The top two picks in your fantasy baseball draft are going to be Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.

So be happy if you have those two picks.

And while I love Betts, there’s no better fantasy option than Trout. For the best and worst of the fantasy baseball outfielders, here’s my take.

Can’t Miss

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Does this really need an explanation? Trout is above-average to elite in all categories. And he’s consistent without much of an injury history.

Don’t overthink this one. If you have the No. 1 pick, don’t pass up on Trout.

Ryan Braun is a potential bust in fantasy baseball among outfielders. Flickr

Potential Bust

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

Braun is an aging outfielder who has built his career on home runs and RBIs. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, his length of service in Major League Baseball wouldn’t worry me when it comes to those categories.

In today’s baseball, though, entering your 11th year in the pros desiring to keep up with major numbers in those categories is a major red flag.

He’s listed as the No. 37 overall draftee and 10th among outfielders. That’s based on a bounce-back year in 2016, when he drove in 91 runs and hammered 30 home runs. He also batted over .300 for the first time since 2012.

To believe he’ll improve on last year’s numbers or remain consistent doesn’t seem likely, since he was trailing downward in the few years previous to 2015.

After a monster year in 2012, Braun fell on hard times, missing most of 2013, and then being pretty average in 2014 and 2015.

Even with a big year last year, he still didn’t drive in more than 100 runs, which should be paramount to picking him up that early in your fantasy baseball draft.

I expect more of the Braun from his lost years than what he showed earlier in this career.


Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers

He’s young and needs some work. But he’s shown some pop with his bat, so he can help fantasy baseball players in specific categories.

Pederson played his second full season in the Majors last year and went for 25 homers and 68 RBIs, and improved his batting average by 36 points.

If he can keep getting better with his batting average, he can be better than his average draft position of 192 overall, 51st among outfielders.

That batting average isn’t very good — .246 last year — but he’s still young enough where that could continue to improve. Don’t sleep on people who can contribute in multiple categories, and Pederson is showing the ability to be a go-to player in the home run/RBI department during his young career.

He’s worth a flier later in your draft.

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