Dynasty Performance Report: Major League Outfielders 2.0

Martin takes a look at risers and fallers in MLB outfields

The Dynasty Performance Report is a regular series, highlighting each position and providing insight into the risers and fallers of both the major leagues and prospects.

The Inaugural Major League report for the 2024 season will set the foundation for this monthly series. Each month, I will provide a brief recap of the players outlined in the previous edition of the article, followed by players who I’ve identified as current risers and fallers. If you’re prospect-focused, a Minor League edition of this report will also run monthly.

Any mention of rankings in this article is directly from my personal Top 350 Dynasty Rankings.


Let me preface this article by saying that the outfield position is pretty bad right now. Injuries to Mike Trout, Seiya Suzuki, Cody Bellinger, Luis Robert Jr., and Christian Yelich have thinned out an already top-heavy crop, and the replacement-level players are barely passable. As you navigate the comings and goings of the Dynasty world, check out our monthly reports as our PL team breaks down each position.



Riley Greene, DET

My love/hate relationship with Riley Greene continues. I’m honestly not sure what he is, and because of that, his ranking is erratic month-to-month. The talent for Greene is evident, but a rash of strange injuries has led to missed time and development. Because of that, his performance has been as inconsistent as my opinion of him since his 2022 debut.

Greene missed several weeks in 2023 after a stress fracture in his leg and then all of September after a tear in his UCL. When he was healthy, he hit .288 with only 11 homers and 37 RBIs for a terrible Tigers team. During his offseason recovery from the UCL tear, Greene was adamant about his desire to hit the ball in the air more. In two previous seasons (’22+’23), he had a 56.8% and 48.9% groundball rate with an average launch angle under seven degrees. In addition, his zone contact rates were below the league average. Despite his batted ball profile working against him, Greene maintained a high batting average (aided by a ridiculously high BABIP) and posted above-average exit velocities.

With new goals in mind, the 2024 version of Greene got off to a rough start. Entering April 17th, he was batting .217 with three homers, a .773 OPS, and a 31.7% strikeout rate. Then it started to click. Since that date, Greene has been on a tear. In 19 games, he’s batting .304 with six homers and a 1.362 OPS. His strikeouts are still a problem, but Greene’s 162-game pace is a .264 average with 41 homers, 126 runs, and 76 RBIs. As much as Greene is on the up-and-up, he’s not hitting 41 homers or scoring 126 runs. 

Here is what we do know. Greene has cut his GB rate to 42.2%, a 14% drop from 2022 and 7% from last season. His spray chart shows improvement with driving the ball up the middle, increasing his straight-away rate by over 6%. Greene’s launch angle has jumped to 9.6 degrees, the highest of his career, and he isn’t sacrificing his batting average (.271) to lift the ball.

Perhaps the most exciting improvement thus far is his plate discipline. Greene is walking at a career-high 16%, his chase rate is down 6%, and his zone swing rate is down 8%. However, his zone swing rate is worth monitoring. While Greene is becoming more selective, a positive for his contact metrics, his strikeout rates may continue to suffer if he’s too passive. It’s a fine line to walk for these hitters.

With the tangible changes we’ve seen from Greene early on, he may finally reach his potential as a former top-5 overall prospect. The Tigers’ young lineup has yet to catch up to the red-hot Greene, as Spencer Torkelson and Parker Meadows (more to come) have performed poorly. Assuming they get their lineup straightened out, Greene is hitting atop the Tigers’ lineup in a hitter-friendly ballpark. 

Bryan De La Cruz, MIA

Lost in the shuffle of playing for a subpar organization and overshadowed by teammate Jazz Chisholm Jr., Marlins’ outfielder Bryan De La Cruz is having a mini breakout. De La Cruz signed as a 16-year-old with the Astros in 2013 and came to South Florida in a 2021 trade. He platooned in the outfield his first season in 2022, hitting .252 with 13 homers in 329 at-bats. In that 2022 season, signs were indicating a breakout could be coming. He was in the 90th percentile or higher in xBA, xSLG, and xWOBA; while finishing 80th percentile or better in average EV, max EV, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate. His expected stats dipped in 2023, but De La Cruz was solid overall, hitting .257 with 19 homers. The biggest takeaway from 2023 was his increase in playing time, earning 579 at-bats in an everyday role for the Fish. 

There are more positives early in 2024. In 38 games, De La Cruz is batting .263 with seven homers and 21 runs while playing daily and atop the Marlins lineup. His expected stats say he’s been unlucky early on, which is a positive indicator moving forward. De La Cruz has maintained his quality of contact and plate discipline data while increasing his barrel rate by 4% thus far. I’m also encouraged by his increased spray to his pull side, which has resulted in more extra-base hits. Like most hitters, his power has always naturally come to the pull side. However, De La Cruz already has three homers to the opposite field this season, matching his total for 2023. 

De La Cruz is not without flaws. There is room for improvement in his plate approach and swing decisions. His chase and swing rates are well over the league average. He swings over 53% and chases over 33% of the time, which is well over the league average. Because of his aggressiveness, De La Cruz produces a sub-7% walk rate, which results in lower OBP and counting stats.

He is worthy of higher roster rates in nearly all leagues, regardless of format or depth. His value gets a boost in roto with his HR potential, solid batting average, and regular at-bats, but he loses value in OBP leagues with his lack of walks. Given the current landscape of the outfield position across the league, I can see a path where De La Cruz pushes toward a top-60 positional asset in Dynasty. With improvements in his approach, he could reach even higher.

Writer’s Note 

As the Marlins progress into the season, there will be speculation about De La Cruz’s availability in trades. He’s a first-year arbitration-eligible player in 2025, meaning he’s less likely to be moved. A change in team context could only help his long-term Dynasty value.

