33-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Mitch Maier in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Mitch Maier Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Royals on a minor-league contract in January 2015.
Maier was assigned to minor league camp Tuesday, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports.
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Mitch Maier: MLB Games Played By Position
Mitch Maier Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Mitch Maier: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Mitch Maier.
As the Royals' fourth outfielder, Maier didn't see much of the field in 2011 as Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur all had healthy and productive seasons. With Lorenzo Cain set to takeover for Cabrera in center, Maier's role is unlikely to change. Skill wise, he is a career .253/.332/.346 hitter who swings freely, yet has little power to show for it. At 29 years old, he has yet to display any of the promise that made him a first-round pick in 2003.
Maier, who will turn 29 this season, figures to be a reserve outfielder for the Royals a year after batting .263/.333/.375. With Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera brought in this offseason, it looks pretty obvious that the Royals don't have any grand plans for their 2003 first-round draft pick.
Maier, a former first-round selection, received regular playing time for the first time in his career and he hit .243/.333/.331 in 341 at-bats. Although those numbers are not overwhelming, Maier improved as the season went on, hitting .260 for the final two months of the season. Maier is an excellent defensive outfielder as he went error-less in 261 chances with 11 assists. Royals management is heavily emphasizing defense this offseason and if Maier can continue to improve offensively, he could become the Opening Day center fielder in 2010. Even in that role, his fantasy value is minimal at this point.
Injuries to the KC outfield in 2008 meant Maier got his first semi-extended look in the majors, where he hit .286/.316/.319 with a double and a triple in 91 at-bats. His offense was a bit more impressive before his callup, as was his plate discipline. He has some power, but never hit more than 15 home runs in a minor league season, and his minor league doubles numbers don’t suggest an eventual spike. He can play all three outfield spots and projects to be something of a fourth outfielder. Seeing as how the Royals already have four outfielders better than him, it would be surprising to see Maier on the Opening Day roster.
Maier's progression through the Royals' minor league system continued in 2007, and the catcher-turned-outfielder put up similar numbers in Triple-A as those in Double-A in 2006. He steals nowhere near as many bases as he used to, but he was given the green light far less often. The major roadblock keeping him from reaching the majors soon is the fact that both David DeJesus and Joey Gathright can play his position adequately and share his handedness, so there is no real reason to rush him up. Another season at Triple-A is in his crystal ball for 2008, with some sporadic callups if injury necessitates.
Maier has taken positional moves in stride as he has climbed the organizational ladder. He started as a catcher, but was deemed technically flawed, so the Royals moved him to third base. When Mark Teahen joined the system, Maier moved again. All the while, his offense has stood out. He has decent power and should be able to hit 20 or more homers in the big leagues. He has a good eye at the plate and has shown some speed, although he was thrown out 12 times in 25 attempts in 2006. A standout Arizona Fall League season, in which he was named to the all-prospects team, is a nice addition to the resume.
Maier tore up High-A High Desert in the California League and continued his offensive prowess in Double-A Wichita. He finished the 2005 season with 47 doubles and 15 home runs between the two stops, but his plate disciple is still lacking. In fact, it worsened from 2004, which is a bad sign. Now an outfielder, Maier needs to continue to hit the ball into the gaps and take a few more walks to break into a young and crowded outfield picture. With Chris Lubanski, Shane Costa and, possibly, Alex Gordon vying for time in the future Royals outfield, Maier's window might be closing fast.
No longer a catcher and showing troublesome signs with his offense, the 2003 first-round pick is now a third baseman moving slowly up the Royals system. He hit .300 in Burlington but struggled when advanced to the more competitive Wilmington. He also struck out once every seven plate appearances, something unexpected from a guy who struck out nine times in 194 at-bats in his final year at the University of Toledo. He needs to start showing the power expected from him and continuing to develop at third. He’s a few years away from extensive major-league action, even for the Royals.
Maier, the Royals’ first round pick in 2003 from Toledo University, is athletic with a strong arm, but a hitch in his throwing arm combined with some issues with his footwork will force him from behind the plate to the hot corner. He has an advanced approach to hitting and should take his share of walks while his strikeout rate will resemble that of the slugger he is. We expect him to emerge as a high OPS type who’ll probably rise to high Single-A by the end of 2004, with an eye to a 2006 major league debut if he can grasp the nuances of the position