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 two) 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.
|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: #4-14
14. Mark Trumbo, BAL (15th Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 50.62
After hitting only 22 HR and being traded to Baltimore in 2015, Trumbo bounced back yuuuge on his way to a career year in 2016. His 47 bombs led the league, and he was six runs shy of a 100 R/100 RBI campaign. A terrible second half in which he hit just .214 with a .754 OPS, combined with how saturated the power scene has become in fantasy baseball, is the reason why his Keeper Value score seems to be too low. I still love the potential value here.
13. Ryan Braun, MIL (Fifth Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 57.75
Two down years (2013-2014) in the midst of swirling PED controversy has caused many of the newer fantasy owners to forget how freakin' amazing Ryan Braun was for his first six years in the league. But those days are in the past and Braun has gotten back to being one of the best all-around fantasy producers in the game. Mookie Betts was the only other player in the league with at least 30 HR, 15 SB, and a .300 BA last year. The Brewers offense looks rejuvenated and could add some decent run creating opportunities for their veteran. Don't overlook Braun in your 2017 fantasy drafts, the man's got plenty left in the tank.
12. Nelson Cruz, SEA (Fourth Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 58.55
2016 made it three straight seasons with at least 40 dingers, 87 R and 93 RBI for Cruz. He leads the league in home runs over the span and has become just about as safe as it gets in an outfield pick for fantasy, as his batting average has really stepped up its game ever since moving to SafeCo. The Mariners have an elite core on offense, and added Jean Segura and Jarrod Dyson to the top of the lineup this off-season. Even at 36 years young, there is nothing to suggest we receive anything but what we've seen the past three seasons from Cruz in 2017.
11. Khris Davis, OAK (16th Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 60.78
What a monstrous breakout season we saw from Khris, with a K, Davis in 2016. In his first season in Oakland, he set a career high in HR (42), R (85), and RBI (102), while maintaining the same lackluster batting average we've seen the past three years. His HR/FB% was only two points higher than 2015 when he hit 27 HR, with the same flyball percentage. The difference was a spike in his Hard%, and a big surge over the second half when he rode a .914 OPS and a crazy .337 ISO. With that being said, I don't believe we see another 40 HR performance in 2017, but split the difference in the mid-30s and you still got yourself a stud fantasy player.
10. Ian Desmond, COL (10th Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 62.08
Nothing like a change of scenery to resurrect your life at the plate. It seemed to certainly help Desmond last year, his first as a Ranger, as he got back to his 20/20 ways (four in his last five seasons) and slashed .285/.335/.446. The average was his best since 2012. But wait, the scenery has changed yet again for Desi, this time he's going to the glorious Coors Field to be apart of one of the most terrifying lineup in the league. The same park where he has hit .379 with a 1.016 OPS in 23 career games. Things are going to get rowdy in Colorado.
9. Andrew Benintendi, BOS (23rd Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 62.65
The newly-crowned number one prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, Benintendi is slated to man LF everyday for the World Series-contending Red Sox in 2017. In just 34 games at the big-league level last year, the rookie really held his own, hitting two dingers with an impressive .359 OBP. You are looking at 15/20 potential optimisistically for this season, with an average that will play in any fantasy lineup. You're going to want to tie this guy down for a long while, so put a keeper ring on it.
8. Jackie Bradley, BOS (23rd Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 66.41
Moving over to centerfield for the Red Sox, Jackie Bradley had quite the little breakout himself in his first full season in the bigs. He finished 2016 with 94 R, 26 HR, 87 RBI, nine SB, and a .267 BA. The power was just a small step of maturation from 2015, as he hit 19 HR combined between Triple A and the big league, in 10 fewer games than he saw in 2016. So expect roughly the same homer totals, with a higher average as he gains experience and continues to cut down his K%. Plus he is also in that fantastic Boston lineup, so 90 R and RBI will always be reachable. Disclaimer: I am a Red Sox fan, but the Keeper Valuation Formula knows no bias.
7. David Dahl, COL (23rd Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 66.71
The third straight youngster on the list, Dahl got a chance to show his all-around fantasy potential in 63 games in the MLB last season. He hit seven HR and five SB to go along with a .315 BA. Combined with his minor league play, in 2016 he totaled 25 HR and 22 SB. Got to love keeping young 20/20 potential in the late rounds, especially one that plays half his games at Coors Field. The BA is sure to come down after boasting a .404 BABIP, but I mean it is Colorado and he is quick, so it certainly won't fall much below .300. This is another guy that you have to tie up for the long run.
6. Charlie Blackmon, COL (Third Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 70.90
Dahl's mate out in the Colorado outfield is a great role model for the young stud to look up to, because he is the bee's knees of all-around fantasy production. Blackmon continued his versatile ways in 2016, and even traded in some speed for extra pop for his fantasy owners. He hit a career high 29 HR and .324 BA, while still stealing 17 bases. He also set a career high .381 OBP, which attributed greatly to his top 10 R total (111). He saw a seven point jump in his HR/FB% with only one percent jumps in flyballs and hard hit percentages, so the HR total should regress a bit. But Blackmon did cut down on his groundballs and hit the second highest line drive percentage in the league, and once again plays in Colorado, so don't expect anything under 20. 25 HR, 20 SB, and a .300 BA in that lineup? This is why RotoBaller ranks him as the 13th overall fantasy player for 2017.
5. Odubel Herrera, PHI (23rd Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 73.35
Spawning from the 2014 Rule-5 Draft, Herrera took a massive step forward last year after showing plenty of promise in his rookie season. He hit 15 HR, stole 25 bases and still managed a .286 BA after the expected dip in BABIP came through. He too, is a great OBP asset, which is why he was able to score 87 R in the Phillies lineup. The burst of power he enjoyed seems like a natural progression, so we should roughly expect another 15/25 season out of the 25-year-old, which was only accomplished by nine other players in 2016.
4. Christian Yelich, MIA (10th Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 73.94
Hands down, Yelich is my favorite fantasy baseball player, and was one my top breakout picks heading into last season. He rewarded me nicely, transitioning his insanely awesome 4.16 GB/FB ratio from 2015 to a 2.82, resulting in a career high 21 HR and 98 RBI. He hits the ball very hard (38.0 Hard%) and still hits very few flyballs, which will consistently keep his BA high. If you play in an OBP league, Yelich is a stud, and keeps getting more patient at the plate. His OBP for the past three seasons are: .362, .366, and .376. I think the homers were too high in 2016 thanks to a 23.6 HR/FB%, but also think the career-low nine SB were too low. It will all even out in 2017, and will culminate in a great season spread out through every fantasy hitting category.
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