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2019 Fantasy Baseball: AL West Outfield Profiles and Projections

If you’ve been with us for the rest of our fantasy baseball player profiles you know that we’ve split each position up by league. Now as we move to the larger player pools of the outfield we’re breaking it down even further by divisions. We’ll start with our AL West Outfield Profiles and then move our way across the country.  We’ll try to tackle a new division every day so check back tomorrow for the AL Central.

If you’re like us you can’t wait until spring to get the 2019 fantasy baseball season started? Well, you don’t have to. Leagues are already forming at, so head on over and start or join a league today.

2019 AL West Outfield Profiles

We’ve also included several players who may only be DH-eligible depending upon the rules of your league. All 2018 games played data is included for every player.

Michael Brantley, Houston Astros
Michael Brantley 2019 MLB Projections

There are only a handful of better contact hitters in baseball than Michael Brantley. He had the second-lowest strikeout rate among qualified hitters in 2018, pushing his contact rate back over 90% in the process (league average, according to Fangraphs, was 77%). What’s more, he signed a two year contract this offseason in Houston, where his swing path should play beautifully. Brantley hits most of his air balls to the opposite field, so expect him to pepper the Crawford Boxes in Minute Mind Park. He’ll always come with durability concerns and Houston is more pitcher-friendly than one might expect, but Brantley’s got real .300-20-10 upside next season, with a boatload of doubles and RBI opportunities aplenty. – Anthony Franco

Jay Bruce, Seattle Mariners

Jay Bruce 2019 MLB Projections

With 20 or more homers in nine of his first 10 seasons, Jay Bruce has been a reliable source of power. It didn’t work out that way in 2018. Bruce walked more and struck out less, and he even hit more fly balls than he has since 2009. His struggles were all related to quality of contact. His 35.2 hard hit percentage was the lowest mark he’s put up since his first two seasons. That led to a 7.7 HR/FB%, which is less than half of what he’s put up in any season but one in his career. Can he bounce back? It all has to do with health. Bruce missed over two months with hip, back, and foot issues in 2018. At 32 a return to health cannot be counted on. Because of his track record Bruce is worth a late-round flier as a cheap power source. Just be quick with the trigger if he again struggles out of the gate. – Doug Anderson

Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels

Kole Calhoun 2019 MLB Projections

Strap in, it’s time to hop aboard the Roller Coaster Calhoun! He was one of (if not THE) worst players in baseball through the end of May, hitting .145/.195/.179 over 185 plate appearances for a wRC+ of 4. Woof. He went to the DL with suckitis and reinvented his swing in the minor leagues. From his return on June 18th until the end of the season, he hit .242/.328/.472 with 18 home runs over 87 games. Of course, 10 of those homers came in a ridiculous June, somewhat inflating that split. That’s more of a reasonable pace to expect than his Apr/May numbers, or his ludicrous June, though. Expect a low-end regular who gets everyday at-bats, totaling 20ish home runs and a .240-.250 average. Hopefully with less whiplash this year. – Nathan Dokken

Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers

Willie Calhoun 2019 MLB Projections

Despite his extreme defensive limitations, Calhoun was a highly touted prospect in fantasy circles due to his bat. Unfortunately, the Rangers weren’t as excited and sent him to Triple-A to open the 2018 season. That notoriously did not sit well with Calhoun, who struggled hard through the first half of the MiLB season. He eventually found his way to the Rangers, but disappointed with a .602 OPS over 35 games. Still just 24, Calhoun is a contact-oriented hitter who also possesses above-average raw power. It’s very debatable whether he taps into that power in 2019, and his playing time isn’t guaranteed either. Shin-Soo Choo is clogging up the DH role, and Calhoun is a poor outfielder. He’s a nice AL-Only flier, but probably should be left to the waiver wire to begin the season in mixed leagues. – Nathan Dokken

Mark Canha, Oakland Athletics

Mark Canha 2019 MLB Projections

Canha is one of those short-side platoon bats that you want to play in DFS when the A’s are on the road. Does that specific profile interest you in season-long leagues? It shouldn’t! Canha posted a sexy .941 OPS against left-handed pitching in 2018, but a flaccid .665 OPS against righties. It’s hard to see him playing 122 games again in 2019 as a platoon hitter with no defensive value, meaning he’s limited to AL-Only leagues. Don’t bother in standard mixers. – Nathan Dokken

Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers

Shin-Soo Choo 2019 MLB Projections

Choo has been a sneaky good outfield option for several years running. He doesn’t do any one thing great in particular, so he winds up underrated. How different is Choo’s 83/21/62/6/.264 line from Mitch Haniger’s 90/26/93/8/.285 line? Are those 30 RBI really worthy of a 170+ pick gap? That’s the ADP difference in Fantrax ADP as of this writing. To bring in some negativity, at age 36 there is the potential that Choo hits that old man wall and drops off. His contact rate has dipped 5% over the past three seasons, but he’s hit 22, 22, and 21 homers in that same span. He’s also good for a sprinkling of steals and a very strong OBP. He’ll hit towards the top of a mediocre Rangers lineup with a fair shot to repeat his 2018 numbers. That’s good enough to be a mixed league bargain yet again. – Nathan Dokken

Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics

Khris Davis 2019 MLB Projections

No there’s no spreadsheet error in Khris Davis’ batting averages over the last three years. In fact he also hit .247 for the Brewers in 2015. The projected average for 2019? .248 (we are not afraid to make a statement!). Luckily for fantasy owners, Davis is just as consistent in the power categories, topping 40 homers in each of the past three years in a pretty tough park for hitters. Davis strikes out too much to ever hit for average and he didn’t even attempt a stolen base in 2018, so the power is his only weapon. Davis is only DH-eligible in many formats, but he will gain outfield eligibility at some point, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned with locking up your utility spot with him. Expect more of the same from Khris Davis in 2019, even if we are calling for a huge batting average breakout. – Doug Anderson

Delino Deshields Jr., Texas Rangers

Delino Deshields Jr. 2019 MLB Projections

DeShields is a perennial sleeper because of his immense stolen base upside. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to make enough hard contact to put together a complete, solid season. He also lacks the defensive chops to be an everyday center fielder and is reportedly a negative in the clubhouse as well. That said, his on-base skills and plus speed make him interesting for fantasy. His overall contact has improved for three straight years, and so has his K%. The Rangers aren’t exactly awash with defensive outfield talent, so they could hand DeShields a full-time job to open 2019. His speed makes him interesting, and he is considerably more interesting in OBP leagues. If he opens the season hot, he could work his way into the leadoff role and score a bunch of runs. With such a wide range of outcomes though, he’s best left for the late rounds of deeper mixed leagues. – Nathan Dokken

Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers

Joey Gallo 2019 MLB Projections

Gallo is perhaps the player with the largest value swing between standard roto and OBP leagues. You could also consider that to be the case in points leagues that give negative points strikeouts and those that don’t. Gallo ranked second among all qualified batters in K% at 35.9% in 2018, although you could argue that he “improved” from his 36.8% K% in 2017. His overall numbers in 2018 were nearly identical to those he posted in 2017, hitting just one less home run (40) with an average of .206 that was just behind his .209 mark in ‘17. Whereas the putrid average kills you in standard roto, his OBP’s are permissible (.317 career OBP) thanks to a healthy double-digit walk rate. With such extreme strikeout rates, fly ball rates (50.8% career FB%), and pop-up rates (11.8% career IFFB%), he isn’t likely to ever hit for a very good average. At a certain point, the extreme power production is worth the ugly average, but you have to draft high-average bats elsewhere in order to offset his negative value in the AVG category. He has gone on record saying he doesn’t plan to alter his all-or-nothing approach, so we can continue to expect the extreme three true outcome player we’ve seen in recent years. – Nathan Dokken

Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners

Mitch Haniger 2019 MLB Projections

Haniger put himself on sleeper radars in 2018 after a solid 96 game performance in 2017. He came through for those who invested in him, finishing with one of the best all-around lines among outfielders. Not only did he match his on-pace stats from 2017, he even improved his walk rate by nearly 3%, giving him a .366 OBP. There is some possible downside to Haniger this year though. The Mariners are clearly in full tank mode, making it a little less certain that he’ll be able to match his 183 R+RBI from a year ago. His batted ball profile suggests he could also give up some batting average. He’s a solid option overall, but it’s more likely he takes a step back rather than another step forward. – Nathan Dokken

Tony Kemp, Houston Astros

Tony Kemp 2019 MLB Projections

Kemp would make for a nice little fantasy player if he weren’t on a loaded Astros team. Stuck behind the likes of Springer, Brantley, Reddick, and Marisnick, Kemp only gets utility at-bats here and there. He weaseled his way into a career-high 295 plate appearances last season and improved across the board. He’s mostly useful because of his speed, putting him on AL-Only radars. His strong contact and walk rates give him a solid OBP floor, boosting him in points and OBP formats. For standard mixed leagues, however, he’ll only be useful if a teammate is injured and he’s getting full-time at-bats for a length of time. – Nathan Dokken

Ramon Laureano, Oakland Athletics

Ramon Laureano 2019 MLB Projections

Laureano got more publicity for an amazing throw from the outfield in his 2018 debut than for what he did with the stick. That said, his offensive game is interesting for fantasy. There’s plenty that won’t repeat from his debut – a .388 BABIP and a .288 average, most notably. While he does have plus speed to pair with his 40% hard contact, a 73% contact rate and 28% K% don’t lend to a high average. He does offer a tasty blend of power and speed though, with the potential for a 20 HR/10 SB type of season. There’s plenty of risk here (as in, he might be out of a job by May if he doesn’t perform), but there’s upside for him to be a solid OF4/5 in standard mixed leagues. – Nathan Dokken

