10 Important Stories From 09/03/20 Box Scores: Which Breakouts Are For Real & Which Are Sell Highs & More


Luis Robert continued his breakout rookie campaign, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R (.278 with 11 HR). Clayton Kershaw turned back the clock, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 8.

1) Is it time to pay attention to JT Brubaker…

Brubaker stymied the Cubs, allowing 2 R (1 ER) on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP to earn the W. He was a groundball machine, with 7 groundballs vs. 2 flyballs, though he entered the day with a 37.5% groundball rate over his first 20.0 IP. That said it is a strong skill of his, as he showed at Triple-A in ’18 (119.0 IP):

  • Strikeouts – 7.26 K/9
  • Control – 2.72 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 50.1%

He may never generate enough strikeouts to be a great option, but at the least he should have streaming value.

2) Has Martin Maldonado proven to be a viable option…

It was a big day for Maldonado, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. He’s now hitting .272 with 4 HR and 18 RBI, though of course he entered the day with a .370 BABIP and he’s had some strikeout issues (11.9% SwStr%). As a catcher there’s little chance that he maintains that type of BABIP, regardless of how hard he’s hitting the baseball. That’s not to say that he’s not going to remain a viable option, but he’s not going to be this good. Ride him while he’s smoking hot.

3) Is Zach Eflin a viable option or is he a non-factor…

Eflin was mediocre against the Nationals yesterday, allowing 4 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP. Considering he only generated 6 swinging strikes, while only getting 7 groundballs vs. 6 flyballs, it’s hard to get overly excited with the outing. While he does have a gaudy strikeout rate this season, his 9.6% SwStr% entering the day also doesn’t bring much excitement. That said he also entered the day with a .365 BABIP and 67.1% strand rate, while he also hadn’t been hit very hard (27.3% Hard%). While the strikeouts aren’t going to be elite, there is still value. Consider him worth owning as a backend option in all formats.

4) Could a walkoff home run spark Peter Alonso…

Alonso finished the day 1-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, but the home run came in the bottom of the tenth and sent the Mets home a winner. It’s been a rather disappointing sophomore season for Alonso, who’s hitting .209 with 8 HR and 22 RBI. He has at least now homered in back-to-back games and he entered the day with .241 BABIP despite a 40.0% Hard% and an improved 22.2% Oppo%. Considering his 19.4% HR/FB should improve, everything is pointing in the right direction. Don’t sleep on him, as there’s a good chance he can carry your squad over the next few weeks.

5) Andrew Heaney tosses a gem against the Padres…

Heaney outpitched Mike Clevinger (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 K) to improve to 3-2 with a 3.89 ERA. He needed 117 pitches to toss 7.0 shutout innings, allowing 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 6. It makes back-to-back gems for Heaney, after three straight duds. While it’s promising, there’s one huge black cloud hanging over him and that’s the risk of the long ball. He entered the day with a 34.3% groundball rate, yet just a 0.49 HR/9. Sooner or later that’s going to catch up with him, especially having entered the day with a 48.5% Hard%. He has implosion written all over him, and if you can still sell high it’s worth exploring.

6) Is the breakout of Teoscar Hernandez for real…

Hernandez helped send the Blue Jays to a victory, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R (with the home run coming in the 10th inning). Hernandez is now hitting .311 with 13 HR and 25 RBI and now owns a 15-game hitting streak. He entered the day with a .346 BABIP, which is very believable given his speed and 58.1% Hard%, though he could still regress a bit. It’s especially true when you consider his 14.2% SwStr% and 33.3% HR/FB, though just how far will things really fall? He’s hitting the ball hard and has shown power before. Maybe he can’t quite maintain this pace over the long haul, but 2020 isn’t very long.

7) Is Taijuan Walker truly living up to his potential…

His second start with the Blue Jays was nearly as impressive as the first, allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 5.2 IP though he settled for a no decision against the Blue Jays. Overall he’s made 7 starts this season, with a 3.26 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Of course before we get overly excited check out these “skills”:

  • Strikeouts – 7.68 K/9
  • Control – 2.79 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 38.4%

Throw in some significant luck (.236 BABIP, 82.5% strand rate) as well as matchups with the Rays and Yankees, and it’s clear that disaster is coming.

8) Has Tim Anderson proven that 2019 was no aberration…

We’ve long heard the hype, but we were still skeptical despite hitting .335 with 18 HR a year ago. After going 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday he’s now hitting .347 with 7 HR over 118 AB. So does this prove that last year was the real Anderson? Not quite, as you have to wonder if his performance is much more believable:

  • vs. RHP – .284 with 1 HR in 81 AB
  • vs. LHP – .486 with 6 HR in 37 AB

So against southpaws he’s benefited from a .480 BABIP and 50.0% HR/FB. Things are going to spiral, sooner or later, so sell now if you can.

9) Is this Edward Olivares’ opportunity to shine…

Acquired as part of the Trevor Rosenthal trade, Olivares made his debut for the Royals and went 2-5 with 2 R while playing CF. As we said at the time of the deal there are ample ways for the team to fit Olivares into the lineup and they chose moving Hunter Dozier to first base yesterday (they could also sit Alex Gordon or use Whit Merrifield at 2B). Let’s keep in mind that at Double-A last year he hit .283 with 18 HR and 35 SB last season and has the potential to make an impact this season. In deeper formats, make a move now.

10) Did Luke Weaver show any promise of a turnaround…

Weaver was outpitched by Clayton Kershaw, but he did present himself well allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 5.1 IP. He’s now 1-6 with a 7.44 ERA and 1.59 WHIP as he’s now allowed 2 ER or fewer in three of his past four starts. Sure he may be better than his overall ERA, but he gets hit exceptionally hard (49.5% Hard%) and simply doesn’t fool enough hitters (27.5% O-Swing%). Maybe he can be a streaming option, but for most there simply isn’t enough upside to consider.

Source – Fangraphs, ESPN


  1. RP: On a full season, Teoscar seems to have shown positive returns too much to suggest the sort of implosion that seems far more likely for Mondesi. What’s always been interesting to me is that HR’s and Hard Hit % often have a Bapip float as much as spee. Do you agree? I look at a guy like Franimal and think the .260’s projection he seems to always carry is about those two factors……

    With all these guys, it just seems off speed “stuff” is just kryptonite.


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