Max Kepler
Max Kepler
26-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension with the Twins in February of 2019. Contract includes an option for 2024.
Starting Game 1
OFMinnesota Twins
October 4, 2019
Kepler (shoulder) will start Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday against the Yankees.
ANALYSIS
Kepler is ready to go after battling a shoulder issue for much of September. He'll bat sixth as the center fielder Friday.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
103
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
1
1
14
4
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+13%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+83%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .706 467 46 16 66 0 .234 .303 .403
Since 2017vs Right .797 1308 199 59 151 11 .241 .330 .468
2019vs Left .880 163 21 9 36 0 .293 .356 .524
2019vs Right .845 433 77 27 54 1 .236 .328 .517
2018vs Left .745 167 18 5 18 0 .245 .323 .422
2018vs Right .720 444 62 15 40 4 .216 .318 .403
2017vs Left .453 137 7 2 12 0 .152 .213 .240
2017vs Right .828 431 60 17 57 6 .272 .343 .484
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+15%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+44%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+13%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .829 877 125 38 116 4 .259 .341 .488
Since 2017Away .719 898 120 37 101 7 .220 .304 .415
2019Home .841 291 45 17 46 0 .249 .323 .518
2019Away .868 305 53 19 44 1 .255 .348 .521
2018Home .864 297 47 12 36 1 .265 .370 .494
2018Away .600 314 33 8 22 3 .186 .271 .330
2017Home .782 289 33 9 34 3 .264 .330 .452
2017Away .690 279 34 10 35 3 .220 .294 .396
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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.
BB/K
0.61
 
BB Rate
10.1%
 
K Rate
16.6%
 
BABIP
.244
 
ISO
.267
 
AVG
.252
 
OBP
.336
 
SLG
.519
 
OPS
.855
 
wOBA
.370
 
Exit Velocity
89.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
42.4%
 
Barrels/PA
6.1%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Max Kepler
Postseason Cheatsheet
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12 days ago
12 days ago
Jeff Erickson's quick postseason ranks.
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21 days ago
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24 days ago
Jose Berrios has 43 or more FanDuel points in three of his last four, and has a stable floor.
DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Picks
27 days ago
Christopher Olson suggests looking at an Orioles stack Wednesday against Clay Buchholz and the Jays.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Monday Picks
29 days ago
Mike Barner is plugging in a Rockies stack against the Mets as part of a seven-game slate Monday.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
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
Active for ALDS
OFMinnesota Twins
Shoulder
October 4, 2019
Kepler (shoulder) is on the Twins' ALDS roster.
ANALYSIS
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Not expected back until postseason
OFMinnesota Twins
Shoulder
September 27, 2019
Kepler (shoulder) isn't expected to play over the weekend but should return for Game 1 of the ALDS on Oct. 4, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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Going through workout
OFMinnesota Twins
Shoulder
September 24, 2019
Kepler (shoulder) is scheduled to go through an on-field workout Tuesday, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports.
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Still sitting Tuesday
OFMinnesota Twins
Shoulder
September 24, 2019
Kepler (shoulder) remains on the bench Tuesday against the Tigers.
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To increase swings
OFMinnesota Twins
Shoulder
September 22, 2019
Kepler (shoulder) will increase his swinging in the cage and begin hitting off of a high-velocity machine in the next few days,LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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