Archive for Player Analysis

Under-the-Radar Buy Low Candidate: Why Now Is The Time To Target Tyler Skaggs

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Injuries have long been an issue for Tyler Skaggs, who missed all of 2015 and made limited starts in both 2016 (19 total starts) and 2017 (20 total starts).  That’s going to help to limit the southpaw’s value, because people will wonder if he’s going to be able to make 25+ starts this season.  His numbers thus far are also a contributing factor, as a 3.98 ERA and 1.38 WHIP are hardly going to garner much attention.  That said, now may actually be the ideal time to be buying as things appear to be heading in the right direction.

First Skaggs is showing an improved strikeout rate, with a 9.30 K/9 over his first four starts (20.1 IP).  The key is a significant jump in his SwStr% (12.1% vs. a career mark of 8.8%), and whether or not he can maintain that is debatable.  While he’s been getting swings and misses with all of his pitches, his “best” Whiff% is 12.32% on his curveball.  That doesn’t scream of high strikeout upside, though he did post a 9.9 K/9 in the minor leagues (9.2 over 202.0 IP at Triple-A).  Even if he falls into the 8.25-8.50 range, it may be enough with the other skills. Read more

The Ditch List: Is It Time To Move On From These Three Struggling Hitters (Carlos Santana & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As the sample sizes start to grow the impulse to cut bait on a slow starter increases.  How long do we stand pat, or do we move on and grab the latest hot young prospect (or whoever you can find sitting on the waiver wire)?  Let’s take a look at three veteran hitters to try and determine if it’s time to “Ditch ‘Em” or if we should “Stick With ‘Em” for a little bit longer:

 

Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
The move to Philadelphia was supposed to spark his bat, but instead he’s hitting a miserable .151 with 2 HR and 10 RBI over his first 93 PA.  The problem appears to be that he’s trying to hit more home runs, with his fly ball rate ballooning to 52.5% (39.3% for his career) and his popup rate is sitting at 18.8% (13.7% for his career).  That’s obviously a red flag, but the other numbers all indicate a rebound is coming: Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Should We Believe In These Young Starting Pitchers & Their Strong Starts?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to get excited about a strong start for a young pitcher, whether you are trying to get a short-term boost or think there’s long-term potential.  That’s not always a prudent decision, however, and often times a few starts are nothing more than a flash in the pan.  Let’s take a look at two pitchers who have impressed over their first few starts and try to determine what type of value they may hold moving forward:

 

Jarlin Garcia – Miami Marlins
After opening the year coming out of the bullpen the Marlins’ Jarlin Garcia has transitioned to the rotation with strong results:

  • 04/11/18 (vs. NYM) – 6.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • 04/17/18 (at NYY) – 5.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 BB, 2 K

Read more

Waiver Wire Guidelines: Returning To The Majors, Will The Giants’ Mac Williamson Make An Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Giants’ Mac Williamson has been on the Major League/Triple-A shuttle over the past few seasons, and he’s about to get another shot thanks to the injury to Hunter Pence.  At the same time a return to the Majors appeared to be inevitable for a player who opened hitting .487 with 6 HR and 16 RBI over 39 AB at Triple-A.  The biggest question is if he can finally deliver at the highest level, as the owner of a career .226 average over 212 AB?

 

Batting Average

It’s a miniscule sample size, but there’s been one glaring change for Williamson to open 2018 (the below table shows his numbers at Triple-A):

Year
PA
Strikeout Rate
Walk Rate
201522724.2%11.5%
201622623.5%5.3%
201738226.2%6.5%
20185010.0%14.0%
Read more

Waiver Wire Guidelines: Is The Newly Signed Jose Bautista Worth Stashing?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jose Bautista was one of the biggest names hurt by the lack of market movement this winter, as he remained a free agent deep into April.  He finally found a home yesterday signing with the Atlanta Braves, though his expected role is a surprising one.  Mark Bowman of MLB.com published the following quote from Atlanta General Manage Alex Anthopoulos:

“The hope is he shows he’s capable of being a good player who can help us win games,” Anthopoulos said. “If that happens, he’ll come up and play third base for us. Hopefully, things work out.”

It’s a no risk move for Atlanta, who is in desperate need for an answer at third base (while Ryan Flaherty is playing well right now, it’s impossible to expect him to maintain it).  Bautista originally came up as a third baseman, and he did make 8 appearances there in ’17, but the last time he saw extensive time at the spot was in 2011 (when he played 25 games and 205.0 innings).  At 37-years old, is it a stretch to think he can suddenly handle on a daily basis? Read more

Sell High Candidate: Is The Yankees’ Didi Gregorius A Must Sell Shortstop?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Didi Gregorius appeared to back up his breakout 2016 with an even better 2017, though there were reasons to be skeptical and expect a regression.  Thus far those thoughts appear to be misguided, as he’s actually gotten better over the first few games of 2018.  All he’s done over his 15 games is hit .327 with 5 HR, 16 RBI and 14 R.  Even more impressive may be his seemingly dramatic improvement in plate discipline:

  • Strikeout Rate – 6.2%
  • Walk Rate – 18.5%

Considering his career rates of 14.3% and 5.8%, respectively, is this nothing more than a small sample size of has he truly emerged?  Let’s take a look… Read more