Fantasy Baseball 2018: 3 outfielders to target late

Randal Grichuk: late-round, outfield flyer
Randal Grichuk: late-round, outfield flyer /

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Outfield is deep. There are plenty of high-upside players to take late in drafts.

Whether you play in deep league formats, AL/NL-only leagues or are simply waiting to fill your outfield; you will need to scour the lower part of the draft board for potential fantasy superstars.

We have identified three outfielders that are available in the late rounds (after pick 300), who could return excellent value for their draft position.

Randal Grichuk (ADP 327)

The move from the Cardinals’ bench to the Blue Jays’ outfield dramatically increases Randal Grichuk’s fantasy value.

The 26-year-old has true raw power; the kind of power that could hit 40 home runs, although his poor plate discipline suggests a 20-25 total is more realistic. With .249 AVG and .297 OBP in his Major League career, Grichuk will hurt you in batting average and OBP leagues.

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Rogers Center saw the transformation of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak into elite sluggers, so a late round flyer on Grichuk could be the best pick of your draft.

Hunter Renfroe (ADP 381)

The Padres’ right-fielder, Hunter Renfroe, is another hitter with surplus raw power. Before last season, it looked like he would be the hitter walking away with the NL Rookie of the Year award but his all or nothing approach failed to capitalize on the juiced ball.

In his short Major League career, the 26-year-old has more home runs than walks, which, similarly to Grichuk, will undoubtedly result in a poor batting average and OBP.

His walk-shy/high-power profile is similar to Rougned Odor and Jonathan Schoop. 2018 is a big season for the right-hander, to see which player he replicates. Renfroe is only one year removed from a 30 home run, 105 RBI and .310 AVG season in Triple-A.

If you want to use your late round pick for a high-upside player, then Renfroe is worth a flyer. Although unless he can address his issues versus right-handers, the Padres might operate him in an outfield platoon.

Cameron Maybin (ADP 392)

The Marlins’ offseason signing is rightly tagged with the injury-prone label, but that is why he is available outside of the top-350.

The fantasy baseball world is going mad over the shortage of stolen bases. I have seen Trea Turner taken with the third pick overall, and Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton are vastly over-drafted considering the negligible contributions you get from them in the non-speed categories.

Last year, Cameron Maybin quietly stole 33 bases. Only six players swiped at least 30 bags, and Maybin was one of only four to register double-digit home runs. And he did it with the fewest at-bats.

He has dramatically increased his walk rate, and if a bit of positive regression in his BABIP boosts his batting average, Maybin should be a useful contributor in 2018 hitting near the top of the Marlins’ lineup.

Next: Draft strategy: Fill infield first & load up on pitching

I maintain my stance that outfield is deep. All of the players have flaws, but all three of the hitters we have suggested have the potential to make a significant impact in fantasy baseball leagues this season, much more so than infielders.