Archive for Player Analysis

Hold or Fold: Which Of The Strand Rate Leaders Are Sell High Candidates (Keuchel, Leake & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Entering play on Sunday there were six pitchers who owned a strand rate of 85% or better.  Let’s take a look at each of them and try to determine if they are worth holding or if the risk of regression far outweighs any potential reward:

 

Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals
Strand Rate – 90.8%

Gonzalez has always been a pitcher that has taunted us with his talent, but he’s failed to live up to the billing ever since going 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA in 2012.  That’s not to say that he hasn’t been a productive option, routinely posting an ERA of 3.80 or better, but he’s never been able to match the same success.

While he’s showing flashes this season, there has been extreme luck across the board.  It’s not just the strand rate, as he’s also benefited from a .260 BABIP (.296 for his career).  His average fastball velocity is down even further (90.4 mph, after being at or above 92 mph from 2011-2015) and he’s not fooling hitters as much (8.8% SwStr%, 28.3% O-Swing%). Read more

The Trade List: Hitters Addition: Identifying Prime Buying Opportunities (Polanco & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As fantasy baseball owners we should always be looking for an opportunity to buy low.  Whether it’s a player who has gotten off to a slow start or has recently been placed on the disabled list (or maybe it’s a combination of the two), trying to find the player you can acquire at a fraction of the cost will be key to any long-term success.

Which players currently represent that type of opportunity?  Let’s take a look at a few hitters who we highly recommend targeting if the price is right (all statistics are through Wednesday): Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Looking At Two Second Basemen Heading In Different Directions

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are many players around the league who are struggling, including two of our preseason Top 6 second baseman.  The question is if they are going to rebound, or has the time come to cut bait and move on?  Let’s take a look:

 

Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
Gordon is not going to provide any power, so his value needs to stem from three categories: Average, Runs and Stolen Bases.  We all know that the speed is there, and he’s stolen 11 bases on the season (tying him for second in the league, behind only Billy Hamilton).  That does give him value, but instead of a three-category contributor he’s looking like a one-trick pony:

  • Average – .255
  • Runs – 19

Read more

Sell High Candidates: Breaking Down 3 Surprising Starts & Determining If They Are Sell Candidates

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are many surprising starters around the league, but deciding who we should sell and who can maintain their impressive numbers is never easy.  Let’s take a look at a few of the more surprising performances and decide if we should be shopping them or standing pat and enjoying the ride (all stats are through Monday’s games):

 

Scott Schebler – Cincinnati Reds
.252 (33-131), 10 HR, 21 RBI, 17 R, 3 SB

Power has never been a question for Schebler, though it’s fair to wonder if he can maintain his current 25.6% HR/FB.  That said the bigger question comes from his average, even with a below average .253 BABIP.  His line drive rate is subpar, at 17.2%, and it’s easy to imagine his strikeout rate rising from it’s current 20.7% mark.  He certainly has had his issues against all types of pitches (Whiff%):

  • Hard – 13.76%
  • Breaking – 10.94%
  • Offspeed – 21.69%

Read more

The Ditch List: Three Shortstops That Owners Can Move On From (Swanson & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to become infatuated with a player, looking past the obvious faults and trying to find a silver lining.  While it’s easier to do with young players with upside, it could happen with any player.  One position that is littered with potentially over-hyped players is shortstop, so let’s take a look at a few player you can likely move on from:

 

Dansby Swanson – Atlanta Braves
.174 (21-121), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 11 R, 1 SB

We all knew he wasn’t going to match the .302 average he posted in 145 PA in the Majors last season, and his .383 BABIP was reason enough.  The hope had been that he’d improve his strikeout rate (23.4%) to help compensate a little bit, but instead it’s taken a step in the other direction (25.7%).  His SwStr% has jumped up to 12.0% and he’s struggled to make consistent contact against every type of pitch (Whiff%):

  • Hard – 11.61%
  • Breaking – 13.50%
  • Offspeed – 21.74%

Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Which Streaking Starter Is Worth Adding (Wood, Karns & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Figuring out if a hot pitcher is for real or not isn’t always an easy task.  Sometimes pitchers can look like all world performers for a few starts, only to see the bottom fall out in short order.  Who of the hot pitchers are for real?  Who should we be ignoring (or selling)?  Let’s take a look:

 

Alex Wood – Los Angeles Dodgers
It certainly appears like Wood has turned back the clock, as he is checking all the boxes in regards to what we look for from a pitcher:

  • Strikeouts – 12.11 K/9
  • Walks – 2.78 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 62.8%

He’s always primarily been a sinker ball pitcher, and that hasn’t changed this season (50.00%).  The adjustment he has made is throwing his changeup more, and his current 28.1% would be a career high.  That, along with his curveball, have been swing and miss pitches (Whiff% of 16.03% and 16.49%, respectively). Read more