Will Venable
Will Venable
37-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Will Venable in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor league contract with the Phillies in March of 2016.
DFA'd by Dodgers on Thursday
OFLos Angeles Dodgers  
July 7, 2016
Venable was designated for assignment Thursday.
Venable's time with the Dodgers appears to have run its course after the veteran struggled to make a difference as a left-handed bat off the bench. He slashed just .056/.105/.111 with five strikeouts in 18 at-bats this season before being DFA'd on Thursday. He'll now be subject to waivers and could be picked up by a team looking to add a left-handed bat.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Venable was freed from the pitching-friendly shackles of Petco Park following an August trade that had Venable shipped from San Diego to Texas, but Venable's numbers in limited playing time in Texas (.182/.325/.227 in 66 at-bats) weren't good as he served primarily as a late-game defensive option. He remains a decent lineup option when tasked with facing right-handed pitching exclusively when you factor in his defensive skills into the equation, but his 20/20 season back in 2013 figures to serve as Venable's peak. He signed a minor league deal with the Indians, and an 80-game suspension for Abraham Almonte should give him a solid chance of cracking the roster out of camp.
Expectations were high after Venable recorded a breakout 20-20 season in 2013, but he suffered a back injury late in spring training, and later dealt with a foot injury in May. The results were poor, as he hit just .201/.258/.277 with a 25.1% strikeout rate during the first half of the season. Typical of his body of work prior to last season, Venable was much better against right-handed pitching (.631 OPS) than he was against lefties (.506), and with improved health during the second half, Venable hit .261/.333/.401 after the All-Star break. Already 32 years old, it's reasonable to think that he may be a one-time member of the 20-20 club, but his combination of power and speed, plus the ability to handle all three outfield spots, should make him a regular contributor again for San Diego on the larger side of a platoon in 2015.
Venable's 22-homer/22-steal performance was one of the most mind-boggling developments of 2013, as his batted-ball rates changed little outside of his HR/FB rate, which more than doubled from one year prior to 19.8 percent. Perhaps his was a case of line drives turning into home runs, but because he was in the midst of his age-30 season, the explanation seems unlikely or, at the very least, unsustainable. In any case, owners enjoyed Venable's career year in nearly all formats, but expectations outside of reliable stolen base production should be tempered due to his previous career high of 13 long balls in 2010.
Venable saw the overwhelming majority of his plate appearances in 2012 come against right-handed pitchers, which at this point in his career should be nothing new, as he is a lefty that owns a .261/.330/.441 batting line against them. This doesn't sound all that impressive because it's not and Venable is not when it comes to hitting. He does not have a mature eye at the plate, though he often struggles to make contact, and has power that leaves much to be desired. Yet despite all of this, Venable is an intriguing player because of the speed he possess as he has stolen 79 bases over the last three seasons, a mark that puts him seventh in the National League over that span. At 30 years old, his speed should persist and 2013 should again be a season where he helps owners in that one category, while hitting in a platoon role.
Until he learns to make the necessary adjustments to his plate discipline and hit better against left-handed pitching, Venable will probably never be more than just a platooning outfielder in 2012. He swings at far too many pitches outside the zone and has posted a career 12.0 swinging-strike percentage over a four-year span. His contact rate improved slightly in 2011, but between a 22.4 percent strikeout rate and a walk rate of just 7.5 percent, his OBP dropped to a career-worst .310. His biggest asset right now is his speed, having swiped 55 bases with an 84.6 percent success rate, but without any real power or decent on-base skills, his fantasy upside becomes limited.
Venable had a very useful 2010 season for fantasy owners. The speed that he showed in Single-A and Double-A resurfaced as he stole 29 bases. That speed came at a price as he hit for a .245 batting average and struck out in nearly one-third of his at-bats. He also managed to hit 13 homers, which was in line with the power he had shown before. If he learned some plate discipline, Venable could become someone that owners could count on to do a little bit of everything. As is, he probably belongs in a platoon against tough righties (.259/.331/.451 career).
Venable was exposed a bit as a regular last season, with his strikeout rate spiking as his walk rate plummeted. With an idea at the plate, decent power and enough speed to get by, he's a classic fourth outfielder, and might even have an argument as a platoon cornerman: career .258/.327/.477 vs. RHP in a pitchers' home park. Look for him to play a bit more this season and produce slightly better numbers.
The athletic Venable was called up in late August and made his major league debut for the Padres. He has the tools to be a reserve outfielder, though he did not run as much in 2008 as he did in 2007. His speed and defensive ability will get him more looks in the majors, but his marginal power will restrict him to mostly utility duty.
Venable could win a reserve outfield job with the Padres in 2008. More likely, he will spend the year at Triple-A Portland. Venable's best attribute is his speed (21 steals in 23 chances at Double-A in 2007). He hits for a decent average and can fill the gaps, although he doesn't have much power. Venable is still a raw talent with little organized baseball experience. He could continue to grow, but at this point, his ceiling appears to be a backup role.
Venable will probably begin 2007 in High-A or Double-A. He led the 2006-07 Hawaiian Winter League with a .330 average. Venable did not fully shift his focus from basketball to baseball until 2006, so he is a raw talent with a lot of potential. Venable possesses gap-to-gap power and has good speed.
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Called up by Dodgers
OFLos Angeles Dodgers  
July 1, 2016
Venable was called up by the Dodgers on Friday.
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OFLos Angeles Dodgers  
June 25, 2016
Venable was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
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OFLos Angeles Dodgers  
June 24, 2016
Venable was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Friday.
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OFLos Angeles Dodgers  
June 18, 2016
Venable is out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the Brewers.
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OFLos Angeles Dodgers  
June 16, 2016
Venable is starting in right field and batting eighth against Milwaukee on Thursday.
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