Archive for Player Analysis

Quick Hit: Could Alex Wood Return To Fantasy Relevance In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Julio Urias not expected to be ready to open the season in the Dodgers’ rotation, Hyun-Jim Ryu being brought along slowly and Scott Kazmir battling decreased velocity, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (click here for the article) expects Alex Wood to open with the fifth starters job.  It’s an interesting development for the once promising starter, who was moved to the bullpen late in ’16 after missing much of the season.

While Wood may not be long for the rotation, there are significant questions and it’s easy to envision him taking the ball every five days if he is getting the job done.  Can he be the potential stud he flashed in ’14 (2.78 ERA, 8.91 K/9, 2.36 BB/9)?

Even as he struggled, control was never a question (career 2.72 BB/9).  He’s also seen his groundball rate rise over the years, though even the ’14 mark is enough to excel in Los Angeles: Read more

To Draft or Not To Draft: Are Jason Kipnis & Didi Gregorius Worth Selecting?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Injuries always play a significant role in our draft day decisions.  Is it worth stashing a player who is going to miss time?  If the answer is yes, how far do we downgrade them?  Let’s take a look at two currently injured players and try to determine how they should fit into our plans:

 

Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians – Second Baseman
“Jason Kipnis had a second medical opinion on his sore right shoulder. Dr. Keith Meister agreed with the Tribe doctors, who said Kipnis has inflammation. He will rest for a week, then start hitting and throwing.” — Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Assuming the Tribe’s star second baseman has no more setbacks, he will be able to play in 4-to-5 weeks, according the the Indians. That means he’ll open the season on the disabled list.”

Opening Day is less than two weeks away, so a best case scenario appears to have Kipnis missing the first two weeks of the season.  Of course this is all under the caveat of having “no more setbacks”.  The injury initially occurred in February and the thought was that he’d be able to play in early March.  However after just a handful of AB he had to be reevaluated and now faces an extended absence. Read more

Deep League Sleeper: Does The Rockies’ Stephen Cardullo Deserve The 1B Job?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the injury to Ian Desmond the assumption has been that Mark Reynolds will get the first opportunity to fill the void.  Could Stephen Cardullo force the team’s hand?  After spending four years playing Independent Ball he joined the Colorado organization last season thriving at Triple-A (.308 with 17 HR over 452 PA) before getting a taste of the Majors (where he struggled).

Despite that he hasn’t been garnering much attention this spring, though he’s doing his best to get people to take a look.  Through Sunday he’s posted the following line:

.351 (13-37), 3 HR, 13 RBI, 8 R, 0 SB

He’s been making consistent contact and showing a good eye at the plate, with 8 K vs. 5 BB.  That’s consistent with what he did at Triple-A last season, where he posted a 12.8% strikeout rate and an 8.2% walk rate.  Of course that didn’t necessarily translate to the Majors (12.8% SwStr%, 42.9% O-Swing%), but that was in far too small of a sample size to draw conclusions from.  He also added 26 doubles and 5 triples while playing at Triple-A (and added six extra base hits in his brief time in the Majors), helping to support the power mark. Read more

5 Late Round Starting Pitchers Who Should Help Your WHIP (Nola, Shoemaker & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

I used to consistently pen a column called “Scott Baker, the WHIP Maker”, thanks to his consistent under-the-radar potential to help buoy your WHIP.  He may no longer be an option for fantasy owners, but there are several late round selections who can help.  Let’s take a look at who you should be targeting late in your drafts, thanks to their upside in the category:

 

Aaron Nola – Philadelphia Phillies
Current ADP – 201.37
Rotoprofessor’s WHIP Projection – 1.10

Nola has all of the makings of a breakout starter in 2017, as long as he can stay healthy (and his ’16 was cut short due to an elbow injury).  The big issue as he progressed through the minors was his strikeout rate, but a 9.81 K/9 in 111.0 innings should wipe those concerns away (though he likely will regress a little bit, considering his 9.6% SwStr%).  Couple the improved strikeout rate with a 55.2% groundball rate (and the increased usage of his sinker backs this up) and elite control (2.35 BB/9 in ’16, 1.5 over his minor league career) and the outlook is impressive. Read more

Quick Hit: Will Collin McHugh Enjoy A Bounce Back 2017 Campaign?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After the 2014 season it looked like Collin McHugh was ticketed to be a perennial top pitching option.  That’s what happens when you post a 2.73 ERA, courtesy of a 9.14 K/9 and 2.39 BB/9.  Things have slid since then (ERA of 3.89 and 4.34), and you can argue that it has led to him being undervalued heading into 2017.  There’s actually reason to believe that a renaissance is coming, assuming he’s healthy, so let’s take a look:

 

2016 Statistics
184.2 IP
13 Wins
4.34 ERA
1.41 WHIP
177 Strikeouts (8.63 K/9)
54 Walks (2.63 BB/9)
41.3% Groundball Rate
.338 BABIP Read more

Deep Spring Sleeper: Could Delino Deshields Jr. Win The Rangers’ Starting LF Job?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A year ago Delino Deshields Jr. was viewed as a significant fantasy asset.  Coming off a strong 2015 campaign, where he hit .261 with 83 R and 25 SB over 492 PA, he posted a miserable 2016 season (.209 in 203 PA in the Majors, he spent time at Triple-A and didn’t make the team’s postseason roster).

An afterthought when the preseason started, it’s fair to wonder if Deshields could force his way into the Rangers’ plans (whether it’s Opening Day or later on this season).  While the leadoff/centerfield role is filled by Carlos Gomez, leftfield is a different story where Deshields is one of several candidates:

  • Jurckson Profar
  • Joey Gallo
  • Ryan Rua
  • Delino Deshields Jr.

Read more