Yuli Gurriel
Yuli Gurriel
35-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Houston Astros
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Gurriel set a new personal best in homers, clubbing 31, the same number he totaled the previous two seasons combined. Of all batters hitting at least 30 home runs, Gurriel's average flyball distance was the shortest. While average flyball distance correlates better to homers than average homer run distance, it's worth noting that Gurriel's average home run distance was second shortest to teammate Alex Bregman, both taking advantage of the ball and the Crawford boxes. Otherwise, it was business as usual, though Gurriel also set career bests in games and plate appearances. Unless the Astros decide to transition an outfielder to first, Gurriel should again be the primary first baseman while retaining dual eligibility at the hot corner. Beware, there's usually someone at the table influenced by recency bias and Gurriel is already a risk to drop back if the ball is closer to the 2018 version. Don't overpay. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $8.3 million contract with the Astros in November of 2019.
Slow spring start
1BHouston Astros
March 7, 2020
Gurriel went 0-for-3 in Friday's spring game against the Mets and is 2-for-17 (.118) through seven Grapefruit League appearances.
ANALYSIS
Gurriel busted out with 31 home runs in 2019, as he improved his flyball, hard-hit and launch-angle rates. His .243 ISO last season stands out as an outlier, so he could return to normal in 2020, his age-36 season. He'll continue to be the primary first baseman with eligibility at third while playing in a hitter-friendly park for half the season.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
14
26
42
16
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
4
25
11
3
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+4%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+28%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+24%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .798 507 68 17 72 6 .275 .331 .467
Since 2017vs Right .827 1242 156 45 192 7 .304 .333 .494
2019vs Left .803 177 23 7 23 2 .241 .322 .481
2019vs Right .916 435 62 24 81 3 .320 .352 .564
2018vs Left .889 170 30 7 31 3 .331 .371 .519
2018vs Right .693 403 40 6 54 2 .273 .303 .390
2017vs Left .695 160 15 3 18 1 .252 .300 .395
2017vs Right .865 404 54 15 57 2 .317 .344 .521
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+8%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+19%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+15%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+6%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .853 843 117 37 148 5 .296 .336 .517
Since 2017Away .787 906 107 25 116 8 .296 .330 .457
2019Home .966 279 48 19 62 2 .311 .351 .615
2019Away .815 333 37 12 42 3 .287 .336 .479
2018Home .802 294 39 10 53 2 .292 .333 .469
2018Away .699 279 31 3 32 3 .289 .312 .387
2017Home .793 270 30 8 33 1 .285 .322 .470
2017Away .840 294 39 10 42 2 .312 .340 .500
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Stat Review
How does Yuli Gurriel 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
0.57
 
