Archive for Player Analysis

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Has Travis Snider Gained Post-Hype Sleeper Appeal?

by Ray Kuhn

It took all off-season but the Baltimore Orioles finally landed the left-handed bat they were looking for. Travis Snider might not be exactly what you were expecting from a name recognition standpoint, but that doesn’t mean he is lacking fantasy value for 2015.

Snider perfectly falls into the “post-hype sleeper” category. The fact that he reached a career high in RBI, with 38, and AB, with 322, means that he likely won’t be on the radar of many owners this draft season.  The former first round pick has cleary yet to live up to expectations, but he is still just 27-years old.

Snider ended the season on a high note with nine second half home runs, but that is not something we should bank on again. On the season Snider hit 13 home runs, which was one below his career high in 2010 of 14.

Is that pace sustainable? Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Why Jason Kipnis Should Be Considered A Top 5 Second Baseman For ’15

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It is easy to have become disenchanted with the Indians’ Jason Kipnis, who is obviously coming off a disastrous campaign that saw him hit .240 with 6 HR, 41 RBI, 61 R and 22 SB over 500 AB. It’s not the speed that was a concern, obviously, as he would’ve been on pace for around 30 SB had he been healthy for the entire season. It’s the other numbers that jump out at you.

However, how much did an abdominal injury suffered on April 30 help to curb his numbers? First of all, look at his average distance on non-groundballs:

  • 2013 – 267.642
  • Through April 30 – 261.122
  • From May 1 – 252.669

While it was down a but anyways, there’s no arguing that the injury certainly zapped him of his power. In fact he hit 3 HR (half if his total for the year) and had a .394 SLG prior to the injury. Read more

Is Kris Bryant The Next Chris Davis? Or Maybe Adam Dunn?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It seems like everyone is simply assuming that Kris Bryant is going to hit the ground running, setting the baseball world on fire as he swats home run after home run.  While no one is going to say the comparison is perfect, the early struggles of another slugging prospect could be a fair warning for fantasy owners:

Strikeout Rate
Walk Rate
Kris Bryant244.295.418.61928.6%14.5%.367
Chris Davis867.337.397.60923.7%8.8%.400

Davis was never considered the same type of prospect as Bryant, but he was able to show power early in his career before strikeouts nearly washed him out.  Could Bryant suffer from a similar fate?

It’s interesting to see that his Triple-A strikeout mark is actually higher than Davis’.  Over his minor league career Bryant has hit .327, but the underlying marks indicate a significantly lower upside: Read more

Breakout Candidate: Will Nick Castellanos Emerge In His Sophomore Season?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Nick Castellanos was a highly touted prospect, expected to hit the ground running and make a significant impact in 2014.  He didn’t get there, though, as his numbers were less than stellar (to say the least):

533 At Bats
.259 Batting Average (138 Hits)
11 Home Runs
66 RBI
50 Runs
2 Stolen Bases
.306 On Base Percentage
.394 Slugging Percentage
.326 Batting Average on Balls in Play

We all knew that he had no speed, but he was supposed to be at least a source of average.  A .259 mark?  Is there upside? Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Now In Houston, How Should Evan Gattis Be Valued?

by Ray Kuhn

Power… Evan Gattis has it, and that fact cannot be questioned.  In 369 at bats last season he hit 22 home runs. Letting the mind wonder to what he can do with more at bats could potentially be a dangerous thing.  Are 35-40 home runs possible?

Of course it is possible, as baseball has taught us to sometimes expect the unexpected. It would not surprise me to see Gattis to end the season among the home run leaders, but I wouldn’t count on it nor pay for it on draft day.

The move to the American League and also from out behind the plate is a very positive development. Now Gattis’ defensive responsibilities will be limited to first base and a very shallow left field, with designated hitter also a distinct possibility. What is even better is that he will retain his eligibility at catcher for 2015, despite not being expected to man the position.

The issue so far in his career has been staying healthy. After playing 105 games in 2013 he appeared in 108 games last season. Based on the factors outlined above, 500 at bats is a reasonable expectation and that leads us to a crude projection of 30 home runs. Read more

Why Christian Yelich Could Be The 2015 Version Of Jean Segura

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one is going to argue that there isn’t upside in the Marlins’ Christian Yelich. He showed it on the field in his rookie campaign and many are expecting growth in his sophomore season. It makes sense, given the previous hype (prior to 2013 Baseball America had him ranked as the #15 prospect while had him at #13), but could he follow in the footsteps of the Brewers’ Jean Segura? First, let’s compare their rookie seasons:

Christian Yelich (2014)660.2849549421
Jean Segura (2013)623.29412497444

The numbers are very similar, outside of Segura showing more stolen base ability. The thing is, as we dive into the numbers even further the similarities don’t end on the surface.

Like Segura, Yelich saw a significant drop in power from the first half to the second and simply may not profile to hit for much power. Just look at the numbers: Read more