As we examine another off-season filled with player movement, one of the biggest challenges facing Fantasy drafters is forecasting what to expect from players on the move. Some players explode, while others struggle to adapt to their new team.
I am starting a three-part series which will detail players trading places. In the first part, I will focus on the outfielders who have had a change of scenery and how it will affect their production and Fantasy profile.
I listed all of the outfielders who have moved and are of Fantasy significance. More importantly, I highlighted six outfielders that required a change of address form and how this change will affect their Fantasy status in the 2018 Fantasy Baseball Hitters Trading Places-Outfield Edition.
Please also take a look at how these outfielders are ranked in a great article by our very own Michael Tomlin, 2018 Fantasy Outfielder Rankings: New Names & New Places.
2018 Fantasy Baseball Trading Places
Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
After trading for Christian Yelich, the Brewers were still not done remaking their outfield. They went out and reached a deal with Lorenzo Cain. After a 2016 season that was decimated by injuries, Cain played in a career-high 155 games in 2017 and hit .300 with 27 doubles, five triples, 15 home runs, and 49 RBI. He also stole 26 of 28 bases.
Cain is one of three players with an on-base percentage above .350 and 90 or more stolen bases since 2014, per a tweet by the STATS company. His .352 OBP and 96 stolen bases trail only the Astros’ Jose Altuve (.384, 156) and the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon (.366, 102) during that span.
Cain’s biggest issue has been his ability to stay healthy. He has averaged 132 games played over the last three years. He has played 150 games only one time, which was last season. He’s also on the wrong side of 30, but there is enough upside due to him hitting in the top two in an emerging potent offense and improvement in the home ballpark that he should be taken in the top 75.
Corey Dickerson, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates desperately needed some outfield help following this offseason’s trade of former face of the franchise Andrew McCutchen. Dickerson should slot into the organization as the team’s new everyday left fielder. In 629 plate appearances last season, the left-handed-hitting Dickerson had a .325 on-base percentage, a .282 average and a .815 OPS along with a career-high 27 homers, 33 doubles, and 62 RBI. Dickerson hit at least 24 home runs in three of his five major league seasons.
After a monster first half, he started the All-Star Game at DH for the AL. He hit just .241/.282/.408 after the break. Still, Dickerson’s a quality big-league bat. He’s a career .280/.325/.504 hitter, good for a 119 OPS+.
Dickerson is an offensive upgrade over the Pirates’ internal options in left field. Adam Frazier and Jordan Lupow were two of the main candidates for that job. However, I don’t think Dickerson should be concerned with either of those players in regards to playing time. The addition of Dickerson gives the Pirates another left-handed power hitter, along with Colin Moran, Gregory Polanco, and switch-hitting Josh Bell, who can take advantage of the short, but high, Clemente Wall in right field.
In three out of his four full seasons, Dickerson has hit above .280 with 24+ homers and 60+ RBI. He is a late-round pick that could help Fantasy owners looking for power.
J.D. Martinez, OF/DH, Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox finally got the middle-of-the-order presence they sorely needed. Red Sox signed J.D. Martinez to a five-year deal. He is coming off a career-high 45 homers and led the bigs in slugging percentage (.690)-the highest of any MLB hitter since Barry Bonds in 2004. Martinez still wants to play some outfield, but we all know that his primary role is going to be at DH. This will allow Martinez to help him stay healthy, which is one of the few caveats with Martinez. He has averaged only 130 games played in his last four seasons.
His presence will greatly impact the players hitting around him. Young players like Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts will have less pressure on them. The Red Sox hit only 168 home runs last season, fewest in the American League, and 73 fewer than the Yankees, who led the majors. Martinez homered once every 10.87 plate appearances and he hits for average, as evident by him averaging hitting .302 over the past four seasons.
His counting stats speak for themselves, and now he is going to play in a Fantasy-friendly landing spot with an emerging core of young hitters surrounding him. His current ADP is 23rd overall, you will need to go after him aggressively to have him on your roster, you will not regret it.
Andrew McCutcheon, San Francisco Giants
The Giants desperately needed to add players to a team that lost 98 games last season. They received much-needed help when they obtained former NL MVP Andrew McCutcheon from the Pirates. The five-time All-Star hit 28 home runs in a bounce-back season while batting .279 with a healthy OPS+ of 121. He did see his OPS drop over the past two seasons, but he should offer some offense for a Giants team that was last in homers and slugging percentage in 2017.
