Steven Souza
Steven Souza
31-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Los Angeles Dodgers
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Just getting back on the field in 2020 made it a successful campaign for Souza. A year earlier, he sustained a gruesome knee injury in spring training that kept him out for the entire season. He latched on with the Cubs after leaving Arizona, and his new club eased him back into action as a reserve. Unsurprisingly, Souza showed signs of rust after the long layoff, batting just .148 with a .591 OPS and one home run in 11 games for Chicago. The Cubs then let Souza go in September, and the 31-year-old failed to sign with another organization before the season ended. Now one more year removed from the knee injury, perhaps Souza can bounce back in 2021, but the speed and power he displayed earlier in his career -- he stole 16 bases to go along with 30 home runs for Tampa Bay in 2017, both career highs -- are unlikely to fully return. Souza will look for a shot as a fourth outfielder with a new team in 2021. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#601
ADP
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Dodgers in March of 2021.
Signs minor-league contract
OFLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
March 31, 2021
Souza signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
Souza was released by Houston on March 24 but will land a minor-league agreement one day before the start of the regular season. The Dodgers have plenty of talent in the outfield, but Souza could serve as depth at some point in 2021. The 31-year-old has appeared in 83 major-league games with the Diamondbacks and Cubs across the past two seasons and slashed .213/.304/.366 with six home runs, 34 RBI and seven stolen bases.
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Batting Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+32%
OPS vs LHP
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+32%
OPS vs LHP
2019
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .685 13 2 0 2 1 .200 .385 .300
Since 2019vs Right .520 18 1 1 3 0 .118 .167 .353
2021vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Left .685 13 2 0 2 1 .200 .385 .300
2020vs Right .520 18 1 1 3 0 .118 .167 .353
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+44%
OPS at Home
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+44%
OPS at Home
2019
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .673 17 1 1 3 1 .188 .235 .438
Since 2019Away .468 14 2 0 2 0 .091 .286 .182
2021Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home .673 17 1 1 3 1 .188 .235 .438
2020Away .468 14 2 0 2 0 .091 .286 .182
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Steven Souza
Regan's Rumblings: 10 Position Decisions
44 days ago
David Regan kicks off his season-long column with a look at key position battles he’ll monitor this spring, like whether Garrett Hampson will carve out regular at-bats in Colorado.
The Long Game: Opportunity Knocks
45 days ago
Erik Siegrist takes a look at the potential keeper-league value to be found in AL job battles, as Jared Walsh could become this year's Luke Voit.
Spring Training Job Battles: Let the Competition Begin
50 days ago
Erik Halterman analyzes the top job battles on every major league team, including a look at the Mets' closer situation. Will Edwin Diaz regain the job this season?
Bernie on the Scene: National League Trade Chips
231 days ago
With the trade deadline approaching, Bernie Pleskoff looks at what National League teams have to offer, and what they need. Will the Dodgers continue to offer Joc Pederson?
Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: Cardinals at Cubs
243 days ago
Juan Pablo Aravena breaks down Monday's Cardinals at Cubs game for Dream11 contests.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Since his 30-homer season in 2017, Souza has played in just 72 games as he has missed time with the following injuries: sprained pectoral muscle, shoulder injury, back spasms, and most recently, his knee blowing up in the penultimate spring training game leading to him missing the entire 2019 season. He has lots of athleticism, but his aggressive style in the field has led to injuries throughout his career, which is why 2017 is the only season in which he has played in more than 120 games. He is a three-true-outcome guy as he will accept his walks, strike out in bunches and can hit the ball hard when pitchers make mistakes. The athleticism he has displayed is likely to take a hit coming back off a major knee injury, and it was not a surprise when Arizona non-tendered him. Souza needs to be in the American League where he can serve as a DH and stay out of the field for his own well being.
Souza’s follow-up to his breakout 2017 campaign didn’t go as planned. Acquired by the Diamondbacks in late February, Souza strained his right pectoral diving for a ball in a March 21 Grapefruit League affair. His Arizona debut was delayed until early May. About three weeks later, he aggravated the shoulder and was out until July 4. Souza missed more time down the stretch with back spasms. On the field, Souza couldn’t get his power stroke going as 2017’s career-best 25.6% HR/FB plummeted to a measly 7.8%. The rest of his underlying metrics were close to the previous season so assuming Souza’s 2018 woes were largely health-related, there’s a strong chance he rebounds. Souza is a stealth source of steals but he’s an average drain with a K% just under 30%. If you can absorb that, Souza can help boost counting stats on the cheap. Just be ready with a replacement for the likely DL stint. He’s eclipsed 500 plate appearances just once, in 2017.
