2017 Outlook: Make no mistake: Lucroy the Ranger, fantasy-wise, is not more valuable than Lucroy the Brewer. A heart-of-the-order, high-average/contact-oriented hitter while with the latter, the veteran catcher generally slotted sixth in the former's lineup following his July trade, diminishing the volume advantage he once had, and he traded some contact for more pop. This manifested more in points-based scoring, where his value shifted closer to that of Rotisserie: A contender for the No. 1 draft pick at his position, but probably wiser ranked second or third. Lucroy surely has more years like this to offer, but don't let the Rangers uniform fool you into paying a hefty premium.
2017 Outlook: In his first year with the Rays, Miller set all sorts of career bests: 30 home runs, 81 RBIs, .482 slugging percentage, .172 well-hit average. A slight adjustment to his stance -- he incorporated a leg kick -- helped, as he put more of a charge into the baseball, evidenced by a third consecutive season increasing his average fly-ball distance. Miller also, unfortunately, set a career high with his 24.8 percent strikeout rate, so with the added power came the price of a lower batting average. He'll probably regress somewhat after such a successful year, but this is a new Brad Miller, capable of .250-25 numbers and worthy of your mid-round pick.
2017 Outlook: Though Morales has hit at least 22 home runs with a .785 OPS in four of his past six seasons, he has taken a circuitous path to get there, injuries and half-season slumps sometimes hindering his appeal in fantasy leagues. Now the Blue Jays' replacement for consistent slugger Edwin Encarnacion, Morales' perceived value might take a bit of a hit in direct comparison to his predecessor. Make no mistake, however: Morales is an excellent fit for Rogers Centre, a much more homer-friendly environment than his former home, Kauffman Stadium, and his odds of a repeat of (or slightly improvement upon) his 2016 numbers remain excellent. He might, too, come at a relative bargain if your league's ownership is hesitant to "clog the DH spot" with a player like Morales, who qualifies only at DH initially, but he's well worth the middle-round pick in any format.
2017 Outlook: Martinez is adept with the bat as anyone in the game, best evidenced by his sporting the league's highest contact rate on pitches outside the strike zone, and the third-best rate on all pitches, last season. However, his advancing age -- he's now 38 -- and injury history -- his latest setback was sports hernia surgery in October, though it's not expected to delay the start to his season -- are increasingly growing concerns, especially since they decrease any chance at in-season first-base eligibility. When at full strength, Martinez has top-75-overall Rotisserie, and top-50 in points leagues (thanks to his high contact rate), appeal. Simply be prepared for a handful of missed games due to injury, or an injury-influenced slump or two, or perhaps both.
2017 Outlook: The key stat from Gattis' 2016 was his games played at catcher: 55. His return to a part-time role there was a huge boon to his value, as his immense power is considerably more valuable compared to his catcher brethren than limited only to DH. Whether Gattis can repeat his 128 games played and 499 plate appearances, however, is the one lingering doubt about his 2017 fantasy potential, as the Astros brought in Brian McCann as their starting catcher during the winter. Expect Gattis to serve as a lesser-used backup backstop and perhaps the Astros' leader in starts at DH, and if he can reach those playing-time benchmarks, he'll stand an excellent chance at repeating his 2016 stat line. He has embraced a pull-happy, fly-ball approach, one that could make him slightly riskier in points leagues than Rotisserie, but in either format he's a top-five catcher candidate simply because 30 homers is so rare at the position.
2017 Outlook: As spring training dawned, Napoli was still in search of a team, a victim of the glut of first base-designated hitter types on the free-agent market. After a 2016 season during which he set career highs in games (150), plate appearances (645), home runs (34), RBIs (101), runs scored (92), however, he should manage to find a regular role somewhere before long. One of the best breaking-ball hitters in the game, Napoli's rebound year was fueled by greater selectivity at the plate as well as a return to the pull-oriented approach of his past. He's due for some regression -- his amount of playing time, especially -- after so many things broke right for him in 2016, but he's a more-than-adequate corner infield consideration in mixed leagues.
2017 Outlook: A notoriously free-swinging hitter, Perez swung a major league-leading 42 percent of the time at non-strikes in 2016, resulting in a massive boost to his strikeout rate (career-high 21.8 percent). Part of that was his seemingly deliberately shifting his launch angle, sacrificing batting average for more power, but it came at the expense of dropping his value by a few spots at his position in points leagues. As one of the game's best defensive catchers, Perez should continue to challenge for the games-played and plate-appearance leads at the position, plenty to assure him a top-10 fantasy finish there, but he's probably not a player destined for more growth in 2017.
