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Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: ODUBEL HERRERA OUTFIELDER PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Prior to the 2016 fantasy baseball season, yours truly had a man crush on Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera.  Just like when I steered you all to A.J, Pollock right before his blockbuster breakout in 2015, the signs were there for five-tool potential when it came to Herrera entering into last season.  For one thing, Herrera had opened eyes in hitting .297 with 8 home runs and 16 steals in 537 at-bats that year which helped set the stage for what was to come a year later.  The best part of Herrera's debut was the fact he was playing on a truly horrific Phillies team that year that helped "hide" him from the masses some.  So it was where in last year's draft guide and all over the site I recommended Herrera very strongly as a guy who could be drafted as an outfielder 3 but who could go as high as an outfielder 2 with his performance.

Fast forward to the end of last season and needless to say, Herrera fully justified my optimism in him as he batted .286 with 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases.  Add in 87 runs and 49 RBI and Herrera pretty much did it all outside of the light RBI total.  Still just 25, Herrera has a year or two more of upside to his name before he reaches his prime.  That means his already low-end outfielder 2 fantasy baseball status could go even higher in 2017.

Digging into the numbers a bit more, Herrera can really handle the bat as his 20.4 K/9 rate is low for a young hitter.  He also drew walks at a very impressive 9.6 BB/9 rate last season which portends to more batting average improvement as he goes forward.  Add in a bit more power as he further fills out physically and given the already good 20-30 steal speed and we can easily see Herrera go .300/20-HR/30-SB soon.  In other words, go get him in the draft.

So as you plan for 2017 fantasy baseball drafts, be sure to keep an outfielder 2 spot available for Herrera who is going to be a good one.  This is a guy who is on the way up in terms of his numbers and his best is likely to be ahead of him as he goes into the new season.


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