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Strike Zone

2022 Outfielder and Designated Hitter Rankings

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: July 15, 2021, 5:06 am ET

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Up this week are my just-for-fun 2022 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.

Click to see other other preliminary 2022 rankings:

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH

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Outfielder and Designated Hitter Rankings

 

2022OutfieldTeam2021July
1Juan SotoNationals22
2Ronald Acuna Jr.Braves11
3Kyle TuckerAstros106
4Mike TroutAngels510
5Mookie BettsDodgers43
1 DHShohei OhtaniAngels6 DH1 DH
6Eloy JimenezWhite Sox6849
7Cody BellingerDodgers711
8Luis RobertWhite Sox885
9Christian YelichBrewers317
10Bryce HarperPhillies65
11Byron BuxtonTwins928
12Yordan AlvarezAstrosn/a12
13Whit MerrifieldRoyals128
14J.D. MartinezRed Sox*n/a7
15Aaron JudgeYankees1514
16Teoscar HernandezBlue Jays1416
17Starling Marte 2213
18Nick CastellanosReds*289
19George SpringerBlue Jays1618
20Randy ArozarenaRays1315
21Ketel MarteDiamondbacksn/a23
22Trent GrishamPadres2422
23Austin MeadowsRays2321
24Alex VerdugoRed Sox3226
25Jarred KelenicMariners6955
2 DHFranmil ReyesIndians3 DH5 DH
26Cedric MullinsOrioles8524
27Lourdes GurrielBlue Jays1825
28Jesse WinkerReds4919
3 DHNelson Cruz 4 DH4 DH
29Dylan CarlsonCardinals5238
30Tyler O'NeillCardinals6445
31Ramon LaureanoAthletics2932
32Brandon LoweRays2537
33Kris Bryant n/a29
34Mitch HanigerMariners6030
35Nick SenzelReds2093
36Charlie BlackmonRockies*2127
37Eddie Rosario 1720
4 DHGiancarlo StantonYankees5 DH6 DH
38Andrew BenintendiRoyals3644
39Adolis GarciaRangers17431
40Joey GalloRangers4036
41Ian HappCubs1956
42Alex KirilloffTwins10962
43Michael Conforto 4157
44Bryan ReynoldsPirates8839
45Max KeplerTwins3135
46Tommy Pham 4534
47Jared WalshAngelsn/a42
48Wil MyersPadres3433
49Amed RosarioIndiansn/a41
50Jarren DuranRed Sox12172
51Kyle Schwarber 4447
52Ryan MountcastleOrioles3046
53Mark Canha 8353
54Anthony SantanderOrioles2752
55Michael BrantleyAstros5640
56Dominic SmithMets4771
57Raimel TapiaRockies4343
58Chris Taylor 10750
59Clint FrazierYankees35102
60Avisail GarciaBrewers*9158
61Victor RoblesNationals3864
62Tommy EdmanCardinals3348
63Manuel MargotRays6665
64Austin HaysOrioles4870
65Randal GrichukBlue Jays7966
66Justin UptonAngels5860
67Mike YastrzemskiGiants4663
68Jorge Soler 3767
69Dylan MooreMariners2654
70Jo AdellAngels11187
71Kyle LewisMariners65110
72Akil BaddooTigersNR84
73Andrew VaughnWhite Soxn/a108
74Hunter RenfroeRed Sox7268
75Josh RojasDiamondbacksn/a81
76Cavan BiggioBlue Jays4273
77Gregory Polanco 5479
78Pavin SmithDiamondbacks18591
79Luis ArraezTwinsn/a80
80Aaron HicksYankees63NR
81Trevor LarnachTwins18199
82Andrew McCutchenPhillies6269
83Garrett CooperMarlinsn/a105
84A.J. PollockDodgers6183
85Jesus SanchezMarlins19282
86Willie CalhounRangers73138
87Marcell OzunaBraves11NR
88Kole CalhounDiamondbacks*10292
89Robbie GrossmanTigers9774
90Alex DickersonGiants6778
91Taylor WardAngels14789
92Franchy CorderoRed Sox55128
93Julio RodriguezMarinersNRNR
94Joc Pederson 8294
95Aristides AquinoReds99120
96Josh LoweRaysNR155
97Leody TaverasRangers57147
98Garrett HampsonRockies8690
99David PeraltaDiamondbacks9586
100Brandon NimmoMets98100
101Jake FraleyMariners123126
102Lorenzo CainBrewers81112
103Jon BertiMarlins8098
104Taylor TrammellMariners152121
105Riley GreeneTigersNRNR
106Myles StrawAstros7459
107Ryan ViladeRockiesNRNR
108Brad Miller n/a133
109Hunter DozierRoyals59101
110Scott KingeryPhillies89NR
111David DahlRangers75116
112Cristian PacheBraves94NR
113Adam DuvallMarlins10696
114Mauricio DubonGiants90161
115Enrique HernandezRed Sox120113
116Miguel AndujarYankees10895
117Austin SlaterGiants84118
118Michael A. Taylor 7188
119Yasiel Puig 76NR
120Daulton VarshoDiamondbacks77123
121Josh NaylorIndians92NR
122Harrison BaderCardinals101117
123Oscar MercadoIndians116142
124Zach McKinstryDodgersn/a132
5 DHYermin MercedesWhite SoxNR7 DH
125Jackie Bradley Jr.Brewers*100119
126Corey Dickerson 103160
127Nick GordonTwinsn/a162
128Steven DuggarGiantsNR111
129Odubel HerreraPhillies*15097
130Jurickson ProfarPadres*105122
131Edward OlivaresRoyals149143
132Adam Eaton 87107
133Monte HarrisonMarlins128163
134Roman QuinnPhillies96NR
135Danny Santana n/a139
136Stuart FairchildDiamondbacks194NR
137Jake MeyersAstrosNR166
138Victor ReyesTigers70127
139Drew WatersBraves169NR
140Jake BauersMariners112141
141Nomar MazaraTigers113136
142JJ BledayMarlinsNRNR
143Jason HeywardCubs114125
144Daz CameronTigers164172
145Brandon MarshAngels196NR
146Sam HaggertyMariners157NR
147Kevin KiermaierRays117131
148Andrew StevensonNationals104150
149Kevin Pillar 115140
150Orlando ArciaBravesNRNR
151DJ StewartOrioles122134
152Tim LocastroYankees125145
153Brett Gardner 119103
154Brennen DavisCubsNRNR
155Chas McCormickAstrosNR115
156LaMonte Wade Jr.GiantsNR114
157Yonathan DazaRockies153109
158Estevan FlorialYankeesNR174
159Stephen PiscottyAthletics126175
160Lars NootbaarCardinalsNR144

