2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

2020 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Outfielders


Welcome to the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Outfielders. If you haven’t already, go check out Travis Argo’s undervalued infield piece.

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 

Next to starting pitcher, outfield might be the deepest position in Fantasy. There are plenty of options at the top of the draft, in fact, the top five picks in the draft are currently outfielders (Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, Mookie Betts, and Cody Bellinger). Both the middle and late rounds are also stocked with plenty of draft-worthy talent.

The key to rounding out a proper outfield is to traverse the smorgasbord of options for the best value, leaving your resources available to invest in other positions.

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 Undervalued Outfielders

The Early Rounds

Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers (FantasyPros ADP: OF21, Overall – 79)

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Thanks to a couple of debilitating injuries (strained oblique, broken hamate) Gallo played just 70 games in what was shaping up to be a monster season. The slugger was hitting a career-high .253 with 22 home runs, 49 RBI, and 54 runs scored in his abbreviated campaign.

Gallo was still a strikeout machine (38.4 K%) but made big strides in other areas. His 17.5 percent walk rate was a career-best and a five percent increase from 2018. He was also being much more selective in his at-bats, decreasing his total swing rate and swings at pitches outside the zone by eight percent.

His adjustments led to huge improvements, as seen by his average and .389 OBP. His .368 BABIP is due for some regression, but if Gallo is able to maintain the increase in LD% and league-leading barrel percentage (if he qualified), the fall won’t be as precipitous as some are projecting.

A full season from Gallo is a guaranteed 40 home runs for your team, something that can only be said for a handful of players around the league. Owners in OBP leagues should aggressively target the Rangers’ outfielder at his current seventh-round ADP.

Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins (FantasyPros ADP: OF23, Overall – 88)

Rosario took another step towards stardom last season, reaching the 30 home run and 100 RBI marks for the first time in his career, despite missing 25 games.

As part of the dangerous Twins’ lineup, the 28-year old cut his strikeout rate for the fourth-straight season. Rosario continued to make better contact with the ball, reaching career-highs in barrel% and exit velocity which resulted in a .244 ISO, another career-best.

Rosario won’t shock anyone with his output, but there is a lot of value in an eighth-round outfielder who can consistently hit .280 with 25-30 home runs and close to 100 RBI. In fact, both Steamer and Depth Charts projections have him hitting 30 home runs and 100 RBI for a second straight season.

If Rosario can stay healthy for a full season (a growing concern), then he will be a steal at his current ADP. His walk rate remains poor (3.7%) so owners in OBP leagues should knock him down accordingly.

Middle of the Draft

Ramon Laureano, Oakland Athletics (FantasyPros ADP: OF24, Overall – 89)

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If Laureano didn’t miss five weeks with a stress reaction in his right shin, his ADP would be much higher. The dynamic center fielder flashed five-tool potential throughout the season, finishing with 24 home runs and 13 stolen bases in just 123 games.

After struggling through the first month of the season to the tune of a .234 batting average and just three home runs, Laureano flipped the switch. In his final 92 games, the 25-year old slashed .306/.355/.575 with 56 RBI. His 162-game pace at that rate would have resulted in a 37 home runs, 18 steals, 99 RBI and 111 runs scored.

A VERY hot July (.392/.443/.838) boosted his final season numbers and is obviously unsustainable. However, the strides he made in increasing his walk rate and cutting down on strikeouts prior to his injury at the end of July carried into September, where he continued to find plenty of success at the plate.

Going in the eighth-round based on FantasyPros ADP, Laureano has as much upside as any other outfielder at that point in the draft.

Oscar Mercado, Cleveland Indians (FantasyPros ADP: OF36, Overall – 134)

Mercado came into the league with a reputation as a big base stealer, having swiped 51 bases in his 162-game career in Triple-A. However, the juiced balls of the major leagues turned the rookie into a dual-threat, as he finished with 15 homers and 15 steals in his 115 game debut.

One of the biggest holes in Mercado’s game last year was his batting eye, drawing walks in just 5.8% of his at-bats. His BB% was nearly double that in Triple-A, so hopefully the 25-year old is able to adjust after experiencing major league pitching.

Mercado’s sprint speed, according to Statcast, is in the 97th percentile, the same as noted burners Billy Hamilton, Delino DeShields and faster than Mallex Smith and Victor Robles.

If he can maintain the same power as last season, owners are looking at a 15/30 talent in the 11th/12th round.

Late Round Finds

Danny Santana, Texas Rangers (FantasyPros ADP: OF40, Overall – 141)

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Santana was last year’s big breakout but based on his ADP, no one believes in a repeat. The former Twin absolutely demolished his previous career power numbers, hitting 28 home runs with 81 RBI and a .534 slugging percentage. To put those numbers in perspective, Santana had 13 home runs and 100 RBI TOTAL through the previous five years of his career.

The main culprit for the uptick in power seems to be a spike in Santana’s exit velocity and launch angle. His average exit velocity was 91.4 MPH, which fell in the top-10 percent in the league. The 29-year old’s launch angle saw the biggest change from his career averages, ballooning to 13.5. Neither stat is rooted in luck and should be sustainable if Santana maintains the same approach at the plate.

While his 24.3% HR/FB rate is likely unsustainable, a full 10% reduction would still yield 17 home runs. At his current ADP, betting on a possible 20/20 season is worth the risk.

Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates (FantasyPros ADP: OF58, Overall – 193)

Reynolds was a minor unsung hero last season, ranking from above-average to great across Statcast’s batting metrics. After an April call up, Reynolds slashed .317/.377/.503 with 16 home runs and 83 runs scored.

While he’s not a big power or speed contributor, Reynolds has the skills to flirt with 20 home runs while chipping in a few steals. His sprint speed ranks in the 76th percentile, which was actually faster than Santana’s. It hasn’t translated to production in the SB category but he does have the speed to be a useful contributor should the Pirates decide to let him run.

Don’t get me wrong, Reynolds’ main contributions will be in runs scored and average. However, with an average expected to be around .300 and his place atop the Pittsburgh lineup solidified, the 25-year old will undoubtedly help owners boost their batting average and OBP while chipping in 80-90 runs.

Owners with average anchors like Khris Davis, Rhys Hoskins, or Rougned Odor (and chose not to punt the category) should look into Reynolds as a solid late-round source of balance.

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About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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