Even though his play has slipped a bit, he should help the Giants’ outfield this season. Their outfielders combined to hit .253/.311/.374 and were the worst in all of MLB. McCutchen is also durable, playing in at least 153 games in all eight of his full big-league seasons, compiling 203 homers and 171 steals.
McCutchen is a solid all-around player with little upside. He remains a top-25 OF.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, New York Yankees
Of course, everyone in the world knows that NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton is now playing in the Bronx for the New York Yankees. Stanton is coming off a gigantic .281/.376/.631 season in Miami with 59 homers. He scored 123 runs, knocked in 132. He also reached new career marks in isolated power, strikeout rate, and on-base plus slugging. In addition, he played 150 games in a season for the first time since 2011. Stanton accomplished those monstrous stats playing in the third-most-difficult home run-hitting park for right-handed batters last season, which had the effect of depressing righty homers by about 20 percent relative to an average MLB ballpark.
Most Fantasy owners will be excited to see what he can do at Yankee Stadium, which was tied as the second-most-favorable park in baseball for right-handed home run hitters. He is moving to a league that favors offense, and with a team that was a scoring machine last season. There is a lot of buzz on which records this highly potent Yankees lineup will break in 2018 and beyond.
The presence of the DH will help Stanton as he does have a spotty track record in games played. He has averaged 115 games played in the last five seasons. Some Fantasy owners might be highly tempted to select Stanton in the top or middle of first round. While he might even top his career season in 2018, the price is too steep with plenty of home runs available throughout the draft.
Christina Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Christian Yelich and his Fantasy owners have a lot to be excited about coming into the 2018 season. In addition to leaving the Marlins’ disintegrating roster, Yelich’s move to Milwaukee boosts his Fantasy value. Marlins Park was 25th in home run MLB Park Factors on ESPN. While Miller Park in Milwaukee was 12th and it’s especially better for left-handers compared to Marlins Park. Miller Park was eighth in runs while Marlins Park was 28th.
Yelich is durable, playing at least 126 games in each of the last four seasons, including 150-plus in 2016 and 2017. He has posted a wRC+ of 115 or better each year he’s been in the bigs. He didn’t display much home run power earlier in his career. However, he has hit 21 and 18 dingers in his last two seasons. In addition, he’s also stolen 10+ bases four times in his career.
Yelich batted .282 with 100 runs, 18 home runs, 81 RBI and 15 stolen bases last season. I project Yelich will improve those stats across all categories this season. He is projected to hit second, and could easily approach 100 runs and 100 RBI this season. In addition, he carries a legitimate 30-homer ceiling this season while hitting .280. Furthermore, he has stolen 72 bases in 90 attempts. The Brewers are an aggressive team and have attempted the second most stolen bases in all of baseball last season.
With Yelich on your Fantasy roster, you have a five-category player still trending upward. We will see a breakout season from Yelich, he has a 20/20 floor with 30/30 ceiling. He has an ADP of 53 on FantasyPros and that will rise in the coming weeks and throughout this season. Obtaining breakout players like Christian Yelich wins championships!
2018 Fantasy Baseball Hitters Trading Places-Outfield Edition
|Lewis Brinson||OF||Milwaukee Brewers||Miami Marlins|
|Jay Bruce||OF||Cleveland Indians||New York Mets|
|Lorenzo Cain||OF||Kansas City Royals||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Rajai Davis||OF||Boston Red Sox||Cleveland Indians|
|Corey Dickerson||OF||Tampa Bay Rays||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Jarrod Dyson||OF||Seattle Mariners||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Carlos Gomez||OF||Texas Rangers||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Curtis Granderson||OF||Los Angeles Dodgers||Toronto Blue Jays|
|Austin Jackson||OF||Cleveland Indians||San Francisco Giants|
|J.D. Martinez||OF/DH||Arizona Diamondbacks||Boston Red Sox|
|Cameron Maybin||OF||Houston Astros||Miami Marlins|
|Andrew McCutcheon||OF||Pittsburgh Pirates||San Francisco Giants|
|Shohei Ohtani||OF/DH||Japan||Los Angeles Angels|
|Steven Souza, Jr.||OF||Tampa Bay Rays||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Denard Span||OF||San Francisco Giants||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Giancarlo Stanton||OF||Miami Marlins||New York Yankees|
|Ichiro Suzuki||OF||Miami Marlins||Seattle Mariners|
|Christian Yelich||OF||Miami Marlins||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Chris Young||OF||Boston Red Sox||Los Angeles Angels|
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