Since the season starts in just a couple days (!!!), I suppose it is time to wrap this OBP series up. I hope you all have enjoyed and I appreciate all the comments that I have received. Forgive me, but I am going to refrain from writing about the catcher position and instead focus on outfielders. (If you are mad about this, I hate you.) In 2015, qualified outfielders had a spread of .064 which puts them just below first basemen for the second best average in baseball. So let’s take a look at which of these outfielders rises and falls in an OBP league and also I will give you players to target in your draft.
Alas, the outfield position!
(Keep in mind, the format is 12-team 5×5 OBP)
|Steven Souza Jr.||TB||373||59||16||40||12||46||0.225||0.318||0.093|
Jose Bautista (2nd Round, OBP Value= 1st)
At age 35, Jose Bautista is an old head when compared to most first and second rounders in your draft. But just like fine wine and Jennifer Aniston, Jose Bautista has gotten better with age. Since turning 29 five years ago, Joey Bats has averaged an eye-popping 38 homers and a.390 OBP and has shown no signs of slowing down. Do yourself a favor and draft this petrified POS.
Curtis Granderson/Shin Soo-Choo (11th Round, OBP Value= 8th)
Why bundle these players together? Well, number 1: because in an OBP league they are virtually the same player, and number 2: because I really didn’t want to write individual pieces on more middle aged hitters.
But really…they both hit leadoff for solid offenses. They both should hit 20 homers and score 90 runs. They both should have an OBP around .360. And they both should be drafted in the middle rounds with little enthusiasm yet great confidence.
Adam Jones (4th Round, OBP Value= 6th)
Part of the reason many love Adam Jones is his consistency in his power numbers and counting stats. But consistency is also a reason to dislike him in an OBP format- as the man is consistently crappy at taking walks. With a spread that never reaches much higher than .040, plan to drop Adam Jones a few rounds if you are in an OBP format.
Yoenis Cespedes (3rd Round, OBP Value= 5th)
You would think that a player this lazy would enjoy taking walks. (I mean seriously, that play the other day in CF made me laugh and cry at the same time.) But like Adam Jones, Cespedes is much the same with a spread that is pretty shameful for a player of his stature. In fact, in three of his last four seasons, he has had a spread below .040. Do not draft him before the 5th round in a 5×5 OBP format.
Khris Davis (15th Round, OBP Value= 11th)
I admit, sometimes I get caught up in 162 game projections on Baseball Reference. But boy is it hard to get last years 36 number out of my head when looking at Khris Davis’s 162 game HR projection in 2015. And to those that are scared of his move from Milwaukee to Oakland, Mini Khrush had the 7th best average home run distance which makes the transition much less of a factor. I aint scurred- draft this man!
Joc Pederson (14th Round, OBP Value= 10th)
In 2006, Yung Joc tore things up in the rap industry and my high-school self was convinced he would be the face of hip hop for the next decade. And just like that, Yung Joc decided to take his hit single “It’s Goin Down” far too literal as his career went downhill faster than Lou Bega’s. Well, as his brother from another mother before him, Joc Pederson already fell off a cliff and we are praying to the faba gods that he rebounds.
With Joc, there are still a load of red flags as he hasn’t shown any signs of improving his his K rate in Spring. But even with his disgusting second half, Joc led the pack of outfielders with the highest spread (.136) in just his rookie year. This, along with his raw power (Joc led all players in average HR distance) cannot be ignored, which makes Joc a great value pick in the 11th round of your draft.
Yasiel Puig (8th Round, OBP Value= 6th)
Not this guy again! Seriously, when will they give it up?! Okay, I promise you if this isn’t the year, Puig will never be rostered by me again. But a player with this upside is hard to give up on, so please forgive me!
In 2013, Yasiel Puig had an AVG of .319 and an OBP of .391. In 2014- it was .296 and .382. In 2015, he regressed to .255/.322 but was hurt most of the year. All in all, we can expect to see a Spread around .080 higher than his average, which gives Puig some monster upside in OBP leagues…assuming he puts it all together. An obviously that is the big question. But dream with me for a minute and let’s say he does by hitting 25 dingers, stealing 15, and batting .310. If this happens, we can assume his OBP is around .390 in this scenario which puts his stat line just under the range of Anthony Rizzo & Andrew McCutchen (legit first rounders). Roll the dice with me one more time!
Matt Holliday (17th Round, OBP Value= 13th)
Matt Holliday can often times be found hanging with his prehistoric friend Joey Bats. Unlike Bats, Holliday is an herbivore and spends time strolling around the bases instead of destroying his prey. In his career Holliday averages a .387 OBP, and in 2014 (his last full season), he had an OBP of .370. During that same season, his spread was almost 100 points and he complimented his elite OBP with 83 Rs, 20 HRs, and 90 RBIs. This man is going far too late in drafts and should be drafted as a number four outfielder with upside to be a number two.
Steven Souza Jr. (20th Round, OBP Value= 17th)
Aside from a potential log jam in the outfield, there isn’t much holding back Steven Souza from putting together a 20-20 season in 2016. And even if Souza’s average is around .230, I wouldn’t be too shocked for him to have an OBP in the .330s. Souza, who turns 27 in April, has minor breakout potential, but even if he repeated what he did last year over a full season, the man deserves to be drafted in the later rounds.