Thursday, June 21, 2018


Since the Philadelphia Phillies are off on Thursday, that is the only way these days to guarantee that outfielder Odubel Herrera won't hit a home run.  A day off certainly comes at an unwanted time for Herrera whose home runs Wednesday marked the fourth straight game he went yard and continued what has been a tremendous full breakout campaign in 2018.  I say full breakout due to the fact Herrera has been a useful OF 3 the last few seasons leading into 2018 but his big power uptick the last two-plus months have really thrust his value into the stratosphere in the fantasy baseball world.  In terms of the overall numbers, Herrera goes into his day off on Thursday with the following:

12 HR
41 RBI
35 R
3 SB
19.5 K/9
7.1 BB/9
.342 BABIP

Keep in mind that Herrera at the age of 26 is just now reaching his prime and the power uptick that has come with it this season is not uncommon by any means.  As a result, there is no reason to suggest Herrera's power is anything but legit and he will pass his previous high in home runs (15) by next week at this rate.  Instead, let's look at the rest of the numbers package to assess value and on that front, there are positives elsewhere as well.  For one thing, Herrera has improved his plate approach this season by being more willing to take walks (BB/9 of 7.1 is up from 5.5 in 2017) and his strikeouts are down as well (19.5 K/9 this season, 22.4 the year prior).  That has helped boost the average some but truth be told, Herrera has always been a stable plus there in hitting .280 or better for each of his MLB seasons.  About the only knock if you will are the three steals as Herrera has very good speed and stole 25 as recently as 2016.  Like we have seen in sort of a weird trend of late, guys who come into the league stealing bases often drop that skill quickly (George Springer, Joc Pederson) and Herrera seems to be part of that group.  Yes, that is a bummer but the overall picture is terrific here and cements Herrera as a low-end OF 1 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Enjoy the career season for those who bought low this spring in the draft. 

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