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Outfield Busts Who Won’t Improve in 2018


The list of outfielders who will bust again in 2018 is rather short. Most of the players who fell short of expectations last year are poised for a bounce back season. You can see it in their profiles.

It’s a whole different story for these four guys, however. Their fantasy values are almost non-existent, but it’s worth highlighting just how bad they really were so you don’t mistakenly draft one of them.

For the sake of those drafting late or who may have mistakenly bought into these players, we present to you some key reasons why these players aren't the value picks they are being made out to be in 2018.

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Fool Me Once...

Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

Why he busted: career-high ground ball rate, swung freely at the plate (career-high Z-Swing%), lost some base running speed, near career-high soft contact rate.

Why he’ll bust again: murky outlook for 2018, might not be a full-time player, his all-terrain skillset been declining for years, 33-years-old.

Kemp landed back with Dodgers and he’ll look to share playing time with Joc Pederson in 2018. He was pretty dominant in April and May last year, but he crashed and burned after landing on the DL. He wasn't the same after that. A full offseason to recover and refocus could be the catalyst for a bounce back season (he's old, but not that old). Don't expect much from him, though. He’s a sub-replacement level outfielder with eroding skill. He should only be rostered in super-deep leagues.

 

Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers

Why he busted: hit fewer fly balls, hit more grounders, .162 BA in the second half of the season, only appeared in 102 games, .241 BABIP last year, career-low OBP.

Why he’ll bust again: he’s still stuck with the Dodgers, skillset not valuable enough to roster if receiving fewer plate appearances than usual, acquisition of Kemp caps playing time.

Pederson is easily the most likely player on this list to prove me wrong as he’s only 25-years-old at the time this is being written. With that said, his ceiling appears capped in Los Angeles. A change of scenery and a more complete workload would probably benefit Pederson tremendously. His plate appearances have declined since 2015 and it’s safe to say he’d be better off elsewhere.

 

Keon Broxton, Milwaukee Brewers

Why he busted: 37.8 K%, .299 OBP, 61% contact rate, 17.6% swinging strike percentage.

Why he’ll bust again: acquisitions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain jettisoned Broxton from an everyday role, a low-average/low-OBP skillset is barely rosterable when the player receives less playing time.

Broxton was already a slam dunk bust pick before Yelich and Cain signings. Now he’s a three-sixty windmill bust pick. Reduced opportunity + low-average/low-OBP skill set = automatic bust. Broxton might find his way on your team whenever you need stolen base help, but he’s not talented enough to provide the necessary level of efficiency to warrant an everyday role.

 

Jose Bautista, FA

Why he busted: HR/FB five points below career average, career-low contact rate, career-high strikeout rate, .203 BA in 686 plate appearances last year, all-around garbage season.

Why he’ll bust again: he’s 37 and isn’t signed, it’s over.

It’s almost hard to fathom how terrible Bautista was in 2017. If and when he does sign with a team, he still won't be fantasy viable in any league. He’s 37-years-old. He’s unsigned. He’s been declining for years. He’s completely undraftable. Don't burn a roster spot hoping he lands in a choice spot and suddenly produces.

 

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