Max Kepler

Max Kepler

31-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Kepler had the second-best season of his career even though it looked like his time in Minnesota was coming to an end at the start of 2023. Coming off a subpar season, Kepler was rumored to be on the trade block all offseason. He then hit .232 with three home runs and a .771 OPS in April. Something changed in May, as he hit .263 with 21 home runs and a .823 OPS the rest of the season. He returned to hitting more fly balls (44.3% from 34.4% in 2022) but luck may have played a factor with a career-best .288 BABIP and second-highest 16.1% HR/RB rate. Still, Kepler has always had chronically low BABIP rates, so he could sustain a slight uptick. Kepler's success came despite a dip in his usual strong command at the plate. He had just a 9.2% walk rate and a career-low 21.6% strike out rate, which were likely offset by continued above-average power as his Max Exit Velocity was in the 89th percentile (per Baseball Savant). His .751 OPS against lefties continued a recent improvement against southpaws, which could keep his bat in the lineup more. While his defensive metrics took an uncharacteristic decline (-0.8 fWAR), he's still viewed by the team as a plus defender. He should reprise as the starting right fielder and could find an early age-30s power surge. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#277
ADP
$Signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension with the Twins in February of 2019. Twins exercised $10 million team option for 2024 in November of 2023.
Homer, double in win
OFMinnesota Twins
May 22, 2024
Kepler went 2-for-4 with a double, a solo homer and an additional run scored in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
Kepler led off the second inning with a solo shot off Jake Irvin, giving the Twins an early lead before adding a double in the ninth and scoring what turned out to be a crucial insurance run on a Ryan Jeffers base hit. Kepler had cooled off a bit after a fast start to the year -- he came into Wednesday stuck in a 3-for-16 slump. The 31-year-old outfielder is still slashing an impressive .311/.368/.544 with four homers, 18 RBI and 16 runs scored across 115 plate appearances this season.
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Batting Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2024 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
19
4
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+4%
OPS vs RHP
2024
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
2023
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+2%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022vs Left .743 236 26 6 22 1 .261 .331 .412
Since 2022vs Right .770 815 116 31 105 4 .249 .330 .440
2024vs Left 1.050 20 3 1 3 0 .400 .400 .650
2024vs Right .880 94 13 3 15 1 .289 .362 .518
2023vs Left .751 97 15 4 9 0 .250 .320 .432
2023vs Right .832 394 57 20 57 1 .263 .335 .497
2022vs Left .677 119 8 1 10 1 .243 .328 .350
2022vs Right .662 327 46 8 33 2 .221 .315 .347
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+10%
OPS at Home
2024
 
 
+13%
OPS at Home
2023
 
 
+20%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+1%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022Home .800 539 75 20 65 1 .261 .340 .460
Since 2022Away .726 512 67 17 62 4 .243 .320 .406
2024Home .964 59 8 2 9 0 .333 .390 .574
2024Away .856 55 8 2 9 1 .286 .345 .510
2023Home .895 230 37 12 34 0 .291 .357 .539
2023Away .746 261 35 12 32 1 .233 .310 .435
2022Home .668 250 30 6 22 1 .213 .312 .356
2022Away .664 196 24 3 21 2 .244 .327 .337
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Stat Review
How does Max Kepler 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 2019 data (min 400 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.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.47
 
