Max Kepler
Max Kepler
27-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Kepler had a breakout season with 36 home runs and an .855 OPS after his career appeared to stall following three similarly mediocre seasons. The Twins surprisingly made Kepler the team's leadoff hitter to begin last season, as despite his low career OBP to that point, he had always drawn walks and could add power to the top of the lineup. Kepler responded with a power surge that included a .267 ISO, the result of pulling the ball more (career-high 53.4%) and more consistent hard contact. He also continued to hit well against left-handed pitching after struggling against southpaws earlier in his career. Kepler is a plus defender in right field (his 9.9 UZR was third in MLB) who has held his own when pressed into center-field duty (2.8 UZR, 16th in MLB). At age 27, Kepler is in his prime and could continue to improve if a perennially-low hit rate (.244 BABIP last year) ever moves higher. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#140
ADP
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$Signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension with the Twins in February of 2019. Contract includes an option for 2024.
Day off Wednesday
OFMinnesota Twins
August 12, 2020
Kepler is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Brewers.
ANALYSIS
While the day off comes against a lefty (Eric Lauer), Kepler doesn't appear to be at any risk of falling into a platoon role, as he started against each of the previous three southpaws the Twins have faced this season. He'll sit for just the second time in Minnesota's first 16 games Wednesday, with Jake Cave serving as the right fielder.
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Batting Stats
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
14
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
1
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+2%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+251%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .784 348 41 14 57 0 .260 .328 .457
Since 2018vs Right .796 935 148 47 103 6 .228 .326 .470
2020vs Left .288 18 2 0 3 0 .118 .111 .176
2020vs Right 1.012 58 9 5 9 1 .265 .379 .633
2019vs Left .880 163 21 9 36 0 .293 .356 .524
2019vs Right .845 433 77 27 54 1 .236 .328 .517
2018vs Left .745 167 18 5 18 0 .245 .323 .422
2018vs Right .720 444 62 15 40 4 .216 .318 .403
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+18%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+51%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+44%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .862 617 99 30 87 2 .261 .352 .510
Since 2018Away .729 666 90 31 73 4 .216 .303 .426
2020Home 1.057 29 7 1 5 1 .348 .448 .609
2020Away .699 47 4 4 7 0 .163 .234 .465
2019Home .841 291 45 17 46 0 .249 .323 .518
2019Away .868 305 53 19 44 1 .255 .348 .521
2018Home .864 297 47 12 36 1 .265 .370 .494
2018Away .600 314 33 8 22 3 .186 .271 .330
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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.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.64
 
BB Rate
11.8%
 
K Rate
18.4%
 
BABIP
.208
 
ISO
.288
 
AVG
.227
 
OBP
.316
 
SLG
.515
 
OPS
.831
 
wOBA
.357
 
Exit Velocity
82.2 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
41.5%
 
Barrels/PA
6.6%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Max Kepler
DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks
Yesterday
In Friday’s slate, Chris Morgan likes Oakland pitcher Frankie Montas, who’s sporting a 2.45 FIP and is facing the Giants in their pitcher friendly park.
DraftKings MLB: Monday Breakdown
5 days ago
Christopher Olson recommends plugging in the Twins’ Max Kepler against the Brewers on Monday.
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6 days ago
Pete Alonso may be underperforming to start the season, but Erik Halterman says you should select him against Pablo Lopez and the Marlins.
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8 days ago
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8 days ago
At $4,900, Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette is considered a value play tonight against the Red Sox.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
While Kepler hit a career-high 20 home runs and played in 156 games, he hit just .224 and his SLG declined slightly from his underwhelming sophomore season. He may have been a bit unlucky with a .236 BABIP, though he's had a BABIP below .277 the past three seasons. The underlying numbers show some signs of skill growth. He improved both his walk rate (11.6%) and strikeout rate (15.7%) to career bests. He also appeared to finally solve left-handed pitchers with a .745 OPS that was better than his mark against righties. His increased contact (82%) would seem destined to produce more hits this season. His glove will keep him in the lineup even if he doesn't improve -- Kepler is seen as a plus defender in right field, ranking fifth in DRS, and can play center field in a pinch. At age 26 and with an everyday job for the Twins, a significant improvement still seems possible.
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.
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
Up to five homers
OFMinnesota Twins
August 8, 2020
Kepler went 2-for-5 with a solo home run in Saturday's 9-6 loss to the Royals.
ANALYSIS
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Provides power in win
OFMinnesota Twins
August 5, 2020
Kepler went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run and a walk in the Twins' victory over the Pirates on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Draws four walks
OFMinnesota Twins
August 4, 2020
Kepler didn't have an official at-bat during Tuesday's win over the Pirates, but he had two runs, a stolen base, four walks and a sacrifice fly in five plate appearances.
ANALYSIS
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Three hits in Monday's win
OFMinnesota Twins
August 4, 2020
Kepler went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI in Monday's 5-4 win over the Pirates.
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Connects on third homer
OFMinnesota Twins
July 31, 2020
Kepler went 1-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run in Friday's 4-1 win over Cleveland.
ANALYSIS
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