2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders

by Jonathan Chan
2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders

Welcome to the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders. If you haven't already, go check out Travis Argo's overvalued infield piece after you're finished up here.

For more preseason Fantasy Baseball, check out our whole series of position previews linked below.

Catchers | First Base | Second Base | Third Base | Shortstop | Outfield | Starting Pitcher | Relief Pitcher | Undervalued Outfielders | Undervalued Infielders | Undervalued Pitchers 

As you probably already know, outfield is one of the deepest positions in Fantasy. With a multitude of options available, owners could be tempted to neglect other positions by filling their OF slots early.

The outfielders listed below aren't bad options, but the price might be too high based on their current ADP.

The analysis here will be based on FantasyPros consensus rankings. If you want to see how our very own Joe Bond and Tyler Thompson ranked these players check out Fantasy Six Pack's 2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders

Andrew Benintendi, Boston Red Sox (FantasyPros ADP: OF28, Overall - 98)

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While I have your attention, please direct your eyes to the four stat lines below. Which of these players would you rather have?

A: 15 HR, 103 runs, 49 RBI, 15 SB .279/.365/.428

B: 13 HR, 72 runs, 68 RBI, 10 SB .266/.343/.431

C: 24 HR, 93 runs, 61 RBI, 15 SB .265/.371/.455

D: 20 HR, 61 runs,  72 RBI, 10 SB .282/.332/.464

One of those stat lines clearly lags behind the other three. Because of the subheading, you could probably tell that Player B is Benintendi, who's consistently being taken within or close to the first 100 picks.

Compare that production to ADP ratio against the other three players. Player A is Adam Eaton, whose ADP sits at 201 (OF59), Player C is Shin-Soo Choo, an absolute steal at 242 (OF67), and Player D is Avisail Garcia, going at the very tail end of 10-team leagues (OF68).

Drafting Benintendi in the top-100 doesn't leave a ton of room for upside. At his best, Benintendi was a 20/20 player with average ratios. Last season owners drafted a player who was barely rosterable, nevermind a player worth using as an OF2.

The 25-year could conceivably bounce back in his fourth full season. However, his games played has decreased in each of the last three seasons, along with his home run total. His exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were also below league average last season.

It seems Benintendi adopted a new, more aggressive approach at the plate that didn't work out. He chased more outside pitches while making contact with less of those pitches. He also swung at more pitches in the zone but whiffed on more of those as well.

As a growing player, Benintendi's profile trended in the wrong direction last season. And now the Red Sox lineup has a huge Mookie Betts sized hole in it, making it that much harder to produce.

George Springer, Houston Astros (FantasyPros ADP: OF12, Overall - 37)

Springer posted a career year in 2019, with 39 home runs, 96 RBI and runs scored in just 122 games for the Astros.

The first thing owners need to worry about with Springer is his health. The former 11th overall pick has played more than 140 games just once in his five full seasons in Houston. Now on the wrong side of 30, Springer could see more time on the IL if nagging injuries continue to crop up.

The missed games haven't turned owners away but several notable upticks in underlying metrics could point to some regression. The first is his absurd 29.5% HR/FB ratio, which ranked fourth in the league. A near 15 percent jump without an increase in FB% is bound to come down. If we adjust to his 2018 mark of 15 percent, Springer would have hit just 20 home runs. Thanks to the juiced ball, his 2017 mark of 22.8 percent is more realistic, resulting in 30 homers.

Springer has proven himself to be a top-tier outfielder but expected regression, injury risk, and the complete disappearance of his steals makes him risky at his current price.

Of course, all of these results need to be taken with a grain of salt or just completely thrown into the trash can. Bang Bang!

Austin Meadows, Tampa Bay Rays (FantasyPros ADP: OF14, Overall - 41)

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Meadows was excellent in his first full season with the Rays, posting 33 home runs and 12 stolen bases. He was one of the biggest breakout players of the season and finished 62nd on Yahoo rankings.

His current ADP already has potential upside built-in with little room for upside.

Meadows stole 12 bases and was caught seven times last season, giving him a 63% success rate. Of all players who had more than 10 steals, the 24-year old had the fourth-worst success rate. As steals continue to decrease league-wide, the Rays could decrease Meadows' steals attempts in order to keep him healthy and in the lineup.

If Meadows plays a full season he will likely put up another season similar to 2019. He is being drafted as if a 35 homer, 10 steal is a guarantee. Unless everything goes perfectly, there is better value to be had at his current ADP.

Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox (FantasyPros ADP: OF26, Overall - 94)

Everyone loves a rookie. But at what point does trying to pick the next big thing get too expensive? There's no doubt that Robert is a top-tier talent. Through all three levels of Chicago's minor league system last season, the 22-year old posted a combined 32 home runs, 36 steals, 92 RBI, and 108 runs scored. Insane.

How much of that can we expect to carry to the majors? Given his below-average BB/K ratio of 0.2 (4.9% - BB%, 24.7% K%) in Triple-A, owners should expect the phenom to struggle to get on base from time to time.

If Robert lives up to the hype, with some rookie struggles built-in, owners are looking at a 15-20/20 season. That's all great to forecast but there's no guarantee any of that happens.

Drafting a rookie ahead of established producers like Michael Conforto and Marcell Ozuna has too much risk and potential for downside.

Victor Robles, Washington Nationals (FantasyPros ADP: OF20, Overall - 72)

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The Nationals outfielder is being drafted at the tail end of the fifth round in 12-team leagues. As owners begin to reach for steals, his ADP could creep into the fourth.

Like Robert, Robles struggled with his plate discipline in 2019 posting a 1/4 BB/K ratio, leading to his .255 average. Robles was never projected as a big power prospect, so his 17 home runs last season were a bit of a surprise. However, his exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and expected slugging percentage rank near the bottom of the league.

His average EV was actually last (155th) among qualified hitters and his hard-hit rate (23%) was 240th out of 250 batters with the minimum number of batted ball events to qualify. He also 42 percent ground ball rate which doesn't bode well for his power numbers. Anyone expecting Robles to hit the 20 homer mark may be sorely disappointed.

All that being said, Robles is still an excellent base stealer but is it worth drafting him at his price when someone like Oscar Mercado is available 60 picks later?

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1 comment

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[…] combo of speed and power. However, he struck out in 22.7 percent of his plate appearances. His 1/4 BB/K ratio displays his need to improve his strike zone […]


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