Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Outfielder Breakouts Due for Regression in 2019


It’s inevitable that we see players breakout in baseball every season. In these scenarios, certain athletes may have a total blindsided outburst that no one anticipated coming, or perhaps it’s a savvy veteran who finally took that next step in their professional development. In either circumstance, we pay up for it in the following season in fantasy baseball drafts.

We sometimes can misconstrue the worth of these players by paying full price on their stock in the subsequent season. A common mistake by drafters is to overpay for previous year’s statistics, and we need to focus on what we will get for a return in the present season. Our goal is to find value, meaning to discover players who will exceed their draft day cost.

Some of the highlighted talents in this article will continue to post excellent numbers in the majors, but their cost may be inflated because of their performance a season ago. Regression finds every major leaguer, whether it’s positive or negative, and we’ll dive into why these players will see a pullback in numbers in 2019. It may have you second guessing whether or not you want to pull the trigger on these outfielders at their current price tag.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Christian Yelich (MIL) ADP - 7.1

After several middling seasons in Miami, Christian Yelich broke out in a big way in 2018 with the Milwaukee Brewers. Earning NL MVP honors, he hit .326 with 36 HR, 118 R, 110 RBI, and 22 stolen bases. With massive numbers in every category, this stat line is undoubtedly worth a first-round selection. It’s his 2019 stats, however, that we should focus on when eyeing him for our fantasy rosters.

Yelich doubled his home run output from 2017 where he hit 18 taters in over 40 more plate appearances in that season. It’s no secret that Miller Park is a significant upgrade from his former confines at Marlins Park, but it hardly merits a complete double-up in long balls. Yelich equaled his Launch Angle from 2017 (4.7°) and lowered his FB% nearly 2% to a 23.5% mark. He did set a new high in Hard Hit% at 50.8%, but the fact that his league-leading 35.0% HR/FB in 2018 exploded over his 20.3% career-rate proves that this homer pace is unsustainable. With absolutely no change in approach, other than hitting the ball harder, Yelich could wind up closer to his previous career-high of 21 HR rather than his 36 from a year ago.

With an imminent decline in home runs, a loss in RBI and runs will trickle down with it. Yelich will continue to be fluent in batting average and on-base percentage so the counting stats will accumulate to a healthy level, but it would be an anomaly for more than one of his roto categories to improve in 2019. Yelich has the same skillset that he’s had in every one of his other seasons when he was getting selected as a top-50 player. Now that we’re forced to pay full price for his talents, the value isn’t there anymore, especially for depreciating 2019 numbers.

 

Eddie Rosario (MIN) ADP - 86.1

While Eddie Rosario’s true breakout may have taken place in 2017, his numbers in 2018 were his best on a per game basis, and fantasy owners have taken notice. Rosario batted .288 with 24 HR, 87 RBI, 77 runs, and eight stolen bases in 138 games last season. A rock-solid contributor in all five categories, will this production carry over into 2019?

On the surface, these numbers look desirable, but there are a few underlying metrics that raise an eyebrow. Rosario had the fifth-worst O-Swing% in the majors last year at 42.9% which led to a troublesome 12.7% SwStr%. He has improved on these marks slightly since his first couple of seasons, but these metrics don’t scream a .290 hitter. When pitchers realize they don’t need to throw him as many strikes, Rosario will get himself out. It already started to show last season as he batted just .240 after the All-Star Game.

Rosario's HR/FB mark in 2018 (12.0%) was nearly identical to his career rate (12.6%), but he did generate more fly balls off his bat than ever before. He’ll have to keep this approach up if he wants to eclipse 20 HR again. The lefty swinger hit 12 of his homers last season measured as just enough, that's good for a 50% rate of wall-scrapers compared to only one knock labeled as a no-doubter.

Rosario will bat in the top third of an improved Twins lineup in 2019, so his counting stats will still look presentable. Expecting for him to repeat a near .290 average and flirt with 25 HR may be too trusting for the 27-year-old as these stats are likely to see some regression. You can find Rosario’s same skillset in the ensuing rounds of your draft, and you shouldn’t pay full price for numbers that he won’t duplicate.

