Christian Yelich
Christian Yelich
27-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Milwaukee Brewers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Few anticipated that the Brewers were trading for the NL MVP when they acquired Yelich from the Marlins last January, but that's exactly what occurred. Yelich got off to a bit of a slow start, but he kept getting better and better at the plate, and had one of the best second halves of all time, posting a 1.219 OPS after the All-Star break. His second-half surge helped him set career highs in nearly every category, and his doubles decreased only because he doubled his home-run total from the year before. Yelich is able to play all three outfield positions and had a better average against lefties (.337) than righties (.321) last season, so there is never much reason to take him out of the lineup. His conditions will be almost the same in his age-27 season. Last year, Yelich proved he has a very high ceiling, but it is his incredibly high floor that makes him such an appealing first-round pick. He is a true five-category building block. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed seven-year, $49.5 million contract with the Marlins in March of 2015. Traded to the Brewers in January of 2018.
Brings home NL MVP honors
OFMilwaukee Brewers
November 15, 2018
Yelich was named the 2018 National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday.
Yelich, who received all but one first-place vote, was deservedly rewarded for his breakout season in 2018. In his first year with the Brewers, the 26-year-old led the National League in batting average (.326) and OPS (1.000) while also notching personal bests in homers (36), stolen bases (22), RBI (110) and runs scored (118). An impressive stretch run -- during which he hit .370/.508/.804 with 10 homers, 34 RBI, seven stolen bases and a 16:24 K:BB in September (27 games) -- ultimately helped Yelich beat out NL Central-rival Javy Baez for the award (while also helping the Brewers reach the NLCS).
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .814 526 57 15 76 9 .298 .354 .460
Since 2016vs Right .914 1478 239 60 213 38 .303 .392 .522
2018vs Left .983 192 30 10 33 6 .337 .396 .587
2018vs Right 1.007 459 88 26 77 16 .321 .405 .602
2017vs Left .722 173 20 3 18 2 .266 .329 .392
2017vs Right .837 521 80 15 63 14 .288 .382 .455
2016vs Left .716 161 7 2 25 1 .287 .329 .387
2016vs Right .908 498 71 19 73 8 .301 .392 .516
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .863 953 137 37 128 22 .289 .374 .490
Since 2016Away .909 1051 159 38 161 25 .313 .390 .519
2018Home 1.061 315 59 22 55 10 .324 .406 .655
2018Away .944 336 59 14 55 12 .328 .399 .545
2017Home .757 326 43 7 33 9 .271 .356 .401
2017Away .852 368 57 11 48 7 .292 .380 .472
2016Home .774 312 35 8 40 3 .272 .359 .415
2016Away .934 347 43 13 58 6 .320 .392 .542
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Stat Review
How does Christian Yelich 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.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Christian Yelich
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102 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
While he's still just 26 years old, Yelich has already built a remarkable track record of consistency at the big-league level. His strikeout rate has ranged from 19.2 percent to 20.9 percent over the past four seasons (all with 525-plus plate appearances), while his batting average has ranged from .282 to .300 in that time. He's steadily walked in over 10 percent of his plate appearances while making hard contact with at least one-third of his batted balls. His flyball rate is still too low, but Yelich improved in that regard last season, upping his flyball rate more than five percentage points to 25.2 percent. The park change following the trade to Milwaukee should help boost his power. Yelich was given the thumbs up to run again last season and he capitalized, going 16-for-18 on the basepaths. Assuming he keeps the green light with the Brewers, which seems likely given manager Craig Counsell's tendencies, Yelich should easily return top-30 value in the outfield.
Coming into the 2016 campaign, Yelich totaled 20 homers in 1,458 career plate appearances with the Marlins. He matched that, then added another for good luck, sending 21 long balls out of the yard last season. A power spike has long been expected for Yelich as he hits the ball hard, it's just that most of his batted balls are line drives and grounders. He lofted a few more balls, touching 20 percent flyballs for the first time in his career (most power hitters nestle around 40 percent). The added pop emanated from a surge to a 24 percent HR/FB mark, the 14th highest mark among qualified hitters. The safe play is to expect some give-back, dropping Yelich's homers into the low to mid-teens. Also of concern are dwindling steals as Yelich snagged just nine in 13 attempts. He's still a very solid hitter with a projectable floor. Just don't chase last season's tenuous power breakout.
