Archive for Player Analysis

Deep League Waiver Worthy: Is Kyle Hendricks For Real?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Cubs own a deep farm system, so to an extent it makes sense that Kyle Hendricks didn’t receive much publicity heading into the season. An eighth round pick by the Rangers in 2011, he was part of the deal that sent Ryan Dempster to Texas. Now with holes in the Cubs’ rotation for the taking, he has gotten his opportunity and is taking advantage of it.

Through three starts he owns a 2.33 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. The real question is, can he continue his success?

Coming up through the minors he actually owned all three skills we look for in a pitcher. While his strikeout rate was “huge”, there’s nothing wrong with a 7.68 K/9. It of course plays up even better when you pair it with pinpoint control (1.61 BB/9) and an ability to generate groundballs (52.5%).

However the numbers weren’t enough as he fell short of Baseball America’s Top 10 Cubs’ prospect. John Sickels of Minor League Ball, who had him at #16, said: Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Yan Gomes & Conor Gillaspie

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians – Catcher
Gomes has been a solid catching option all season, but he has been particularly good in July hitting .338 with 5 HR, 14 RBI and 14 R. Of course he’s benefited from a .392 BABIP overall for the month and it’s been even better since the All-Star Break (.583).

Obviously he is not going to be able to maintain those types of numbers, but can he continue to be productive? Overall he owns a 24.7% line drive rate, leading to a .335 BABIP. The question is if that’s maintainable or not?

We all know that the grind of a full season tends to wear on catchers. Then again his worst line drive rate in 2014 has been 19.3% in June and he finished 2013 with months of 21.2% and 22.8%. Maybe he’s not a .330 hitter, but he’s maintained an elevated line drive rate for long enough to think he can continue hitting .280 or better. Read more

Taking Another Look At Stephen Strasburg And His Potential For The Remainder Of 2014

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We continue to believe in Stephen Strasburg as one of the truly elite in the game. However, at 7-8 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.26 WHIP his numbers are respectable, though hardly “elite”.

Keep in mind, among pitchers who qualify for the ERA title he ranks 52nd in ERA and in a tie for 49th in WHIP (as of late last week). They obviously aren’t poor numbers, but they are ordinary. When we drafted him we expected extraordinary.

So the question is, can he still deliver extraordinary in 2014? Based on the underlying metrics it would appear so. He still owns a 10.68 K/9 and 1.97 BB/9. His groundball rate, while down, is still solid at 45.5% and he’s allowing less than 1 HR per nine innings. Read more

Deep League Waiver Worthy: Is The Mariners’ Chris Taylor Worth Our Attention?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Could Brad Miller’s playing time be in jeopardy? The trade to acquire Kendrys Morales makes it obvious that the Mariners are putting a priority on improving their offense. It is also obvious that Miller has been a major disappointment.

In 289 AB he was hitting .204 with 8 HR and 3 SB. His strikeouts were up to 23.2% and he has consistently failed to hit the ball with authority given his 17.1% line drive rate. Throw in an inflated 14.0% IFFB and it’s no wonder why the average has struggled.

He showed signs of turning things around in June (.298), though that came courtesy of a .339 BABIP. In July he’s back to hitting .189… However, there still is reason for optimism. His strikeout rate in July is down to 18.3% and the line drive rate is at 19.0% (after being 20.6% in June). It’s not impossible that he turns things around, the question is if the Mariners are going to give him a shot.

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Sell High Candidate: Is Now The Time To Part With Mat Latos?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At this point we have to ask, is there still something wrong with Mat Latos?

He missed the start of the season with an elbow issue and, thus far, there are definite questions. The statistics seem good on the surface, with a 3.15 ERA and 0.85 WHIP, but there’s been a lot of luck behind the numbers.

Through seven starts, despite a 22.3% line drive rate, he owns a .209 BABIP. You could argue that there’s also bad luck, with a 61.5% strand rate, and that’s fair. If the luck was the only concern maybe we’d call it even. Unfortunately that’s just the start.

His velocity is down, and it’s not a small margin. He owns a career 92.9 mph average fastball but this season sits at 90.3. Has it just taken some time for him to get things going? He was at 91.52 in his most recent start, which came after a 10 day break. Then again, his last start prior to the break he averaged 92.63 mph so there is a little bit of hope (though why the drop again).

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Shelby Miller To Return To Rotation, But Should We Care?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was not a long break from the rotation (he last started on July 10), but will the “break” work in the favor of the Cardinals’ Shelby Miller (he currently owns a 4.25 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)? What can we expect from him moving forward?

There have been obvious issues, given his inflated walks and deflated strikeouts as he owns a 5.97 K/9 and 4.50 BB/9. He hasn’t lost any velocity, with a 93.4 mph fastball, he simply hasn’t been getting the swings and misses (6.8% SwStr% overall). That leads to another question, is he overusing his fastball?

He’s currently throwing it 72.5% of the time, similar to last season’s 71.3%. He has a regressed Whiff Percentage on all of his pitches, according to Brooks Baseball, but considering the usage of his fastball that is the most notable:

  • 2013 – 11.67%
  • 2014 – 7.75%

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