Archive for Rotoprofessor

Is Mookie Betts The Next Brian Dozier? Probably Not, Though Not In A Bad Way…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

You can argue that Mookie Betts has been a disappointment thus far in 2015, hitting .241 with 5 HR, 24 RBI, 20 R and 6 SB over his first 46 games (entering play yesterday). Of course “disappointment” is a relative term. If you projected those numbers out for 162 games you’d get (rounding up):

18 HR
21 SB
85 RBI
70 R

Sure the average has been poor, but would anyone complain about those counting stats? In fact, compare them to Brian Dozier from a year ago (he played in 156 games):

23 HR
21 SB
71 RBI
112 R

They aren’t that far off and Dozier’s marks came courtesy of a .242 average. The fact that there’s significant upside in Betts’ production just further helps to supports keeping him active, especially since the average should improve significantly and bring the rest of the numbers with it.

Betts started off struggling in the strikeout department, with a 17.0% mark in April. He’s brought that down to 7.5% in May, though that’s been the least of our concerns. His overall profile is simply not what we’d expect from him as his line drives are down (18.2%) and his fly balls are up (44.2%). While he can hit a few home runs, that’s simply not his game. He owned a 29.0% OFB in the minors since 2011 and needs to get back to hitting the ball hard and using his speed.

It’s also promising that his best average this season has come against breaking balls, the exact opposite of what he showed in 2014 in the Majors (in parenthesis):

  • Hard – .226 (.315)
  • Breaking – .255 (.217)
  • Offspeed – .214 (.314)

It’s very possible that Betts has simply become a little homer happy, for whatever reason, and he’s gotten away from what helped to make him successful. At the same time he has a history of starting slowly before waking up and raking, so now certainly isn’t the time to lose hope.

Then again, why would we lose hope anyways? It’s certainly not like the numbers are crippling and a significant disappointment. The worst case scenario is a player similar to Brian Dozier, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Given the upside, though, expect a significant improvement before long.

Sources – Fangraphs, Minor League Central, Brooks Baseball

Bullpen Notes: May 28, 2015: Allen Still Closing, Clippard On Way Out & More

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing):

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Bullpen Banter: Is The Rangers’ Shawn Tolleson For Real?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While Neftali Feliz hitting the DL has helped expedite Shawn Tolleson’s assumption of the closers role, it’s easy to argue that the change was inevitable anyways. The bigger question is whether Tolleson will ever relinquish the job this season, even after Feliz returns to health.

Thus far he’s been dominant, with a 2.82 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 12.09 K/9 and 1.61 BB/9. Obviously the number that jumps out at you is the strikeouts, so let’s start there.

Tolleson posted an 8.67 K/9 in the Majors last season and owned a 13.0 mark in the minors (including a 12.6 over 15.0 IP at Triple-A). Those numbers certainly help to support this year’s gaudy mark, as does the increased usage of his change up (11.7% to 20.4%). It’s led to him using three pitches effectively, all of which are generating strikeouts:

  • Fourseam – 17
  • Change up – 7
  • Slider – 6

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Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Why Now Is Not Necessarily The Time To Stash Javier Baez

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When asking if Javier Baez’ return to the Majors is nearing the first question has to be where is he going to play? There are two scenarios that could clear room for him, though neither appear to be inevitable at this point:

  1. He replaces Addison Russell at 2B
  2. Kris Bryant shifts to LF, with Baez or Russell moving to 3

Of course the third option would be a trade, but that too doesn’t seem likely at the moment. While it makes it hard to imagine Baez returning soon, he is certainly trying to force the issue with his bat.

Over his first 90 AB he’s hitting .311 with 5 HR, 17 RBI, 12 R and 6 SB. We all know that the power is for real (despite a currently bloated HR/OFB) as he did hit a total of 32 HR in 2014, with 9 coming in the Majors. It’s the average that has always been the biggest question. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (May 28, 2015)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Which prospects are on the verge of making an impact in the Major Leagues? This weekly column will rank the ten who are closest (as well as other names that are being closely considered). Keep in mind that while talent is factored in opportunity plays a major role, so there may be some “lesser” prospects who rank fairly highly on the list (the number in parenthesis is their ranking from last week and all statistics are through Monday unless otherwise notes):

1) Carlos Correa – Shortstop – Houston Astros (1)
The Correa watch continues for the Astros and fantasy owners alike. Sure you can argue that he’s “struggled” at Triple-A, hitting .268, but that’s a stretch. In his 56 AB he’s shown a good eye at the plate (9 K vs. 7 BB) and overall this season is slashing .347/.421/.636 with 9 HR and 18 SB. The longer the Astros remain atop the AL West, though watching the Los Angeles Angels and others creep closer, the more likely it is that Correa is brought up to help the Major League squad. They simply can’t continue running the combination of Jonathan Villar and Marwin Gonzalez out there, especially when you have one of the elite prospects in the game marinating in the minors. Read more

Bullpen Notes: May 27, 2015: Could Reed Get Second Chance Soon, Grilli’s Struggles Continue & More

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing):

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