2017 Keeper Values: Outfield Rankings - Tier One

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What's up RotoBallers. Welcome back to my series on keeper leagues. Today I'll be taking a look at outfield keeper values for fantasy baseball (tier one)  for those of you deciding what players to keep for your teams.

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft round in order to keep a player into the up-coming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as: the extent to which a good or service (player) is perceived by its customer (fantasy owner) to meet his/her needs or wants.

For these specific rankings, 12 team, 5x5 scoring, 23 man roster, Rotisserie league settings were used. If you play in a custom league with non-standard configurations, are thinking of keeping a player not on this list, or want to compare players on your team, follow me on Twitter @RowdyRotoJB or contact me via the RotoBaller Chat Rooms.

Editor's note: Be sure to also check out our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. It's already loaded up with tons of great rankings articles and draft analysis. Aside from our tiered staff rankings for every position, we also go deep on MLB prospect rankings, impact rookies for 2017, and dynasty/keeper rankings as well. Bookmark the page, and win your drafts.

 

How My Keeper Valuation Formula Works

The Keeper Values are derived from my 15 step Keeper Valuation Formula. The product is a quanitative depiction of a players ability to meet/exceed fantasy owners needs based on the cost they payed for the player in the previous season (2016 ADP). The higher the score, the higher the return the fantasy owner will receive from the player, keeping him at his associated cost. Approaching Keeper selections with this "value" based attitude, will greatly increase the effectiveness of a fantasy owner's draft in a Keeper League.

TIER SCORE EXPLANATION
1 >75 Finders Keepers! These are the Elite Keeper Values. MUST BE KEPT.
2 50-75 Great Keeper values. Unless you have a full load of Tier 1 players, these guys need to be kept.
3 25-49 You are gaining value with these players, but not as much as your opponents are, potentially. Consider if your options are limited.
4 0-24 Break even point. Minimal value. Only consider if you have a large quantity of Keeper selections.
5 -99-0 Keeping these players will hurt your overall draft, as you are not adding any value. Dont waste a Keeper selection here.
6 <-100 The associated costs make it impossible to return any value, these
players will ruin your draft. Stay far away.

 

2017 Top Outfield Keeper Values: #1-3

3. Mike Trout, LAA (First Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 97.04

I am going to make this short and sweet because by now, even the casual baseball fan knows Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. For the past five seasons, his HR/SB totals are: 30/49, 27/33, 36/16, 41/11, and 29/30. Over that span he has the third most PA, fifth most HR, first in R, seventh in RBI and 10th in SB. That's not even including his triple slash, where he ranks fifth in BA, second in OBP and third in SLG. It is ridiculous. To no surprise, he is the only player in the MLB to rank in the top 10 amongst all of those categories. Now, let's take a second and marvel at Trout's career spray chart.

So what can we expect from Trout in 2017? Obviously, elite fantasy production across the board. The 30 SB last season was a great relief for fantasy owners, after we saw his totals drop for three straight years, bottoming out at only 11 in 2015. Standing on first base a ton certainly helps you swipe more bases, and 2016 saw the highest BB% and OBP Trout's ever posted (17.0 BB%, .441 OBP). Trout has continued to evolve as a power hitter, and posted career high pull and hard hit percentages last season. So despite hitting 29 bombs in 2016, there is no reason not to expect a 30/30 campaign along with yet another 100 R and 100 RBI from fantasy baseball's best in 2017. No matter what the cost is for keeping Trout, you need to do it. Unless of course you own the first pick in the draft, then use the keeper selection elsewhere and then take him with the first pick.

 

2. Mookie Betts, BOS (Third Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 100.54

It has only taken Mookie two full seasons to develop into one of the best hitters in the game. In 2016, all the pieces came together for Betts. He finished the brilliant season with 122 R, 31 HR, 113 RBI, 26 SB and .318/.363/.534, and with the title of the only 30/25 hitter in the MLB. It was the first time a hitter reached the mark since Ryan Braun and Trout back in 2012. It is a pure joy to watch this guy play ball, and that is not just my Red Sox fandom talking.

