Beware the Hype: Fantasy Baseball's Overvalued Outfielders 1

This article provides a list of the top 100 outfielders in fantasy baseball, with a focus on players to be wary of, including Michael Harris II, Teoscar Hernandez, and Starling Marte. The article cautions against paying a premium price for an inexperienced player like Harris, who has a high ADP despite only playing 114 games, and highlights his high chase rate and unsustainable BABIP. Instead, the article recommends targeting more proven outfielders like Kyle Schwarber, Randy Arozarena, and Cedric Mullins. The article also includes a list of the top 100 outfielders, which can be used as a resource for fantasy baseball drafting.

Fantasy Baseball: Beware of Overhyped Outfielders

March Madness is the time when we all love to get surprised with Farleigh Dickinson taking down Purdue, becoming the second-ever No. 16 seed to eliminate a No. 1 seed. Princeton also topped No. 2 Arizona, marking the third consecutive year when a No. 15 seed has won a first-round matchup. However, March Madness is not confined to college basketball. In fantasy baseball drafts, madness is also happening, particularly with the overhyped outfielders.

One of the most overhyped outfielders in fantasy baseball is Michael Harris. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2022, hitting 19 homers with 64 RBIs, 75 runs, 20 stolen bases, and a .297/.339/.514 slash line in 114 games for the Braves. While he had a remarkable stat line, there is a bit too much excitement surrounding him. Harris may not live up to the hype he achieved during his rookie year.

According to Fantasy Alarm, Harris’ average draft position is 37.87, but some sites have his ADP as high as 24.8 (Underdog Fantasy) or 26.1 (RealTime Fantasy), and he is at 33.3 at Yahoo. In some cases, Harris is being drafted as a top-10 outfielder or among the top 25 overall. That is a steep price for a player who has played just 114 games.

There is no doubt that Harris brings a whole tool bag, but there are concerns that make Roto Rage believe Harris will be very good but ultimately not live up to that lofty draft status. Among players with a minimum of 400 plate appearances, Harris’ 41.7 percent chase rate (swings at pitches outside of the strike zone) was the 12th worst in the majors. That aided in his 4.8 percent walk rate, which was the 18th worst in the league, and his 24.3 percent strikeout rate (the 23rd-worst mark in the NL).

Harris hit .297, but his far-too-high .361 BABIP indicates luck was on his side. It is hard to believe that number is sustainable, especially when his expected batting average (.268) was nearly 30 points lower than his actual average, and his insane 56.2 ground-ball rate was the fourth-highest in the majors. His expected slugging percentage (.460) was also over 50 points lower than his actual .514 slugging percentage, suggesting that he might regress.

Another problem is Harris’ struggles against left-handed pitching. In 135 plate appearances against lefties last season, he hit .238 with 13 runs, 41 strikeouts (30.4 percent strikeout rate), a .649 OPS, and just seven walks. He also had a .337 BABIP against southpaws, which could be problematic.

Overall, while Harris is a talented player, his ADP is too high considering his inexperience and concerning statistics. Fantasy baseball owners should be cautious and avoid overvaluing him in the draft.

The Top Fantasy Baseball Outfielders to Watch Out For

When it comes to fantasy baseball drafts, it is important to pay attention to current price tags and be wary of overvalued players. One such player is Michael Harris, the National League Rookie of the Year in 2022, with an average draft position of 37.87, but some sites have his ADP as high as 24.8 (Underdog Fantasy) or 26.1 (RealTime Fantasy), and he is at 33.3 at Yahoo. This is a steep price to pay for an inexperienced player, particularly when there are red flags that suggest regression is likely. Roto Rage recommends targeting more proven outfielders such as Kyle Schwarber (39.69), Randy Arozarena (47.84), and Cedric Mullins (51.64).

Another outfielder to be wary of is Teoscar Hernandez (76.31), who goes from hitter-friendly Toronto to pitcher-haven Seattle. This could spell trouble for his numbers, and fantasy managers should avoid overvaluing him in the draft.

Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds (77.31) is a talented player but has little support in the Pirates’ lineup. This makes it difficult for him to provide the numbers he is capable of, and fantasy owners should take this into account when drafting him.

Starling Marte (92.29) of the Mets is a 34-year-old player who has suffered from injuries and declining sprint speed. He has missed 30 or more games in all but one season since 2016, and his age and injury history could impact his performance.

Joey Meneses (182.71) of Washington is a career minor leaguer who got an opportunity to play on a team going nowhere and became a late-season fantasy hero. Although he has a powerful swing, his small sample size plus his .371 BABIP raises questions about his consistency.

Cleveland’s Oscar Gonzalez (188.23) had a solid debut, hitting .296 with 11 homers, 43 RBIs, 39 runs, and a .789 OPS in 91 games. However, his 3.4 percent walk rate was in the bottom 1 percent of the league, and his 48.3 percent chase rate indicates that he needs to work on his plate discipline.

If you’re looking for outfielders who are a safe bet, consider Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atl), Aaron Judge (NYY), Julio Rodriguez (Sea), Juan Soto (SD), and Kyle Tucker (Hou). These players are proven talents and have a track record of delivering solid numbers.

In summary, when it comes to fantasy baseball drafts, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with overvaluing inexperienced players or players with injury histories. Pay attention to current price tags and consider drafting more proven outfielders who are more likely to deliver consistent numbers throughout the season.

This list contains the top 100 outfielders in fantasy baseball as of September 2021. Some players to be wary of include Michael Harris II, who has an average draft position (ADP) as high as 24.8 and is being drafted as a top-10 outfielder, despite only playing 114 games. Harris has a high chase rate and an unsustainable BABIP, suggesting regression is likely. Other outfielders to watch out for include Teoscar Hernandez, who has moved from a hitter-friendly park in Toronto to a pitcher-friendly one in Seattle, and Starling Marte, a 34-year-old with a history of injuries. Some more proven outfielders to consider instead include Kyle Schwarber, Randy Arozarena, and Cedric Mullins.

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