Archive for Player Analysis

Why The A’s Matt Joyce Shouldn’t Be A Highly Targeted Sleeper

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The A’s made an intriguing signing when they inked Matt Joyce to a two-year, $11 million contract.  The 32-year old has had his ups and downs over the course of his career, but he’s always shown power potential and he put it on display last season as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates:

231 At Bats
.242 Batting Average (56 Hits)
13 Home Runs
42 RBI
45 Runs
1 Stolen Bases
.403 On Base Percentage
.463 Slugging Percentage
.285 Batting Average on Balls in Play

He did the bulk of his damage against right-handed pitching (.242 with 12 HR), and that’s been a constant over the course of his career:

  • vs. RHP – .252 with 96 HR
  • vs. LHP – .185 with 10 HR

Read more

Breakout or Bust: Could Andrew Susac Finally Emerge In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a time that Andrew Susac seemed unlikely to make much of an impact, thanks to being buried behind Buster Posey in San Francisco. The former second round pick has bided his time and is now finally out of the shadows, after being traded to the Brewers at the 2016 trade deadline. Now with only Martin Maldonado standing in his way, could this be the year he emerges as a viable option?

His minor league numbers don’t especially stand out, hitting .256 with 41 HR in 1,331 PA. The biggest concern has been his ability to make contact, especially during his time in the Majors, as he’s posted a 13.0% SwStr% and 29.0% strikeout rate. Those numbers have accumulated over parts of three seasons, but they are still concerning (especially since his best Whiff% against hard pitches is 12.55%).

In other words the question is going to come down to his power, as the average isn’t likely going to be there (think .250-.265, at best). There have always been conflicting reports to his upside, as Prospect 361 noted prior to 2015: Read more

Fantasy Fallout: Jaime Garcia, Despite Being In Atlanta, Still Has Appeal

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Atlanta Braves are stock piling veteran starting pitchers.  On the surface it doesn’t seem to make sense, as a rebuilding franchise, but it’s really not an unreasonable maneuver.  Sure it’s a bit of a surprise that they’ve added three starters (Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey and now Jaime Garcia), but the trio should help to mentor the team’s stockpile of young pitchers while also allowing them to gain much needed experience at Triple-A.

Garcia is the latest to be acquired, as the team traded a trio of prospects (RHP Chris Ellis, RHP John Gant & INF Luke Dykstra) in exhange.  The biggest issue hanging over Garcia has often been his health, not his ability to produce.  Last season was actually the first time he eclipsed 130 innings since 2011, showing you the problems he’s had.  Of course while the innings were nice the results were actually relatively underwhelming:

171.2 IP
10 Win
4.67 ERA
1.37 WHIP
150 Strikeouts (7.86 K/9)
57 Walks (2.99 BB/9)
56.7% Groundball Rate
.305 BABIP Read more

2017 Sleeper Spotlight: Could The Returning Eric Thames Make An Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Eric Thames has spent the past three seasons playing in the KBO, putting up some gaudy numbers (.348 with 124 HR, 379 RBI and 64 SB over 388 games).  It would be easy to get excited, but we also can’t forget that the KBO is the same league that Byung-ho Park called home and we all know how his transition went.  Obviously the Brewers thought enough of Thames to give him a three year, $15 million contract, as well as cut ties with Chris Carter to open up a roster spot.  Is there hope for him to deliver or is he safe to ignore for fantasy owners?

Remember Thames did have success in the minor leagues, including hitting 27 HR at Double-A back in 2010.  The number that jumps out at you is his 21.1% strikeout rate at the time, so while he was mashing the ball in Korea was he able to improve in that regard?  Here are the numbers:

  • 2014 – 19.26%
  • 2015 – 15.29%
  • 2016 – 19.66%

Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Could Edinson Volquez Become Fantasy Relevant In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a time that Edinson Volquez appeared to be a viable fantasy option, including as recently as 2015 when he posted a 3.55 ERA for the Kansas City Royals.  However the numbers certainly fell off a cliff in 2016:

189.1 IP
10 Win
5.37 ERA
1.55 WHIP
139 Strikeouts (6.61 K/9)
76 Walks (3.61 BB/9)
51.2% Groundball Rate
.319 BABIP

Despite his overall struggles he was still able to land a two year, $22 million contract with the Miami Marlins.  There’s no question that he should provide veteran leadership as well as eat some innings, but can the move back the NL and a favorable home ballpark help put him back on fantasy maps? Read more

2017 Projection: Is A Rebound Season In Bryce Harper’s Future?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We haven’t yet released our initial outfielder rankings, something that will happen before the end of the year, but one of the biggest questions is going to be where Bryce Harper fits.  Once considered for the top spot (along with Mike Trout), a poor 2016 campaign appears to have him ticketed down the rankings.  He’ll surely be behind Mookie Betts, but is that how far he falls or will others pass him by?  Let’s take a look, but first the 2016 numbers:

506 At Bats
.243 Batting Average (123 Hits)
24 Home Runs
86 RBI
84 Runs
21 Stolen Bases
.373 On Base Percentage
.441 Slugging Percentage
.264 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Obviously the big questions come in the average and home run departments.  It was the first time he hit below .270 in a season and was coming off a 2015 campaign that saw him launch 42 HR (along with 38 doubles and 1 triple).  Considering he had just 24 doubles and 2 triples in 2016, there’s obviously reason for concern. Read more