Early ADP Thoughts – Outfield, II by Paul Sporer January 24, 2017 Outfield deserved two parts given its depth so we’re diving into part two today. There has been some shifting right around my cutoff point (50th OF) so keep in mind that I’m discussing their average draft slot at the time of writing. In fact, the first guy I’m mentioning today was actually at 52 when I did part one, but he has jumped up to 50. Previous Editions: C/1B 2B/SS 3B OF Pt. 1 OUTFIELD Eric Thames (pick 212) returns from an obscenely successful run in Korea during which he averaged 40 HR and 20 SB a year with a .348/.463/.720 line including a 47 HR/40 SB/1.288 OPS season in 2015. Projections throughout the industry are very aggressive on Thames with his being the rare case where Fans are lowest on him, but even if he “only” reached their level (.264 AVG/24 HR/6 SB) it’d be a nice season and well worth his average draft cost, though a big spring will cause his price to surge. Randal Grichuk’s (216) insane power keeps him firmly planted on my radar, especially at his relatively low cost. His .254 ISO is 12th-highest since 2015 (min. 800 PA), though his BB/K of 0.2 is worst of the bunch and tied with Rougned Odor for worst among the top 68. Not until you reach Jonathan Schoop with the 69th (nice) highest OPS do you find a worse BB/K at 0.14. I wouldn’t be against paying for Grichuk’s power profile at his high end cost (peaking in 12th round), but I think you can consistently get him in 14th-15th round range. He went in the 15th to Ray Flowers in Monday night’s FSTA Draft. I’ve already tabbed Max Kepler (231) as one of my sleepers for ’17 and his price has continued to live in that mid-teens range which makes him very affordable. The base skills from his debut portend better than a .261 BABIP and I think we could see a .260 AVG/20 HR/10 SB season. Even with a meager .249 AVG, Rajai Davis (231, yes it’s the same as Kepler after rounding) managed to finish 19th among OF on the Player Rater last year because he got back to his 40-SB ways after a two year lull. He also popped a career-high 12 HR. Davis has always been a draft day bargain and as he gets older (age-36 season), he will remain such. Easy buy. I’m trying not to get too drunk on the prodigious power of Hunter Renfroe (235) displayed in a mere 36 PA in September, but I mean look at this pop! (all four words are individual links) Renfroe took a little while to click in the minors despite coming from college, but everything that made him a one-time top 50 prospect was on display throughout 2016. He doesn’t walk much, but he also doesn’t strike out a lot for a pure slugger. I’ve been a longtime Leonys Martin (241) backer and while his 15 HR/24 SB season easily paid off his next-to-nothing draft cost, it’s looking like the 29-year old just isn’t poised for a breakout commensurate with his minor league track record (.321/.387/.505 line, 18 HR, and 31 SB in 646 PA). Martin’s defense ensures plenty of playing time and a repeat would offer some surplus value on his draft cost, but he simply hasn’t been good enough against righties to believe there is much more coming. His next .700+ OPS season will be his first. Why no love for Melky Cabrera (256)? Even his solid-if-unspectacular 2015 is better than the 58th OF and yet that’s where he is going after slotting 36th on the Player Rater in 2016. He doesn’t run much anymore, but he’ll bat somewhere in the heart of the lineup and be a solid glue guy as your OF4 while returning OF3 production. Jason Heyward’s (256) horrific 2016 is built into his price making him an easy bounce back bet. Matt Holliday (258) is such a Yankee pickup. The 37-year old got in on the power boon with 20 HR in 110 games and his .215 ISO was a five-year high. Yankee Stadium should help the power maintain while his .253 BABIP was 80 points off his career mark so I expect something of an AVG rebound as well. Buy. There was some buzz on Domingo Santana (270) last year, but shoulder and elbow injuries ate up most of his season, costing him 76 games. He’ll be given plenty of playing time to display his big power and he could be a double-digit speed asset, too. Speaking of a season ravaged by injuries, David Peralta (280) playing just 48 games due in large part to a nagging right wrist injury that sent him to the DL twice as well as a back injury that ate a month. He decimates righties so a return of his health should yield a big profit at this low cost. Josh Bell (281) actually only qualifies at 1B by standard qualifications (20 games), but he gets listed in OF for the ADP data for some reason. His bat drove his prospect status and as a switch hitter, he has a chance at full-time work, though he has been markedly worse against lefties the last few years so he could lose some time on the short side of the platoon. Commanding the strikezone (1.1 BB/K) is Bell’s game so you’re more likely to see a spike in AVG than in HR, at least in 2017, so plan