Top 40 Outfielders (2019): OBP Formats: #21-40: Who Rises & Who Falls?

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Last week we took a look at the Top 20 Outfielders for those in OBP formats (click here to view), so now let’s take a look at the next 20:

21. Lorenzo Cain – Milwaukee Brewers
22. Wil Myers – San Diego Padres
23. George Springer – Houston Astros
24. Tommy Pham – Tampa Bay Rays
25. Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels
26. Aaron Hicks – New York Yankees
27. Brandon Nimmo – New York Mets
28. Marcell Ozuna – St. Louis Cardinals
29. Nick Castellanos – Detroit Tigers
30. Stephen Piscotty – Oakland A’s
31. Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers
32. Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins
33. Mallex Smith – Tampa Bay Rays
34. Nomar Mazara – Texas Rangers
35. Michael Brantley – Houston Astros
36. Ender Inciarte – Atlanta Braves
37. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
38. Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins
39. Ian Happ – Chicago Cubs
40. Jesse Winker – Cincinnati Reds

Thoughts:

  • We have not yet adjusted the ranking for Aaron Hicks, but keep in mind that he was sidelined with a back issue.  Is it going to prove to be a significant problem?  We don’t know for sure yet, but any time a back is involved it has to potential to linger and cause problems indefinitely.  Once we get a little more information we will change the projection/ranking, if necessary, so consider him a significant risk for now.
  • It should surprise no one that the Mets’ Brandon Nimmo is among the biggest gainers when we move from AVG to OBP formats.  He was one of the elite OBP performers in the league in 2018, with a 15.0% walk rate leading to a .404 OBP.  With the potential to go 15/10 and score ample runs hitting atop the Mets’ order, what’s not to like (even if there is a small regression in his BABIP)?
  • Marcell Ozuna’s drop outside the Top 20 has nothing to do with his disappointing 2018 campaign.  Instead it’s a career 6.9% walk rate, only once posting a mark above 7.1% (he was at 6.1% last season).  That’s led to a career .329 OBP and while we’d expect an improvement in his power and RBI production, the mediocre OBP is going to drag him down when we change formats.
  • It was a second straight impressive season for Eddie Rosario, hitting .288 with 24 HR, 77 RBI and 87 R.  However he continues to struggle drawing walks, posting marks of 5.9% and 5.1% over the past two seasons.  That means any advantage he has in his average is wiped out with the change in formats, with pedestrian OBP of .328 and .323.  It’s not to say that he doesn’t hold value, just don’t make the mistake of overvaluing him.
  • Surprised to see Ian Happ find his way into the Top 40?  Assuming he’s playing regularly there’s a lot to like in OBP formats, as he posted a .353 OBP last season despite hitting a meager .233 thanks to a 15.2% walk rate.  Even if that regresses a little bit thanks to taking a slightly more aggressive approach, he should be able to cut down the strikeouts and continue to post impressive OBP marks.  Coupled with some power, consider him a solid sleeper with the change in formats.

Source – Fangraphs

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