10 Important Stories from 07/16/19 Box Scores: Under-the-Radar Bats To Buy, Young Starters To Sell & Other To Buy & More

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For the second straight day Oscar Mercado filled the box score, going 1-2 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB (he now has 3 HR and 2 SB over the two games).  Lance Lynn stumbled, and it could be the start of a regression, allowing 5 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP against Arizona.  Matt Chapman furthered his breakout campaign, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 1 R.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Has Scott Kingery truly reached “breakout” status…
He homered for the second straight game (in a game that featured 8 HR), going 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R (he’s 4-9 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 4 R over the two games).  He’s now hitting .288 with 13 HR and 6 SB overall this season, and while he entered the day with a 50.0% Hard% is that a sustainable mark?  A regression there will bring a guarantee of a regression in his .362 BABIP, a mark he may not be able to maintain given his pull heavy approach (16.7% Oppo%).  Throw in a 15.0% SwStr% as well as an inability to draw walks (5.0%, though he did draw a walk yesterday) and why he won’t regress significantly?  There’s upside, but for the remainder of this season there’s likely more risk than potential reward.

2) Does Tyler Naquin belong on our radars…
He delivered his fourth straight two-hit game, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R.  Over this stretch he’s gone 8-15 with 2 HR (as well as 2 doubles), 6 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB (he’s 13-29 with 2 HR and 8 RBI in July) while he’s been making consistent contact (4 K vs. 2 BB).  His approach has been a question, entering the day with a 13.2% SwStr% and 40.5% O-Swing%, while he’s also struggled with popups (17.0%).  That said he’s been hitting the ball hard (42.5% Hard%), has been willing to use the entire field (25.4% Oppo%) and owns a believable 14.9% HR/FB.  He needs to refine the approach (even in July he entered with a 14.0% SwStr% and 42.2% O-Swing%) if he’s truly going to breakout, and he also may be a platoon player, so for now let’s proceed with caution.

3) Should Austin Voth’s strong start put him on our radars…
He allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  Of course it came against the Orioles, and he struggled to generate groundballs (5 groundballs vs. 8 fly balls) which included allowing a home run.  He was showing strikeouts (9.98 K/9) and control (2.20 BB/9) over 12 starts at Triple-A, though he also didn’t generate many groundballs there as well (39.9%).  Considering his 11.1% SwStr% at Triple-A it’s easy to have concerns about his strikeout rate, and his 9 swinging strikes yesterday helps to back that up.  While he’s got the potential to be utilized as a streaming option when the matchup justifies it (like yesterday), in most cases there’s far too much risk to consider utilizing him (and a good chance he doesn’t get many opportunities).

4) Andrew Cashner struggles in his Red Sox debut…
Taking on the Blue Jays he allowed 6 R (5 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 5.0 IP.  He was generating many swinging strikes (5) and got touched up for two home runs.  Is it really a surprise that he struggled, or is there any reason to believe that he’ll thrive in Boston?  He entered the day with a .256 BABIP, despite a 37.2% Hard%, while lacking an ability to generate strikeouts (6.17 K/9 courtesy of an 8.7% SwStr%).  We’ve said it before, but don’t be surprised to see more struggles like this to come.  It may have been a low cost acquisition, but it’s one that likely won’t pan out.  Don’t bother investing.

5) Should fantasy owners be buying Jordan Yamamoto…
While Logan Allen was imploding in Miami (7 ER on 7 H and 3 BB over 2.1 IP), including a home run to Garrett Cooper (2-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R), Yamamoto earned the W while allowing 3 R (2 earned) on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP.  He improved to 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 34.0 IP and hasn’t allowed more than 2 ER in any of his appearances.  While he has been getting strikeouts (34 K) you have to wonder if it’s a number he can maintain as he entered with a 9.2% SwStr% and 29.4% O-Swing% (he only generated 7 swinging strikes yesterday).  Throw in a complete lack of control (17 BB) and not nearly enough groundballs (35.4%) and what are we buying?  He presented himself better at Double-A prior to the recall (8.82 K/9, 3.44 BB/9, 45.6% groundball rate), but it was a big leap and seeing the struggles should not come as a surprise.