BB Rate
6.0%
 
K Rate
10.6%
 
BABIP
.289
 
ISO
.243
 
AVG
.298
 
OBP
.343
 
SLG
.541
 
OPS
.884
 
wOBA
.379
 
Exit Velocity
89.2 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
38.6%
 
Barrels/PA
2.6%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2012
2011
2010
2008
2007
2006
2005
The numbers may not jump off the page, but Gurriel had a fine season for fantasy purposes, finishing as a top-20 first baseman ahead of the likes of Joey Votto and Eric Hosmer. His defensive metrics were not exactly glowing, but his ability to at least hold his own around the infield gave the Astros some flexibility during absences of top stars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. He posted an 11.0% K-rate, which was an exact copy of his 2017 mark -- he did that despite a significant uptick in his O-Swing%. Gurriel improved dramatically against opposite-handed pitching, hitting .331/.371/.519 against lefties, up from .252/.300/.395 in 2017. He experienced a decline against right-handed pitching and an overall dip in power, but as he approaches his 35th birthday, Gurriel still has a solid foundation of skills. It seems like a decent bet that Gurriel, now third-base eligible, will clear 500 plate appearances again for Houston.
Gurriel fared well in his first opportunity to play regularly in the big leagues and he has the Astros' first-base gig locked down, but a hand injury and suspension will delay him to start 2018. The right-handed batter showcased above-average contact skills last year (84.2 percent contact rate, 11.0 strikeout rate), and a lot of it was quality contact (89.9 mph average exit velocity, 35.1 percent hard contact rate). Even with a measly 3.9 percent walk rate, he has an excellent batting-average floor, and there may even be a little room for growth if he figures out lefties (.252/.300/.395). Gurriel is no spring chicken, but this kind of offensive skill set yields bankable production and typically ages well. The lineup around him is so good to where his run and RBI totals should be fine even if he remains mostly confined to the bottom third of the batting order.
2016 was a whirlwind for Gurriel that began with him defecting from Cuba after the Caribbean World Series in February. By June, MLB had determined he was a free agent and by July, the Astros signed the 32-year-old to a five-year, $47.5 million deal. That is a significant chunk of money to spend on someone past their statistical prime years, but given the status of the current free agent market, it comes across as a bargain. He spent a week at multiple minor league levels before coming up to stay with Houston. Gurriel made quite a bit of contact having barely been exposed to major league pitching, but put up numbers that we associate with a reserve middle infielder. It is easier to project him hitting .290 than it is to say he will hit 20 homers.
One of the most celebrated Cuban baseball players in recent years, Gurriel is already 32 years old so he is likely past his peak. Still, he's thought to be quickly ready for the majors after signing with the Astros in July after defecting from Cuba in February.
Gourriel is regarded as Cuba's top baseball player and perhaps the top player in the world not playing in MLB or Japan. The third baseman made a strong impression in the 2009 WBC with two home runs. He's a player to grab in keeper leagues that allow international players, but he's given no hint he intends to defect.
Gourriel is regarded as Cuba's top baseball player and perhaps the top player in the world not playing in MLB or Japan. The third baseman made a strong impression in the 2009 WBC with two home runs. He's a player to grab in keeper leagues that allow international players, but he's given no hint he intends to defect.
Gourriel is regarded as Cuba's top baseball player and perhaps the top player in the world not playing in MLB or Japan. The third baseman made a strong impression in the 2009 WBC with two home runs. He's a player to grab in keeper leagues that allow international players.
Gourriel, Cuba's revelation of the 2006 World Baseball Classic, had another strong season in 2007. In the Cuban Serie Nacional, Gourriel hit .345/.427/.503 with eight home runs and a league-leading 28 doubles in 89 games, with an incredible 23:50 K:BB ratio in 348 at-bats. In major tournament play (the Pan-Am Games and World Cup) for the Cuban national team, Gourriel hit .276 (16-for-58) with four homers in 15 games. Gourriel, still just 23, will play for Cuba at the 2008 Olympics as well as WBC II in 2009, and we can always hope for that change in the political climate that would allow this talented player to join an MLB team. In dynasty leagues, he's well worth stashing away.
Gourriel proved at the WBC that he's one of the best ballplayers on the planet, leading Cuba to the title game and making the all-tourney team in the process. If there's ever a real change in the political situation in Cuba, the 22-year-old infielder will be swarmed by agents and MLB brass immediately. Gourriel hit .347 (43-for-124) with seven homers in 34 games for Cuba last year (including Olympic qualifying and the WBC), and also led the Cuban Serie Nacional with 27 HR and 92 RBI -- great marks for a 90-game season. He even added 21 steals. He should be rostered in any serious dynasty league, because you just never know when he'll be available to MLB teams.
Gourriel hit eight homers in just 11 games at the World Cup in September and hit a resounding .319/.385/.894 to lead Cuba to the title. Although he's started at second base for Cuba in the past, Gourriel plays third base and bats cleanup in Cuba's lineup. Standard caveats about the reported age of Cuban players apply, but even if Gourriel might be a little bit older than his state-reported age of 21, he'd be one heck of a prospect if he ever became available to MLB teams.
Note: first name spelled "Yulieski" by some media sources.
More Fantasy News
Agrees to new contract
1BHouston Astros
November 18, 2019
Gurriel signed a one-year, $8.3 million contract with the Astros on Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
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Takes seat
1BHouston Astros
September 26, 2019
Gurriel isn't in the starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Angels, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Set for day off
1BHouston Astros
September 25, 2019
Gurriel is expected to be out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the Angels, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Returns to lineup
1BHouston Astros
September 21, 2019
Gurriel (illness) is back in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Angels, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Scratched with illness
1BHouston Astros
Illness
September 20, 2019
Gurriel was scratched from Friday's lineup against the Angels due to a stomach illness, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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