Jake Marisnick, Houston Astros

Jake Marisnick 2019 MLB Projections

Known primarily for his defensive chops, Marisnick won’t hold any value in standard mixed leagues. Even against southpaws – his strong side – he managed just a .693 OPS even while a .328 BABIP boosted his results. He hit .193 against righties with a 34.7% K%. He did appear to make strides over the second half, but a 25 game sample size just isn’t enough to buy into. Even if he does improve, the loaded Astros have better offensive options. Leave him for deep AL-Only leagues. – Nathan Dokken

Nick Martini, Oakland Athletics

Nick Martini 2019 MLB Projections

A career minor leaguer, Martini finally stirred up enough interest (that was a martini joke) with the A’s to earn a call-up. He got on base at a shocking .397 clip in his 55 games with the A’s, and while he’s got his limitations, there’s a place for him in fantasy. As a left-handed hitter, he absolutely will not face same-handed pitching. He’s got the strong side of an outfield platoon though, and he hits righties well. He uses an even-spray line drive approach to hit for a high average. He also makes 85% contact and whiffs just 5.5% of the time as well, while his patience rewards him with a high walk rate. His line drive approach limits him to being a near zero in power though (25% FB%) and he isn’t a threat to steal bases, either. While that precludes him from standard mixed league stardom, he’s a nice bat to grab in an AL-Only league as a player who will get consistent at-bats and provide a high average. – Nathan Dokken

Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers

Nomar Mazara MLB Projections

If not for the wild swings in RBI, Mazara would rank right up there with Khris Davis’s batting average in terms of consistency. For three straight years, he’s hit 20 home runs. He’s also been between 59 and 64 runs and a .253-.266 average. His ADP got bloated in 2018 after he drove in 101 runs in 2017 though, leading some to prematurely expect a breakout. He, unfortunately, became a ground ball machine in 2018, hitting 55% grounders while his FB% tanked to 27%. He required a 20% HR/FB just to hit 20 bombs. He’ll only be 24 years old for the bulk of the 2019 season, so we would expect him to find the next level at some point. He hasn’t given us reason to believe this year will be the breakout, but he’s established a nice floor. If he can improve against left-handed pitching, that would go a long way towards a breakout. – Nathan Dokken

Stephen Piscotty, Oakland Athletics

Stephen Piscotty 2019 MLB Projections

Piscotty followed up a bitterly disappointing 2017 with a strong 2018, bashing 27 homers and driving in 88. While he was able to chop 3% off his strikeout rate, his walk rate, unfortunately, was nearly cut in half. He became a lot more aggressive at the plate and reached on a career-worst 37.7% of pitches outside of the strike zone. Perhaps that will correct positively, but we can’t expect a double-digit walk rate again. Impressively enough, he managed to increase his hard contact by 10% while pulling the ball even less, leading to a .032 point batting average improvement from 2017. His 18.8% HR/FB may not be repeatable, but 20-25 homers and an average that won’t hurt you is enough to make him a late-round outfielder in mixed leagues for 2019. – Nathan Dokken

Josh Reddick, Houston Astros

Josh Reddick 2019 MLB Projections

Reddick is one of the okay-est players in fantasy. A little bit of everything, but not much of anything is what he gives you. In his prime, he was a very nice fantasy option, but over the past three seasons (375 games) he has just 40 homers and 22 steals alongside a solid .281 average. He gets a bump in points leagues for his above-average walk rate and slim strikeout rate. In standard mixed leagues, however, he’s waiver wire fodder. We should expect a rebound from his .242 average last season, but he’ll be buried at the bottom of the Astros order, limiting his counting stats. There’s a possible platoon and an injury history to worry about as well, so leave him to deep mixers and AL-Only leagues. – Nathan Dokken

Domingo Santana, Seattle Mariners

Domingo Santana 2019 MLB Projections

You look at that 2017 and figure Santana had to be hurt to only appear in 85 games last season. Nope. That’s just what happens when you have an outfield of Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, and Christian Yelich. The inconsistent playing time and a setback in his 32.5 K% took the steam out of any fantasy value he may have had. Now in Seattle Santana will get all the at-bats he needs to work things out. Even in the spacious confines of T-Mobile Park (No longer Safeco), expect 20-plus homers and likely double-digit steals. The big question is if he can keep a respectable batting average with all those strikeouts. So far he’s done it with BABIPs of .359 or higher in three consecutive seasons. He may be able to do it again, but be ready for something closer to .245. Santana makes for a nice sleeper in all formats. Just realize you’ll have to be very patient. Players who strike out as much as he does typically go through a few prolonged slumps over the course of a season. Stay the course and the end result should be positive. – Doug Anderson

Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners

Mallex Smith 2019 MLB Projections

Smith’s plus-plus speed and plus bat-to-ball skills profile well as an above average stolen base/batting average contributor who should hit at the top of the Mariners lineup and score 100 runs. In 2018, he ranked 11th in the American League and 22nd in all of Major League Baseball in batting average and third in stolen bases. His .300 batting average potential, lack of home run potential and absence of buzz in the sports media profiles Smith to be an undervalued draft-day value. .300 batting averages and 40-50 stolen base production are becoming more and more rare. Only 16 batters hit .300 or more and only three players stole 40 bases or more in 2018, and that’s what Smith will quietly provide in the relative obscurity of the Pacific Northwest on a rebuilding roster that is going to be better than projections. In 2019, Smith will be better than players like Jonathan Villar, Ender Inciarte and Dee Gordon and a much more affordable draft-day option than Whit Merrifield or Gordon. – Chris Mitchell

George Springer, Houston Astros

George Springer 2019 MLB Projections

“Reliability” is the word that comes to mind when you consider Springer has eclipsed 100 runs scored in three consecutive seasons. Such a word is not the best fit, however, when you then consider he has missed 20+ games with injury in three of his last four seasons. Despite the consistent missed time, Springer has 25-30 homer pop with a little speed to sprinkle in. His HR/FB rate dipped to a career-low in 2018 at 15%, leading to a disappointing .169 ISO. That should rebound a bit in 2019, and a strong OBP will again make him a huge asset in runs. – Nathan Dokken

Myles Straw, Houston Astros

Myles Straw 2019 MLB Projections

Straw is one of those players you can dream on in fantasy. Not that it’s comfortable to lay on a bunch of straw and dream, or dream through a straw. Leave those straws for sipping delicious Fresca. In any case, what you’re getting out of Straw is elite speed. Last year in the minors he stole 70 bases while getting on base at a .381 clip. His approach is very good and he is very aggressive on the bases. He gives you almost nothing in the power department though, and unfortunately for him (and his dynasty league owners), he is very much blocked in Houston. It would take several injuries for him to see consistent playing time. If you have the type of bench to stash him in an AL-Only league or you’re in a deep draft-and-hold format, Straw is a nice lottery ticket. Otherwise, he’s a waiver wire pickup if he happens to come into some playing time. – Nathan Dokken

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout 2019 MLB Projections

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about the best player in baseball? He’s got the highest five category floor in fantasy, and at 27 years old he may have even more ceiling than he’s shown already. He posted a career-high 20.1% BB% in 2018, leading to a ridiculous .460 OBP that was best in baseball by a wide margin. If you were to nitpick, he has missed time with injury in each of the past two seasons, so perhaps there is some injury risk to bake in here. That said, even in 2017 when he played just 114 games, he still went 33/22/.306. If you’re fortunate enough to get the first pick in your draft, don’t overthink it. Trout is your guy. Oh, and you dynasty league Trout owners – don’t even field offers for him. Just don’t. – Nathan Dokken

Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros

Kyle Tucker 2019 MLB Projections

Tucker got his first taste of the bigs last season at the tender age of 21. He saw just 72 plate appearances, so it’s vital not to worry about the .207 wOBA he posted over that span. He went 24/20/.332 at Triple-A over 100 games, which is more along the lines of what his prospect pedigree suggests he’ll accomplish in the majors one day. As it stands, Tucker is blocked after the Michael Brantley signing, so he’ll probably start the season back at Triple-A. However, both Brantley and Josh Reddick have been known to miss time with injuries, so Tucker should get another kick at the can in 2019. If/when he gets full-time at-bats, expect solid five-category production from the top prospect. – Nathan Dokken

Justin Upton, Los Angeles Angels

Justin Upton 2019 MLB Projections

It seems like Upton has been around forever, but he’s still only 31 years old. As blase as you feel drafting him, he’s been one of the steadiest contributors in fantasy over the past decade. His high strikeout rates tend to make him a bit streaky, which is obnoxious for weekly head-to-head leagues, but he always seems to offset those streaks with a month or two of big production. At the end of the year, the numbers are there. With a career 10.2% BB% he gets a bump in OBP leagues, but in standard roto, the average isn’t great. He’ll chip in some steals (between 8 and 21 each year since 2009) and push 30 homers, though. He’ll hit in the heart of a sturdy Angels lineup, giving him a high R+RBI floor. You won’t get a lot of ooh’s and ahh’s when you draft him, but the proven consistent production makes him worth it. – Nathan Dokken

Enjoying these 2019 NL Outfield Profiles? For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2019 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!

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