 

  • Ronald Acuña Jr.’s unfortunate knee injury drops him out of the top spot here. I probably would have kept him over Fernando Tatis Jr. as the No. 1 overall player if not for his torn ACL. As is, I’m putting him fourth among position players. He should be ready for Opening Day, but he probably won’t be 100 percent.

 

  • It’s not a great class of free agent outfielders behind Starling Marte and Michael Conforto, though it will get better if Nick Castellanos opts out. That would seem to be an easy call for him if he finishes off his career year healthy. He’s owed $34 million over the next two years under the terms of his Reds deal. J.D. Martinez, who has one year and $19.375 million left on his contract, also had another opt out after declining to exit Boston each of the last two offseasons. It’d be an easier call for him if he knew whether the DH would be available in the NL next year, but it seems highly unlikely that will be determined by the time he needs to make a decision. Unless he’s willing to take a big pay cut to play for a contender, Charlie Blackmon will pick up his $21 million player option to stay in Colorado.

 

  • There are some key eligibility questions here. Eloy Jimenez could return to the White Sox lineup at the end of the month, but he’ll probably DH the majority of the time and might not get the 20 games in the outfield he’d need to maintain eligibility in standard leagues. It looks like Yordan Alvarez will get his 20 games in the outfield, assuming that he stays healthy; he’s at 12 right now. Shohei Ohtani probably won’t, since he’s sitting at five. Whit Merrifield has 14 games in the outfield, so it looks like he’ll probably remain eligible here in addition to second base.

 

  • The DHs are listed with the outfielders here. As of right now, there seems poised to be five significant DH-only players in standard leagues: Ohtani, Franmil Reyes, Nelson Cruz, Giancarlo Stanton and Yermin Mercedes (although labeling Mercedes as significant might be a stretch).

 

  • The top minor leaguer on the list is Boston’s Jarren Duran, who should debut sometime this year. I don’t know that he’ll hit for average initially, but he will offer power and speed while batting in a quality lineup. Then it’s quite a drop to Julio Rodriguez, Josh Lowe, Riley Greene and Ryan Vilade. No one from that group is assured of being up at the start of the year, though. Lowe probably has the best chance; he has been great in hitting .290/.362/.518 in Triple-A this year and he could debut for the Rays this summer. Julio Rodriguez might be more of a 2023 guy, but as one of the game’s top-five prospects, he can’t be ignored here.