 

David Peralta (ARI) ADP - 133

In a season where the addition of a humidor at Chase Field seemingly limited offensive production, David Peralta’s stats somehow became inflated. For the second consecutive year, Peralta hit .293 with a .352 OBP, the epitome of consistency. His home run total wasn’t nearly as consistent as he hit more than double the amount that he had in 2017 (14). Knocking 30 out of the park a season ago, he swatted 87 RBI while scoring 75 runs to finish up a career-year. Not bad for a former pitcher.

With the departures of Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, Peralta is suddenly the best bat in the Diamondbacks lineup. Spending the majority of his ABs as the team's leadoff hitter in 2018, Peralta will likely wind up batting in the three-hole this season. With a lack of depth behind him in the lineup, opponents may wisely choose to pitch around Peralta, limiting the number of juicy pitches that he previously saw batting ahead of Goldschmidt a year ago.

Like Yelich, Peralta didn’t alter his approach drastically at the dish, but he did hit the ball extremely hard. His 45.7% Hard Hit% was over a 10% jump from 2017 and his HR/FB also skyrocketed from 12.2% to 23.4% from season to season. This number is sure to regress, especially since he tied Rosario for 12 just enough homers last season.

Peralta went from your run-of-the-mill average hitter to an upper-echelon power producer in a brief amount of time. A relapse to his former self seems unavoidable with multiple factors working against him. Batting third for the D’Backs, Peralta will still produce some solid counting stats, and his batting average will keep pace with a number around .290 once again. At the current price, you’re paying for a return in power as well as RBI numbers. It’s difficult to foresee either of these numbers getting eclipsed, and his HR total should only be projected to be a handful higher than his previous career best (17). Batting average is about the only category Peralta moves the needle on, and he should be passed over in drafts.

 

Franmil Reyes (SD) ADP - 222

Franmil Reyes made an incredible splash in the big-league waters in 2018. Not because he’s 275 pounds, but because he batted .280 with 16 HR, 36 R, and 31 RBI in 87 games with the Padres last season. A sizeable power threat, what else does the 23-year-old offer?

As the 27th ranked prospect in the Padres system a year ago, Reyes was a surprise contributor to their lineup last season. His .280 batting average is destined to regress as he was only able to surpass this number once since his debut in Single-A in 2013. If Reyes qualified as a hitter in 2018, he would have been in the league’s bottom-10 in Contact% (69.9%) and SwStr% (14.0%). That is an inferior batting company to be included as a peer.

Reyes also put the ball on the ground far more often than what should be expected from such a hulking figure. Only 24 qualifying bats had a GB/FB higher than Reyes’ 1.65 mark in 2018, and only two of these men were able to eclipse 25 homers (Yelich/Peralta). Reyes had a 29.6% HR/FB as a major leaguer, lightyears above his 12.1% career minor league rate; this number should regress somewhere in between the two moving forward. Reyes has proven to hit the ball hard, but he needs to put the ball in the air more to be a true home run threat.

Reyes underwent knee surgery during the offseason, which is a little concerning for a man of his stature. He hasn’t seen limited work during the spring, so it appears he’s fully healthy, but it’s something to note moving forward. The distressing factor looming over Reyes this season is playing time. It’s a crowded outfield in San Diego, and it appears Reyes is fourth in line for at-bats. It also doesn’t help his cause that he had a .247/.298/.449 slash line against right-handers last season, so he may not see as many starts versus these pitchers. Reyes has considerable home run upside, but he has some kinks to iron out in his game for these numbers to fully flourish in the majors. Until we see this occur, or he earns an everyday spot in the regular lineup, Reyes won’t return the results that fantasy owners are forecasting from him.

 

Teoscar Hernandez (TOR) ADP - 343

He may not have had the flashiest breakout season in 2018, but Teoscar Hernandez was beneficial to fantasy lineups in his first full year in the big leagues. Swatting 22 HR, he had 67 R, 57 RBI, and five steals to go along with a .239 batting average with the Toronto Blue Jays last season. Although he has a late-round ADP, there’s not as much upside to his skills than what we might initially anticipate.