2017 Outlook: Judging by his recent returns, Beltran hardly strikes you as a player set to turn 40 years old in April. Though he's no longer the base stealer he was during his younger years, he has averaged .271-21-70 numbers the past three seasons, a performance that looks better when you consider his having dealt with some injuries in 2014-15. Though Minute Maid Park won't afford him quite the ballpark benefit he enjoyed in either New York or Texas during that recent run, Beltran still resides on the positive side of that scale, and barring further injury setback, he's a strong bet to at least repeat those baseline numbers. He's a strong fourth or fifth mixed-league outfielder.
2017 Outlook: Moustakas' underlying numbers have been trending upwards annually since his arrival in the majors in 2011, but his 2016 was utterly ruined by extremely bad luck in the health department -- he suffered a left thumb fracture in a late-April game, resulting in a DL stint, then tore his right ACL when colliding with a teammate just five days after his return, ending his season. At the time, he was on pace to set a career-best contact rate, and coupling that with his newfound ability to hit to all fields, a return to -- or improvement upon -- his .284-22-82 stat line is well within his reach. Moustakas is one of the more intriguing corner-infield picks, and he's a possible top-10 candidate in points-based scoring if he's looking healthy this spring.
2017 Outlook: Rendered expendable by the Yankees' youth movement, McCann was traded to Houston this winter, where he'll return to his familiar catcher role after finishing 2016 as a pinstriped DH. The move carries some risk: He sported career-worsts in strikeout (20.1 percent) and contact rates (76.9 percent) in 2016, and had become an extreme pull hitter, perhaps influenced by Yankee Stadium's short right-field porch. McCann will need to address those skills weaknesses in order to fully rebound, and his declining performance against left-handed pitchers is another indicator of the aging curve, but he still provides enough pop to be a top-10 fantasy option at his position.
2017 Outlook: Recalled immediately after the All-Star break last season, Healy was a workhorse for the Athletics, appearing in all but one of 73 Athletics games. That gave him a volume advantage, evidenced by his tying for 22nd in total bases (141) and 23rd in hits (82) among all players during that span. Unfortunately, that might serve to artificially inflate Healy's perceived draft appeal, as he'll face competition for at-bats this year -- that mainly the result of Trevor Plouffe's arrival -- and he never shaped up as an elite performer in terms of batting average or power during his minor league career. Granted enough at-bats, Healy is a capable enough batsman to provide corner-infield value in a mixed-league context, though he's not worth more than a late-round pick. In points-based leagues, his modest walk rate makes him somewhat less attractive.
2017 Outlook: Mazara got off to a scorching start to his big-league career last summer, batting .318/.367/.495 in his first 50 games, but as opposing pitchers adapted to his weaknesses, particularly throwing him more breaking pitches, he struggled thereafter, slumping to .235/.292/.373 rates in his final 95 contests. In the process, he had the look of a clear platoon partner, struggling mightily against left-handers. Mazara's raw power potential is immense, and he's a potential dynasty building block, but he might spend much of 2017 working to improve these weaknesses. While he might be capable of a .270 batting average and/or 25 home runs, the contending Rangers can ill afford to wait through any prolonged struggles, so his downside is steep. Draft him as a late-round, fifth or bench outfielder in mixed leagues, though recognize that he has potential for more.
2017 Outlook: After a surprisingly good 2015, Vogt's numbers regressed to the mean last season; these were more representative of his true skill. Thanks to his penchant for walks, he's a much better choice in points-based leagues, where he's a top-10 catcher option, than Rotisserie, where he'd be a clear No. 2 option in two-catcher leagues. Vogt struggles against lefties, casting him an ideal platoon partner, and he has a two-year history of cooling as the season progresses, making him a player you might want to shop around mid-year.
2017 Outlook: Granted a fresh opportunity with a team with less competition for at-bats, Soler could finally flash his mixed league-relevant fantasy potential as a member of the Royals, though do not overlook for a second that he traded a better hitters' environment in Wrigley Field for power-deflating Kauffman Stadium. Soler's high strikeout rate will make him a batting-average risk and leave him susceptible to streakiness, making him a stronger choice in full-season Rotisserie than head-to-head leagues, but at year's end he could get to the .260-25 numbers scouts were hoping for in either of the previous two years. He's well worth a look as your final mixed-league outfielder or a third/fourth in AL-only.