10 Important Stories From 08/12/20 Box Scores: Must Add Emerging Options, Youngsters Who Could Stumble & More

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With regular playing time Garrett Hampson continues to show his value, going 4-6 with 1 R (extending his hitting streak to four games). Bo Bichette filled the box score in a wild game, going 5-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R and 2 SB. Juan Soto beat up on the Mets, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) Has the time come to give up on Matthew Boyd…

In dynasty type formats the answer will be different, but in redraft formats? After yielding 7 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 4.2 IP he now owns a 10.24 ERA and 1.97 WHIP over 19.1 IP (4 ER or more in all four of his starts, including 7 ER in each of his last two). There was always risk with Boyd, most notably in terms of home runs as he’s now given up 5 HR (including 2 last night). He also isn’t striking out nearly as many batters as he did a year ago, though he did have 15 swinging strikes yesterday. Is that enough, though? There’s enough to think that a turnaround is coming (especially considering his .417 BABIP and 58.1% strand rate entering the day), so for most it’s more of a bench situation. In very shallow formats, the more dramatic cut option could be on the table.

2) How about Luke Weaver?  Time to move on…

Sure it came in Coors Field, but Weaver’s fourth start was another dud. Lasting 3.1 IP he allowed 4 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 3 as he yielded a pair of HR. He’s allowed 4+ ER in three of his four starts, but he’s failed to get past 4.0 innings in any start. With 22 H and 7 BB over 13.2 IP, it’s easy to say that he’s simply given up far too many baserunners. Sure there’s some “bad luck”, as he entered the day with a .407 BABIP and 56.03% strand rate, but opposing hitters had also been teeing off to the tune of a 65.6% Hard%. While that may not be real, don’t forget he had a 43.7% mark last season while home runs have been a major issue (7 HR allowed). Maybe he turns it around, but just how much? Will the Diamondbacks even give him a chance to? This one is an easy “ditch”.

3) Is this finally the Byron Buxton breakout…

Buxton went 3-5 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .298 with 5 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R and 1 SB. Of course, before we get overly excited just look at this type of plate discipline (entering the day):

  • SwStr% – 20.0%
  • O-Swing% – 54.8%

Those are abysmal numbers, and tell you that there’s little chance of him maintaining it moving forward. It’s been a nice start, but if he doesn’t improve his approach the production is going to plummet quickly.

4) Nate Pearson struggles against the Marlins…

While the Blue Jays were hitting 7 HR (including 2 HR from Travis Shaw, who went 2-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R), Pearson was struggling on the mound. Going 2.1 IP Pearson allowed 7 R (4 ER) on 5 H and 4 BB, striking out 1 as he simply wasn’t missing many bats (3 swinging strikes). This was by far his worst start, though he now owns a 5.11 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over 12.1 IP. Considering he entered the day with a .130 BABIP, it shouldn’t be shocking to see this type of start. He does bring strikeouts and control, in general, though home runs are likely going to be an issue (he’s allowed 2 HR thus far). The upside is there, but in his rookie season there are going to be a lot of highs and lows.

5) Will Clint Frazier finally seize an opportunity…

With Giancarlo Stanton on the IL and Aaron Judge banged up, this would appear to be Frazier’s chance to make an impact. In his return from the alternate site he was starting in RF, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. Of course we have to remember that he’s failed to take advantage in the past, though he was solid in the Majors last season (.267 with 12 HR over 246 PA). That said he also didn’t hit the ball overly hard (35.4% Hard%) and he also struggled with making consistent contact (13.3% SwStr%). Maybe he figures this out, and the upside is there that he’s worth grabbing just in case, but he’s simply not a guarantee.

6) Why is Zach Elfin suddenly a must add option…

Ultimately he allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 1 BB over 6.0 IP against the Orioles, while taking the loss, so why would he have grabbed our attention? Part of it was his 10 K, and then these underlying numbers only help to push that further:

  • Swinging Strikes – 19
  • Groundballs-to-Flyballs – 7-to-1

While a pair of home runs cost him, with those types of numbers that’s not a problem we’d expect him to face. Over his first two starts he’s suddenly become very sinker-centric (58.93%), and that helps to explain the spike in groundballs. Combining that with swings and misses has the potential to make him a must use option. In a short season, you want to grab him now so you don’t miss out.

