2024 Fantasy Baseball Busts – Outfield

by Josh Stevens

Welcome to our 2024 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Busts Preview!

Last week in my sleepers article, I detailed how the outfield has traditionally been the most star-studded position, and how that is being kept alive today. However, with big expectations, big disappointments are soon to follow.

Note: I’m not writing about any prospects in this article. If you want to check out some of the best outfield prospects, check out my article on them here.

2024 Fantasy Baseball Busts - Outfield

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Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays (FantasyPros ranking: 12).

Listen, I like Arozarena. He’s fun, flashy, a great playoff performer, and just overall an electric guy.

Arozarena is a pretty solid player overall. He’s super durable, playing in about 90% of the possible games since the beginning of 2021. In those three years, he’s hit the 20/20 mark all 3 times, with exactly 20 homers and stolen bases in two separate seasons.

You can also bet on a range of averages for  Arozarena, as he’s hit between .254 and .274, with OPSs of  .815, .773, and .789.

These are solid numbers. So how does a guy like Arozarena get to land on a busts article?

While 20/20 is a very solid season, this seems to be where Randy has plateaued (although he did hit 30 steals in 2022). There isn’t a lot more to expect from Arozarena that we haven’t seen already. A 20/20 season is good, but is around that 12 range already.

Age is just a number?

Age is also a factor with Arozarena. He turns 29 before the year starts. While that’s not a dinosaur, it is an age where guys start to run less and experience more injuries.

Location is also a factor. Arozarena is entering a fourth full season in a passionless Tampa Bay. For a player who feeds off of the crowd, playing in front of 4,000 fans over and over can start to take a toll.

The league knows this and has started to inquire of Tampa Bay on possible trades. This doesn’t bode well for fantasy, as there are plenty of cases of guys not coming out of the gates strong with a new team.

While Arozarena is a good player who hits the ball hard, drafting him around the 10-12 range for outfielders, likely in the second or early third round, is too rich for me. That’s drafting him near his peak, and he is bound for some regression soon.

Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins. (FantasyPros Ranking: 17)

Despite the first two selections, I promise I don’t hate fun. You might hate me for hating fun, but this isn’t it, contrary to the evidence.

Jazz Chisholm is also an extremely talented player. At his peak, there is no doubt that he has the potential to be a top-ten outfielder. Throughout his career, he holds 162-game averages of 28 homers and 32 stolen bases.

Chisholm’s per 162 numbers for 2023 were very good as well, coming in at 32 homers and 37 stolen bases while posting a .250 average This would easily be worthy of a top-ten pick.

However, there is a reason why I used Randy Arozarena’s full-season stats, and per 162 for Jazz Chisholm. Jazz has only played in 302 out of 546 possible games in his career, a concerning 55%. This number is even propped up by a 124-game season in 2021 and has been declining since.

“Availability is the best ability” is a phrase drilled into our heads repeatedly, and for good reason. Jazz will do you no good for half of the season sitting on the bench and taking a roster spot.

More Than Just Injuries

Injuries aren’t the only problem with Jazz. The K: BB ratio is pretty abysmal for someone with a price as steep as the one Chisholm comes with. In 2023, Jazz struck out 118 times in only 97 games, an alarming rate.

To further things, he only walked 26 times last year. Since Jazz does a lot of damage on the base paths, getting on base more via the walk is vital to him taking his game to the next level.

Overall, while Jazz is an electrifying player, his high strikeouts coupled with his inability to walk, to go along with his constant injuries make him an easy pass at OF17.

Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies. (FantasyPros ranking: 20)

I would say “Here we go with the hating fun again”, but while going down the list of solid outfielders, I realized they’re all fun. What a time to watch some baseball.

But while it breaks my heart to have to talk badly about Schwarber, he just simply isn’t a top 20 fantasy outfielder.

As always, let’s start with what he does well, and this is obvious. Schwarber mashes the ball. His 93 homers (46 in 2022, 47 a year ago) are the second most out of any player over the last two years, just behind Aaron Judge.

Schwarber has only had one non-30-homer season in a full campaign throughout his career, which was back in 2018. This tells us that we don’t have to worry about Schwarber’s power numbers, as they likely aren’t going anywhere.

Unlike the other two entries to the list, Schwarber also has an incredible eye. He followed up a solid 2022, walking 86 times, with amazing discipline in 2023, where Schwarber walked  126 times.

However, every last one of those walks is needed to offset Schwarber’s negative input in the average department.

While Schwarber had never been one to hit .300, he could at least get some hits when needed. However, in 2023, Schwarber came in under the Mendoza line at .197 and was one homer away from becoming the first person to homer more than he singled, with a minimum of 30 homers.

Three True Outcomes?

In a league that is barreling towards the “three true outcomes”, perhaps nobody embodies this more than Schwarber, who had a strikeout, homer, or walk in 388 plate appearances in 2023, which is an all-time high for a single season. This includes a mind-boggling 2004 Barry Bonds season which saw him walk 262 times.

This 388 number is heavily influenced by the bad part of the three true outcomes, which is the strikeout. Schwarber had 215 strikeouts in 2023, which easily paced the league.

While Schwarber is a fan favorite and a pretty solid player who carries a ton of power and discipline, the abysmal strikeout, average, and base running numbers push him way out of the top 20 for me.

That concludes our 2024 Fantasy Baseball Busts - Outfield piece. Who else won’t live up to their hype this year? Let us know below!

Check out the rest of the Fantasy Baseball content from all of the F6P writers.

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