Archive for Player Analysis

Quick Hit: Could Christian Vazquez Make A Fantasy Impact In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The assumption was that Sandy Leon would be the starting catcher for the Boston Red Sox and Blake Swihart owns the biggest name (despite his struggles and recent demotion).  However, could Christian Vazquez actually prove to be the starter and a fantasy asset?

He is the superior defensive catcher, though it was fair to doubt that he’d get back to that level after losing a year due to Tommy John surgery.  That doesn’t appear to be an issue any more as manager John Farrell was recently quoted by Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (click here for the article) as saying:

“You’re always hopeful that the second year off of Tommy John, there’s going to be the less arm-strength swings or the peaks and valleys. That’s been on display. His arm strength is close to where it was pre-surgery. His footwork has been very quick from the first day of camp. He’s come into camp in great shape. He’s doing the things he’s capable of defensively, for sure.” Read more

Why Trevor Story Could Become One Of The Elite Shortstops In 2017

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Prior to his season ending injury the fantasy world was abuzz in regards to Trevor Story.  Could he continue the torrid pace he set over the first few months?  Has he emerged as one of the truly elite shortstops in the league?  The fact that we can’t fully answer those questions leaves a slight cloud hanging over him as we head towards 2017.  With the potential to be one of the elite at his position, there also is a lot of risk.  Let’s take a look and try to pinpoint exactly where his value falls.

 

2016 Statistics
372 At Bats
.272 Batting Average (101 Hits)
27 Home Runs
72 RBI
67 Runs
8 Stolen Bases
.341 On Base Percentage
.567 Slugging Percentage
.343 Batting Average on Balls in Play Read more

10 Bold Predictions For 2017: Trea Turner, Nelson Cruz & More

by Simon Jones

It’s that time of year when people make some bold (or extremely foolhardy) forecasts for 2017. These predictions are out-there, so please don’t base your draft strategy around them. Some I believe are fairly likely (even if the rest of the fantasy community doesn’t), some pretty unlikely and some quite implausible – but all definitely possible and worth watching. I’ll be doing a midseason review and then pulling the whole thing apart at the end of the year.

1) Kendrys Morales hits more HRs than Edwin Encarnacion
The Blue Jays took a lot of abuse this offseason for apparently misreading the free-agent market, resulting in them letting fan favorite Encarnacion slip through their fingers and instead signing Morales as an overpay. I won’t argue with the fact that the Jays could have played the market better, but I don’t feel the outcome will be too disastrous. Morales is a good hitter, but his fantasy stock seems diminished by previously hitting in a park that held back his power stroke along with having the dreaded DH next to his name. I still think Encarnacion will hit well in Cleveland, but I believe that the Rogers Centre is tailor made for Morales. I also think he gets more AB in NL parks, as Toronto doesn’t have great options at 1B to keep him off the field. He had 30 HR last season and I’m betting on a jump forward again in 2017. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Why Vince Velasquez May Not Be A Pitcher Worth Targeting

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Phillies’ Vince Velasquez has grabbed a lot of attention, thanks to his high upside strikeout stuff.  He’s shown it in the Majors (10.44 K/9 in ’16) and he’s shown it over his minor league career (10.7 K/9, including an 11.4 K/9 at Double-A).  Does strikeouts automatically mean success, though?  It’s easy to let it overshadow the flaws, and that could easily be the case here.

 

What We Said
“Velasquez was electric over his 24 starts, posting a 10.44 K/9 courtesy of an 11.2% SwStr%.  That’s not to say that there aren’t concerns, as he was hit hard (24.0% line drive rate) and proved to be homer prone (1.44 HR/9).  Strikeouts are nice, but he has to correct the other numbers.  He was more successful at home (2.88 ERA vs. 5.37 on the road), but home runs were an issue everywhere and his .252 BABIP and 82.1% strand rate at home are concerning.  There’s upside, but he’s not the young Phillies starter we’d target.” – 2017 Rotoprofessor Draft Guide Read more

3 Late Round Catchers Who Could Surprise (Austin Hedges & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After the top names come off the board there is a dramatic drop-off in the catching position.  In fact you can argue that there isn’t much of a difference between #8 and #14 on our catching rankings, so does it make sense to sit and wait on selecting someone?  In one-catcher formats there certainly is no reason to reach, and you should benefit from using your fourth or fifth round selection an a higher producing player at another position (as opposed to selecting Buster Posey or Gary Sanchez).  If you opt to wait for an end-game play, here are a few names worth targeting:

 

Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets
Current ADP – 279.35

Every year we wait for the breakout, and every year we are disappointed.  Injuries have consistently been part of the problem, though hitting .247 with 4 HR in 276 PA last season isn’t going to impress anyone.  That said he’s shown an ability to make consistent contact (career SwStr% of 8.3%) and did hit the ball hard last season (32.4% Hard%).  Those two things should indicate a bit of an improvement in his average and he’s always shown some potential in the power department (25 HR in 624 AB between ’14 and ’15). Read more

Why C.J. Cron Has Suddenly Become A Must Buy On Draft Day

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It had looked like C.J. Cron was primed for a breakout campaign, but after the Angels acquired Luis Valbuena the narrative changed.  Instead the chatter was that Cron could ultimately be traded, with Valbuena operating as the team’s Albert Pujols insurance/DH.

However Valbuena returned to the lineup after nearly two weeks on the sidelines due to sore legs and will now be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks thanks to a hamstring injury.  Cron, on the other hand, has been enjoying a monster spring (stats are through Thursday):

  • C.J. Cron – .340 (18-53), 3 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 2 SB
  • Luis Valbuena – .200 (5-25), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R, 0 SB

Even more impressive may be the fact that Cron has struck out 5 times, though it’s far too early to say that he’s corrected the main concern that he has hovering over him.  While his 16.9% strikeout rate last season was solid, his command of the strike zone left a lot to be desired (11.0% SwStr%, 38.0% O-Swing%).  A few more strong AB may further help to mask the issue, though we also can’t ignore that he was a bit better in ’15 so an improvement isn’t impossible. Read more