Fantasy Baseball: 5 Top-Tier Hitters to Avoid

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Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers


Positional Rank: 4

Draft Round (12-team league): 1st

How on earth could the reigning NL MVP, who posted a monster 36 homers, 22 steals, and 118 RBIs, make this list?

There's no doubt that Christian Yelich was a beast a year ago, but there are some peculiar numbers sticking out, including his home-run-to-fly-ball (HR/FB) rate which make his pick at number seven overall a little tough to swallow.

After sporting a 21.6% HR/FB rate in the first half, Yelich posted marks of 50.0% in July, 44.0% in August, and 43.5% in September, good for a second-half split of 48.1%. That's just flat unsustainable and smashed Yelich's previous career-best of 23.6% in 2016.

Check out Yelich's season and the top-25 hitters in HR/FB%:

Christian Yelich 201823.50%35.00%
Top-25 35.46%23.36%

It appears as though the Milwaukee Brewers' outfielder may have gotten a little lucky, as he hit far fewer fly balls than the group but ended up with home runs at a far higher clip. He essentially hit 33% less fly balls but hit a home run 33% more of the time.

If we project a more reasonable home run total that coincides with the top of the league (THE BAT has him for 28, and Steamer has him for 27), coupled with a modest dip in average back to around the .300 mark, that's still a really good player, but could slide him out of the first round.