Honorable Mention:

Teoscar Hernández, LAD: Hernandez has quietly become one of the most consistent outfielder performers in fantasy. For three consecutive seasons, Teoscar has hit over .250 with 25 homers and at least five steals. 2024 is shaping up to be more of the same. Hernandez is mashing in the middle of the star-studded Dodgers’ lineup ahead of his impending free agency. In 38 games, he has nine homers, 25 runs, 26 RBIs, and three steals while hitting .257. His strikeout rate is in its usual 30% range, and his hard-hit rate has jumped over 5%. Aside from an early increase in groundball rate, Teoscar looks to be the same guy who’s finished as a top-30 outfielder since 2021.



Masataka Yoshida, BOS

I’m feeling a bit verklempt listing my boy Masa Yoshida among the dynasty fallers. When the Red Sox signed Yoshi last winter, I was giddy. Who wouldn’t love having a high-contact, high-OBP bat in my beloved Red Sox lineup ahead of Raffy Devers and Trevor Story? Year one got off to a slow start after Yoshida was hitting just .213 by mid-April, mired in a repetitive cycle of rollovers to the second baseman. The 29-year-old outfielder made adjustments and became a valuable hitter in 2023. Yoshi hit .289 with 15 homers and eight steals. He had a 6% walk rate, which needs improvement, but a 15% strikeout rate was in the 93rd percentile. The remaining batted ball metrics were pretty meh. His barrel rate, hard-hit rate, average EV, and max EV were below league average, yet he produced a high average and decent power. 

Entering 2024, the belief was that Yoshida, considered a world-class hitter before his posting, would make even more adjustments and take the next step. While Yoshida hasn’t been terrible (.275, 2 HR) in his first 24 games, he has seemingly fallen out of favor in Boston. Yoshida was relegated to a DH-only role and had lost at-bats to guys like Reese McGuire and Pablo Reyes. Not great, Bob. Yoshida is currently on the IL with a left-hand injury, which may require season-ending surgery. If he does return in 2024, he’s not guaranteed regular at-bats, even in an anemic Red Sox lineup.

I’m unsure of the future for Yoshida, who is in the second year of his 5-year/$90M deal. The Red Sox have a crop of young, talented hitters coming to the Majors in short order, and since he cannot play the outfield, I’m not sure a high-average hitter with middling power will be in play. The Red Sox attempted to trade Yoshida this offseason but found no suitors, and I’d assume they’ll make an effort to move him ahead of the trade deadline this summer. For dynasty purposes, Yoshida is a fringy asset, especially as UTIL-only. While his batting average and lack of strikeouts make him an intriguing play in points formats, I’m not sure the power will be enough to warrant a keeper spot or even a roster position in shallow leagues. For my personal preference, this video of Yoshi dancing is the best part of his 2024.

Parker Meadows, DET

My most significant miss of the 2024 season is Tigers’ outfielder Parker Meadows. Meadows was a favorite of mine last season for the local Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, and I was excited to see him get an opportunity late in 2023. The 23-year-old played 37 games down the stretch for Detroit last season, hitting .237 with three homers and eight steals. Meadows showed an early ability to draw walks (11.7%), and his 90th-percentile sprint speed provided optimism for a significant contribution in stolen bases ahead of 2024. 

One of my bold predictions for 2024 was that Meadows would produce a 20-20 season but struggle to hit .250. I was half right. Meadows was optioned back to Triple-A on May 7th after slashing .089/.224/.219 with two homers, three steals, and a 37.6% strikeout rate in 32 games. His 74.1% zone contact rate is abysmal, and his expected stats support his struggles. Meadows was in the first percentile in xBA, xSLG, K%, and xWOBA, and among the worst in baseball in hard-hit rate, average EV, and Whiff%. Simply put, Parker Meadows struggled. 

Historically, Meadows has shown a propensity to run and hit for power, although his hit-tool hasn’t impressed. I like the contributions that Meadows provides as a fantasy asset, and I’m hopeful that a reset in the Minors will rejuvenate him. For the time being, Meadows has to take a significant dip in the rankings. If you can buy low and afford to be patient on a bounce back from Meadows, I’d encourage you to do so.

Honorable Mention:

Henry Davis, PIT: You probably were not expecting Davis on this report, but after 49 games played in the outfield last season, he has positional eligibility in all leagues. The former #1 overall pick has struggled mightily and was optioned to Triple-A on May 3rd. In 85 MLB games, Davis is slashing .162/.280/.206 with a 33.4% strikeout rate. It’s easy to understand why Davis would struggle. He transitioned full-time to the outfield last season but has subsequently moved back to catcher this year after an injury to Endy Rodríguez. Davis has the prospect pedigree and talent to right the ship, but I’m not sure when we’ll see him again in the Majors. Based on talent alone, Davis is worthy of a stash on your roster, although he is no longer prospect-eligible, which may put a damper on your roster construction.

Jordan Walker, STL: I’ve seen so many Jordan Walker/Jo Adell comparisons that it’s nauseating. Walker is 21 years old and should NOT be considered a bust. For the record, Adell shouldn’t be either. Walker was optioned to Triple-A for the second time in his career on April 24th, leaving the former top 5 prospect in limbo. Walker has been OK in the Majors, hitting .262 with 16 homers and seven steals. His performance has not matched the hype, which is where the comps to Adell come into play. If you’re paying attention, Adell is making strides this season, and I’m optimistic that Walker is far from finished. The Cardinals are really bad again this season, so I’d anticipate Walker getting another shot shortly.

Martin Sekulski

Martin is a Dynasty writer for PitcherList. He is a lifelong member of Red Sox Nation and attributes his love of baseball to his father, Marty. As a father and a husband, Martin now loves sharing his love of America's pastime with his family. You can find his work on Twitter and SubStack

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login