Even though Mookie was fantastic for the entire season, I believe the second half hitter we saw is the bonafide top five player we will see in 2017. First half Mookie was hitting the ball harder, which resulted in a spike in HR/FB%, and led to 18 HR. But, he was also hitting far more groundballs and striking out at a higher clip than he showed in 2015. The HR output was nice, but the BA was sitting at .304. Betts is a better hitter than that, and he proved it down the stretch. After the All-Star break, he hit .338 with a sexy 1.00 BB/K ratio and his ISO and HR/FB% dropped to what I believe is the real Mookie Betts (.209 and 11.4 percent respectively). So while I don't believe a 30 HR repeat will happen, I do believe we will see a BA even higher than the .322 from last season, with the dingers still reaching the mid twenties.

To round out the standard five fantasy categories, Betts brings R and RBI to your lineup like no one else in the league. Thanks to hitting leadoff, second, and third in arguably the best lineup in baseball, Betts was the only player in the league to rank in the top five for both stats. I won't promise that to be true again this year, but even without Big Papi, Betts too is a safe bet for another 100 R and 100 RBI in 2017. 
 

 
1. Trea Turner, WAS (23rd Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 108.01

I have been asked "Where is Trea Turner?" after publishing both the second base and shortstop rankings. Well here the man is, in the outfield rankings due to playing the majority of his time in the outfield last season. Yes he is also eligible at second, and will be shortstop eligible shortly into the 2017 season. It really is all irrelevant because Trea Turner is the top keeper value of the year, regardless of position. For a guy with just 100 major league games under his belt, Turner has a ton of hype heading into the upcoming season. It is certainly warranted after hitting 13 HR and stealing 33 bases with a .342 BA in just 324 PA in 2016. What in the hell did we just see? His 33 SB tied Jean Segura for fourth best in the league, but the dude only played 73 games!

The speed is as real as your momma, but that power was certainly unexpected. Across Double A, Triple A, and a short MLB stint in 2015, Turner combined for nine HR. I certainly don't see a repeat in that pace, but instead look at the 13 HR as a nice target for 2017. Many may also point to his .369 BABIP and expect a large regression in batting average. But with a 25.2 LD%, 34.8 Hard%, and 41.2 Center% (up the middle), I wouldn't expect such a dip in the BABIP department. He showed a very mature approach at the plate, and really played to his strengths. As you see in the heat map pitchers focused low and away on the Turner, which for a rookie is a prime swing and miss spot, especially for sliders.

Unfortunately for the pitchers, Turner is a stud. Not only did he post an elite 6.2 wSL, he also laid off the low and away stuff, which is why he was able to hit that .225 ISO. 
 

Bottom line, Trea Turner is being drafted as a first rounder in many drafts this year. I completely expect him to lead the league in SB over his first full season, and will hit over .300. If he manages to hit in the two hole behind Adam Eaton and in front of Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper, the run scoring could be mind boggling. If you haven't noticed in your 2017 mock drafts, speed is rare and valuable. So is Trea Turner, which is why his Steamers projections rank him third overall in value, and he scores as the top Keeper Value of the season.

 

 

Keeper Value Articles: 

Catcher Rankings: Tier 1

Catcher Rankings: Tier 2

Catcher Rankings: Tier 3

First Base Rankings: Tier 1

First Base Rankings: Tier 2

First Base Rankings: Tiers 3-4

Second Base Rankings: Tier 1

Second Base Rankings: Tier 2

Second Base Rankings: Tier 3

Third Base Rankings: Tier 1

Third Base Rankings: Tier 2

Third Base Rankings: Tier 3

Shortstop Rankings: Tier 1

Shortstop Rankings: Tier 2

Outfield Rankings: Tier 2