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Staff Post: Outfielders to Avoid in 2019

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The Fake Teams writers tell you which outfielders to avoid in 2019.

League Championship Series - Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros - Game Four Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Just brace yourselves for the hot takes, okay? That isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I said “give me some avoids in this google doc” but HOT DANG that is what awaited me when I opened it up. These boys are on a roll...

For my part, I’m not copping out, but I agree with Punk and with Zack. My rankings from earlier this week reflected that. So I would be remiss if I did not focus on offering my two cents on those two situations. I’ll probably just add who I like instead of those guys into the analysis.

A bit of a different flow awaits us this afternoon, so just be brave and jump right in!

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Mark Abell)

NFBC ADP: 7.24

J.D. Martinez has been healthy enough to play over 120 games just twice in nine seasons. If you have him as a Top 5 outfielder on your list, that is a big risk. He is excellent when he plays, but he hit career numbers across the board last year. I am expecting a natural regression or injury limitations.

League Championship Series - Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros - Game Four Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

George Springer, Astros (Zack Waxman)

NFBC ADP: 62.25

George Springer is being drafted ahead of Lorenzo Cain, Joey Votto, Jean Segura, and Matt Carpenter. He will be going into his age 29 season with only one full season of avoiding the DL. He is a .265 lifetime hitter while defying the early critics that contested he will strike out too frequently. He excels in one category: scoring runs. While he hits atop the potent Astros lineup he will be extremely valuable in this category, as well as an asset in homers and RBIs. He is what I like to refer to as a premium three-category contributor (someone that is helpful in three categories, but is elite in one of those). Over the last three years, he’s stolen 20 bases, which is not terrible. However, it is terrible when compared to his 21 times caught stealing. The strikeout rate and stolen bases are not going to improve as he enters his thirties. I used to be a big fan of Springer for fantasy because his upside was enormous. However, I think we have a good idea of what he can do by now. He is a great player, but I believe I’ll spend my fifth round pick on a player that is a more balanced contributor or a pitcher. He’s often drafted in Round 4 or 5, and this year I find there are players that could outperform him that are going for a lot cheaper—from Pham, Haniger, or Conforto all the way down to Hicks, Nimmo or perhaps Grichuk.

I agree with Zack—give me Cain or Pham instead of Springer. Marcell Ozuna, too. I’m also fine waiting thirty picks and snagging Yasiel Puig as my OF1, or my high-end second outfielder.

Divisional Round - Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

David Dahl, Rockies (Punk Is Dead)

NFBC ADP: 70.84

David Dahl is going Top 20 at the outfield position and Top 70 overall in NFBC drafts. Are we really drafting him like he’s already done it before? Sure, he’s a 20/20 threat with a high batting average playing in Coors, but he’s also missed significant time with injuries over the past few seasons. He missed two months last year with a broken foot, and has dealt with rib, back, and hamstring issues in his time as a pro. That’s too much risk that early in the draft, especially for a mostly unproven player.

I was actually more sour on Dahl than Punk, as he was my 35th-ranked outfielder. I get that taking the injury discount on a guy could pay off in a massive way, but I don’t like to do so at that point in my fake drafts. Again—Yasiel Puig is a pick I much prefer, and he is going 25 picks later per NFBC data.

If you’re feeling slighted because I didn’t offer an avoid of my own, I’ll leave you with another hot take, and that’s to avoid Charlie Blackmon. Why, you say? Well, in that same juncture you can draft another guy who is toolsy and who should lead off for the Boston Red Sox. I very much view Andrew Benintendi as on the way up, whereas Blackmon will turn 33 years old this July. Blackmon’s 27.6 ft/sec sprint speed from last year was down from 28.2 ft/sec the year before, too. Beyond that, though, he’s reached the age where we really don’t expect gobs of steals anymore (and he only had 12 last year). You are probably hoping for 15 in a best case scenario. Compare that to Beni, who swiped 21 bags a year ago and may lead the league in runs scored this year. It’s very possible Benintendi goes 20/20 with a high average and all the counting stats that go along with being on a great team. I view these guys similarly, I just think one is on the upswing.

What say you, gamers?!? Are we crazy?