As we wait for the 2020 campaign to hopefully get started, there are various players getting some hype as potential breakout options. Are they names we should be buying? Is the hype driving up the cost to the point they should be ignored? Let’s take a look at a few potential “sleepers”:
Luis Arraez – Minnesota Twins
The hype for Arraez stems solely from his ability to make consistent contact. He hit .334 over 366 PA in the Majors last season, courtesy of a 7.9% strikeout rate and an impressive Whiff% against all types of pitches:
- Hard – 2.45%
- Breaking – 4.61%
- Offspeed – 6.32%
The problem is he’s simply a one-trick pony. What other skill does the now 23-year old bring to the table? Over 1,428 PA in the minor leagues he’s amassed 6 HR and 29 SB, so there isn’t much power or speed. With such a strong ability to make contact, he also doesn’t draw many walks (9.8% walk rate in ’19).
A strong average with little else doesn’t carry much weight, and a .355 BABIP and 34.7% Hard% draws questions there as well. In other words, don’t buy into the hype.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em
Francisco Mejia – San Diego Padres
Once considered an elite prospect, Mejia hasn’t been able to truly find his footing in the Majors. Last season he received 244 PA with San Diego, hitting .265 with 8 HR and 22 RBI. Those are hardly impressive marks, and while he hit .365 in 73 PA at Triple-A that obviously isn’t a sustainable mark.
Mejia has consistently brought a questionable command of the strike zone, highlighted by these marks in the Majors in 2019:
- SwStr% – 13.3%
- O-Swing% – 47.9%
It’s hard to be successful with those types of numbers Just to make matters worse, his 3.3% Barrel/PA put him 255th out of 342 hitters with at least 150 BBE (Batted Ball Events) in 2019. His 87.8 mph average Exit Velocity and 36,3% Hard% don’t instill much confidence either.
Throw in the presence of Austin Hedges, who is the superior defender, and even the AB aren’t guaranteed.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em
Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, Baseball Savant, Brooks Baseball
Make sure to check out all of our 2020 prospect rankings: