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11/18/1975 (41 y, 4 m, 10 d)
$16M / 1 Years (2015) + 2 Option Years
Ortiz officially retired Tuesday, the Boston Globe reports. (11/16/2016)
Players' View: Farewell David Ortiz
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
Jose Fernandez Threw a Slow Fastball
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
2016's Biggest xISO Disparities
Alex Chamberlain (RotoGraphs)
David Ortiz and the Greatest Age-40 Season Ever
Matthew Kory (FanGraphs)
David Ortiz Has Refused to Decline
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Ortiz had another year of decline, posting his worst wOBA since 2001, .340. This is unacceptably low for a DH, as league average is .329. Once his DH penalty is added, he came up just above replacement level (WAR of 0.7 in 627 PAs). All of Ortiz’s peripherals are moving in the wrong direction: his 12% walk rate (still good) hit a five-year low, his 25% strikeout rate was at a 12-year low, and the .224 ISO was a 10-year low. The strikeouts and a drop in BABIP took his batting average down to .238 (a nine-year low). He still did hit 28 homers and, batting in the middle of a good Boston lineup, he got 77 runs and 99 RBI. Also on a positive note, he performed better in the second half than the first.
The Year Ahead:
Ortiz is with a doubt in the decline phase of his career. He is entering his age-34 season, he has a body-type that usually does not age well, and most of his peripherals have been moving in the wrong direction for a number of years. That does not mean that he has to be worse next year; some of 2009’s problems might have been bad luck. The question, though, is how much of 2009’s poor production was a real drop in true talent and how much was bad luck? It is not unreasonable to project a slight bounceback to around .275/30/80/100. On the other hand, he could continue to drop and post numbers worse than 2009. If your UTILITY spot is still open in the mid-to-late rounds, he is worth a flier because he can probably still contribute in homers and RBI. His value increases slightly in walk/OBP leagues. (Dave Allen)
Pundits have been predicting the demise of David Ortiz for a few years now, and in each of the last two Aprils he's made it look like his number was finally up. The one they call Big Papi rebounded each time, though, finishing 2010 with a .270 AVG, 32 homers, and 102 RBI. A weighted 5-4-3 projection has him at a .361 wOBA and damn near 30 homers again in 2011. Even if we dock him a bit and call it a .345 wOBA and 23-25 homers going forward, you'd still be hard pressed to find more productive hitters at his average draft position, which in some leagues is a double-digit round. The biggest issue is that Ortiz is a non-factor against lefties (.268 wOBA vs. LHP in 2010) in a division full of quality southpaws, so you can't leave him in there day after day. Fantasy players will be skeptical of Ortiz's early season slumps and for good reason, but count on Papi coming back strong once again to have a big year before his contract expires. He's got the potential to be a nice late-round steal if too many people shy away in the middle rounds. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
Another slow start will have owners wondering if this is the year Ortiz crumbles, but there's still enough pop in his bat that 20+ HR and 80+ RBI are a realistic expectation. Just don't start him against a lefty.
If David Ortiz could dedicate his 2011 season to anybody, it would be to the haters, those that thought -- even for one second -- that he might be finished. After a slow start in April last season, Ortiz exploded, and finished with 4.2 WAR, the highest he’d registered since 2007. His power stroke still intact, Ortiz remains one of the more dangerous, patient, and feared hitters in the American League. Thank to a .321 bating average on balls in play, and a strikeout rate well below his career average, Ortiz finished the season a .300 or better hitter, something he’d done three times before with the Red Sox. And, in a complete reversal of his career, in 2011 Ortiz owned left-handed pitching, hitting an impressive .329/.423/.566 against southpaws. After accepting Boston’s offer of salary arbitration for 2012, Ortiz’s power numbers alone make him worthy of your fantasy consideration. Big Papi’s got some good baseball left in him yet. (Navin Vaswani)
The Quick Opinion:
Ortiz put up impressive fantasy numbers last season, and while he’s 36 years old and not getting any younger, at least 25 to 30 home runs and 85 to 95 RBI are never out of the question for the DH slugger while playing in Fenway Park, in that Boston lineup. A draftable commodity in any league.
Ortiz posted a career-high 175 wRC+ in 2007, but had not posted a mark of 160 or better in any other season until 2012. Last season, Ortiz's 169 wRC+ was bested only by Joey Votto among players who tallied at least 350 plate appearances. One of the reasons for the increased performance was that Ortiz continued to cut his strikeout rate, and posted a higher walk rate than K% for the first time since 2007. He also posted a .290 or better isolated slugging percentage for the first time since ... wait for it ... 2007. Alas, his season was ended by a right Achilles injury that may not have been handled in the best way, as the Olde Towne Team was eager to get him back in the lineup so that he could help save the season from the disaster that it ultimately was. That didn't happen, and if the injury lingers into the spring, you might just consider it Bobby Valentine's final present to the team. But assuming Ortiz is healthy, he might just post his first season with a .300 or better, 30 homer campaign since, you guessed it, 2007. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
Ortiz proved that he wasn't ready to fade away into the sunset just yet, as he put up a banner campaign before a right Achilles injury dashed his season. If healthy, expect another big season from Big Papi.