Souza might've had one of the quietest high-impact performances last year, as his upside was finally realized. The righty launched 27 of his 30 home runs against right-handers, doing away with concerns that he could only occupy the small side of a platoon. There were other positive signs: Souza greatly improved his success rate on the basepaths (80 percent, up from 54 percent), he more than doubled his walk rate (from 6.6 percent to 13.6) and he chased fewer pitches outside of the strike zone (24.4 percent O-Swing%). Unfortunately, he still had a sub-70-percent contact rate, and those issues combined with his pull tendencies will limit what he'll offer in terms of batting average. In leagues that count on-base percentage, investors will gain a safer floor to pair with his combination of power and speed.
Souza struggled to make consistent contact once again in 2016 before undergoing hip surgery in late September. He struck out in more than one-third of his 468 plate appearances while his contact rate languished at an unsightly 63 percent. Despite the difficulties, however, Souza did bump up his average 22 points to .247 in his sophomore campaign, while setting new career highs in home runs and RBI. The slugging outfielder's hip is expected to be fully healthy by the time spring training rolls around, so the hope is that Souza will be able to hit the ground running in the new season. With even a marginal improvement in plate discipline and better health, he could reach 20 homers for the first time while perhaps adding double-digit stolen bases.
The plan was to give Souza the everyday job in right field to replace Wil Myers. The Rays reportedly grew tired of Myers because of his issues at the plate and in the field and a perceived unwillingness to improve. Souza had some of the same issues himself in 2015 as he would take strikes to fall behind and then swing at balls out of the zone to get himself out. He flashed big power at times as he punished mistakes by pitchers, but good velocity up or breaking balls away were a problem for him all season long. He missed six weeks in the second half with a wrist injury, and that issue affected him at the plate the rest of the way as he had just five extra-base hits upon his return, but did hit .277/.385/.385 in those 78 plate appearances. He turns 27 very early into the 2016 season, and must start making more contact.
Souza had a massive campaign at Triple-A, hitting .350/.432/.590 with 18 home runs and 26 steals en route to being named the International League MVP as well as the Nationals' Minor League Player of the Year. However, it was his diving catch to preserve Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter in the ninth inning of an otherwise meaningless September game that most people will remember about his season. The 26-year-old didn't do much offensively in his brief time in the big leagues, but he's clearly got nothing left to prove in the minors. He may get a chance at a regular role in the majors after he was traded to Tampa Bay in the offseason.
Souza had another impressive year in the minors, adding some plate discipline to his skill set and cementing his place in the Nationals' future plans, but the question now isn't whether he will play, but where. The move to right field got Souza out from under Ryan Zimmerman on the depth chart but now Jayson Werth's giant contract looms as a roadblock in right field instead. Too much talent is a better problem to have than not enough, of course, so the Nationals will probably let Souza continue to develop at Triple-A, see if he can stay healthy for a change, and worry about the glut of outfielders next offseason.
A third-round pick out of high school way back in 2007, the Nationals have been very patient with Souza even after a 2010 suspension for PED use, and that patience was finally rewarded to a degree last season as he hit 23 home runs in just 97 games between Low-A and High-A. It is hard to see where he fits into the team's future plans though. A 23-year-old beating up on A-ball pitching is not as impressive as it might seem at first glance, and with Ryan Zimmerman at the head of an organizational depth chart that also features Anthony Rendon and Matt Skole, playing third base in Washington just does not seem all that likely. If he keeps hitting at Double-A he could emerge as useful trade bait, and another team with bigger needs at the hot corner might give him a chance.
More Fantasy News
Cut by Houston
OFFree Agent  AAA
March 24, 2021
The Astros plan to release Souza on Wednesday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Back in outfield
OFHouston Astros  AAA
March 16, 2021
Souza (foot) will start in right field and will bat sixth in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Mets, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Serving as DH
OFHouston Astros  AAA
Foot
March 15, 2021
Souza (foot) will bat ninth as Houston's designated hitter in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Marlins, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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May play Sunday
OFHouston Astros  AAA
Foot
March 14, 2021
Manager Dusty Baker said that Souza (foot) could be available as a reserve for Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Nationals, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
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Dealing with sore foot
OFHouston Astros  AAA
Foot
March 13, 2021
Souza is dealing with left foot soreness after fouling a ball off his foot in practice Saturday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
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