Max Kepler
Max Kepler
28-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
10-Day IL
Injury Hamstring
Est. Return 6/12/2021
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Kepler took a step back last season after a breakout 2019 campaign as he returned to struggling against lefties. After hitting nine home runs with a .880 OPS against left-handed pitching in 2019, he did not homer and posted just a .378 OPS against lefties last season. Kepler changed his approach at the plate becoming less of a pull hitter (53.4% in 2019 to 44.1%), which is more in line with the rest of his career. He draws walks at a good clip (11.2%) but has struggled to get hits due to a chronically low BABP (.236 last season). Without the 30-plus home run power of his 2019 season, his profile looks fairly average for a corner outfielder. He usually adds strong defense in right field, though his metrics took a step back last year as well (-0.2 UZR). He did play through a strained abductor in September, spending time on the injured list, which may have limited him. He's set as Minnesota's everyday right fielder, but was his step back the result of a small sample or did it show 2019 was an outlier? Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#191
ADP
$Signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension with the Twins in February of 2019. Contract includes an option for 2024.
On track to return next week
OFMinnesota Twins
Hamstring
June 4, 2021
Kepler (hamstring) is on track for a return next week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
Manager Rocco Baldelli said he didn't think Kepler would be out longer than 10-14 days after he went on the injured list May 30. Still, a report that Kepler is running without problems may be needed to be fully confident in that timetable.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 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
6
4
9
2
6
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
3
3
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+15%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+48%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+131%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .736 250 29 10 43 1 .241 .312 .424
Since 2019vs Right .850 687 116 40 92 8 .242 .335 .515
2021vs Left .541 41 3 1 3 1 .162 .244 .297
2021vs Right .798 111 17 4 19 4 .232 .324 .474
2020vs Left .392 46 5 0 4 0 .125 .217 .175
2020vs Right .904 143 22 9 19 3 .266 .364 .540
2019vs Left .880 163 21 9 36 0 .293 .356 .524
2019vs Right .845 433 77 27 54 1 .236 .328 .517
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+8%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
+99%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+27%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .787 457 66 22 66 6 .236 .319 .467
Since 2019Away .847 482 78 28 69 3 .247 .336 .511
2021Home .499 82 6 2 9 3 .141 .232 .268
2021Away .992 70 14 3 13 2 .295 .386 .607
2020Home .879 84 15 3 11 3 .286 .393 .486
2020Away .694 107 11 6 12 0 .196 .271 .423
2019Home .841 291 45 17 46 0 .249 .323 .518
2019Away .868 305 53 19 44 1 .255 .348 .521
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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
0.57
 
BB Rate
10.5%
 
K Rate
18.4%
 
BABIP
.228
 
ISO
.212
 
AVG
.212
 
OBP
.303
 
SLG
.424
 
OPS
.727
 
wOBA
.315
 
Exit Velocity
85.6 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
34.9%
 
Barrels/PA
7.9%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
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
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
6 days ago
Erik Siegrist reviews the American League free-agent pool as Cleveland adds some long-simmering prospects to its lineup.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
13 days ago
Erik Siegrist looks over the available talent in the AL and notes that Alek Manoah more than lived up to the hype in his big-league debut.
Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Twins All Star to Miss Time
32 days ago
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton and Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom top Jeff Stotts' injured list this week.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
34 days ago
Erik Siegrist sifts through the free-agent options in the AL as Nate Pearson gets set to rejoin the Blue Jays rotation.
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Targets
37 days ago
Chris Morgan checks out Thursday's slate and expects Ronald Acuna to keep raking against aging Nationals lefty Jon Lester.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
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.
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
Lands on injured list
OFMinnesota Twins
Hamstring
May 30, 2021
Kepler (hamstring) was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Could require IL stint
OFMinnesota Twins
Hamstring
May 29, 2021
Kepler (hamstring) could require time on the injured list, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Day-to-day with mild strain
OFMinnesota Twins
Hamstring
May 29, 2021
Kapler is considered day-to-day after leaving Saturday's game against the Royals with a mild left hamstring strain, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports.
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Exits with apparent injury
OFMinnesota Twins
Undisclosed
May 29, 2021
Kepler left Saturday's game against the Royals after appearing to hurt himself while running to first base, Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic reports.
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Back in lineup
OFMinnesota Twins
May 29, 2021
Kepler (hamstring) is starting Saturday's game against the Royals, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
ANALYSIS
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