Undervalued OBP Targets – Week 12

We examine some undervalued OBP targets for week 12 and inspect the BB% leaders over the last 30 days.

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

In the last rendition of Undervalued OBP Targets, I expertly brought attention to one Isiah Kiner-Falefa. With a .707 OPS in May and a paltry .544 OPS in June, it’s safe to say that ship has sailed (err… crashed into a reef). Bleh, this humble pie is so bitter! 

But, like all hitters after a Golden Sombrero, I’m back for redemption.

This week, the target of our focus is Twins outfielder Max Kepler – an athletic, lanky 25-year-old from Berlin, Germany.

We’re all familiar with Schadenfreude, which is pleasure derived from another’s misfortune – aka the thing Max experienced, mildly, when the Twins demoted struggling slugger Miguel Sano to Single-A (this sentiment has not been confirmed, but humor me here).

What you may not be familiar with is the German term Kummerspeck, which means “grief bacon”.

First, I am ashamed to hail from a country in which there is not a term that means “grief bacon”. What are we doing here, America!?

I also experience tremendous Kummerspeck when glancing at Max Kepler’s righty/lefty splits. Max has a beastly .949 OPS in 74 plate appearances versus lefties, and a feeble .634 in 186 plate appearances versus righties.

In other words, Kepler’s results versus righties have left him feeling intense Fremdschamen (exterior shame). Against righties, Kepler performs like a bit of a Weichei (a derogatory term that translates to “soft egg”). However, against southpaws, Kepler possesses a tremendous amount of Sitzfleisch – which translates roughly to “seat meat”, and denotes an ability to persist or succeed in the face of a challenge (facing Major League lefties!). Max is a ballplayer with an oddly German (yet strangely beautiful) swing, and while he has struggled so far in June (.364 OPS), his Walk Rate has actually increased and now sits at a comfy 12.3%, which glistens next to his palatable 15.8% Strikeout Rate. Additionally, Kepler is rocking a low .244 BABIP, which is sure to rebound, especially given his 71 balls hit at 95+ MPH (more than Andrew Benintendi, Buster Posey, Yoan Moncada, and Carlos Correa.) Kepler isn’t a burgeoning superstar by any means, but the peripherals are in place for him to find success. His current .405 Slugging Percentage isn’t winning any hearts, but in a deep league with OBP, you can do worse than Max Kepler – especially if you current outfield situation is a Kuddelmuddel (unstructured mess).

Are you ready for some trivia?

Who am I?

I lead the Majors in Walk Rate over the last 30 days (24.6%)

I am a former Seattle Mariner.

I currently own a 45:70 Walk-to-K ratio.

My statistical mantlepiece includes three 20-20 seasons.

My team resides in the largest metropolitan area not located on a body of water.

Despite being scorching hot in the summer, my team’s city has birthed famous frozen things: the frozen margarita machine and hip-hop superstar Vanilla Ice.

Despite twice finishing top-15 in MVP voting, I have never made an all-star game.

I have a stellar career .379 OBP, five notches below my current .383 mark.

I was named MVP and Best Pitcher of the WBSC U-18 World Cup, which my country won.

In April of 2014, my walkup song was Gangnam Style. 

I have one teammate who is 45 years old, and one who is a Minor.

Who am I?

[Scroll down to view answer]


Ahh, well done, reader.

You are right, it is Texas Rangers outfielder/DH Shin-Soo Choo, who has been on a tear in June, slashing .326/.466/.609 after turning things around in May with a .290/.418/.450 line. Additionally, Choo has walked as much as he has struck out this month, proving that even at age 35, he still provides stretches of high-end OBP-league production. Choo’s .387 BABIP in June should be noted, but his elite 20.7% Walk Rate suggests he isn’t just getting lucky, but is seeing the ball extremely well. The Rangers upcoming schedule includes the Rockies, Royals, Twins, Padres, and White Sox, in that order – then a quick two-game series against the Astros in early July, before they head to Detroit for another unimposing matchup. If Choo’s production has gone unnoticed in your OBP league, it’s a great time to hop aboard the Shin-Soo train. Choo Choo!!!


OBP leaders (last 30 days) owned in fewer than 40% of leagues 

[overall ranking on the left]

1. Shin-Soo Choo (Texas) – .492 OBP73% owned

20. Jon Jay (Arizona) – .397 OBP – 22% owned

22. Scott Schebler (Cincinnati) – .396 OBP – 23% owned

24. Tony Kemp (Houston) – .393 OBP – 2% owned

32. Derek Dietrich (Miami) – .387 OBP – 21% owned


BB% leaders (last 30 days) owned in fewer than 40% of leagues

9. Jarrod Dyson (Arizona) – 16.7% Walk Rate – 2% owned

14. Max Kepler (Minnesota) – 15.5% Walk Rate – 43% owned

24. Logan Morrison (Minnesota) – 13.6% Walk Rate – 8% owned

25. Jesse Winker (Cincinnati) – 13.6% Walk Rate – 4% owned

28. Johan Camargo (Atlanta) – 13% Walk Rate – 3% owned


Tim Acree

A former Little League all-star, Tim Acree peaked at age 9. Now in the twilight of his life at 28, Tim enjoys laying low with his two cats while listening to podcasts. Sometimes he holds his laptop up to the mirror to see what players would look like from the opposite side. Tim worries that his obsession with baseball prevents him from doing other meaningful things, but the heart wants what it wants. When Tim is not professing his adoration for Trea Turner he teaches at an elementary school near Yosemite. He also wrote this in the third person and it's making him uncomfortable.

3 responses to “Undervalued OBP Targets – Week 12”

  1. Juan Pierre says:

    Choo has not spent his entire career in the AL, as he was a Cincinnati Red.

  2. www.resume-service.org/ says:

    This is one of the most interesting posts I’ve ever read. It’s coherent, detailed and well-composed, and it is just a real pleasure to look through its insane content.

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