Dynasty Dugout: Sleeper Outfield Keepers
Last week we covered four sleeper infield keeper options. In store for today is a quartet of talented outfielders that deserve some love in keeper formats. There’s a variety of reasons why these players find themselves here. Some have been injured, some have struggled, and some just don’t have the high-profile name.
If your league keeps 100 total players or more, the below four outfielders should definitely be in the keeper discussion. Some have star potential long-term while others would only be solid options for the next year or two. Regardless, give them a long look as a keeper if you currently have them on your team.
David Dahl (OF – COL)
Injuries this season really suck. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many more times before the season is through. Dahl has fantasy star potential, but a rib injury in spring training has derailed his season. In my midseason dynasty rankings earlier this month, Dahl ranked 14th amongst outfielders and 46th overall. Since we have nothing this season to go off of, let’s hop in the DeLorean and go back in time to Dahl’s rookie season in 2016.
Dahl started the season with Double-A Hartford and was on a 30/30 pace at the time of his promotion to Triple-A. He made quick work of that level, too, needing only 62 at-bats to prove that he had nothing left to prove in the minors. July 25th was the day Dahl got the call and he made an immediate impact for fantasy owners. In just 22 at-bats, Dahl hit .315 with seven home runs, five stolen bases, and a solid .859 OPS.
Power and speed, plus the Coors Field factor, is a drool-worthy fantasy trio. That’s what you’re getting with Dahl. Before the 2016 season, Baseball America graded Dahl’s power as a 55 and both his hit tool and speed as a 60. Since he has the luxury of playing half his games in Colorado, that 55 grade power really equates to a 60.
This is a .300 hitter with 30/30 potential year in and year out. The only thing holding him back is his spotty track record in staying on the field. You can probably get Dahl for a discount (unless you play in a league with me) in your keeper or dynasty league. Take that opportunity and pounce. His price will probably never be lower.
Derek Fisher (OF – HOU)
[the_ad id=”384″]Call me a sucker for enticing power/speed threats. After starting off hot, Fisher has slowed down considerably in August. I don’t read too much into rookie slumps. They’re bound to happen. What I do look at is the overall skill set and how it translates to fantasy production. Fisher’s mostly translates over very well. Like Dahl, he possesses 30/30 potential, but the batting average has always been the question.
Depending on where you look, Fisher’s hit tool has been graded anywhere from a 40 to a 50. Usually, that translates to a batting average in the .250 to .280 range. Over his minor league career, Fisher batted a very respectable .282 over 1,695 at-bats. Will that average remain at that level moving forward? It’s hard to know for sure. But as long as he can keep his average north of .250, Fisher will be a highly sought-after fantasy outfielder for years to come.
If anything has room to grow, it’s his power. Fisher has made hard contact 41.3% of the time since his promotion, but he has hit the ball in the air only 21.3% of the time. If he can increase that number, he could have a few 40 home run seasons in his future. Fisher is a player you’re going to want to take a long look at based on potential alone.
Manuel Margot (OF – SD)
The 2017 season hasn’t gone quite as smoothly as expected for Margot, but there certainly have been some bright spots. Through 363 at-bats, he’s on a 20-20 pace. The speed was expected, but the power wasn’t. Ever since he signed with the Red Sox in 2012, Margot’s calling card has always been his plus-plus speed. He’s not Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon on the base paths, but he’s pretty darn close.
Don’t let the pedestrian 20 steal pace discourage you because Margot has truly elite speed. He accumulated approximately three seasons worth of at-bats in his minor league career and blazed his way to 164 stolen bases. Divide that by three and you get about 55 per season. That might be a tad high of a projection for him moving forward, but Margot should be able to hover around 40 steals each year.
Leading off for your Padres, the NL Player of the Week: Manuel Margot! pic.twitter.com/1zoPFlyJ4i
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 2, 2017
Over parts of five minor league seasons, Margot averaged about nine home runs per 600 at-bats with a career-high of 12 in 2014. Power was just never expected to be a huge part of his game. If he can turn into a 15-20 annual home run threat, to go along with his elite speed, Margot will become a top-20 outfielder in all formats.
If you’re looking for a major league comparison, one I have used quite frequently is A.J. Pollock due to Margot’s solid hit tool, blazing speed, and at least adequate power. Don’t forget, he was a universal top-25 prospect not even 24 months ago.
Tommy Pham (OF – STL)
There are two mistakes I’ve seen countless fantasy owners make over the years. One is keeping a player simply because they were better in the past or have the flashier name. The other is not trusting breakout players because they don’t have a long track record of success. Pham is a great example of this.
When you look at Pham, I can see why you could be a little gun shy about keeping him. To start, he’s pushing 30 years old and was in the minors longer than that. Okay, it’s just been since 2006, but you get my point. Pham never really put up huge numbers at any stage of his minor league career. That, plus a plethora or better options, were the main reasons why it took him eight years to finally get his chance in the majors.
The one constant throughout Pham’s minor league career has been speed. Not blazing speed, but a solid 30-steal pace each and every year. That has continued this season in his 335 at-bats with the Cardinals. He’s close to a 30-home run pace, too, but don’t expect that to continue. He never displayed that type of power in the minors and has hit fly balls onlyl 24.2% of the time this season.
Long-term, there’s not major upside here, but for the next few years, Pham could be a very solid OF3 in all fantasy formats. Expect something along the lines of .275-20-25 for the next few seasons. Depending on the number of players you can keep, Pham could make for a nice stash for 2018.
Thank you for reading another edition of Dynasty Dugout on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Check back next week as we profile some sleeper pitching keepers. Got a question about a player not covered here? Ask in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.