Jeremy Hazelbaker
Jeremy Hazelbaker
31-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Hazelbaker was a frequently used bench player during his time on the D-backs' 25-man roster, but he also spent a fair amount of time at Triple-A Reno in 2017. Between the two levels, he hit eight homers and stole 12 bases over 272 total plate appearances, flashing a combo of power and speed similar to his output in the upper levels of the Cardinals' system. Contact issues were still present at both levels, as he struck out 27.0 percent of the time in Reno and 32.8 percent of the time in Arizona last season. If he sticks on a major-league roster in 2018, Hazelbaker figures to be a bench player as a left-handed pinch-hitting option capable of covering any of the three outfield spots as needed. He's already 30 years old, however, so his path to anything that resembles semi-regular playing time will likely require multiple injuries to the players ahead of him on the organizational depth chart. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed minor league contract with Cardinals in December 2015.
Dealt to Minnesota
OFMinnesota Twins  AAA
July 19, 2018
Hazelbaker was traded from the Rays to the Twins on Thursday in exchange for cash considerations.
ANALYSIS
The 30-year-old outfielder struggled to a .210/.293/.397 slash line with 24 extra-base hits and 27 RBI through 62 games with Triple-A Durham this season. Hazelbaker appeared in 114 games at the big-league level for the Cardinals in 2016 and 41 games for the Diamondbacks last year, although he'll report to Triple-A Rochester following the trade, where he figures to serve as organizational depth. He's a career .258 hitter with 14 homers and 38 RBI through 155 games in the major leagues.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+21%
OPS vs RHP
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2016
 
 
+41%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .707 54 6 3 9 0 .231 .245 .462
Since 2016vs Right .856 231 39 11 29 6 .265 .346 .510
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left 1.144 12 1 1 5 0 .364 .417 .727
2017vs Right .986 49 9 1 5 1 .341 .449 .537
2016vs Left .585 42 5 2 4 0 .195 .195 .390
2016vs Right .822 182 30 10 24 5 .245 .318 .503
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+31%
OPS on Road
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
+23%
OPS on Road
2016
 
 
+38%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .715 139 16 3 9 1 .248 .307 .408
Since 2016Away .938 146 29 11 29 5 .268 .347 .591
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home .924 34 5 0 3 1 .345 .441 .483
2017Away 1.140 27 5 2 7 0 .348 .444 .696
2016Home .648 105 11 3 6 0 .219 .262 .385
2016Away .892 119 24 9 22 5 .250 .325 .567
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2013
2012
2011
2010
Hazelbaker got off to a hot start at the plate in 2016 and played in 46 games through the end of May. The 28-year-old rookie predictably cooled off and was optioned to Triple-A Memphis in mid-June. He responded well to the demotion, posting a 152 wRC+ in 13 games in the Pacific Coast League before being summoned back to the big leagues after the All-Star break. Unfortunately, he saw just 76 at-bats with a .211/.310/.474 slash line after returning to St. Louis. His second half decline was largely fueled by a .212 BABIP, as he actually cut his strikeout rate from 33.3 percent to 21.3 percent while upping his walk rate from 5.2 percent to 12.4 percent and not sacrificing power. The Diamondbacks claimed him on waivers after the season, but this does not necessarily ease playing time concerns as Arizona already has ample outfield depth.
Hazelbaker is a 28-year-old rookie who will compete for a reserve outfielder role, which will limit his fantasy appeal outside NL-only formats. It's worth keeping in mind that the Cardinals have had success with late-20s breakouts in the outfield before -- think Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel. That's not to say we should expect great things from Hazelbaker, but it's worth keeping in mind if a starting outfielder goes down with an injury.
Hazelbaker started 2012 in Double-A before getting a late-season look at Triple-A Pawtucket. He continued to make strides at plate, becoming less aggressive, but still has work to do in recognizing pitches. This leads to poor swings and contact, resulting in too many strikeouts or not enough plate coverage. Hazelbaker needs to tighten up the swing. His frame has filled out over time and he belted a career-high 19 homers in 2012, while maintaining a speed component. There are a few outfielders vying for regular at-bats at the upper level of the organization, so we'll need to see how they skate out.
Hazelbaker earned himself a mid-season promotion from High-A Salem to Double-A Portland. He continues to make strides in his plate approach, but still has work to do, particularly in covering more of the dish. Hazelbaker's added some bulk to his frame and that has led to more power, but he hasn't sacrificed any of the speed he flashed when he stole 63 bags in 2010. He should start in center field in Portland, where we'll be looking for him to make more and better contact, reduce his strikeouts and use the opposite field.
After struggling in his initial exposure to professional baseball in 2009, Hazelbaker showed some improvement at the plate in 2010. In particular, he was more patient and didn't jump at the first pitch that looked like a strike, but he can be over-aggressive once he does swing. He made better contact and showcased some extra-base and home-run power, despite still being on the thin side. But he still strikes out too often for someone who projects as a leadoff hitter at this stage. Continued pitch recognition and the ability to handle the full repertoire of pitches are his goals in 2011. As well as learning the angles in the outfield to take as a center-fielder. He'll likely open the season at High-A Salem.
Hazelbaker, 22, went from Ball State to Low-A Greenville and predictably was challenged (.167/.280/.233) by the higher-level competition. The Red Sox aren't placing too much stock in the 2009 season, so Hazelbaker gets a fresh start in 2010. A good contact hitter in college, Hazelbaker looks to carry that over as he gets more comfortable with the Drive in his second year. Right now, he's looking like a center fielder and leadoff hitter with plus speed. He showed average power in high school, and should pile up some doubles with improved contact and his speed.
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Outrighted to Triple-A
OFTampa Bay Rays  AAA
July 10, 2018
Hazelbaker was outrighted to Triple-A Durham on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Designated for assignment
OFTampa Bay Rays  AAA
July 6, 2018
Hazelbaker was designated for assignment Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Dealt to Rays
OFTampa Bay Rays  AAA
April 10, 2018
Hazelbaker was traded to the Rays for cash considerations Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
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Designated for assignment
OFArizona Diamondbacks  AAA
April 6, 2018
Hazelbaker was designated for assignment by Arizona on Friday.
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Sent back to minors
OFArizona Diamondbacks  AAA
March 20, 2018
Hazelbaker was optioned to Triple-A Reno on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
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