Hernandez had a terrific first half of the season batting .257 with 15 bombs in 76 games, but in the second half, he failed miserably. Hitting .209 post-All-Star Break, the 26-year-old seen his 26.2% K% soar up to an awful 39.5% in this span of the season. Fortunately, his BB% was at a respectable 10.8%, but he still only managed to put up a .292 OBP in this timeframe and just a .302 OBP for the season. It was a gaffe on the Blue Jays part for having Hernandez bat leadoff or second in nearly half of his games, and he likely won’t be in this spot in the order in 2019.

Playing time, in general, may be hard to come by as he figures to be on the wrong side of a platoon with Billy McKinney in left field. McKinney bats left-handed and hits righties well, so Hernandez may only see the majority of his playing time against southpaws or to fill in if an injury occurred elsewhere in the Toronto outfield. It further dampens his outlook that Hernandez was one of the worst in defensive metrics among outfielders last season.

Hernandez has an excellent ability to barrel up the baseball and possesses good pop in his swing. He sells out in contact for the big fly as his 64.1% Contact% ranked second-worst in the league, so it may not be worth it to grab him solely for a 20 HR season. He’s a detriment to the batting average category, and with limited ABs, there isn’t enough projected in his counting stats to make a fantasy impact. The power is useful, but finding a player with more upside in your late rounds would be of more sound logic.

More Fantasy Baseball ADP Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 15

In Week 14, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas were the high-end options that came through with solid performances, both finishing in the top-five even though they had fairly tough matchups. A.J. Brown finished as the No. 1 receiver on the week, scoring two touchdowns off of just seven targets, while Darius Slayton and Emmanuel Sanders... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 15

Welcome to our Week 15 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 15 Lineups

The trend of fresh faces being among the tops of the fantasy scoring leaderboard continued in Week 14. Across the skill positions, we saw players that took advantage of plus matchups and excelled for fantasy owners during the first week of the playoffs. Mitchell Trubisky and Drew Lock came out of nowhere to finish inside... Read More


Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 James Conner is expected to make his return this week. Devante Parker (concussion) is good to go for... Read More


Week 15-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Still doing things a little differently this week--for those of you who are still alive. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More


Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More


Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 15

Welcome to Week 15, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football playoffs. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More


Week 15 Panic Room: Outlooks for Slumping and Injured Players

As you set your Week 15 fantasy football playoff lineups, there may be some players who make you feel very uncomfortable about starting them. Based on recent lackluster performances, injuries, or just an intangible bad vibe, it's a struggle to insert them into your lineup in a do-or-die week. But you may also nervous be... Read More


Drew Lock: Is He Ready For Fantasy Football Playoff Consideration?

There is much excitement in Denver after Drew Lock put on an air display at Houston last week. In just his second NFL start, the rookie threw for 309 yards and three TD passes, all in the first half, as the Broncos stunned the AFC South leaders, 38-24. The final score doesn’t indicate what type... Read More


Survive and Advance: The King's Guide to Fantasy Football Playoff Sanity and Success

As the playoffs progress in the NFL every season, media coverage ramps up. By the time we get to Super Bowl week, it's become a full-blown circus. There are microphones and recorders being shoved in players' faces at every waking moment, and the questions never stop. As the fantasy football playoffs move ahead, there is... Read More


Red Zone Usage Risers and Fallers - Week 15

We are at a crucial point in the season. Hopefully, your team is still alive, but there is always an opportunity to get your team in shape before that final push! As fantasy owners, we know that not all touches are equal. A touch in the red zone has an increased chance of scoring a... Read More


QB vs Pass Rush Matchups To Watch - Week 15

Week 15 is here, and the fantasy playoffs are rolling. Some head into the fantasy semifinals as big favorites but others are scrapping to keep their season alive. Real teams start at quarterback, and the position is pretty important for fantasy as well. Quarterbacks have changed the game for fantasy football this year with guys... Read More


Inside the Tent - Week 15 NFL Injury Insight

At RotoBaller, we can't stress enough the importance of keeping up with injuries and playing your best lineup week after week. Players are going to get injured, that's an unavoidable fact. What's avoidable though is making the wrong roster decisions based on the injuries surrounding your fantasy squad. If you want to dominate your leagues... Read More


NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More