Dexter Fowler
Dexter Fowler
33-Year-Old OutfielderOF
St. Louis Cardinals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
For the third straight season, Fowler's games played dipped, this time below 100 for the first time since 2008, when he debuted. While injuries contributed, he also simply didn't perform. A slow start to the campaign forced him to the bench frequently, causing friction with then manager Mike Matheny as Fowler preferred steady playing time to right the sinking ship. His plate skills were in line with career norms, but a 3.1-mph drop from an already-middling average exit velocity harpooned Fowler's BABIP to .210, the third-lowest mark among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances. Not only did Fowler's offense deteriorate, but his defense took another step back. Fowler's season, perhaps mercifully, ended prematurely in early August after he fractured his left foot with a foul ball. He's expected to be healthy in the spring and will get a chance to reclaim his starting role. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Cardinals in December of 2016.
Delivers game-winning homer
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
August 22, 2019
Fowler went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run Thursday against the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
Fowler took Yency Almonte deep in the seventh inning to record his 15th homer of the season and put the Cardinals ahead for good. He's been on a strong stretch of productivity, as he's driven in at least one run in four consecutive games and has 15 RBI in August. For the season, Fowler has turned in a respectable .251/.348/.433 line across 423 plate appearances.
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
18
10
13
17
29
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
1
1
6
4
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+10%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+5%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+5%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+17%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .698 273 34 7 27 1 .219 .319 .380
Since 2017vs Right .765 984 123 34 120 18 .240 .340 .426
2019vs Left .743 81 11 3 6 0 .221 .346 .397
2019vs Right .780 351 38 12 46 7 .252 .349 .432
2018vs Left .554 72 9 2 9 0 .161 .264 .290
2018vs Right .582 262 31 6 22 5 .185 .282 .300
2017vs Left .754 120 14 2 12 1 .252 .333 .421
2017vs Right .883 371 54 16 52 6 .268 .372 .511
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+1%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+11%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+11%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .755 611 75 22 76 8 .234 .336 .420
Since 2017Away .747 646 82 19 71 11 .237 .335 .412
2019Home .767 211 21 7 30 2 .251 .346 .421
2019Away .780 221 28 8 22 5 .242 .350 .430
2018Home .547 167 20 4 14 4 .167 .269 .278
2018Away .605 167 20 4 17 1 .193 .287 .317
2017Home .896 233 34 11 32 2 .267 .373 .523
2017Away .810 258 34 7 32 5 .262 .353 .458
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Stat Review
How does Dexter Fowler 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 this season's data (min 200 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
0.49
 
