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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: DEXTER FOWLER OUTFIELDER BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Dexter Fowler became the second bargain buy of the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday as they netted the speedy leadoff outfielder with a three-year deal worth around $35 million.  Fowler joins the team's signing of Yovani Gallardo who still has to pass some more medical tests to make his own deal official.  However Fowler is expected to have no such issues and instead will likely man the precious leadoff spot for what looks like a very potent Orioles lineup.  Coming off a quietly good career-year with the Chicago Cubs a year ago, Fowler is right back in a prime hitting environment to build off such a nice campaign.  As always let's dig in again here and see what Fowler has in store for his owners this season.

First let's take a quick gander back at Fowler's numbers from 2015 as he operated out of the leadoff spot for the Cubs:

.250
17 HR
46 RBI
102 R
20 SB

There is certainly a lot to like there as Fowler reached career-bests both in home runs and runs as he was a big catalyst for the Cubs out of the leadoff spot.  Now 29-years-old, Fowler has reached his prime years and likely his optimum range power-wise which means he should be capable of hitting between 15-18 home runs again this season, especially in a good offensive park like Camden Yards is.  Manning the leadoff spot for a big-time Orioles offense, Fowler could very well challenge the 100 run mark again this season as his .346 OBP a year ago really helps in that endeavor.  Just as impressive, Fowler's always above-average speed allowed him to reach the 20 mark in steals for the second time in his career in 2015 and he should be aggressive on the base paths again in 2016 as Buck Showalter is a fan of small ball. 

What is really stark about Fowler is that he was a bit of a late bloomer who had to leave Colorado of all places to finally unleash his potential.  The fact of the matter is that Fowler went bust a few times during his Rockies days and that sort of made him "just another guy" when 2015 fantasy baseball came around.  Fowler thus entered into post-hype sleeper phase which is always a profitable deal for those who take advantage of the discount.  Yes Fowler still struggles with strikeouts as he whiffed in 22.3 percent of his at-bats last season but the impressive 12.2 walk rate does a nice job of offsetting that ugly number. 

When you put it all together, Dexter Fowler once again should be a very safe outfielder 3 in fantasy baseball who is capable of helping in the runs, home runs, and steals categories.  While Fowler is not a guy you will fight over at the draft table, he will do more than help you stay competitive in your league. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .257 19 HR 46 RBI 95 R 22 SB 

 

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