Harrison Bader
Harrison Bader
24-Year-Old OutfielderOF
St. Louis Cardinals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Defense is his calling card, but Bader's no slouch with the bat. When accounting for park effects and the current run environment, Bader graded out as 6% better than league average at the plate (106 wRC+) as a rookie. He did benefit from some good fortune on balls in play (.358 BABIP), but it wasn't all luck. He used his above-average speed to beat out groundballs at the highest rate among players with 400 plate appearances; a whopping 17.8% of Bader's groundballs resulted in infield hits. He showed good instincts on the basepaths, successfully converting 15 of 18 stolen-base attempts. His modest .251/.317/.378 line against same-handed pitching suggests he could be overexposed in an everyday role, but his stellar defense will give him a long leash. With stolen-base totals at their lowest levels in decades, Bader has quite a bit of appeal, as he has the speed to reach 20 bases while also contributing double-digit homers. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Cardinals in June of 2015 that includes a $400,000 signing bonus.
Starting to develop as hitter
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
March 18, 2019
Bader, who's already renowned for his defensive prowess, is also being lauded by manager Mike Shildt for his improvement as a hitter, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com reports. "He's gotten more disciplined, still working on it," Shildt said of Bader's batting skills. "He has a more consistent swing. His body of work this spring is 180 degrees, so I couldn't be more excited about him. You look at his BP, the guy is hitting missiles everywhere."
The 24-year-old's actual spring line belies the strides Shildt is seeing Bader make, as the outfielder is only hitting .171 through 41 exhibition at bats. Those struggles aside, Bader demonstrated tangible improvement in 2018 over his first taste of major-league regular-season action the year prior. Bader slashed a solid .264/.334/.422 with 34 extra-base hits (20 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs) and 37 RBI across 427 plate appearances, lending credence to the notion his current struggles are simply an outlier exacerbated by the small sample size. Bader is set to open the season as the everyday center fielder, which should afford him plenty of opportunity to live up to Shildt's description of him as a "five-tool player."
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
No Stats
Since 2016vs Left .935 159 31 7 18 6 .307 .377 .557
Since 2016vs Right .654 360 40 8 29 11 .238 .302 .352
2018vs Left .886 138 26 5 14 6 .292 .370 .517
2018vs Right .695 289 35 7 23 9 .251 .317 .378
2017vs Left 1.229 21 5 2 4 0 .400 .429 .800
2017vs Right .486 71 5 1 6 2 .185 .239 .246
2016vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
No Stats
Since 2016Home .642 278 31 2 16 8 .238 .307 .335
Since 2016Away .850 241 40 13 31 9 .282 .346 .505
2018Home .678 222 28 2 15 7 .250 .321 .357
2018Away .840 205 33 10 22 8 .279 .348 .492
2017Home .500 56 3 0 1 1 .192 .250 .250
2017Away .909 36 7 3 9 1 .303 .333 .576
2016Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Harrison Bader 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 Rate
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Gone are the days where the Cardinals were satisfied with players like Jedd Gyorko, Kolten Wong, Randal Grichuk and the like occupying prominent spots in the lineup, and that's bad news for Bader. He fit the prototype of the Mike Matheny-era Cardinals -- a player who maximizes his natural ability but lacks the impact tools to be a game changer at the plate or in the field. With the starting outfield set for 2018 with three everyday players, Bader will be competing for a bench role this spring. He has always mashed lefties, which is a strength that Matheny would undoubtedly make use of if Bader is on the bench. Unfortunately, he is subpar against righties and has to sell out to access his average raw power, which means he will always be a bit of a batting average risk without enough power to make it worthwhile. He is capable of playing all three outfield spots and is an above-average runner. Essentially, he is a prototypical fourth outfielder.
The dominant narrative with Bader seems to be his dramatic decline in production after being promoted from the Texas League (143 wRC+) to the Pacific Coast League (74 wRC+). However, his splits against right-handed pitching should be what really troubles his dynasty league owners. He rode a 1.375 OPS against lefties at Low-A to prominence last offseason, and boosted his mark against southpaws even further to 1.485 OPS at Double-A in 2016. All the while, Bader was a middling hitter against righties, putting up splits of .270/.337/.399 and .249/.319/.377 at Low-A and Double-A, respectively. His solid defense in center field, above-average speed and ability to crush left-handed pitching will undoubtedly get him to the big leagues at some point in the next year or two, but it seems likely that he will be limited to a part-time role. Look to deal him before this reality becomes common knowledge.
The 100th overall pick in the 2015 draft started his professional career as well as any player in his class. Bader, a late bloomer with the stick out of the University of Florida, received a promotion to Low-A Peoria after posting a 1.055 OPS in seven games with short-season State College. He clearly needed more of a challenge, and he handled that challenge, posting a .301/.364/.505 slash line with nine home runs and 15 steals in 228 plate appearances. Despite being slightly younger than the average player at that level, Bader’s .869 OPS would have been tied for the second best mark in the Midwest League if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. His 49:15 K:BB in 61 games suggests he has the approach to continue his success in an assignment to High-A Palm Beach as a 21-year-old, and if he continues to rake, the 6-foot center fielder could find himself at Double-A shortly after he turns 22 on June 3.
More Fantasy News
Another productive day in win
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
September 24, 2018
Bader went 2-for-3 with an RBI fielder's choice, a double and two runs in a win over the Giants on Sunday.
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Cracks 12th homer
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
September 19, 2018
Bader went 1-for-3 with a solo homer -- his 12th of the season -- in Wednesday's loss to the Braves.
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Pinch-hit blast in win
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
September 18, 2018
Bader slugged a three-run home run in a pinch-hit at-bat in a win over the Braves on Monday.
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On bench Monday
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
September 17, 2018
Bader is not in the lineup Monday against the Braves.
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Swipes 15th bag
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
September 12, 2018
Bader went 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base in Wednesday's loss to the Pirates.
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