BB Rate
7.9%
 
K Rate
16.7%
 
BABIP
.346
 
ISO
.233
 
AVG
.311
 
OBP
.368
 
SLG
.544
 
OPS
.912
 
wOBA
.393
 
Exit Velocity
89.3 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
31.8%
 
Barrels/PA
5.2%
 
Expected BA
.244
 
Expected SLG
.401
 
Sprint Speed
22.5 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
30.6%
 
Line Drive %
20.0%
 
Fly Ball %
49.4%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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19 days ago
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Seattle inquired
OFMinnesota Twins
January 31, 2024
The Mariners asked the Twins about Kepler's availability during recent trade negotiations, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
While Kepler's name was brought up as part of a larger trade scenario the two sides discussed, Morosi says it never gained traction before a deal which sent Jorge Polanco to Seattle was completed. Kepler has been floated as a potential trade piece with the Twins cutting payroll, but he now seems more likely than not to stay put.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Kepler hit just nine home runs last year and saw a sharp decrease in power even though his other stats were mostly in line with his career. He did struggle with injuries as he played just 115 games missing time due to a sore knee, broken toe and quad injury, though none seem like long-term worries. Kepler again showed outstanding command at the plate with a 11% walk rate and a career-best 14.8% strike out rate. However, he had a career-low 34.4% FB%. He's still capable of above-average power as his Max Exit Velocity was in the 98th percentile (per Baseball Savant), but that only translated to a career-low .348 SLG. He profiles as a candidate to benefit from the ban on shifts since he's a pull hitter who hits too many ground balls. His 2019 season featured a Pull% of 50.8% compared to just 41.7% last season. His defense remains a plus as he was a Gold Glove finalist in right field. He also had a better OPS last season against lefties, which could mitigate concerns he may be platooned since he's had sharp platoon splits over his career. Still, four years later, it's looking like Kepler's 36-home run 2019 season was an outlier and he'll be hard pressed to keep an everyday job if he can't translate his plate discipline into better production.
With another mediocre performance last season, Kepler's 36-home run 2019 season continues to look like an outlier instead of a breakout season. Kepler hit .211 with a career-low .719 OPS last season. He struggled against left-handed pitching, hitting two home runs with a .509 OPS against southpaws and losing playing time to lefties late in the season. His platoon splits have been a constant struggle aside from the 2019 career year (.880 OPS vs. LHP). Kepler draws walks at a good clip (11.0%) but has struggled to get hits due to a chronically low BABP (.225 last season). He offers good defense with a 9 DRS in right field (ranking 6th among RFs) and is passable in short stints in center field. He also has decent speed and was more active on the bases with a career-high ten steals. He'll begin the season as the starting right fielder, but his inability to hit lefties could see him fall into a platoon.
Kepler took a step back last season after a breakout 2019 campaign as he returned to struggling against lefties. After hitting nine home runs with a .880 OPS against left-handed pitching in 2019, he did not homer and posted just a .378 OPS against lefties last season. Kepler changed his approach at the plate becoming less of a pull hitter (53.4% in 2019 to 44.1%), which is more in line with the rest of his career. He draws walks at a good clip (11.2%) but has struggled to get hits due to a chronically low BABP (.236 last season). Without the 30-plus home run power of his 2019 season, his profile looks fairly average for a corner outfielder. He usually adds strong defense in right field, though his metrics took a step back last year as well (-0.2 UZR). He did play through a strained abductor in September, spending time on the injured list, which may have limited him. He's set as Minnesota's everyday right fielder, but was his step back the result of a small sample or did it show 2019 was an outlier?
Kepler had a breakout season with 36 home runs and an .855 OPS after his career appeared to stall following three similarly mediocre seasons. The Twins surprisingly made Kepler the team's leadoff hitter to begin last season, as despite his low career OBP to that point, he had always drawn walks and could add power to the top of the lineup. Kepler responded with a power surge that included a .267 ISO, the result of pulling the ball more (career-high 53.4%) and more consistent hard contact. He also continued to hit well against left-handed pitching after struggling against southpaws earlier in his career. Kepler is a plus defender in right field (his 9.9 UZR was third in MLB) who has held his own when pressed into center-field duty (2.8 UZR, 16th in MLB). At age 27, Kepler is in his prime and could continue to improve if a perennially-low hit rate (.244 BABIP last year) ever moves higher.
While Kepler hit a career-high 20 home runs and played in 156 games, he hit just .224 and his SLG declined slightly from his underwhelming sophomore season. He may have been a bit unlucky with a .236 BABIP, though he's had a BABIP below .277 the past three seasons. The underlying numbers show some signs of skill growth. He improved both his walk rate (11.6%) and strikeout rate (15.7%) to career bests. He also appeared to finally solve left-handed pitchers with a .745 OPS that was better than his mark against righties. His increased contact (82%) would seem destined to produce more hits this season. His glove will keep him in the lineup even if he doesn't improve -- Kepler is seen as a plus defender in right field, ranking fifth in DRS, and can play center field in a pinch. At age 26 and with an everyday job for the Twins, a significant improvement still seems possible.
