2019 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders

by Joe Bond
2019 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders

Every year we see players get drafted well before they should. There are a few reasons for this. One is recency bias. This is the fact that they performed so well last year, they must be able to repeat. My advice here is careful, don’t chase the raw stats. Look deeper into why these players performed the way they did and figure out if it is sustainable.

The second reason is, they were previous studs so even after a down season or two, they have it in them to get back to that level. Sometimes this is the case if injury or something else prevented them from performing. I would again look at why a player is declining. Are they striking out more, not hitting the ball as hard, hitting fewer fly-balls? The metrics don’t lie.

The last reason is the player has shown flashes of brilliance and especially if they were once a top prospect they must be able to put it all together. Fantasy owners and even industry folks fall into this trap all the time, so don’t beat yourself up if you do. It is hard to figure out why these players never are able to perform consistently. Hopefully, with our help you will be able to recognize the ones that can’t and stay away from them.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders

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Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

I get it Cain is great. Good average, steals 25-30 bases, will score a ton of runs.

What I don’t get is fantasy owners taking him in the fourth or fifth round. He can give some pop, but I don’t expect more than about 10-12 home runs and the RBI because he leads off will lack as well. You’re paying near premium for a three-category hitter.

I understand steals are at a premium but do yourself a favor and don’t draft players who are almost negatives in more than one category that early in drafts. I'm not completley ignoring Cain, just it takes building your team just right early on before I would splurge on a player such as Cain.

A.J. Pollock, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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I really like Pollocks game, I really do. He is Lorenzo Cain with more power and a lower batting average, but not enough to hurt you. This makes him a four-category player given the addition of RBI he will get with the extra power.

If he could stay healthy for an entire season is he a 20/20 (maybe more steals) player waiting to happen.

The reality is he has only ever had over 500 plate appearances once. He still provides a good return when on the field, as proven by his 20/13 season last year. However, for a player who is likely to only get 400 plate appearances I can’t take him at his current ADP.

Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

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Now comes the top-prospect that can do it all, but never has consistently player. Buxton has definitely proven in short spurts that he can be a true star in the league. The problem is he has times where he proves he doesn’t belong either. Oh, he is also injury-prone, which does not help anything.

To simply put it, I’m over this kid, I really am. If he proves me wrong, fine come at me on Twitter and tell me I was wrong, I’ll admit it.

His ADP before spring training started was a tad high, but somewhat reasonable. Now that he has had a ridiculously hot start to spring training, hitting three home runs in 11 at-bats, he is way overpriced. Goes to show that people are still falling for the ghost of Byron Buxton.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

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Maybe I’m just too high on Franmil Reyes, as seen in my undervalued outfield post, but I kind of think Renfroe when all said and done will be the outfielder with the least plate appearances for the Padres. I’m not alone here either. Steamer has Renfroe with the least behind Reyes, Wil Myers and Manny Margot.

Renfroe in his short career has been solid yet underwhelming too. The batting average and plate discipline are lacking, proven by his below average OBP. His power is plus with an excellent with an ISO above .250 last season and .236 in 2017.

Its all about playing time with him though and I’m betting on him not getting as much to warrant the current ADP.

Matt Kemp, OF, Cincinnati Reds

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Am I missing something here? Why is Matt Kemp being drafted inside the top 80 of outfielders still? This is ahead of solid outfielders such as Nick Markakis and rising stars such as Christin Steward, Tyler O’Neill and more.

Kemp the last two seasons has finished with very solid stat lines. A closer look and you will see the vast majority of his production came in the first half of both seasons.

Now he moves teams and is likely to be in a platoon situation with Jesse Winker, who in my opinion is a better player. Yes, Cincinnati is a better ballpark for hitters, but his number of plate appearances is likely to be cut in half at least. This makes him a player I’m not willing to go after.

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1 comment

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – Fantasy Baseball Links | FantasyRundown.com March 5, 2019 - 3:34 pm

[…] names five overvalued outfielders including Lorenzo Cain and Byron […]


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