Skip to main content

Blindly Mining for Outfield Profit

Malcolm Gladwell addresses our predisposition to make quick judgments about people in less than a second, and these judgments are difficult to erase. Just as we judge others quickly, we have preconceived notions with player names. What comes to mind when we hear Darryl Strawberry's name? How do our thoughts change quickly when hear Marquis Grissom or Jay Buhner? Which Outfielder would we rather own just based off of name value alone?

We will explore three nameless Outfielders to try to deter us from a snap judgment based off of a player's name, and we will try to find the best possible player of the three for Roto leagues, H2H leagues, and point leagues. The three Outfielders could qualify as a #2-3 OF in most leagues.

NFBC owners are selecting player A at pick #88, even though player A only accumulated 282 AB's in 2015. Player A boosted his Flyball% from 30.7% in 2013 to 38.7% last season while lowering his GB% from 50.2% in 2013 to 44.2% in 2015. The trends bode well for 20 HR power if Player A can maintain his 13% hr/f. Those owners that seek power and speed can hope that Player A can recover from his hamstring injury in 2015, even though doubters will point to his 61.5% SB% in 2013-2014. H2H owners will want to note that Player A only dominated 39% of the weeks last year, but he dominated 55% of the weeks in 2013-14. His 77% contact rate and 8% bb% bode well for a decent floor if he can stay healthy in 2016. He struggled against RHP last year with a .248 BA in 214 AB's, but he owns a .295 career average versus RHP and a .291 BA versus LHP. Points-League owners will see that Player A contributes 1.3% more value as a #3 OF and -11.1% as a #2 OF, and Roto owners will be looking to pay between $14-18 for his 18-20 HR's and and 10 SB's.

Keeper league owners will inflate player B's value, even though NFBC owners are selecting him at #92. Owners that need speed in the sixth-seventh round will want to target his 25-30 SB's with a 73% SB% success rate. Player B's 80% contact rate and 8% bb% provide a sufficient foundation to keep stealing bases. He dominated 54% of the second-half weeks last year for H2H owners, which allowed him to dominate 44% of the total weeks. Steamer projects 14 HR's in 2016 for him, even though he had a 6% hr/f last year and his park depresses LH HR's by 8%. Daily gamers will want to sit player B against LHP. He hit .190 with a .528 OPS vL and 1 SB against LHP last year, and he owns a paltry .183 against LHP in his career with 1 SB. For those risk-averse owners, player B offers better health than player A, and he projects as 7.3% better than a #3 OF in points leagues, and he is -7.1% less valuable as a #2 OF. Roto owners will aim to pay less than $20 for his skills to hope for a decent return on investment.

If we can wait another round for power, we can draft player C at #122. Player C hit 22 HR's in the second-half last year, even though his 35% hr/f inflated his HR total. Player C's home park inflates RHB HR by 23%, and player C owns a 40% FB%. Player C's 69% contact rate will hurt his BA, which Steamer projects for .247 in 2016, but we can pick up 27 valuable homers in rounds eight and nine. H2H owners will chase player C's ability to dominate 64% of the weeks last year. Even in points leagues that deduct for strikeouts, Player C is 5% more valuable than the average #2 OF and 20.4% more valuable than an average #3 OF. Player C even added 6 second-half SB's by stealing 75% of his SB attempts, and Steamer projects him to steal 6 bases in 2016. Daily owners will want to start player C against RHP because he hit .260 last year with 21 HR's against RHP, and player C owns a career .863 OPS versus RHP. If he can continue to mash RHP, he should provide $17-20 worth of value for Roto owners.

2016 Fantasy Baseball OF Rankings


What do our teams need in the seventh round? If we prefer speed, we should turn to Player B's SB's and ability to hit RHP. If we prefer big power, we should draft player C and hope for 25-30 HR's. If we want to take more risk for health and speed then player A could be our choice. Most keeper league owners will prefer player B, and H2H and points-league owners will prefer player C's ability to dominate weeks.


Player A - .278, 22 HR, 75 RBI, and 10 SB
Player B - .255, 10 HR, 58 RBI, and 26 SB
Player C - .247, 27 HR, 80 RBI, and 6 SB

Fantasy Baseball OF ADP Poll