Hit or Miss: A Look Back At Our Preseason Projection For Alcides Escobar

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Whenever you do projections you are going to hit some and miss some, it’s simply the nature of the business. We will take a look at some of the better hits and misses I had heading into 2014 and try to dissect the reasons.

One of the closest projections, or “hits”, was definitely the Royals’ Alcides Escobar. Just look at the numbers:

Home Runs
Stolen Bases
Rotoprofessor Preseason Projection.2785507532
Actual 2014 Numbers.2853507431

It’s funny, because if you look at the underlying metrics from 2013 and 2014 they really aren’t far off.

  • Line Drive Rate – 23.0% in 2013 vs. 24.2% in 2014
  • Strikeout Rate – 13.1% in 2013 vs. 13.4% in 2014

Read more

Prospect Report: Will Jesse Winker Be A Viable Fantasy Asset?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A first round pick in 2012, the Reds’ Jesse Winker made it to Double-A last season but unfortunately had his season cut short due to an injury occurring away from the field. As C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer describes it (click here for the article):

“Winker suffered a partially torn tendon in his right wrist in a car accident earlier this month and tried to play through it, including his appearance in the Futures Game at the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, where he was 1 for 2.”

While the injury was certainly a setback, Winker continued to show his abilities on the field. Splitting time between Single and Double-A, he hit .287 with 15 HR over 341 PA. His biggest asset is his control of the strike zone, something that has clearly been impressive from the 21-year old. Read more

Will Wily Peralta Take Another Step Forward In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Wily Peralta is a pitcher who clearly has upside, as demonstrated by the solid line he posted last season:

17 Wins
198.2 Innings
3.53 ERA
1.30 WHIP
154 Strikeouts (6.98 K/9)
61 Walks (2.76 BB/9)
.295 BABIP

There’s a lot to like in those numbers, but they hardly scream fantasy ace.  Is that type of pitcher in there?  Can he take the next step in his development in 2015?  Let’s take a look. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Are Albert Pujols Days As A Viable Option Behind Him?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all knew that Albert Pujols had long been one of the better fantasy options in the league. Of course just when we thought that his productive years were behind him, he bounces back to post the following 2014 line:

633 At Bats
.272 Batting Average (172 Hits)
28 Home Runs
105 RBI
89 Runs
5 Stolen Bases
.324 On Base Percentage
.466 Slugging Percentage
.265 Batting Average on Balls in Play

So, the question we now have to ask ourselves is what can we expect from the veteran in 2015? Read more

2015 Breakout Candidate: Will Josh Phegley Emerge As A Viable Catching Option?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After seeing 294 AB in the Majors in 2013, the White Sox’ Josh Phegley was banished to Triple-A for much of 2014. He performed well, hitting .274 with 23 HR and 75 RBI, so it makes you wonder if he could not only retake the starting catcher role in 2015 and thrive in it.

It wasn’t like he was simply hitting home runs at Triple-A, adding 30 doubles and 4 triples. Before anyone jumps to a conclusion, it was the International League (not the Pacific Coast League) making the number that much more impressive. It also was brought a similar power profile to his 2013 breakout (HR/OFB’):

  • 2013 – 22.1%
  • 2014 – 18.3%

In 37 AB in the Majors last season he added another 3 HR, so there is no question that he should bring enough power to the table. The issue is, will he make enough contact and hit for a high enough average? Read more

2015 Outlook: Will Zack Wheeler Take The Next Step Or Stagnate?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Things appear to be changing for the New York Mets, with the emergence of Jacob deGrom and the return of Matt Harvey on the horizon. It’s easy to lose Zack Wheeler in the shuffle, though he has the upside to augment those two and really help the team develop into a top flight contender. Did he make any progress in reaching that type of level in 2014? What is his outlook for 2015? Let’s take a look, beginning with his numbers:

11 Wins
185.1 Innings
3.54 ERA
1.33 WHIP
187 Strikeouts (9.08 K/9)
79 Walks (3.84 BB/9)
.304 BABIP

The biggest concern with Wheeler has always been his control, and he did improve in that regard. That’s not to say that a 3.84 BB/9 is impressive, but it was consistent as he posted a 3.82 in the first half and 3.86 in the second. Of course he also had three months north of 4.00, so we can’t call it all rosy. Read more