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2/20/1985 (32 y, 1 d)
2003 June Amateur Draft - Round: 2, Pick: 15, Overall: 52, Team: Chicago White Sox
$0.8M / 1 Years (2016)
Sweeney was released on Friday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Phil Miller reports. (3/25/2016)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Splitting his time between center and right field, Sweeney crossed the 500 plate appearance threshold for the first time in his big league career. The lanky lefty-handed hitter's 2009 campaign was awfully similar to his work the previous year, as his .330 wOBA was two points higher than his 2008 mark. Sweeney improved his modest power output ever so slightly, as his ISO climbed from .096 in '08 to .114 this past year. He rarely whiffed when taking a swing at a pitch within the strike zone, with a Z-Contact rate of 93%. That was 3% points higher than in 2008, and helped lower his strikeout rate from 17% to 14%. Opposing pitchers challenged Sweeney with a fastball 64% of the time, one of the higher rates in the Majors. He was below average versus heaters, but put good swings on curveballs, sliders, and change-ups.
The Year Ahead:
Ever since Sweeney was a top prospect in the White Sox farm system, scouts have projected plus power out of his 6’4’’, 220 pound frame. Is it time to lower expectations on how often Sweeney will split the gaps or drive one over the fence? The 25-year-old has a career .103 ISO in the big leagues and a .114 ISO in the minors. If you want to take a glass-half-full approach, Sweeney did bat .319/.378/.463 in the second half, compared to .271/.320/.357 in the first half. He smacked more extra-base hits after the All-Star break (.144 ISO, compared to .086 prior to the break). But even that power production was below average for a corner outfielder. An excellent defensive player, Sweeney provides the A's plenty of value with his glove. That will keep him in the lineup. But from a fantasy perspective, his bat comes up short of playable. (David Golebiewski)
Ryan Sweeney is like many an Oakland Athletic position player. He is, overall, a solid asset on the baseball field, but his value comes primarily from his defense, which is of little value in fantasy except when it helps keeps a player in the lineup. Unfortunately for Sweeney, he’s clearly outside Oakland’s starting outfield depth now with David DeJesus, Coco Crisp and Josh Willingham in the fold. Sweeney could have offered some marginally good average, but he does not have much base-stealing ability or home-run power at all. That makes him a poor pick even in deep leagues unless your league has some sort of defensive metric. If he manages to get into the batting order, do not expect much out of it. (Matthew Carruth)
The Quick Opinion:
Ryan Sweeney is a good player, but a defensively minded fourth outfielder is about as worthless as you can get in a traditional 5x5 fantasy league.
Squeezed out of Oakland's starting outfield picture last season, Sweeney figures to regain a semi-regular spot in 2012 following his trade to the Red Sox. He's never provided much fantasy value as a defense-first outfielder, but he did manage to hit a solid .291 batting average in just shy of 1,300 plate appearances from 2008-2010 before dropping to .265 in part-time duty last year. Sweeney has hit just 14 homers (.107 isolated slugging percentage) and stolen just 17 bases in 472 career games, which is right in line with his Minor League track record (.114 ISO and 32 steals in 408 games). Still just 27 years old, Sweeney is just about to enter his peak years and could see a bit of a power spike going forward, especially with the move to Fenway, but we're still talking about what, maybe ten homers over a full season? Barring an unexpected power or speed spike, he'll only have fantasy value if he gets some luck and hits over .300 for most of the season. In that case, he's still a third or fourth outfielder on a typical fantasy squad. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
Sweeney figures to regain at least a platoon outfield job after being traded to the Red Sox, but with just a solid batting average and little power or speed, he's nothing more than a spare part in most leagues.
Ryan Sweeney is the classic case of a guy who has significantly more value in real life than fantasy circles. His offensive peripherals have been below-average the last few seasons and he's unlikely to see consistent at-bats in lineup slots conducive to racking up counting stats. What power and speed he has do not turn into home runs or stolen bases. Not useful. (
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Boston), Ryan Sweeney was a top prospect. His star has fallen in recent years, however, and last April he signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs. In a modest revival of that career, he found himself starting 41 games in center field. This season he figures to form a platoon with new Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who should be in the lineup in against lefties. Against right-handers, Sweeney will probably earn the lion’s share of the playing time. He has a career .750 OPS against right-handed pitching, and even performed well against lefties last year. He may not be the five-category stud once envisioned, but he does walk, and make contact, and hit for a small bit of power. (
The Quick Opinion:
Sweeney signed a minor league deal with the Cubs in 2013, and started 41 games in center field. He figures to split time there again in 2014 with new Cub Justin Ruggiano, and against right-handed pitching should perform along the lines of his career .750 OPS platoon split.
Sweeney has played well enough in his first two seasons in Chicago to warrant a third go-around as a Cubs' bench bat and reserve outfielder. He really does not steal many bases or hit many homers, and his solid OBP has been on a lower tier since his departure from Oakland in 2011. The addition of Chris Denorfia will probably eat away at his already slim 200 plate appearance allotment from the past two seasons. But if you really want a Cubs fifth outfielder on your roster, then sure, Sweeney is the best fifth outfielder they've got. Otherwise, his role -- both in fantasy sports and in the Cubs' scheme -- will be very small. (
The Quick Opinion:
Sweeny had various shots to snare a starting job over the previous two seasons. Now, he figures to be a serviceable fifth outfielder for the Cubs, and therefore a non factor in the fantasy realm.
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Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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