep your eye on. Right fielder might be the deepest position as far as getting an elite player goes- more than a dozen of these guys are All-Star quality right now. The only problem is that 9 of the top 15 right fielders are also eligible at other positions, which means it will drain quickly. I have taken their other positional possibilities into consideration in these rankings, meaning that I see a guy who’s more versatile as slightly more valuable than a single position guy, especially after you get outside the top 10 or 12. 

1.  JUAN SOTO | Washington
– could be the first overall pick of any draft. Barely 23 and possibly already MLB’s best hitter.

2.  FERNANDO TATIS JR. | San Diego | other positions: SS, CF
– runs more than Soto and has more power, but the injury risk is a little higher after last year.

3.  BRYCE HARPER | Philadelphia
– extraordinary that he’s the reigning, deserving NL MVP and still only #3 at his position.

4.  RONALD ACUNA | Atlanta
– he could easily be atop of this list next year if he’s fully recovered from his June knee injury.

5.  MOOKIE BETTS | LA Dodgers | other positions: 2B, CF
– at least two of the top five aren’t even going to make the NL All-Star Team at this position.

6.  AARON JUDGE | NY Yankees | other positions: CF
– Certainly the biggest power threat at the position in the AL & 2022 is his free agent walk year.

 KYLE TUCKER | Houston
– does everything well &  just turned 25. Massive second half showed he could still be better. 

TEOSCAR HERNANDEZ | Toronto | other positions: LF
– might be the most underrated player in fantasy because of those ahead of him on this list.

– Cinci is an elite hitter’s park. Will his new free agent home drain some of his power/value?

10 J.D. MARTINEZ | Boston | other positions: LF 
– he’s ranked #3 among left fielders, which tells you how deep this position really is. 

11 WHIT MERRIFIELD | Kansas City | other positions: 2B
– frankly, I think you want him as your 2B. There are too many great other options at RF.

12 GIANCARLO STANTON | NY Yankees | other positions: LF
– has he finally settled into life in the Bronx? A relaxed, healthy Stanton is a huge boost.

13  RANDY AROZARENA | Tampa Bay | other positions: LF
– Tampa’s offense is better than people realize – his counting stats will benefit.

14  BRANDON LOWE | Tampa Bay | other positions: 2B, LF
– I think he might have him ranked too low here – you can win with him at all three positions.

15 MITCH HANIGER | Seattle
– was absolutely unstoppable during the M’s late season run after finally being healthy again.

16 KRIS BRYANT | ???? | other positions: CF, LF, 3B, 1B
– you probably don’t want him to be your everyday guy here. Versatile, but no longer elite.

17 FRANMIL REYES | Cleveland
– he’s only OF eligible on Yahoo right now. As a DH he’s a bit of a ball stopper. Huge power.

– the move from Milwaukee might cost him a few HR. Still only 30, he’s flawed but steady.

19 JORGE SOLER | ???
– another absolute masher who rescued his season after his trade to Atlanta in July.

20 JOEY GALLO | NY Yankees | other position: LF
– the Yankees have an absurd amount of OF power. He could hit more HR than any of them.

Make sure you check where players qualify in your league, as each platform’s eligibility rules are different. Walsh and Kiriloff are the only players I can find with 1B/RF eligibility, which could be of use to you later in drafts. Edman is a strong source of steals and runs, but not much else. It’s hard to see Brantley returning to draft-worthy form at age 35. If you’re in an OBP league Grossman’s value skyrockets. For what it’s worth, I’m more bullish on Happ than almost anyone. 

Dylan Carlson, STL (RF, CF) Chris Taylor, LAD (2B, CF, 3B, LF, SS)
Michael Brantley, HOU (LF) Tommy Edman, STL (2B)
Alex Kiriloff, MIN (1B, LF) Jared Walsh, LAA (1B)
Robbie Grossman, DET (LF) Hunter Renfroe, MIL (LF)
Alex Verdugo, BOS (LF, CF) Adam Duvall, ATL (LF, CF)
Austin Hays, BAL (LF) Ian Happ, CHC (LF, CF)

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