Archive for Player Analysis

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Lance McCullers Destined For The Bullpen?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one is going to argue that Lance McCullers isn’t an intriguing young pitcher with significant upside.  He will pitch the entire 2017 campaign as a 23-year old and showed an impressive skill set over 81.0 innings in the Majors last season, leading to a 3.22 ERA:

  • 11.78 K/9
  • 57.3% groundball rate
  • 13.0% SwStr%

That screams of a star, but he also owned a 1.54 WHIP thanks to a 5.00 BB/9.  With a minor league career 4.5 BB/9, the struggles shouldn’t be shocking and helps lead to the theory that maybe he’ll ultimately transition to the bullpen.

Of course he’s still young and needs time to develop his control, though he’s not an overly tall pitcher (6’1”) so we can’t use that as a reason for the struggles.  Control also isn’t the only reason to think that he’ll have to transition out of a starters role. Read more

ADP Watch: At His Current ADP, Is Yoenis Cespedes A Value Pick For 2017?

by Ray Kuhn

After 600 AB in 2014 and 633 AB in 2015, Yoenis Cespedes was bit by the injury bug last season and managed just 479 Ab in ’16. All signs point to the outfielder being healthy, and as a bonus he won’t have to worry about playing centerfield. If he continues on the same home run pace he established last season, a 40 home season is very possible.

So why is he currently the 15th outfielder being selected with an ADP of 59.56?

The only true knock I can find is that his speed has been on the decline and he doesn’t run anymore, but it’s hard to find fault with any other aspect of his game. There is also no reason why we shouldn’t expect his recent success to continue, as it is well supported.

Cespedes eclipsed the century mark for RBI in 2014 and 2015, but last year he fell short with 86. Also, after averaging 95 runs scored during those two seasons he scored just 72 runs last season. These are easiest of the four remaining categories to tackle, as there is a clear relationship to playing time If we simply carry over Cespedes’ 2016 trends to this season while assuming 600 at bats, he is at 108 RBI and 90 runs scored. The Mets lineup figures to be improved from last season with Jose Reyes, Jay Bruce, David Wright and Lucas Duda all available entering the season. Now they are not without questions or concerns, but it is an upgrade. Based on track record alone there should be an improvement in 2017, which Cespedes will benefit from. Read more

Rankings Review: Is Starling Marte Really A Lock To Be A Top 20 Outfielder?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There is a lot to like about the Pirates’ Starling Marte, as he brings both power and speed to the table.  He’s shown them both in recent seasons, with career highs in home runs (19) and stolen bases (47) split between 2015 and 2016.  A career .289 hitter and coming off the following year, what exactly is there not to like:

489 At Bats
.311 Batting Average (152 Hits)
9 Home Runs
46 RBI
71 Runs
47 Stolen Bases
.362 On Base Percentage
.456 Slugging Percentage
.380 Batting Average on Balls in Play

With 34 doubles and 5 triples, it would seem like the power isn’t a “concern” and he’s posted four straight seasons of 30+ stolen bases.  It makes sense that people want to see him ranked higher than #21, so why did he “fall”?  Let’s take a look: Read more

Quick Hit: Is Tim Anderson Destined To Disappoint In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The White Sox’ Tim Anderson was considered a highly touted prospect and he lived up to the billing upon debuting in 2016. He showed both power and speed, en route to this impressive stat line:

410 At Bats
.304 Batting Average (75 Hits)
9 Home Runs
30 RBI
57 Runs
10 Stolen Bases
.306 On Base Percentage
.432 Slugging Percentage
.375 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Given the lack of speed around the game and the impressive debut, it makes sense for many to heavily push him up the rankings. While the speed is real (he stole 49 bases in 2015), there are significant questions hanging over him the will potentially limit his production. Read more

2017 Projection: Just How Big Of A Breakout Will Sean Manaea Enjoy?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When we go looking for high-upside pitching options a lot of the attention is going to go to players like Jon Gray, James Paxton and Robbie Ray.  They all bring high strikeout upside and the potential to put things together and emerge as Top 25 starters for the coming season.  One pitcher who doesn’t always get lumped into the group is the A’s Sean Manaea, despite having posted strong marks in his rookie campaign:

144.2 IP
7 Wins
3.86 ERA
1.19 WHIP
124 Strikeouts (7.71 K/9)
37 Walks (2.30 BB/9)
44.2% Groundball Rate
.281 BABIP

Obviously his strongest asset was his control, with the strikeouts and groundballs appearing to be fairly pedestrian.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t upside, so let’s take a look and try to see where things may go. Read more

Quick Hit: Could Jered Weaver Hold Value In San Diego?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While Jered Weaver’s name carries a little bit of weight, his actual performance does not.  It’s been a few years since he’s been a significant fantasy asset, and things have been particularly poor over the past two years.  If you took the name out and just saw these 2016 numbers, the player wouldn’t even be on your radar for 2017:

178.0 IP
12 Wins
5.06 ERA
1.46 WHIP
103 Strikeouts (5.21 K/9)
51 Walks (2.58 BB/9)
28.8% Groundball Rate
.301 BABIP

The two numbers that jump out at you are the lack of strikeouts and groundballs.  In that regard the 34-year old couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot, after recently signing with the San Diego Padres.  The move to the NL should help his strikeouts and Petco Park should help to offset the home run issues (1.87 HR/9 in ’16).  Is it enough to put him back on radars, though? Read more