Dumpster Dives and Dynasty Finds: Outfield
Each week of draft season, I’ll be digging through the dumpster to find players for the deepest of deep league owners. I’ll also look at some prospects who have a decent acquisition cost in dynasty leagues. The projections next to the player’s name are an average of THE BAT, ATC, Steamer, and ZIPS, projections systems found on Fangraphs. NFBC ADP data is from the date range 02/01/2019-03/11/2019. This dumpster is like the huge ones you see outside of houses being torn down. Let’s dive in!
Cedric Mullins, BAL (ADP 299): 577 PA, 67 R, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 14 SB, .250/.307/.398/.705
Mullins was a mid round draft pick by the Orioles in 2015 and he’s turned out to be a pretty good find. He’s moved quickly through the system, reaching the big leagues in just his 4th professional season. He ended the season starting in centerfield and batting leadoff for Baltimore. Though he hasn’t been officially named the starter for 2019, it’s expected that he’ll man center again. He’s a power, speed combo that makes good contact and can take a walk. That’s a good foundation for a sleeper pick going 299th. There’s a path to a 20-20 season in the near future, since he’s in a great hitters park and batting leadoff. Take Mullins with one of your last picks and see if it all clicks for the speedy outfielder.
Jorge Soler, KC (ADP 368): 494 PA, 57 R, 19 HR, 60 RBI, 3 SB, .244/.335/.433/.768
When I’m looking for deep league sleepers I’m typically looking for players who are being overlooked but will have regular playing time. Soler is the exception for me this year. He has a regular role to start the season but he’s never played more than 101 games in an MLB season. He’s a huge injury risk but before the injury bug bit him last year, he was slashing .265/.354/.466/.820 with 9 HR in 61 games. He cut down on the strikeouts and still managed to have a 10.9% walk rate. It’s easy to get excited about a former top prospect with power and on -base skills that looked like he was putting it all together. He fouled a ball off his foot in mid-June and was forced to miss the rest of the season. That’s a fluke injury thatand shouldn’t be held against him. I’m willing to roll the dice with Soler’s power potential at pick 368.
Tyler O’Neill, STL (ADP 385): 285 PA, 40 R, 15 HR, 45 RBI, 4 SB, .245/.309/.479/.788
This is my guy. Tyler O’Neill is one of the most physically imposing players in baseball and he has the power to match the physique. 2019 may not be THE season for O’Neill, but he’s someone that needs to be owned in dynasty leagues. He hit 35 home runs between the AAA and MLB levels in 2018, living up to the plus-plus raw power billing. The most impressive thing about O’Neill for me is how he improves at every level. He had monster numbers in AAA last year, batting .311/.385/.693/1.078 and 26 HR and good plate skills (10.6% and 24.9% BB and K rates) in just 64 games. That’s why I believe that he’ll improve greatly on the 4.9% and 40.1% BB and K rates that he posted at the big league level. He’s going to make adjustments and continue to get better. As I wrote in the Over and Undervalued series yesterday, I have O’Neill taking over for Bader in CF for the Cardinals by May. He’ll crush the above projection, if that’s the case.
Franchy Cordero, SD (ADP 464): 345 PA, 42 R, 13 HR, 42 RBI, 10 SB, .245/.303/.431/.734
Ok, I lied. THIS is my guy. The Franchise (we call him that, right?) has 70 grade raw power and 70 grade speed according to Fangraphs. That’s the definition of toolsy and I’m a sucker for a toolsy outfielder. Last season ended in disappointment, as he had a bone spur in his elbow that required surgery to remove. Check out his 2017 AAA to give yourself an idea of how this can look for Cordero when things click. He slashed .326/.369/.603/.972 with 17 HR and 15 SB in 93 games before getting called up to the big leagues. Unfortunately, those tools currently come with a career strikeout rate near 40%. He’s going to haveHe has to make more consistent contact, if he’s going to tap in to that sexy power, speed combination. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a 20-20 season from Cordero, once he gets regular playing time.
Austin Hays OF, BAL (ADP 609): 198 PA, 22 R, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 3 SB, .252/.283/.425/.708
Just as his career was about to take off, Hays had his worst professional season to date in 2018. He was derailed by multiple injuries throughout the year and he failed to get back to the big leagues for an encore of his 2017 debut. The good news is that Hays is healthy and raking thus far in spring training. He’s batting .321/.345/.750 with 3 HR in 28 at bats and looks to be the favorite for the right field job in Baltimore. He’s still just 23 years old and he hit 32 home runs in the minors in 2017. This is a player that’s still ascending and shouldn’t be completely forgotten, because of one injury plagued season. Take him as one of your late round picks in dynasty leagues and hope he recaptures his former prospect glory.
Just like the position itself, outfield prospect depth is plentiful. It’s a great place to find players of all shapes and sizes. Whether you need a power bat, a speedy runner to swipe you 30+ bags, or (hopefully) a little or both, I’ve got you covered on outfield prospects. The big two that should be in the big leagues on April are Eloy Jimenez and Victor Robles. They’re already owned in your dynasty and keeper leagues but need to be considered in rounds 8-12 in your redraft leagues. Robles projects to be a speed over power player and Eloy vice versa. Kyle Tucker shouldn’t be forgotten about as he’ll have a nice power/speed combo once in the MLB for good. Below are some other outfield prospects that I’m high on, in order of my preference.
Jo Adell, LAA: Age, 19 ETA: 2019
One of the top prospects in all of baseball, Adell spent time across three levels last year (Low-A, High-A, AA) and flashed all of the tools that got him drafted in the first round. He has plus-plus power and plus speed according to Fangraphs. His hit tool could use some work but they see its ceiling as above average. He started off hot in his age 20 season by batting .391 in 23 spring at-bats before injuring his hamstring and ankle. The injury looks to keep him out for three months so there may be a buying opportunity in dynasty leagues. He’ll head back to AA once he’s healthy and possibly reach the big leagues by September.
Alex Kirilloff, MIN: Age, 21 ETA: 2020
It’s all about the hit tool for Kirilloff. He absolutely raked last season at Low-A and High-A when he hit a combined .348/.392/.578/.970 with 20 HR in 130 games. He fits the mold of a lot of Twins players with low walk rates but also low strikeout rates. Then again, if you were batting .348 you probably wouldn’t take walks either. Look for him to be aggressively promoted in 2019 as the Twins will want to see him struggle a bit before his MLB debut.
Taylor Trammell, CIN: Age, 21 ETA: 2020
Trammell is a potential power speed guy that projects for a plus hit tool. The speed is already plus-plus and the power should be above average at his peak. The Reds have a crowded outfield situation but if Trammell plays up to his potential, he could be the best of them all.
Yusniel Diaz, BAL: Age, 22 ETA: 2019
The centerpiece of the Manny Machado deal, Diaz is a bright spot in a barren Baltimore system. He hasn’t put up big power numbers in the minors but that sometimes comes with age. He’s projected to have above average hit and power tools, a great home ballpark, and a good chance for playing time. I’ll bet on a player like that in dynasty leagues. Keep an eye on him on the waiver wire for redraft leagues. If he gets playing time he should hit.
Some other names I’m interested in:
Trevor Larnach, MIN: Age 22 ETA: 2020
Kristian Robinson, ARI: Age, 18 ETA: 2021
Estevan Florial, NYY: Age, 21 ETA 2021
Jhon Torres, STL: Age, 18 ETA 2022
Cristian Pache, ATL: Age 20 ETA 2020