BB Rate
11.8%
 
K Rate
24.3%
 
BABIP
.302
 
ISO
.179
 
AVG
.247
 
OBP
.348
 
SLG
.425
 
OPS
.774
 
wOBA
.343
 
Exit Velocity
85.6 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
41.4%
 
Barrels/PA
4.5%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
When he was in the lineup, Fowler performed similarly to the last several seasons. The problem continues to be durability as he failed to play more than 125 games for the fourth time in his last five campaigns. Despite playing in a home park that depresses homers for the first time in his career, Fowler set a career high in long balls. On the flip side, largely due to the Cardinals’ team tendencies, Fowler failed to swipe double-digit bases for the first time in a full season in the majors. In addition, perhaps due to the move to the more spacious Busch Stadium, the recent gains Fowler exhibited with the leather were given back as his defensive metrics reverted to well below average. Running less, continued health issues and declining defense do not bode well for anyone, but for someone on the wrong side of 30 years old, it limits fantasy potential, especially in mixed leagues.
Fowler's return to the Cubs in February was one of the early-spring surprises of 2016, as it was first reported that he was nearing a deal with Baltimore. Returning for a second season on the north side of Chicago, Fowler was once against the catalyst for a potent lineup, which allowed him to parlay his career-high .393 OBP into 84 runs despite the fact that a hamstring injury limited him to 125 games. In addition to his work atop the lineup, Fowler graded out as an improved defender in center field by positioning himself deeper in the outfield on a regular basis. Fowler cashed in ahead of his 31st birthday, signing a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Cardinals in December. He's an everyday leadoff hitter capable of providing double-digit homers and steals, as he's done in four of the past five seasons.
Acquired from the Astros last January, Fowler hit for a career-low .250 and struck out a career-high 154 times for the Cubs in 2015, but that's about all he did wrong. He had 54 extra-base hits — including a shocking 17 home runs — stole 20 bases, walked 84 times, and topped 100 runs. Yep, the Cubs got the leadoff hitter they wanted. In one of the big shocks of the offseason, Fowler elected to return to the Northside on a one-year deal, and manager Joe Maddon has already said Fowler will lead off when he's in the lineup. His walk rate has always been pretty good — his 12.2% rate in 2015 was right around career norms — and he has stolen at least 11 bases in each of the last seven seasons. He may not get quite as many plate appearances as he did last season, as the Cubs' outfield is as crowded as ever, but he should still be quite appealing as the table-setter in the most potent lineup in baseball.
Acquired by the Astros in the trade that sent Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes to Colorado, Fowler's first season away from his previous home of Coors Field went much better than many expected. A nasty early-season illness and a sore back limited the switch-hitting outfielder to 116 games with his new club, but he was one of the Astros' best offensive players when healthy. Fowler hit .276/.375/.399 with eight home runs, 35 RBI, 11 steals and a 13.1% walk rate. His .375 OBP ranked a close second on the team behind MLB hits leader Jose Altuve (.377). Traded to the Cubs in January, Fowler projects as the team's starting center fielder and new leadoff hitter, after the lineup lacked high OBP options to set the table a year ago.
After a massive April in which he batted .305 with eight homers and four steals, Fowler's breakout never materialized as injuries took their toll on his productivity, limiting him to four homers and 15 steals the rest of the way as he finished with a disappointing .263/.369/.407 line. The Rockies ended up dealing the outfielder to Houston in December, where he'll presumably be installed at the top of the order for a gradually improving lineup. Fowler should remain a decent source of runs and steals with the Astros, but he still carries a ton of risk by virtue of the massive home/road splits he's shown during his career. While Minute Maid Park has proven to be hitter-friendly over its lifespan, it's not nearly a haven on the level of Coors Field, where Fowler has batted .298/.395/.485 compared to his .241/.333/.361 career mark at road venues. That vast disparity, along with a history of injuries that has cost him 99 games over the last three seasons, is something to consider on draft day.
Fowler put together the finest season of his four-year career in 2012, setting career-highs in home runs, RBI, batting average and on-base percentage while chipping in his usual double-digit steals. Like many players, he benefited from playing half his games at the generous hitting environment of Coors Field, batting .332/.431/.553 at home compared to .262/.339/.381 on the road. On the heels of his most productive season in the majors, Fowler faces little uncertainty about his place atop what should be a potent lineup, especially with Troy Tulowitzki back after being limited to 47 games with a groin injury last season. However, with several capable outfield options on the 40-man roster, there is a distinct possibility the team may trade Fowler or another outfielder in pursuit of starting pitching. If Fowler were to land elsewhere, it could capsize his value considerably due to his extreme home/road splits.
Fowler matched his previous career-high OBP (.363) last season, but was a disappointment both in the power and speed categories while getting most of his at-bats in the first two spots in the batting order. It's interesting to note that Fowler hit three of his five homers down the stretch in September when he delivered his best overall month (.901 OPS, 3-for-3 on stolen-base attempts). In fact, his second-half line (.288/.381/.498) was a significant improvement and would likely secure his place atop the Colorado lineup if he's able to sustain it. Provided that the Rockies are committed to playing him every day, he's still a viable threat for that long awaited breakout given his combination of tools, lineup placement and home park.
Fowler struggled for much of the early part of the season before being sent down to Triple-A, a level he skipped on his way to the majors. He rediscovered his stroke there, hitting .340/.435/.566 and was back in the bigs in July. After the All-Star break, he hit .280/.343/.432 with four homers, 26 RBI, 41 runs and five steals. He has speed to burn, which makes his low stolen-base total so confusing. To his credit, he improved his strikeout rate (23.7 percent) and continued to play good defense in center field. Moving forward, expect him to start to living up to some of the expectations set before him as a continues to develop. As for his speed, he's too talented not to start to figure things out on the basepaths as long as he gets the green light.
The Rockies made the decision to have Fowler forgo the Triple-A level, and plug him directly in the major league outfield equation. There was some concern whether he would get enough at-bats to justify skipping the PCL, and whether skipping a level of development would stunt his maturation, but Fowler impressed all around. His biggest flaw is his inability to lay off bad pitches, pumping up his strikeout numbers and capping his average at .266, but he was able to get on base at a .363 clip. Look for a statistical improvement in steals, average and home runs this season, as he fine tunes his swing and approach at the plate. He does occasionally yield the leadoff spot to Carlos Gonzalez, however, Fowler should continue to have plenty of table-setting opportunities.
The question isn't whether Fowler can play, but what's taking so long? He hits for average, draws walks, has decent power and good speed, which plays both on the field and the basepaths. He's already a better player than Willy Taveras, and the Rockies need as much OBP as they can get. Fowler will strike out too much to hit .300 or have a .400 OBP, yet still be an above-average center fielder, a bit like Orlando Hudson's bat mixed with Aaron Rowand's glove.
Fowler is one of the more interesting prospects in the Colorado system. He is 6-4 with very good speed and a good eye at the plate. His power did not progress as much as the team hoped in 2007, however and he struck out a bit too much with 65 strikeouts in 245 at-bats. Fowler missed much of the second half of the season with wrist surgery, but did recover and play in the Arizona Fall League. While he struggled with a .224/.325/.308 showing, he looks healthy and a strong showing at Double-A could put him on track to be a factor in the majors in 2009.
Fowler packs an intriguing package of tools into his 6-4 frame. He has speed and his output in Low-A (.296/.373/.462) is impressive for a 20-year-old with limited baseball experience, particularly the OBP. A below-average arm may eventually limit him to left field, but Fowler is a potential 30-30 guy who may be no more than two years from a big league debut despite the lack of experience.
More Fantasy News
Drives in four in win
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
August 21, 2019
Fowler went 1-for-3 with two walks, a double and four RBI in Tuesday's 9-4 win over the Brewers.
ANALYSIS
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Out of Sunday's lineup
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
August 18, 2019
Fowler is not in Sunday's lineup against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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Leads offense with four RBI
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
August 16, 2019
Fowler went 3-for-6 with a double, a home run, four RBI and two runs scored Friday night against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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Slugs two-run shot
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
August 12, 2019
Fowler entered Sunday's win over the Pirates as a defensive replacement in the fifth inning and went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run.
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Out of Sunday's lineup
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
August 11, 2019
Fowler is not in Sunday's lineup against the Pirates.
ANALYSIS
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