As the calendar turns to February, we will look at three OF options before pick #100. All three options offer some power and some speed to help fantasy owners. As several articles last year explored the value of looking at players without names, we will do the same today.
Currently, all three of these outfielders are leaving the board between the fourth and sixth rounds. Does your team like to bet on the young guy with upside? Does your team prefer the proven veteran as a #2 OF?
The First Case for UpsideLeaving the board at the 6th/7th round turn, this OF has the potential to post his first 20/20 season. In 237 PA in 2016, he hit 7 HR and stole 5 bases. His 24.9% K% remained consistent with his minor league numbers, and a .404 BABIP helped him hit .315. Keeping the ball on the ground (45.4%) allowed him to use his speed to post a .359 OBP. Even though he plays in a hitters park, he hit four home runs on the road versus three home runs at home. Some services are projecting a 20/20 season, which elevates his value. Steamer calls for him to hit .272 with 19 HR, 61 R, 66 RBI, and 14 SB.
The Second Case for UpsideOwners are drafting the second choice with more experience in the early fifth round. He remained patient (9.3% BB%) at the plate, and kept his strikeout rate (20.3%) consistent with his 2015 numbers. He improved his ISO (from .125 to .205) with more hard contact (35.7%), more line drives (24%), and more fly balls (37.1%), which led to a 22 HR season. His average fly ball distance (296.48') placed him in the top 25% of batters. On the base paths, he was successful in 17 of his 23 attempts (74%). Some services think that he will take the next step forward in 2017, and Steamer projects a .265, 18 HR, 78 R, 70 RBI, and 19 SB season.
Fantasy Baseball OF Rankings
The VeteranThe veteran offers more power and fewer stolen bases than the first two options. NFBC owners are selecting this veteran in the fifth round. He drew fewer walks (10.3%) with slightly more strikeouts (21.2%) last year, which lowered his OBP from .401 in 2015 to .336 in 2016. His hard contact dropped from 39.4% in 2015 to 35.8% last year, but his average fly ball rate (299.68') is the 41st best in MLB. Even though he has hit LHP well (.317) throughout his career, a drop in BABIP (.339 career versus LHP to .253 BABIP) hurt his .229 in 109 AB versus LHP. Steamer calls for a batting average rebound to .283 with 22 HR, 83 R, 80 RBI, and 9 SB.
RecapWhile the first option is the "shiny new toy" at a cheaper price, some think that he offers the most upside with playing time. The second upside option should continue to improve, and the veteran has a great shot of bouncing back in 2017. Which one are you buying for your teams this year?
- Upside OF #1 (.272, 19 HR, 61 R, 66 RBI, and 14 SB)
- Upside OF #2 (.265, 18 HR, 78 R, 70 RBI, and 19 SB)
- Veteran OF #3 (.283, 22 HR, 83 R, 80 RBI, and 9 SB)