As Opening Day creeps ever closer, it's a good time to start analyzing player values to get a jump on the competition. Today I'll be taking a look at undervalued and overvalued AL Outfielders, to try and help identify draft targets and avoids based on ADPs.
These are some American League players to monitor in preseason mock drafts to see how their respective values may shift before Spring Training and fantasy seasons get underway.
ADP data is taken from early NFBC rankings to determine which players may be great values, and which ones should be passed over at the outfield position.Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Undervalued AL Outfielders
Josh Reddick, Houston Astros (Avg. pick: 286)
The big issue with Reddick is always health. When he's on the field, he produces power numbers worthy of a starting third outfielder. In 2012 with Oakland, he had a 32 HR, 85 RBI season. In 2015, he put up 20 HR and 77 RBI. In the first half of 2016, he was hitting a career best .296 with 8 HR, 28 RBI in 68 games. A subsequent trade to L.A. and (sigh) another injury derailed his season, causing his stock to plummet. Reddick now joins one of the best young lineups in the AL and should have plenty of runners on base ahead of him for RBI opportunities. At a bargain price, he's well worth the upside as a bench player that won't burn you if he hits the DL.
Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox (Avg. pick: 257)
Cabrera's rep took a big hit in San Francisco when he was suspended for PEDs at the end of his All-Star 2012 season. Despite being on the wrong side of 30 with a tarnished name, Cabrera has been quietly productive the last couple of years. He finished ninth in batting average among all outfielders last season. His three-year averages of .290, 14 HR, 79 RBI and 74 R are comparable to Adam Eaton, yet Cabrera is being selected twice as late in drafts. The Sox won't be anything close to an offensive juggernaut this season, but he still returns good value across four categories.
Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers (Avg. pick: 206)
His hot start eventually subsided, but as a 21-year-old playing for a contender through a playoff race, he acquitted himself well. Mazara ended the year with a .266/.320/.419 slash line, 20 home runs and 64 runs batted in. He is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential, so when you consider the upside of selecting him as opposed to the likes of Ender Inciarte, Dexter Fowler or Eric Thames, all of whom are going in the same range, the choice should be clear.
Matt Holliday, New York Yankees (Avg. pick: 256)
On the other end of the spectrum is 36-year-old Holliday, who looks to continue his prolific career in pinstripes. His .246 average and recent slew of injuries may be cause for concern, but he is certainly worth a flier as a DH. In just 382 at-bats in his last season as a Cardinal, Holliday still jacked 20 homers and drove in 62 runs. The hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium should keep that homer total high, especially if he is put into the cleanup spot as expected. At this point, he has more to offer fantasy owners than teammate Jacoby Ellsbury, who currently has a higher ADP.
Overvalued AL Outfielders
Justin Upton, Detroit Tigers (Avg. pick: 82) - Two months into the 2016 season, Upton was hitting .215 with just two homers and nine RBI. He was even dropped is some fantasy leagues out of sheer frustration by his owners. Somehow, when you look at the final numbers, he wound up jacking 31 HR and driving in 87 runs. There is still cause for concern, however, as his .246 average was the lowest of his career over a full season. His OBP has gone down each of the last five seasons and may sink below .300 if that trend continues. He's only 28 and still has the power, but he only swiped nine bags and could hurt your averages once again.
Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles (Avg. pick: 62) - After clubbing a league-high 47 home runs and driving in 108 runs last season, what's not to like? The fact that the O's weren't falling over themselves to re-sign him shouldn't give you pause. The fact that he's on the wrong side of 30 and has to live up to a new set of expectations should. Trumbo was a revelation for fantasy owners last year, but only because he came at a bargain price. This season, you'll have to use a fifth or sixth rounder to secure his services. There are better all-around options at this tier.
Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays (Avg. pick: 196) - Known for his defensive wizardry, Kiermaier is an invaluable piece of the Rays' success. That's not so much the case for your fantasy team. In three seasons at the big league level, he has career highs of 12 in the homer category, 40 in runs batted in, with a career average of .258. His only asset (unless your league counts Web Gems as a category) is his speed. He can get you around 20 SB, as he has done the last two seasons, but that's about it. If you're going for speed at that point, players like Rajai Davis and Keon Broxton could get you 40+ steals instead.
Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins (Avg. pick: 232) - Don't go chasing waterfalls... or hot stretches in small sample size by a rookie. Kepler was on a power surge between July 2 - August 2, but quickly fell off that pace. He ended up with 17 HR in 396 AB, but also a .235 average and 93 K. This German product seems to have intriguing upside at age 23, but he never produced anything close to that kind of power in the minors, making him a risky bet to do it again.
Fair Value AL Outfielders
J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers (Avg. pick: 50) - It's fair to wonder if Martinez is truly the 10th best outfield in the bigs, which is where he's being drafted. It's also fair to wonder if he will ever repeat his 2015 season, where he nearly went for 40 big flies and drove in 102 runs. He missed some time last season, which contributed to the drop in power numbers, but his averages were rock solid at .307/.373/.535. Martinez is still in his prime and carries less risk than players like George Springer and A.J. Pollock.
More Undervalued & Overvalued Picks
Check out RotoBaller's entire 2017 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!