Outfielders will be common picks at the top of the draft and it is difficult to argue that many of them are undeserving and labeled as outfield busts.
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are the most talented players in the game, and exciting developing players such as George Springer, Starling Marte, and Charlie Blackmon are now top picks as well.
Writing an article about outfield busts was actually quite difficult to me because it seems as if outfielders are being valued correctly in most instances.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some picks that appear to be a disaster waiting to happen and are ready to be labeled as outfield busts.
Without further ado, here are my 2016 outfield busts.
Mixed League Busts
Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
Schwarber’s numbers from his major league debut are impressive and we have all seen his prodigious power. Dig a bit deeper into the 2015 numbers, however, and a number of advanced measures such as wRC+ and wOBA fell with each month Schwarber was in the bigs.
This indicates that pitchers began to make adjustments as they started to get a book on Schwarber, and while it is not certain Schwarber can’t adjust back, he has yet to prove he will. Whether he adjusts well or not, there will be a ton of swings and misses for Schwarber this season that caps the upside of his average.
Defense doesn’t count for Fantasy Baseball (in most cases), but a player still has to have a position. As of right now, the plan is for the Cubs to hide Schwarber in left field where he will be subpar. If his defense is bad enough, Schwarber could lose out on at-bats throughout the season.
This isn’t to say he will be removed from the lineup for extended amounts of time, but it increases the chance he will receive more days off than your typical left fielder.
The final piece of Schwarber’s puzzle is the helium attached to his name that will undoubtedly continue into draft season. There is certainly potential for a 30 home run season, but I have little confidence Schwarber will surpass a .250 batting average.
That value aligns him more with players like Matt Kemp or Curtis Granderson, not J.D. Martinez, Ryan Braun, or Nelson Cruz as he is currently being drafted. His catcher eligibility does add value, but not enough to avoid him being a Fantasy bust this season.
Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
Brantley was a great Fantasy asset the past two seasons and he could still be in upcoming seasons. But this year he won’t be. By now you probably know that Brantley underwent surgery on his right shoulder in November to repair a torn labrum. Reports vary, but some have said that Brantley will not return until June.
The time Brantley is likely to miss makes it difficult to see the benefit to taking Brantley as the 27th outfielder as he is currently being taken in NFBC drafts. When Brantley returns to the field, there is no guarantee he will return to his pre-surgery form immediately. It is possible, meaning those who draft Brantley could get four months of good Fantasy production, but that’s not a proposition I am willing to bet on.
With players who can post similar numbers to Brantley but come without guaranteed missed time, Hunter Pence, Kole Calhoun, and David Peralta to name a few, Brantley is being valued too highly and is one of the outfield busts for 2016.
Deep League Sleepers
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