Archive for Player Analysis

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Cubs’ Rookies: Should We Trust Alcantara, Baez or Soler Down The Stretch?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Rookies are often difficult to trust, especially when fantasy owners are hanging in the balance.  The Cubs have given us some great ones this season, but let’s check in on three of the best to determine how they have fared and if they are trustworthy for the remainder of the season (all stats through Monday), as well as touching on there potential long-term appeal (though we’ll dig into that a lot more in the offseason):

 

Arismendy Alcantara
Overall he’s hitting .212 with 9 HR and 8 SB over 245 AB. We like the power and the speed, as it shows his 20/20 potential, but the average has been a killer. He’s struggled to make contact, with a 28.3% strikeout rate, and when he has hit the ball it hasn’t been hard, with a dismal 10.7% line drive rate.

Believe it or not both numbers have been even worse in September, with marks of 34.6% and 6.3%, respectively. There’s a lot of upside moving forward, but how can we trust those types of marks at this point? He needs to learn and make adjustments, but for now he should be squarely on your bench in keeper leagues an can be dropped in redraft formats (especially now that he’s banged up a bit). Read more

Should Fantasy Owners Cut Bait On Yasiel Puig?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The question that we need to try and answer is what exactly has happened to Yasiel Puig? His recent struggles have been obvious (all numbers are through Sunday):

  • August – .216 with 0 HR, 4 RBI, 11 R and 1 SB
  • September – .237 with 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R and 0 SB

However the issues run even deeper than just that. On May 28 he hit his 11th home run of the season. Since then? He’s hit just two in 367 plate appearances. It’s interesting, because the 8 HR he hit in May was the biggest output he’s had in any single month. Did that result in a little bit of a homer happy approach?

Not on the surface, as his fly ball rate is 32.3% in the second half, not far off from last season’s 30.7% mark. He’s also popping the ball up less than he did a year ago, down from 10.3% to 8.4%. The big change is a drop in HR/FB, from 21.8% in 2013 to 13.3% in the first half of 2014 to 2.4% in the second half. Read more

Deep League Waiver Worthy: Matt Clark & Aaron Hicks

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Aaron Hicks – Outfielder – Minnesota Twins
Here’s a player we were high on entering the year, but he ultimately fell completely flat. He spent a lot of time in the minors this season, totaling 67 games between Double and Triple-A. However while he was somewhat productive while there, hitting .297, it came without the power (5 HR) or speed (3 SB).

He also didn’t hit the ball hard with a 12.4% line drive rate, so why exactly is he on this list? Because he isn’t far removed from hitting 13 HR with 32 SB at Double-A and even last year had 8 HR and 9 SB in 313 AB in the Majors.

Playing time is obviously a question and he continues to sputter along in the Majors, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t get hot. With two weeks left, that’s really all we are looking for, isn’t it? Read more

Real or Fake, Part II: Trying To Decipher Who To Trust & Who To Ignore Down The Stretch

by Rich Justmann

Greetings my Young Apprentices. Last week’s ‘real or fake’ article stirred up some great conversation. Given that you only have a couple weeks to pull out your championship, every move is key. Here is volume 2 of our FAKE or REAL game.

- Ryan Braun: FAKE. Thumb injury. Lost his Miami connection.
- Elvis Andrus: FAKE. Has one hit since June 23rd
- Matt Kemp: REAL. I can hardly believe I wrote that about Kemp.
- Chris Archer: FAKE. Fatigue is showing (though it didn’t yesterday)
- Steve Cishek: REAL. Topsy-turvy year but finishing strong.
- Yadier Molina: FAKE. Evidence suggests he’s not healthy.
- Michael Cuddyer: FAKE. Yes, he’s back. No, he’s not right.
- Sergio Romo: FAKE. He’s not getting the closer gig back.
- Drew Storen: REAL. Enjoy the production. Read more

Will Dilson Herrera Hold Fantasy Appeal For 2014 or 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a surprise when the Mets summoned Herrera from Double-A to fill-in for the injured Daniel Murphy. With Murphy activated Tuesday it appeared all potential value had disappeared. It wasn’t like Herrera was producing great numbers anyways, hitting .243 with 2 HR over his first 10 games.

Now that David Wright has been shut down for the season, though, Herrera has been given another shot. It’s not a lock that he plays regularly with Murphy at 3B (they could try to get a look at Eric Campbell), but it makes sense to get Herrera as many AB as they can (and they did on Wednesday).

Its a small sample but hitting the ball hard hasn’t been his issue, with a 25.9% line drive rate. He was above average at both stops in the minors this season, with a 17.7% mark at High-A (league average was 14.4%) and 17.9% mark at Double-A (league average was 15.5%), so it’s a good sign. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Could Derek Holland Provide A Fantasy Boost In September?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Rangers have had a lost season, with their DL flooded with their biggest stars. While most of the expected roster sits on the sidelines, they recently got Derek Holland back from the DL. While it could go unnoticed, given where the team is, it’s hard to argue with how he’s performed.

In his first two starts he owns a 0.64 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 14.0 IP. Obviously we don’t analyze such a small sample size, because his 91.7% strand rate screams of a regression. The real question is if he is good enough to make an impact over the final few weeks.

He’s always been a solid strikeout artist, with a career 7.55 K/9, so his 7.07 mark seems realistic. His velocity is also there, with an average fastball of 93.2 mph, but what’s interesting is his increased usage of his curveball. It’s only two starts, but he’s thrown the pitch 17.1% of the time compared to 5.0% in 2013. Has that helped generate a gaudy 14.1% SwStr%? Read more