Max Kepler
Max Kepler
25-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Kepler enters 2018 as Minnesota's starting right fielder and will try to improve on a somewhat disappointing second year in the majors. He showed promise in his rookie season with a surprising surge in power that included three homers in one game. His numbers were very similar in his second season, failing to show much improvement while taking a step back in some areas. Kepler's struggles against lefties grew significantly worse (just a .453 OPS) and he was benched frequently against southpaws. Still, Kepler draws walks at a decent clip, has good power and makes strong contact for a player of his ilk. He also has enough speed to play center field in a pinch and is 12-for-15 as a base stealer in the majors. Entering his age-25 season, he could still take a leap, as there is room for growth in the power department. The danger is that his struggles against lefties eventually relegate him to a strict platoon. Read Past Outlooks
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Retreats to bench
OFMinnesota Twins
September 10, 2018
Kepler is not in the lineup Monday against the Yankees.
ANALYSIS
Kepler is hitting just .174/.367/.217 across eight games in September, though he does have an impressive 6:7 K:BB over that stretch. He'll head to the bench for Monday's series opener to clear his head with southpaw J.A. Happ toeing the rubber for the Yankees. In his place, Robbie Grossman is starting in right field and hitting cleanup.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+28%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+4%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+83%
OPS vs RHP
2016
 
 
+33%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .608 431 35 9 43 1 .203 .273 .335
Since 2016vs Right .780 1166 161 46 141 14 .246 .329 .451
2018vs Left .753 161 18 5 17 0 .246 .323 .430
2018vs Right .721 421 59 14 35 3 .216 .318 .403
2017vs Left .453 137 7 2 12 0 .152 .213 .240
2017vs Right .828 431 60 17 57 6 .272 .343 .484
2016vs Left .595 133 10 2 14 1 .203 .273 .322
2016vs Right .792 314 42 15 49 5 .248 .325 .468
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+18%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+44%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+13%
OPS at Home
2016
 
 
+4%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .794 788 100 28 96 6 .259 .337 .457
Since 2016Away .674 809 96 27 88 9 .209 .292 .383
2018Home .871 276 45 11 31 1 .268 .373 .498
2018Away .606 306 32 8 21 2 .188 .271 .335
2017Home .782 289 33 9 34 3 .264 .330 .452
2017Away .690 279 34 10 35 3 .220 .294 .396
2016Home .718 223 22 8 31 2 .243 .302 .416
2016Away .750 224 30 9 32 4 .227 .317 .433
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Stat Review
How does Max Kepler compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.73
 
BB Rate
11.7%
 
K Rate
15.9%
 
BABIP
.238
 
ISO
.183
 
AVG
.224
 
OBP
.319
 
SLG
.407
 
OPS
.725
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Kepler was called up in June and took over the everyday right field role, displaying a surge in power (17 home runs, including a three-homer game) that he hadn't shown in the minors. His growth in power shouldn't be unexpected since he was just 23 years old and may have a delayed development cycle since he started playing baseball late in his native Germany. Kepler draws walks at a good clip, made strong contact in the minors and has some speed on the basepaths. He has some areas to improve as he struggled against left-handed pitching (.595 OPS), had more strikeouts initially in the majors than his minor league track record would suggest and wore down in the final month (.538 OPS in September). He also struggled at times in right field despite good reviews of his defense in the minors. However, he should be set as an everyday outfielder for the Twins and could improve rapidly in his first full season in the majors.
Kepler had a breakout season last year at Double-A and could be in position to win a starting outfield role with the Twins as early as this spring. After failing to make an impression the previous two seasons, he finally put it all together at age 22 by hitting .322/.416/.531 with 18 stolen bases at Double-A. Kepler may have a later development cycle since he started playing baseball late in his native Germany. His growth was on display across the board as he draws walks at a good clip, makes strong contact, and developed increasing power (13 triples). Kepler is seen as a solid defensive outfielder at all three positions and has even played first base. The Twins could opt to send him down to Triple-A to begin the season, but he should see a significant amount of time in Minnesota in 2016.
Kepler had another lackluster season in the minors and even though he may develop later than other players after being signed out of Germany, he'll need to show something in 2015 to remain a top prospect in the Minnesota system. There were some signs of hope as he hit much better the final two months at High-A (.303 batting average) and had a strong Arizona Fall League campaign by hitting .307/.366/.440. He's shown a good eye at the plate as he draws walks, makes contact and scouts believe he'll add power, but he'll need to finally put it all together at Double-A to be in Minnesota's long-term plans.
A strained left elbow cost Kepler the first two and a half months of the 2013 season, and he went on to hit just .237/.312/.424 in 61 games at Low-A Cedar Rapids. He then wasn't impressive in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .234/.306/.313. Still, it's too early to write him off as he has shown good place discipline (drawing walks in 9.1 percent of place appearances last season) and since he may develop later than other players after being signed out of Germany. He'll need to improve in 2014 and show he can stay healthy to maintain his top prospect status.
Kepler was an extremely athletic but very raw player when signed out of Germany in 2009. He started to add baseball skills to his athleticism last year as he hit .297/.387/.539 in rookie ball. He drew walks at a good rate (10 percent of plate appearances) and made great contact (33:27 BB:K). A strong year in his first full season league in 2013 could push him near the top of Minnesota's hitting prospects.
More Fantasy News
Not starting Monday
OFMinnesota Twins
September 3, 2018
Kepler is not in the lineup for Monday's game against Houston.
ANALYSIS
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On bench Wednesday
OFMinnesota Twins
August 29, 2018
Kepler is out of Wednesday's lineup against the Indians, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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Goes deep
OFMinnesota Twins
August 23, 2018
Kepler went 1-for-4 with a solo home run Thursday against the Athletics.
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Not in Friday's lineup
OFMinnesota Twins
August 17, 2018
Kepler is out of Friday's starting lineup against Detroit.
ANALYSIS
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Goes deep vs. Tigers
OFMinnesota Twins
August 12, 2018
Kepler went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Sunday's 4-2 loss against Detroit.
ANALYSIS
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