Daniel Vogelbach
Daniel Vogelbach
25-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Seattle Mariners
2018 Fantasy Outlook
For several years now there has been a push among fantasy owners to "Free Dan Vogelbach," but the reality that he may not fit on a big-league roster is finally starting to sink in. He simply can't play anywhere in the field, so he would need to get starts at DH, and in order for an MLB team to roster a designated hitter who can't play the field, that player would need to be a dominant hitter against big-league pitching. Vogelbach, who is entering his age-25 season, has proven to be at least 20 percent better than the average Triple-A hitter over 258 games at that level. But while he has plus power, it's not special power, and while the jolly lefty mashes righties, he is significantly worse against lefties. So we have a DH-only slugger who may need a platoon partner. That profile just isn't going to win over many modern front offices. Look for him to once again start the year at Triple-A, and keep in mind, he will be out of minor-league options after the 2018 season. Read Past Outlooks
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Spearheads win with pinch-hit slam
1BSeattle Mariners
September 18, 2018
Vogelbach smacked a grand slam in a pinch-hit at-bat in the eighth inning of Monday's win over the Astros.
Vogelbach single-handedly led Seattle to a win with one swing of the bat, as his 398-foot shot to right center in the eighth with two out and the bases jammed gave the Mariners all their runs on the night. The 25-year-old has now left the yard in consecutive games, leading to six RBI during that stretch.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .299 28 2 0 0 0 .080 .179 .120
Since 2016vs Right .693 118 7 4 15 0 .225 .331 .363
2018vs Left .274 23 2 0 0 0 .050 .174 .100
2018vs Right .815 79 7 4 13 0 .254 .367 .448
2017vs Left .500 4 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250
2017vs Right .546 27 0 0 2 0 .208 .296 .250
2016vs Left .000 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2016vs Right .258 12 0 0 0 0 .091 .167 .091
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .563 49 4 2 3 0 .159 .245 .318
Since 2016Away .643 97 5 2 12 0 .217 .330 .313
2018Home .574 39 4 2 3 0 .143 .231 .343
2018Away .766 63 5 2 10 0 .250 .381 .385
2017Home .800 5 0 0 0 0 .400 .400 .400
2017Away .487 26 0 0 2 0 .174 .269 .217
2016Home .200 5 0 0 0 0 .000 .200 .000
2016Away .250 8 0 0 0 0 .125 .125 .125
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Stat Review
How does Daniel Vogelbach 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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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Opportunity is the prevailing force in rotisserie baseball, and now that he's out of Chicago, Vogelbach has a chance to work his way into fantasy prominence. Vogelbach was used sparingly down the stretch in 2016 after being traded to Seattle, but as a 23-year-old Vogelbach beat up on Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .923 OPS, 23 homers and 96 RBI while striking out just four more times (101) than he walked (97) in 563 plate appearances. Safeco Field still skews favorably for pitchers in terms of runs scored, but it was a top-six park for home runs in 2016, so even in a platoon role, Vogelbach could gain and maintain fantasy value outside of AL-only formats. He failed to earn a spot out of spring training but Vogelbach should at least be owned in most keeper leagues with a much clearer path to playing time than he had in Chicago.
Vogelbach came out of the gate on fire last year, slashing .460/.571/.780 with three home runs, 11 runs, 12 RBI, and 13 walks in his first 14 games for Double-A Tennessee. Unfortunately a couple of injuries - which may have sapped his power - slowed him down considerably, and his final line with the Smokies was rather disappointing. True, he'd be an asset in OBP leagues - he's topped 60 walks in each of his last three years - but most look at him and expect him to be a big power-hitting first baseman. He's still just 23, but with Anthony Rizzo blocking him in Chicago, we see a DH job in his future. Don't be surprised to see the Cubs trade him.
Vogelbach is the Cubs' top first baseman in the minors, but it would be a shock to see him overtake Anthony Rizzo as the starter at the big league level at any point. There are some appealing items in his skill set, as he can draw a walk and hit for some power, but he doesn't seem to have anything that truly stands out, and his defensive limitations might make him a future DH. He should spend most of the 2015 season with Double-A Tennessee as a 22-year-old, but unless Rizzo suffers a serious injury, Vogelbach could be trade bait, especially to an AL-team that values on-base percentage more than defense.
Vogelbach is not just some run-of-the-mill slugger. Last year's 73:89 BB:K ratio contributed to a .375 on-base percentage between Low-A Kane County and High-A Daytona. While he only hit 19 home runs in 483 at-bats, he's done all that as a 20-year-old, and certainly projects as a power hitter in the majors. Anthony Rizzo is blocking him at first base, but in two years, who knows? Tuck him away, especially in deep OBP leagues.
Drafted 68th overall in 2011 for his elite power, the 5-foot-11, 255-pound Vogelbach did not disappoint last year, slugging .686 in 102 rookie-ball at-bats and .608 in 143 Low-A ones. He also hit .324 and .322, respectively, at those stops and showed good plate discipline, to boot. Expect the 20-year-old Vogelbach to get a shot at High-A and perhaps Double-A this year, though so long as he remains in the Cubs organization, he's blocked by Anthony Rizzo at first base. Given Vogelbach's frame, we very much doubt a position change is an option.
More Fantasy News
Smacks two-run blast in return
1BSeattle Mariners
September 17, 2018
Vogelbach went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in a loss to the Angels on Sunday.
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Returns to lineup
1BSeattle Mariners
September 16, 2018
Vogelbach (hamstring) will serve as the Mariners' designated hitter and bat sixth Sunday against the Angels, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
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Currently limited by hamstring injury
1BSeattle Mariners
September 8, 2018
Vogelbach, who was one of the players called up from Triple-A Tacoma upon roster expansion earlier this month, is currently limited to pinch-hit duty due to a hamstring injury, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
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Called up for final month
1BSeattle Mariners
September 4, 2018
Vogelbach was called up by the Mariners on Tuesday.
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Sent back down to Tacoma
1BSeattle Mariners
July 30, 2018
Vogelbach was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Monday.
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