Has Dustin Pedroia’s Time As A Viable Fantasy Option Come & Gone?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

You have to think that at least a part of the Boston Red Sox hierarchy wishes that Dustin Pedroia wasn’t signed to a big money contract through 2021. Even if he was coming off a productive season, the development of Mookie Betts and the signing of Rusney Castillo has created a bit of a log jam. Of course, Pedroia isn’t coming off a good season instead sporting the following line:

551 At Bats
.278 Batting Average (153 Hits)
7 Home Runs
53 RBI
72 Runs
6 Stolen Bases
.337 On Base Percentage
.376 Slugging Percentage
.307 Batting Average on Balls in Play

A wrist injury, which necessitated surgery, did hinder him throughout the season. That said is there really hope for a rebound or has his days as one of the elite second baseman come and gone? Read more

Prospect Report: Is Andrew Heaney’s Disappointing Debut A Sign Of Things To Come?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Marlins first round pick in 2012, Andrew Heaney got his first taste of the Major Leagues in 2014 but failed to impress. A 5.83 ERA and 6.14 K/9 over 29.1 IP certainly leaves a lot to be desired, so should fantasy owners ignore him heading into 2015 or were these simply growing pains?

Let’s start with the strikeouts, since they were likely the biggest disappointment. Over his minor league career he owned a 9.08 K/9 and in the Majors he showed significantly more upside. His O-Swing% (31.6%) and SwStr% (9.6%) were both roughly league average, though his K/9 was significantly below average (7.73 K/9). Those numbers alone should indicate that better days are on the horizon.

Just look at this scouting report from Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 as further proof of his stuff: Read more

Rebound Candidate: Will Nick Swisher Be A Source Of Power In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Nick Swisher is hardly a sexy player, but he generally provides value as a cheaper source of power. In this day and age, when power is at a premium, that can’t be taken lightly. However he endured a miserable 2014 campaign as he posted the following line:

360 At Bats
.208 Batting Average (75 Hits)
8 Home Runs
42 RBI
33 Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.278 On Base Percentage
.331 Slugging Percentage
.273 Batting Average on Balls in Play

One of the biggest advantages Swisher has always had is his consistency. From 2006-2013 the fewest games he played in was 145, posting at least 22 HR a year (he also hit 21 HR in 131 games back in 2005) in the process. Not only is he coming off his first abridged season, Swisher required surgery on both of his knees. You have to think that had a significant impact on his production. Read more

Is Alex Cobb A Pitcher To Target In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Last season there was a lot of hype surrounding Alex Cobb, though time missed due to injury as well as a poor first half (4.14 ERA) helped to give the impression of a “poor” year. At the end of the day, though, you can easily make the argument that he actually improved dramatically. Before we got to why, let’s take a look at the actual numbers:

166.1 IP
2.87 ERA
1.14 WHIP
149 Strikeouts (8.06 K/9)
47 Walks (2.54 BB/9)
56.2% Groundball Rate
.282 BABIP
77.9% Strand Rate

Right off the bat you can see that he provided all three skills we generally look for: Strikeouts, Control & Groundballs. The scary thing is that there’s actually room for even more. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Kolten Wong A Player To Covet In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A former first round draft pick in 2011, the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong got his first extended Major League run last season and was somewhat productive. While he hit just .249, he did chip in 12 HR and 20 SB. That is the type of production we like to see, especially from a middle infielder, but is there any reason to actually get excited?

Wong has certainly never profiled as a power hitter before, including his 18.5% outfield fly ball (OFB) rate in the Majors last season. Over his minor league career he posted a 28.4% mark, hardly an inspiring number.  Just to make matters worse, look at the significant jump in HR/OFB:

  • 2012 (575 PA at Double-A) – 7.6%
  • 2013 (463 PA at Triple-A) – 9.3%
  • 2014 (371 PA in Majors) – 20.4%

Obviously an increase in fly balls will help and maybe he has added a little bit of power as he will be 25-years old at the start of 2015, but don’t look for a significant increase in his power numbers. It looks like 12-15 HR is probably a safe expectation. Read more

Despite His Age/Regression, Adrian Beltre Should Still Be Viewed Among The Elite 3B

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Adrian Beltre has long been considered one of the elite third basemen in the game. With Miguel Cabrera losing eligibility you would think he’d be locked into the top spot for 2015, though the following line does leave a little bit of doubt:

549 At Bats
.324 Batting Average (178 Hits)
19 Home Runs
77 RBI
79 Runs
1 Stolen Bases
.388 On Base Percentage
.492 Slugging Percentage
.345 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Obviously the average isn’t an issue, nor should it be having hit .296 or better for five straight seasons (and .315 or better four times over that span). The question is with his power, which saw a significant drop in the second half, as well as his counting stats. Read more