Archive for Player Analysis

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Jordan Zimmermann Among The Elite Pitchers In The Game

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann surprisingly found his name in trade rumors, something that you could argue makes little sense considering he may be the team’s best pitcher… That’s right, despite the presence of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister, a very real argument could be made that Zimmermann is the ace of the staff. Don’t believe it? Just look at his numbers from last season:

199.2 IP
14 Wins
2.66 ERA
1.07 WHIP
182 Strikeouts (8.20 K/9)
29 Walks (1.31 BB/9)
40.1% Groundball Rate
.302 BABIP

The number that jumps out at you is the control, and it’s not a typo. Over 145 starts in the Majors he owns a career 1.84 BB/9 and hasn’t been above 2.00 since 2010 (and that was in just 31.0 innings). He’s one of the elite control pitchers in the league and that is going to immediately give him the ability to post an above average WHIP. Read more

Fantasy Fallout: Adam LaRoche Goes To Chicago

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There’s certainly been a lot of baseball news of late (most notably the Red Sox’ splurge to add both Hanley Ramirez & Pablo Sandoval).  However, not to be overlooked is the news that broke over the weekend as the Chicago White Sox have signed Adam LaRoche to a two-year contract. With Jose Abreu fully entrenched at first base, LaRoche is expected to be the primary DH for the team.

LaRoche is coming off a solid season for the Nationals, hitting .259 with 26 HR and 92 RBI. He’s hit 25+ HR in three of the past five seasons, including a pair of 100 RBI seasons.

There was a notable split in his numbers from this past season, however:

  • vs. RHP – .280/.390/.501
  • vs. LHP – .204/.284/.336

He hasn’t had that dramatic of a split throughout his career, but it is something that needs to be monitored. Read more

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

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