Archive for Player Analysis

Rebound Candidate: Will Nick Swisher Be A Source Of Power In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Nick Swisher is hardly a sexy player, but he generally provides value as a cheaper source of power. In this day and age, when power is at a premium, that can’t be taken lightly. However he endured a miserable 2014 campaign as he posted the following line:

360 At Bats
.208 Batting Average (75 Hits)
8 Home Runs
42 RBI
33 Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.278 On Base Percentage
.331 Slugging Percentage
.273 Batting Average on Balls in Play

One of the biggest advantages Swisher has always had is his consistency. From 2006-2013 the fewest games he played in was 145, posting at least 22 HR a year (he also hit 21 HR in 131 games back in 2005) in the process. Not only is he coming off his first abridged season, Swisher required surgery on both of his knees. You have to think that had a significant impact on his production. Read more

Is Alex Cobb A Pitcher To Target In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Last season there was a lot of hype surrounding Alex Cobb, though time missed due to injury as well as a poor first half (4.14 ERA) helped to give the impression of a “poor” year. At the end of the day, though, you can easily make the argument that he actually improved dramatically. Before we got to why, let’s take a look at the actual numbers:

166.1 IP
2.87 ERA
1.14 WHIP
149 Strikeouts (8.06 K/9)
47 Walks (2.54 BB/9)
56.2% Groundball Rate
.282 BABIP
77.9% Strand Rate

Right off the bat you can see that he provided all three skills we generally look for: Strikeouts, Control & Groundballs. The scary thing is that there’s actually room for even more. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Kolten Wong A Player To Covet In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A former first round draft pick in 2011, the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong got his first extended Major League run last season and was somewhat productive. While he hit just .249, he did chip in 12 HR and 20 SB. That is the type of production we like to see, especially from a middle infielder, but is there any reason to actually get excited?

Wong has certainly never profiled as a power hitter before, including his 18.5% outfield fly ball (OFB) rate in the Majors last season. Over his minor league career he posted a 28.4% mark, hardly an inspiring number.  Just to make matters worse, look at the significant jump in HR/OFB:

  • 2012 (575 PA at Double-A) – 7.6%
  • 2013 (463 PA at Triple-A) – 9.3%
  • 2014 (371 PA in Majors) – 20.4%

Obviously an increase in fly balls will help and maybe he has added a little bit of power as he will be 25-years old at the start of 2015, but don’t look for a significant increase in his power numbers. It looks like 12-15 HR is probably a safe expectation. Read more

Despite His Age/Regression, Adrian Beltre Should Still Be Viewed Among The Elite 3B

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Adrian Beltre has long been considered one of the elite third basemen in the game. With Miguel Cabrera losing eligibility you would think he’d be locked into the top spot for 2015, though the following line does leave a little bit of doubt:

549 At Bats
.324 Batting Average (178 Hits)
19 Home Runs
77 RBI
79 Runs
1 Stolen Bases
.388 On Base Percentage
.492 Slugging Percentage
.345 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Obviously the average isn’t an issue, nor should it be having hit .296 or better for five straight seasons (and .315 or better four times over that span). The question is with his power, which saw a significant drop in the second half, as well as his counting stats. Read more

Fantasy Fallout: Jeremy Hellickson Heads To Arizona, But Do We Care?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Long-time readers of Rotoprofessor know that I’ve never been a big fan of the Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson.  Even so, while the results haven’t been there in recent seasons that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t upside worth paying attention to.  In a weird way his struggles actually increased his potential appeal, as it suppressed his value.

We’ve heard rumors that he was going to be dealt to the NL and yesterday it came to fruition, as Hellickson was traded to Arizona in exchange for a pair of long-term prospects.  Let’s take a look at his new outlook, as well as give a quick look at the return Tampa Bay received:

Arizona Gets – SP Jeremy Hellickson
Hellickson showed success early in his career, but a lot of it was buoyed by significant luck:

  • 2011 – .223 BABIP, 82.0% strand rate
  • 2012 – .261 BABIP, 82.7% strand rate

He’s seen a regression the past two seasons, including injuries limiting him to 63.2 IP in 2014. He has seen an increase in his strikeouts, something that wasn’t unexpected given his career SwStr% of 9.6% (7.63 K/9 in 2014). It also could improve with the move to the NL, making an 8.0 mark not out of the question. Read more

Prospect Fallout: Don’t Overlook The Trade Of Anthony Gose For Devon Travis

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Earlier in the week there was a relatively minor trade between the Tigers and Blue Jays which likely fell under the radar of many fantasy owners.  However the deal could have significant implications, both for 2015 and beyond.  Let’s take a look at the deal that sent Anthony Gose to Detroit in exchange for Devon Travis and what the fallout is:

 

The Tigers Get – OF Anthony Gose
Gose’s name has been on fantasy radars for numerous seasons, likely dating back to the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia all the way back in 2010 (Gose was then immediately flipped by Houston, sending him to Toronto in exchange for Brett Wallace).  Since making his Major League debut in 2012 Gose has gotten 616 PA, hitting .234 with 5 HR in the process.  There is no questioning his speed, and he does have 34 SB over that time, but there are other issues at play. Read more