Yelich’s gap-to-gap power continues to play well in cavernous Marlins Park, as the youngster recorded his first .300 season and smacked 30 doubles for a second consecutive season in 2015. Yelich has been remarkably consistent in his three-year career, recording a 117 wRC+ in each one. Unfortunately, what Marlins Park gives in doubles, it takes away in home runs, as Yelich has mustered just three of his 20 career home runs at his home park. He hit seven last year and has a career high of nine, and as long as he is playing in Miami, he’ll struggle to reach double digits. He makes up for it with loads of groundball base hits — he hits four groundballs for every fly ball. He stole 16 bases in 2015 and has 37 in the past two years, and should be expected to keep running with the Marlins going forward.
Yelich backed up his strong finish to the 2013 season with a sophomore breakout at age 22. He truly arrived down the stretch, catching fire during a .339/.425/.459 August as he put up his first 20-steal steal season, scoring 94 runs and collecting 54 RBI along the way. Yelich finished with a steady .284/.362/.402 slash line, showing significant improvement versus left-handed pitching during his second season -- .476 OPS vs. lefties in 2013 and a .819 OPS vs. lefties in 2014. The former first-round draft pick established himself as the Marlins’ leadoff hitter in the second half of 2014, though his smooth line-drive swing and advanced approach at the plate would play at almost any lineup position. Yelich will continue provide a solid average, nice speed, and plenty of runs scored if he sticks atop the Miami lineup as he continues to mature in the majors with the potential to turn into a real run producer if given a chance to bat lower in the order next season.
A strong spring training to open the 2013 season put Yelich on the fast-track toward the majors, and after pounding out a .275/.359/.504 line across three stops in the minors, the sweet-swinging lefty made his MLB debut in late July. He knocked a pair of hits out of the two-hole in his debut, driving home his first major league RBI, and never looked back. At 21 years old, with just under 1,200 minor league at-bats to his name, Yelich posted a stellar .288/.370/.396 slash line in his first 62 major league games, adding four home runs and 10 steals. Not without his warts, Yelich struggled mightily versus left-handed pitching, collecting just 15 hits in 91 at-bats (.165 average) against southpaws while watching his strikeout rate and walk rate both move in the wrong direction when a lefty was on the mound. Still, the future remains bright for an emerging talent capable of a .290 average, double-digit home runs and 20-plus steals right now, with potential to add some balance to his platoon split and strength to his power stroke down the line.
Consider to be the most exciting offensive prospect in the Marlins' minor league system, Yelich made strides in 2012 while playing the majority of his season at High-A Jupiter. He posted a strong .330/.404/.519 line over 397 at-bats while blasting 12 home runs with 29 doubles and five triples while driving in 48 runs on the year. Yelich enjoyed yet another efficient campaign on the basepaths, swiping 20 bags in 26 attempts after going 32-for-37 in that area in 2011. While a shot at the big leagues seems a bit of a stretch in 2013, Yelich should continue to progress towards that goal and could be fast-tracked to Miami as part of the franchise's most recent rebuilding effort.
Ah, the sweet lefty swing. Every once in a while a player comes along who has it, and scouts swoon over that pure unfettered stroke, projecting great things from it. Yelich is the latest example, and while some folks see him turn on a pitch and start throwing around comparisons to Mark Grace or John Olerud, it's important to remember that he could just as easily end up as the next Hal Morris or Dave Magadan. For now he's a kid who's trying to cut it in left field despite an awkward throwing motion, in case he doesn't develop enough power to fit at first base. His first season of full-season ball was mostly a success, with the 32 steals in 37 attempts being a very pleasant surprise, but he didn't put up outrageous triple slash numbers. Until we see a concrete spike in that batting average or slugging percentage, don't fall too much in love with that swing.
More Fantasy News
On-base machine in NLDS
OFMilwaukee Brewers
October 8, 2018
Yelich went 0-for-3 in Sunday's series-clinching victory over the Rockies, but he did walk twice. He also scored a run and stole his second base of the series.
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Bolsters MVP case with two homers
OFMilwaukee Brewers
September 30, 2018
Yelich went 2-for-3 with a walk, two home runs and three RBI in Saturday's 6-5 win over the Tigers.
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Walks five times in victory
OFMilwaukee Brewers
September 27, 2018
Yelich walked in all five of his at-bats in Wednesday's victory over the Cardinals and scored two runs.
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Homers, drives in six
OFMilwaukee Brewers
September 25, 2018
Yelich went 2-for-6 with a triple, a home run and six RBI in Tuesday's commanding win over the Cardinals.
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Matches career-high RBI total
OFMilwaukee Brewers
September 25, 2018
Yelich (elbow) started in right field and went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBI and a run scored Monday in the Brewers' 6-4 win over the Cardinals.
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