Ortiz continued to turn back the clock (or at least keep it from moving forward) in 2013, swatting 30 homers while driving in over 100 runs for the first time since 2010. His three-year running weighted offense numbers now only trail Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout among American League sluggers. Not bad company for the soon-to-be 38-year-old to be in. He has continued to maintain gains in strikeout rate that he first picked up in 2011, and that, coupled with a consistent 12-15% walk rate has kept his on-base percentage up near the .400 mark. Certainly a nice present for those in roto leagues that have swapped out batting average. This late in his career, regression is always a major concern, but Ortiz should still be a nice gamble after the first 60-70 picks come off the board, especially since his batting eye should cushion his inevitable slide (whether that comes next year or in 2018). One note, even with the new interleague rules, Ortiz only started six games at first base. Unless you play in a league with lax eligibility rules, Boston's DH will once again be UTIL-only to start 2014. (
The Quick Opinion:
Father Time was turned away again in 2013 for David Ortiz. While age will continue to be a concern going forward, his excellent walk and strikeout rates should help cushion his inevitable power fall, making him a decent utility guy if he falls out of the first four or five rounds in standard mixed leagues.
On the heels of a ridiculous 2013 postseason, the "David Ortiz is finished" columns may have been at their lowest point in years headed into 2014. And Big Papi continued to hit the ball, posting his 14th consecutive season with an isolated slugging percentage north of .200 (technically, all seasons have been north of .224). One might see the 40-point drop in batting average and say "regression!" although given that both his walk and strikeout rates remained within 1% of his 2013 marks, the regression in batting average on balls in play seems to be the most likely culprit there. Ortiz's swing and contact rates seem in line with what they have been in previous years, implying he's not chasing and/or swinging through more pitches as he approaches "over the hill" status. "Over the hill" in real years, not baseball, obviously. There are some negatives like a downturn in line drive rate and the fact that
he is grounding out into shifts with more regularity
, but it remains tough to write the big guy off. You always have to bake the potential for a "fall off the cliff" type season once a slugger gets into his mid-to-late thirties, but Ortiz should still provide some value in the middle rounds. He'll get a bump up if your league gives him first base eligibility based on his five starts there last year. (Colin Zarzycki)
The Quick Opinion:
David Ortiz continues to beat Grimmy down with something that he is getting from the Prescott Group. Boston's ageless slugger saw his slash line fall due to batted ball luck regression, but most other peripherals are roughly in line with previous years. It's more likely he'll decline than not, but there are few signs pointing to this being the year he finally is toast. Draft him if you need power/on-base help if he falls far enough.
For the past 13 seasons, David Ortiz has hit a minimum of 23 home runs. In nine of those 13 seasons -- including the last three -- he has hit at least 30. Simply put, David Ortiz is very good at consistently hitting a lot of home runs. That isn't likely to change in his final campaign of 2016. There were plenty of whispers about whether he was done in the early going last year, but he wasn't actually that bad -- league average offense, when you're rocking a .231 batting average on balls in play, really isn't too shabby. That is especially true of Ortiz, who is one of the most shifted against hitters in all of baseball. When his BABIP reverted back to his career average of .299, his performance improved dramatically. The projections expect much of the same this year. They're a bit lower than normal, but that is to be expected, because there aren't a lot of good 40-year-old performances out there to compare to. What Ortiz is doing is quietly remarkable. Last season, he and Alex Rodriguez became just the sixth and seventh players in big league history to hit 30 or more homers in their age-39 season. Only Barry Bonds (2004) and Hank Aaron (1973) hit more homers in their age-39 seasons than did Ortiz last year. Ortiz's batting eye has never waned, and he isn't especially vulnerable to any one pitch. In fact, last year he tallied the best performance of his career against changeups, and on a rate basis that performance was fifth-best in the majors among qualified hitters. David Ortiz is 40 now, and it seems like he shouldn't be hitting this well anymore, but he is, so don't doubt it for a second. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
Since David Ortiz has announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2016 season, you might not want to draft him in dynasty formats, but if you don't mind that part of it, don't hesitate to draft him -- Big Papi has still got it.
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Updated: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:35 AM ET
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