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Five Outfielders To Target For Fantasy Baseball OBP League Drafts (2024)

Nolan Jones - fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers waiver wire pickups

Many rotisserie or category fantasy baseball scoring formats have switched out batting average (AVG) for on-base percentage (OBP) or have simply included it as an additional category. While it may feel like it won't significantly affect your pre-draft ranking, there are plenty of players who should get moved up your board in OBP leagues.

If you are new to this category, OBP  includes when a player gets on via a base on balls and a hit-by-pitch, whereas AVG only increases or decreases based on hits. When scouting players in terms of OBP for your draft, statistics regarding walk rates and plate discipline are uber-important. 

The following five outfielders are examples of players to prioritize in leagues where OBP is scored, though they can be helpful in leagues that value AVG as well. Additionally, players with a high OBP will also be beneficial in points leagues where BB and HBP are typically scored.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

OBP Fantasy Baseball Draft Targets

Nolan Jones, OF, Colorado Rockies

2023 Stats: 424 PA, .389 OBP
Current ADP: 55.3

While a 55 ADP is an expensive price tag for any second-year player, it may be warranted for Colorado Rockies outfielder Nolan Jones. As a rookie in 2023, Jones slashed .297/.389/.542 with 20 home runs, 60 runs, 62 RBI, and 20 stolen bases through 106 games.

While being in Coors certainly helped boost the 25-year-old's numbers, his plate discipline stood out the most. Despite his truncated season, Jones ranked 17th in the league for swing/take runs with a +30 run value.

While a .249 xBA this past season may be enough to avoid him at ADP in leagues that use AVG, those in OBP leagues should still be champing at the bit.

 

Ian Happ, OF, Chicago Cubs

2023 Stats: 691 PA, .360 OBP
Current ADP: 154.1

While a .248 batting average was a step back, impressive strides in plate discipline let Ian Happ maintain viability in fantasy baseball, with a solid .360 OBP. Happ cut his O-Swing% down from 27.9% in 2022 to 23.2% in 2023 and his SwStr% down to a career-best 10.2% (14% career SwStr rate before 2023).

A .254 xBA and 14.5% walk rate in 2023 are signs that Happ's high OBP days are likely to continue into 2024. With 21 home runs, 86 runs, 84 RBI, and 14 stolen bases added in the mix, Happ makes for a good pickup at his 154 ADP.

 

Lars Nootbaar, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

2023 Stats: 503 PA, .367 OBP
Current ADP: 199.5

Lars Nootbaar didn't quite make the leap into superstardom many expected him to in 2023, but the 25-year-old still leveled up at the plate.

Nootbaar slashed .261/.367/.418 with 14 home runs, 46 RBI, 74 runs, and 11 stolen bases, notably pulling his AVG up from .228 and his OBP up from .340. While he didn't maintain the 12.1% barrel rate and 46% hard-hit rate of 2022, his elite 17.1% chase rate, 14.3% walk rate, and 83.6% contact rate kept him buoyant in fantasy.

While you'd probably like for his 2023 8.8% barrel rate to climb back up to his 2022 12.1% barrel rate, you take 2024 Lars Nootbaar at pick 199 in OBP leagues any day of the week.

 

LaMonte Wade Jr., OF/1B, San Francisco Giants

2023 Stats: 519 AB, .373 OBP
Current ADP: 486

LaMonte Wade Jr. put together his best season yet in 2023, slashing .256/.373/.417 with 17 home runs, 64 runs, 45 RBI, and two stolen bases through 135 games. A .265 xBA and .363 xwOBA is quite the steal at a 486 ADP, but he becomes an unquestionable pick when factoring in his 14.6% walk rate. 

 

Joey Gallo, OF/1B, Washington Nationals

2023 Stats: 332 PA, .301 OBP
Current ADP: 669.7

Those new to OBP leagues may scoff at this pick, but Joey Gallo becomes much less of a drag in leagues where OBP replaces AVG. 

While 2023 was relatively tranquil off-the-field for Gallo, he still didn't have a swinging chance of getting over the Mendoza Line, with a .177 batting average through 111 games. However, he broke the 100 wRC+ mark, thanks to a .301 OBP and 14.5% walk rate.

Gallo, at his worst, will drive up that home run total (21 HRs in 2023). His volume looks to be safe in 2024, considering his near-guaranteed everyday role on a toiling Washington team. The 30-year-old is a serviceable deep-league late-round buy for the homer-needy.



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