Ranking the top 10 outfields in MLB

Updated: December 30, 2011, 9:56 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Today, in Part 4 of this week's series -- a look ahead to the best of 2012 -- it's all about the outfields.

(Here are the rest of the rankings: best starting rotations, best bullpens and best infields.)

1. Arizona Diamondbacks

Justin Upton hovered on the edges of the National League MVP race last season, eventually finishing fourth in the voting, yet there is a sense among the Arizona talent evaluators that Upton, now 24, has barely scratched the surface of what he could be. And this is a slugger who racked up 75 extra-base hits last season and had an OPS-plus of 141, while playing in 159 games; the D-backs believe that as he reduces the emotional peaks and valleys of his at-bats, as he gains more consistency, he'll win an MVP award.

But Upton is just part of why the Arizona outfield is so good. Chris Young ranked second among center fielders in UZR/150, and had 20 homers and 22 stolen bases. Jason Kubel was signed to play left field and to balance a D-backs' lineup that has generally been right-handed-heavy, and while the addition of Kubel would seem to nudge Gerardo Parra out of a regular spot in left field, where he won a Gold Glove last season, Parra figures to get a lot of playing time as a strong No. 4 outfielder for Arizona. He'll finish some games for Kubel in left and get a decent amount of starts, sometimes filling in for Young against right-handers with good breaking balls. It's a great group, with offensive production, speed, defense, balance and depth.