6) Alex Young shines again, so are we buying now…
He earned himself another start, after firing 6.0 no hit innings against the Rockies in his previous outing, and he likely has entrenched himself in the rotation for now after allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 5.1 IP against the Rangers.  Even more impressive than the surface numbers are the ones behind the scenes, as he had 15 swinging strikes while generating 8 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls.  He split time starting and relieving at Triple-A prior to his recall, but he was showing strikeouts (10.54 K/9) and groundballs (51.3%) and has generally had solid control coming up through the minors.  The groundball rate is the question, but if he can continue showing what he did yesterday the results will be strong.  For now he’s more of a streaming option, but in deeper formats there’s enough reason to gamble on him.

7) Will the Braves move on to the next young starter soon…
Bryse Wilson struggled against the Brewers, while Brandon Woodruff thrived (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 7 K), as he allowed 4 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 1, over 4.0 IP.  The big blow against him came from Keston Hiura (3-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R), and overall he’s allowed 4 HR over 18.2 IP in his four appearances in the Majors this season.  That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering he entered the day with a 34.1% groundball rate (41.7% at Triple-A this season), and while there’s the potential for strikeouts and control the home run issues are going to continue to hang over him.  Given the depth that the Braves have it wouldn’t be surprising to see them move on to the next option to try and fill the hole at the back of their rotation (and there also is the chance that they go out and make an acquisition).

8) Is there any reason to trust Dylan Cease moving forward…
You would’ve thought that he could deliver a strong start against the Royals, but he instead struggled allowing 6 R (4 earned) on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP (while Glen Sparkman surprisingly tossed a complete game shutout, striking out 8 vs. 1 BB).  In his two starts in the Majors Cease owns a 5.73 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, as he’s allowed 12 H (including 2 HR) and 5 BB over his 11.0 IP.  He has been generating an ample number of swinging strikes (25), and while he struggled to generate groundballs in his first start it was the complete opposite yesterday (8 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls).  Control was the biggest issue upon reaching the Majors (4.21 BB/9 in the minors), and that’s been a little bit of an issue.  However with the strikeouts and the seemingly improved groundball stuff (54.9% in the minors) now isn’t the time to push the panic button.  There will be highs and lows, but the upside remains.

9) Has Jack Flaherty finally turned the corner…
He settled for a no decision as he was in a pitchers duel with Dario Agrazal (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 0 K), but that doesn’t detract from Flaherty’s performance.  He allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 IP and has allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 4 BB, striking out 14, over his past two starts (14.0 IP).  While his ERA stands at 4.41, his 1.20 WHIP gives the sense of more promise.  That’s further aided by his 115 K vs. 35 BB, with the big question being whether or not he can start limiting the home runs.  He entered the day with a 1.86 HR/9 courtesy of a 36.3% groundball rate and 40.0% Hard%, and while he kept the ball in the ballpark yesterday it’s not likely he’s going to disappear (6 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls).  All he needs to do is keep it in the realm of last year’s 1.19 HR/9 to succeed and while there may be some bumps stick with him.

10) Is Mike Yastrzemski worth the under-the-radar addition…
Sure he was playing in Coors Field, but he delivered a strong performance going 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  He’s now homered in two of his past three games and is hitting .252 with 7 HR and 24 RBI in 143 AB in the Majors.  While he still may be part of a platoon, he is hitting .310 with 2 HR over 29 AB against southpaws so he may get more opportunities there.  That said he entered the day with a 28.0% strikeout rate, which is a red flag, though an 11.4% SwStr% entering the day isn’t as bad as it could be.  Couple that with a 39.2% Hard% and potential to continue producing some power (he had 12 HR in 136 AB prior to his recall) and there is obvious value.  At the very least he’s well worth utilizing while he’s going well.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

4 COMMENTS

  1. Keeper 5×5 league – been offered Corey Seager for Clayton Kershaw. I am leaning towards taking the deal given the keeper component. Thoughts?

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