accordingly at the corner infield slot is usually used for power. This is a turning point season for Jorge Soler (288) as he joins the Royals and will be given plenty of playing time to prove himself. Unfortunately for him, even if he breaks out with a 30-homer season, it’s not as valuable these days with 38 guys reaching or exceeding the mark last year. Tyler Naquin (298) altered his approach and sold out for power in his debut. It paid off with 14 homers in 365 PA, more than 12 he hit in 798 PA from 2014-16 in the minors, but he also struck out 31% of the time so he needed a .411 BABIP to hit .296. Regression of both his BABIP and HR/FB (22%) put Naquin in danger of possibly losing his job outright if either or both of Bradley Zimmer (559) and Greg Allen (UD) prove ready. I’m fading Naquin, even at this price. Corey Dickerson (300) certainly fell off his Coors Field level, but he still had an .807 OPS and 22 of his 24 HR against righties. I don’t think he’ll return to his .950+ level vs. righties from Colorado, but I think he’s good enough to be more in the .850 range and chase down 30 HR. As I just said with Soler, that isn’t as valuable as it used to be just a couple years ago, but I’ll take a shot on .265/30 upside in round 20. Michael Conforto (305) is a strong side platoon bat like Dickerson and while his power isn’t as developed, he could be a much bigger AVG asset. He only has 68 PA against lefties, but they’ve been horrific (.336 OPS). They should probably keep trying to develop him versus lefties, but his fantasy stock benefits if he’s a versus righty-only bat. Alex Gordon (316) could be cheaper version of Melky Cabrera if he gets his AVG back on track after a down year (.220 in 506 PA). Jarrod Dyson (324) is in line for more playing time in Seattle and could reach 400 PA for the first time. His OPS will always be unimpressive because he has no pop, but his speed and contact ability should keep his AVG from dropping too low and he could easily swipe 40 bases with that extra playing time. Andrew Toles (330) got his career back on track and enjoyed a strong season that included a solid 115 PA debut. He’s likely to be in a platoon, but it should be the strong side and I’ve already tabbed him as a sleeper. Can Ben Revere (341) possibly be this bad again? His .234 BABIP was far and away a career-low and completely tanked his season. There’s nothing to suggest he should maintain a .234 BABIP. He should nab 30 bags easily, even if he’s stuck in a platoon with Cameron Maybin (279). Other late speed-only options of interest include: Mallex Smith (366), Roman Quinn (388), and Aaron Altherr (405), Billy Burns (561), and Socrates Brito (675). Quinn is my favorite of the group, but don’t forget that Burns hit .294 and stole 26 bases back in 2015 and the trade of Dyson clears his path a bit (though he’s still not in line for a starting role out of spring). There is undue pressure placed on Aaron Judge (375) because of his size and I think we need to reset expectations. Just because he’s the same size as Stanton doesn’t mean he is anywhere near as talented. He’s a 20s HR hitter with a bad AVG in 2017, in other words: meh. Alex Dickerson (389) doesn’t have a guaranteed spot right now, but he could steal some playing time in-season and wind up being a nice power bat on the strong side of the platoon. I dove into this further in the mailbag a while ago. I’m not going to pretend I knew a lot of about Mitch Haniger (447) before the trade, but reading the analysis of the trade (specifically ours, but elsewhere, too) has me a bit hyped on him. Even if he surges in price, it’ll likely be around his Min Pick of 310, so he’ll cost a round in the 20s. Who is your favorite among these late-round prospects: Lewis Brinson (436), Raimel Tapia (519), the aforementioned Bradley Zimmer (559), and Nick Williams (677)? None has a spot so they are pure spec plays, but there’s upside with each. Zimmer is my favorite for the reasons I outlined in the Naquin blurb. I could’ve included Austin Meadows (514), but I think he’s completely blocked off and really needs injury to get a chance. In fairness Tapia does, too, but he also plays in Coors so any chance he gets could yield big results. I’m still not fully quitting Aaron Hicks (591). Gardner and Ellsbury are major health concerns and Judge is a performance concern. Hicks has the defense and has shown flashes with the bat. He’s still only 27 years old. The trade of Logan Forsythe opens up some playing time for Nick Franklin (520) if they don’t bring in anyone else and the two-time top 100 prospect showed a little something with the bat last year, particularly against righties (.828 OPS, 6 HR, and 6 SB in 152 PA), and he could be a double-double asset in ’17. — I’m especially curious about who y’all like most in this grouping because it’s so wide open. We all have our pet players and sleepers, so who are you eyeing for a 2017 breakout going 51st or later among OF?