7) How high is the ceiling for Andres Gimenez…

While players like Pete Alonso (3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R) and Michael Conforto (2-3, 2 RBI, 3 R) are going to get the attention, it’s Gimenez (1-5, 1 RBI, 1 SB) who could prove to be a difference maker. It will be interesting to see how the Mets continue to fit him into the lineup, once both Amed Rosario and Robinson Cano are healthy, but the soon to be 22-year old deserves the opportunity. While he may not be much of a source of power, he’s hitting .283 with 4 SB in 48 PA. With speed down across the game, there’s a lot of value there. We’d like to see a little bit better of an approach (37.3% O-Swing%) and start to draw more walks, so he can continuously tap into that speed, but that should come in time. He’s young and developing, but the upside is there.

8) Has Brandon Lowe arrived as a must own option…

He started in RF yesterday, before shifting to 2B, and went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R. Lowe is now hitting .302 with 4 HR, 13 RBI and 13 R (and he’s also added 6 doubles and 2 triples). He’s been hitting the ball hard (46.3% Hard%) and he didn’t enter the day with unmaintanable underlying metrics (.342 BABIP, 18.8% HR/FB), the question is going to be whether or not he can make continuous contact. He entered the day with a 16.4% SwStr% this season, and 18.4% over his MLB career. That’s something that can’t be overlooked and could ultimately limit his upside. That said, there’s also too much there to ignore.

9) Has Taijuan Walker re-emerged as a fantasy option…

Taking on the Rangers Walker allowed 1 R (0 earned) on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, though a bullpen implosion cost him an opportunity for a W. He’s shown flashes, with two excellent starts and two duds, though he owns a 4.05 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 20.0 IP. Despite the injuries and missed time his control has been solid (7 BB), but he hasn’t been missing many bats (7.0% SwStr% entering the day) and he hasn’t been generating enough groundballs (28.2% entering the day). Could he become an option? Perhaps, but he’s not one to trust yet.

10) Will Tony Gonsolin get consistent opportunities…

We all know the Dodgers have a slew of options, but you have to wonder if Gonsolin has earned himself an extended look in the rotation. Taking on the Padres he tossed 4.2 shutout innings, allowing 3 H and 1 BB while striking out 8. He generated 13 swinging strikes in this one, and that’s something that he has shown before (12.0% SwStr% in the Majors last season). Like with many his issues have been in terms of the risk of home runs, 41.2% groundball rate in the Majors, though he’s also generally been hit hard (47.9% Hard% entering the day) and that could just further exacerbate it. There’s upside, but also risk that can’t be ignored.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

11 COMMENTS

  1. Trade offer-My Acuna for Ozuna and Soler. Writs injuries have a way of limited hitters for a while but when Acuna’s healthy he’s super.

    What do you thing.

  2. NL 5 tiered Roto. League Counts Avg.; RBI; HR; SB; Can only add/drop if on IL. Have Garrett Cooper (D Tier) , he’s been a disaster so far, keep him and hope for best when he’s back. Could add Nimmo, Dominic Smith or Jesus Aguilar. What do you think? Thanks.

  3. Trust Eflin with two starts next week – at Boston and Atlanta? So far, it looks like he’ll be facing the fill in starters for either team, but Boston I guess could bump up Eovaldi.

    • Put it this way – who do you trust more? Eflin for the two starts above, or Jordan Montgomery at Home vs Boston (vs Godley) and then at NYM (vs Gsellman)?

      tx!

  4. Hello Professor,

    With Muncy struggling with his fractured left finger, is it time to move on in this sprint and add Lowe?

    Obviously you know what Lowe is doing again today.

    Thanks again for your thoughts

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