Archive for Player Analysis

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Should Adam LaRoche’s Second Half Struggles Cause Us To Avoid Him?

by Ray Kuhn

On the surface, Adam LaRoche’s 2014 season didn’t look that much different from either of the past two. Of course the most recent numbers are the ones that are freshest in our mind and for LaRoche that was a .218 batting average in 266 at bats in the second half.

Regardless of his struggles to end the season, he is often an overlooked option come draft day. In mixed leagues this does not mean LaRoche should be a starting first baseman, I currently have him at 23 in my personal rankings, but for a minimal investment there is a value as a CI or Utility option.

When you buy him you are doing so for the power numbers, not the batting average. Over the past three seasons there has been fluctuations in that department (.271, .237 and .259), while he has continued to own his power skills.

If you look deeper, last year was the tale of two halves as he posted a batting average of .307 in the first half. Luck was involved on both ends as the first baseman had hit percentages of 35% and 23%, so each extreme was covered. However, he showed improvement in his contact rate, 78%, and that remained constant all season. Read more

Will Strong Spring Performances For Steve Pearce & Michael Cuddyer Carry Into The Regular Season?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know to take Spring Training statistics with a grain of salt.  Year after year we see players erupt for big springs only to watch them stumble when the real games begin.  That doesn’t mean that all spring numbers should be ignored, we just need to be careful.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at two players who are enjoying big springs and try to figure out what to do about them:

 

Steve Pearce – 1B/OF – Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles’ Steve Pearce was one of the breakout performers last season, hitting .293 with 21 HR over 338 AB.  While he was once considered a strong prospect, both the power (17.5% HR/FB) and average (19.4% line drive rate, 45.6% fly ball rate, .322 BABIP) were questionable, at best. Read more

Sleeper Spotlight: Is Ryan Rua A Player Worth Targeting For 2015?

by Ray Kuhn

Ryan Rua is making sure the Texas Rangers cannot ignore him while Jake Smolinski is spending his Spring Training doing the exact same thing. The problem, though, is that both players hit from the right side and play the same positions. So is there room for both players to start the season, and from a fantasy perspective should owners be targeting Rua or Smolinski?

Last season was a year to forget for Texas. There were injuries galore and no healthy player was left unturned. That is how both players ended up spending time with the Rangers last season; 28 games for Rua and 24 games for Smolinski. Both had success as they took full advantage of their chance to make an impression. Rua hit .295 with 2 HR and 14 RBI while Smolinski hit .349 with 3 HR and 12 RBI. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Matt Adams The Next Freddie Freeman Or Will The Power Flourish?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Matt Adams is known for his power stroke…  At least he was prior to 2014 when he showed the ability to hit for strong average but little else:

527 At Bats
.288 Batting Average (152 Hits)
15 Home Runs
68 RBI
55 Runs
3 Stolen Bases
.321 On Base Percentage
.457 Slugging Percentage
.338 Batting Average on Balls in Play

He did hit the ball routinely hard, with a 24.3% line drive rate, while also improving his strikeout rate, posting a 20.2% mark.  However, without the power is that really enough?  Can he even maintain those types of marks? Read more

Quick Hit: Is Jedd Gyorko’s Poor Spring A Sign Of Things To Come? Don’t Give Up Hope Yet…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

This was supposed to be a solid year for the Padres’ Jedd Gyorko, who profiles as a similar power middle infielder as a Jhonny Peralta. However if this spring is any indication, there’s the possibility he loses his starting job before long. That’s what happens when you strikeout 16 times in your first 32 AB…

That’s not a typo, as of Sunday he had whiffed in 50% of his official AB. Only Oakland’s Mark Canha had more strikeouts (18 in 46 AB). In his last two games Gyorko has struck out in all five of his AB (he also drew a walk).

It didn’t seem possible, but with Yangervis Solarte, Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes all capable of manning 2B could Gyorko’s job be in jeopardy?

While he has posted somewhat inflated strikeout rates in his two years in the Majors, the marks are reasonable considering the types of gaudy marks around the game:

  • 2013 – 23.4%
  • 2014 – 22.6%

Read more

Sleeper Spotlight: Will Kevin Gausman Finally Live Up To The Hype?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Orioles’ Kevin Gausman is going to be an easy pitcher to overlook heading into 2015.  It felt like the team was trying to put him in a position to fail nearly every time they turned to him in 2014, en route to him posting the following numbers:

113.1 IP
7 Wins
3.57 ERA
1.31 WHIP
88 Strikeouts (6.99 K/9)
38 Walks (3.02 BB/9)
41.4% Groundball Rate
.304 BABIP

The numbers are certainly unspectacular, but looking at them on their own would be ignoring the upside of the former fourth overall draft pick.  In 142.1 innings in the minor leagues he’s shown strikeouts (8.85 K/9), control (2.15 BB/9) and enough groundballs (46.9%), so the question is going to be if he can translate those numbers to the Majors. Read more