Archive for Rotoprofessor

Searching for Saves: Why Roberto Osuna Could Emerge As A Top 3 Closer In 2018

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

You would think that the Blue Jays’ Roberto Osuna would be viewed as one of the elite closers in the league by now.  He won’t turn 23 until February yet has 95 career saves (including 39 last season).  Why isn’t he getting the respect?  There are a few reasons:

  1. 10 blown saves in 2017
  2. Reported anxiety issues
  3. 3.38 ERA in 2017

While a little concern is fair, especially with the anxiety, viewing him as anything but a Top 5 option would be a mistake.  It’s easy to get down on him due to the ERA and blown saves, but those are explained away by a 59.5% strand rate.  The fact is that he has the stuff to emerge as the truly elite closer in the game. Read more

Pass On Xander Bogaerts To Draft Orlando Arcia? It’s Not As Crazy As You Think…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts has always been a highly hyped option, though it’s easy to argue that the production has never quite matched it.  Fantasy owners don’t necessarily draft with that in mind, consistently reaching/overvaluing him with the thought that this will be the year the breakout occurs.  Should we continue making that mistake, or would fantasy owners be wise to wait and instead take a high upside youngster who should be available significantly later in drafts?  For this exercise let’s use the Brewers Orlando Arcia as a comparison, though there numerous examples/options that can be used.

 

Average
While Bogaerts popped a .320 average a few years ago, he’s hit .294 and .273 the past two seasons.  The big year came courtesy of a .372 BABIP so it should never have been viewed as repeatable, and a 20.8% career line drive rate helps to support the regression.  He does make consistent contact (8.2% SwStr% in ’17), which helps, but a .280 mark appears more realistic.

Arcia hit .277 in his first full season in the Majors, though his plate discipline does leave a bit to be desired (12.8% SwStr%, 38.7% O-Swing%).  That said his Whiff% shows a bit more upside: Read more

2018 Bust Potential: Why The Risk Outweighs The Reward For Trey Mancini

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Orioles’ Trey Mancini has generally flown under the radar, even as he rose through the minor leagues.  That all changed last season, as he became a fixture in the lineup and ran up a strong line across the board:

.293, 24 HR, 78 RBI, 65 R

A career .306 hitter in the minor leagues it would be easy to just assume that he can continue to produce at this type of level.  Is that a fair assumption though?

From a power perspective there’s nothing unrealistic in the overall number.  Sure he posted a 51.0% groundball rate, but he’s a 25-year old (he will turn 26 prior to the start of the season playing in a hitter’s ballpark and posted a realistic 19.8% HR/FB.  There is a little bit of risk, which we will get to shortly, but in general everything is slanted in his favor.

When we move to the average, though, the questions really start to build. Read more

2018 Projection: Why The Pirates’ Josh Bell Is A Player You Want To Target

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Upon reaching the Majors everyone pointed towards Josh Bell’s plate discipline and ability to hit for a strong average as his strongest tool.  With his rookie season now behind him that outlook is a bit different as he struggled to hit for a strong average.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t value, and it didn’t stop us from including him in our Top 15 rankings earlier this week (over some of the more popular options), which you can view by clicking here.  In order to answer why, let’s first look at the numbers:

549 At Bats
.255 Batting Average (140 Hits)
26 Home Runs
90 RBI
75 Runs
2 Stolen Bases
.334 On Base Percentage
.466 Slugging Percentage
.278 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Instead of hitting for a strong average Bell began tapping into his power, something we had seen signs of in 2016 (17 HR in 549 AB between Triple-A and the Majors).  Now the question is if he can not only maintain that power, but pair it with the strong average he has shown in the minors (.303).  The answer is he can! Read more

2018 Preseason Rankings: Top 15 First Basemen: Where Do Hoskins/Bellinger Fall & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that first base is among the deepest positions in baseball, but that doesn’t mean you can simply close your eyes and assume your selection will deliver.  Even towards the top of the rankings there is some obvious risk, so making assumptions or not spending the requisite time researching the position could ultimately prove costly.  With that in mind here are how our rankings look as of today:

1) Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
2) Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
3) Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
4) Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
5) Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
6) Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies
7) Edwin Encarnacion – Cleveland Indians
8) Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Has Joe Musgrove Turned Into An Under-the-Radar Asset For ’18?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a time that the Astros’ Joe Musgrove was viewed as an upside starting pitcher, but he struggled out of the gate in ’17 and was ultimately transitioned to the bullpen.  Now the question is if he’s found his niche, and if that’s the case can he hold fantasy appeal?

First, let’s take a look at the splits from last season:

Role
IP
ERA
WHIP
K/9
BB/9
GB%
Starter78.06.121.517.732.6542.6%
Reliever31.11.440.868.901.4451.9%

There was a lot of poor luck behind the numbers as a starter, with a .338 BABIP and 67.6% strand rate.  Of course he also had a lot of luck while coming out of the bullpen, with a .250 BABIP and 91.6% strand rate.  The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle, regardless of the role, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Read more