Archive for Player Analysis

Will Paul DeJong Follow The Trevor Story Path Of Fantasy Hero To Fantasy Zero?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A year ago Trevor Story was a rookie shortstop who set the baseball world on fire.  This year similar accolades are being bestowed upon Cardinals’ rookie Paul DeJong, who entered the weekend hitting .305 with 19 HR and 46 RBI over his first 279 PA in the Majors.  Could he face a similar fate to that of Story, who has gone from fantasy hero to fantasy zero in the matter of months?

It’s a comparison that’s worth exploring, so let’s take a look.  First, some of the underlying metrics:

Player
Strikeout Rate
SwStr%
Line Drive Rate
BABIP
Fly Ball Rate
HR/FB
Story (2016)31.3%12.5%23.6%.34347.1%23.7%
DeJong (2017)30.5%14.6%21.4%.38042.3%24.7%

It’s not hard to see some similarities, as both players struggled with strikeouts, benefited from a bit of luck and also posted somewhat bloated HR/FB.  Story had the benefit of playing half his games in Coors Field, however, something that DeJong does not. Read more

The Ditch List: Identifying Three Players That It’s Time To Cut Ties With

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When is enough really enough?  When is the right time to cut bait on a struggling player, despite having previously seen significant potential?  There’s no universal answer, so let’s take a look at a few of the players who are disappointing and try to determine if cutting bait would be a prudent decision:

 

Yonder Alonso – Seattle Mariners
This would’ve been unthinkable a few weeks ago, but he’s been downright awful since the trade to Seattle hitting .192 with 0 HR in his first 7 games.  It’s obviously a small sample size, but his cold spell dates back to the All-Star Break (.218 with 2 HR over 28 games).

No one should’ve expected him to be able to maintain his early season success, as his 21.7% HR/FB was well out of character and his fly ball rate has plummeted (48.7% to 32.3%).  Considering his career 34.1% mark can we really expect it return?  He’s simply “regressed” back to the player he once was, and now is part of a platoon. Read more

Will Byron Buxton or Zack Godley Help To Carry You To A Fantasy Title?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Does a strong stretch mean that a player has finally emerged or is it nothing more than a flash in the pan and a regression is on the horizon?  At this time of year it’s easy to look for any possible glimmer of hope, so let’s try to answer the question on if we are a believer or if the player is nothing more than a deceiver:

 

Byron Buxton – Minnesota Twins – Outfielder
We’ve long waited for Byron Buxton to figure things out at the Major League level, but he’s consistently struggled to the tune of a .225 career average.  However things have finally started to take a turn, albeit in a miniscule sample size, as he’s hitting .326 with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R and 4 SB over 43 AB in the second half (.216 in the first half).  The biggest difference is a drop in his strikeout rate (30.7% to 23.1%), but can he maintain it over the rest of the season?

He’s reduced his overall SwStr% to 9.7% and his O-Swing% to 30.5%, both of which would back up the improvement.  Also in a bit of a surprise, his Whiff% has been worst against hard pitches since the break: Read more

The Ditch List: Are There Legitimate Concerns For Jose Berrios In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just when we thought Jose Berrios was finally living up to his billing as a potentially elite starting pitcher, things have taken a dramatic turn since the All-Star Break:

Half
IP
ERA
WHIP
K/9
BB/9
First71.13.531.088.712.40
Second27.26.181.526.183.58

Obviously it’s been an across the board regression, so is it fatigue or is it something else?  At least part of his second half struggle has come due to poor luck (52.6% strand rate), but he’s also traded groundballs (43.3% to 31.1%) for line drives (16.5% to 27.8%).  That alone is going to signal problems, but his skills with his pitches have also regressed significantly:

  • SwStr% – 10.1% to 7.4%
  • O-Swing% – 32.3% to 25.4%

Read more

Fantasy Outlook: Will Yoan Moncada Be A Viable Option In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Thursday night was the type of game everyone expects from Yoan Moncada, as he played hero not once but twice:

  • Game-tying home run in the ninth inning off Ken Giles
  • Walk-off RBI single in the eleventh inning

He finished the impressive day going 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, though it still left him hitting a mere .213 with 2 HR and 9 RBI over his first 77 PA in the Majors in 2017.  There are two glaring areas of concern, both of which carry over from his brief time with the Red Sox in 2016:

  1. Strikeouts – 31.2%
  2. Groundballs – 59.5%

Moncada has reduced his swinging strike rate from last season, though his 13.1% is hardly an impressive mark.  The improvement has come against “hard” pitches, as he continues to swing and miss at breaking balls and offspeed pitches at an alarming rate: Read more

Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em: How To Proceed With Jose Bautista & Eduardo Rodriguez

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At this time of year every decision we make feels critical. Is it time to finally give up on a player we’ve been patient with? If we do, we know we run the risk of (at least what we thought was) the inevitable hot streak… What about the pitcher whose upside has been touted, but injuries among other things have sabotaged his season? It’s never easy, so let’s take a look at two of the most asked about players and try to reach a conclusion:

 

Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
When we drafted him we knew there was a chance that he would be a negative in average, though I’m not sure anyone would’ve expected Bautista to be hitting .216. The problem is tied to his power, but he’s also swinging and missing more than before (10.3% SwStr%). He’s seen his Whiff% rise against all kinds of pitches, but the most notable is against hard pitches (which currently stands at a career worst 8.96%). It’s not a horrible number by any stretch, but the regression, when coupled with his age, makes you think that maybe he’s a tick slower right now. Read more