2016 Fantasy Baseball: Outfield Risers and Fallers
Riser: Christian Yelich – Yelich has the eighth-best wRC+ among outfielders over the last 30 days, and he’s been absolutely killing it in July: .377/.410/.610 with six doubles and four home runs. Yelich is currently in the middle of his third-best power hitting streak of his young career, and his .176 seasonal Isolated power is far-and-away the best of his career, too. He’s hitting .309 to right field, .432 to center, and a nice .562 to left field. Five, six, two! On the season his .401 on-base percentage is eighth-best among all hitters.
Faller: Brett Gardner – Gardner is hitting .262 with a .296 OBP over the past 30 days with only one home run and two steals. His .103 Iso is tying a career-worst, and he’s on pace for about 20 steals, which would tie his career-low set last year. Gardner’s Iso has really suffered thanks to a decreased pull rate, which is lower than it has been at any point since 2010. His Iso has also dropped, because he’s swinging at worse pitches. He’s not able to square up as much as he used to, because he’s swinging at more pitches out of the zone recently than he has in three years and his outside-the-zone contact rate has risen dramatically throughout the year. He’s 16th in stolen bases among outfielders this season, but over the past month Chase D’Arnaud and Adam Frazier have more than he does.
Riser: Stephen Piscotty – Piscotty’s 131 wRC+ on the season ranks 12th among outfielders, and his 133 wRC+ over the past calendar year ranks 16th among outfielders. His wRC+ over the last month is just a bit below both those marks, but what’s amazing is Piscotty has been a valuable contributor ever since his call up last summer. In his career he’s played 154 games and hit 21 home runs with a .298/.363/.490 batting line. He’s been an equal hitter to Manny Machado over the past year on a park-neutral basis. Piscotty’s going to be a steal in drafts next year, because he’s still young and has not been hyped up as much as he deserves yet. But, like Yelich, the guy can hit and you don’t need to worry about him after you put him in your lineup.
Faller: Jason Heyward – It’s just been an awful season for Heyward. He has zero home runs in the past month to go with three RBI and one steal. Heyward’s .087 Isolated power this season is the worst among outfielders. Yes, even worse than Nick Markakis‘s and Denard Span‘s. There isn’t much analysis to do with Heyward, because his stats are so contradicting to me. Just know that he shouldn’t be owned in any leagues.