Kepler enters 2018 as Minnesota's starting right fielder and will try to improve on a somewhat disappointing second year in the majors. He showed promise in his rookie season with a surprising surge in power that included three homers in one game. His numbers were very similar in his second season, failing to show much improvement while taking a step back in some areas. Kepler's struggles against lefties grew significantly worse (just a .453 OPS) and he was benched frequently against southpaws. Still, Kepler draws walks at a decent clip, has good power and makes strong contact for a player of his ilk. He also has enough speed to play center field in a pinch and is 12-for-15 as a base stealer in the majors. Entering his age-25 season, he could still take a leap, as there is room for growth in the power department. The danger is that his struggles against lefties eventually relegate him to a strict platoon.
Kepler was called up in June and took over the everyday right field role, displaying a surge in power (17 home runs, including a three-homer game) that he hadn't shown in the minors. His growth in power shouldn't be unexpected since he was just 23 years old and may have a delayed development cycle since he started playing baseball late in his native Germany. Kepler draws walks at a good clip, made strong contact in the minors and has some speed on the basepaths. He has some areas to improve as he struggled against left-handed pitching (.595 OPS), had more strikeouts initially in the majors than his minor league track record would suggest and wore down in the final month (.538 OPS in September). He also struggled at times in right field despite good reviews of his defense in the minors. However, he should be set as an everyday outfielder for the Twins and could improve rapidly in his first full season in the majors.
Kepler had a breakout season last year at Double-A and could be in position to win a starting outfield role with the Twins as early as this spring. After failing to make an impression the previous two seasons, he finally put it all together at age 22 by hitting .322/.416/.531 with 18 stolen bases at Double-A. Kepler may have a later development cycle since he started playing baseball late in his native Germany. His growth was on display across the board as he draws walks at a good clip, makes strong contact, and developed increasing power (13 triples). Kepler is seen as a solid defensive outfielder at all three positions and has even played first base. The Twins could opt to send him down to Triple-A to begin the season, but he should see a significant amount of time in Minnesota in 2016.
Kepler had another lackluster season in the minors and even though he may develop later than other players after being signed out of Germany, he'll need to show something in 2015 to remain a top prospect in the Minnesota system. There were some signs of hope as he hit much better the final two months at High-A (.303 batting average) and had a strong Arizona Fall League campaign by hitting .307/.366/.440. He's shown a good eye at the plate as he draws walks, makes contact and scouts believe he'll add power, but he'll need to finally put it all together at Double-A to be in Minnesota's long-term plans.
A strained left elbow cost Kepler the first two and a half months of the 2013 season, and he went on to hit just .237/.312/.424 in 61 games at Low-A Cedar Rapids. He then wasn't impressive in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .234/.306/.313. Still, it's too early to write him off as he has shown good place discipline (drawing walks in 9.1 percent of place appearances last season) and since he may develop later than other players after being signed out of Germany. He'll need to improve in 2014 and show he can stay healthy to maintain his top prospect status.
Kepler was an extremely athletic but very raw player when signed out of Germany in 2009. He started to add baseball skills to his athleticism last year as he hit .297/.387/.539 in rookie ball. He drew walks at a good rate (10 percent of plate appearances) and made great contact (33:27 BB:K). A strong year in his first full season league in 2013 could push him near the top of Minnesota's hitting prospects.
More Fantasy News
On bench again
OFMinnesota Twins
May 21, 2024
Kepler is out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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Out against left-hander
OFMinnesota Twins
May 20, 2024
Kepler is not in the lineup for Monday's game against the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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Sitting down versus lefty
OFMinnesota Twins
May 18, 2024
Kepler isn't in the Twins' lineup for Saturday's game against the Guardians.
ANALYSIS
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Sitting out Tuesday
OFMinnesota Twins
May 14, 2024
Kepler is not in the lineup for Tuesday's contest versus the Yankees.
ANALYSIS
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Not starting against lefty
OFMinnesota Twins
May 10, 2024
Kepler is not listed as a starter for Friday's matchup against the Blue Jays.
ANALYSIS
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