Archive for Player Analysis

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Which Streaking Starter Is Worth Adding (Wood, Karns & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Figuring out if a hot pitcher is for real or not isn’t always an easy task.  Sometimes pitchers can look like all world performers for a few starts, only to see the bottom fall out in short order.  Who of the hot pitchers are for real?  Who should we be ignoring (or selling)?  Let’s take a look:

 

Alex Wood – Los Angeles Dodgers
It certainly appears like Wood has turned back the clock, as he is checking all the boxes in regards to what we look for from a pitcher:

  • Strikeouts – 12.11 K/9
  • Walks – 2.78 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 62.8%

He’s always primarily been a sinker ball pitcher, and that hasn’t changed this season (50.00%).  The adjustment he has made is throwing his changeup more, and his current 28.1% would be a career high.  That, along with his curveball, have been swing and miss pitches (Whiff% of 16.03% and 16.49%, respectively). Read more

Sell High Candidate: Why Aaron Altherr May Be A Prime Sell High Candidate

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to argue that the Phillies’ Aaron Altherr is the epitome of a post-hype sleeper. After many expected a breakout in 2016, Altherr was a forgotten man entering 2017. He’s certainly grabbed our attention quickly, hitting .351 with 7 HR over his first 74 AB. Now the question is if this is just a hot stretch or can he actually maintain it moving forward and finally live up to the hype?

 

Average
His .413 BABIP alone tells you that he isn’t going to maintain this type of gaudy number. With a 10.4% SwStr%, you have to wonder if the strikeouts (24.7%, after a 30.4% mark last year) are going to rise as well.  There’s an obvious way to attack him to get swings and misses, as displayed by his Whiff%:

  • Hard – 7.96%
  • Breaking – 12.20%
  • Offspeed – 27.78%

Read more

Bounce Back or Bust: Can Jonathan Villar Turn His 2017 Around?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Brewers’ Jonathan Villar has become one of the most asked about players in the league in recent days.  Considering the gaudy numbers he put up in ’16 it makes sense, as he’s regressed across the board in ’17 (all numbers are through Tuesday):

Season
AVG
HR
RBI
R
SB
2016.28519639262
2017.200416177

At the time we took this look we were just 33 games into the season, but it’s clear that he’s not the same player he was a year ago.  The question is if he can get things on track or is he destined to disappoint?

There is no questioning his speed, as you don’t steal 62 bases by accident, but you need to get on base in order to utilize it.  Right now his OBP skills are in serious question: Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Does A Velocity Drop Spell Doom? (Arrieta, Bundy & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While fastball velocity doesn’t mean everything, a significant drop is noteworthy and could be a warning sign of bigger problems to come.  Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest velocity droppers through Monday and determine if we should be concerned or if there is little reason to worry:

 

Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs
2017 Fastball Velocity – 85.5
2016 Fastball Velocity – 87.8
Drop – 2.3

Hendricks has never been a hard thrower, but this type of velocity is obviously a significant concern.  His effectiveness overall has been down, and you have to wonder if the decrease in velocity has impacted the effectiveness on his changeup.  Just look at the Whiff% on the pitch the past two seasons:

  • 2016 – 24.32%
  • 2017 – 14.29%

Read more

The Sell List: Three Players To Trade Immediately: Javier Baez & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Selling high on a player is often easier said than done.  Just because we see impressive numbers doesn’t mean that the rest of your league is going to buy in, based on the player’s history or the same underlying metrics that are concerning you.  That said, trying to get what you can for a player doesn’t hurt either.  With that in mind, here are three players that you should be shopping and potentially taking whatever you can get in return:

 

Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays
He’s coming off a 24 HR campaign and entered play on Monday hitting .304 with 6 HR.  Why would there be any concern?  Just look at the notable underlying metrics:

  • BABIP – .354
  • Strikeout Rate – 21.8%
  • SwStr% – 15.1%
  • O-Swing% – 44.4%

Considering the SwStr% and O-Swing%, does anyone believe that there’s any chance he maintains a reasonable strikeout rate?  Then you have the luck, which is nearly a guarantee to regress considering his 21.6% line drive rate (which is hardly an elite mark). Read more

The Ditch List: Is Adam Wainwright Or Charlie Morton Worth Holding Onto?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Do you hold onto the veteran with a proven track record?  How about the player who has had a great start, though the underlying metrics create obvious concerns?  There’s no one answer, so let’s take a look at two starters who have gotten off to different starts and see if they are worth holding onto or not:

 

Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
It has been a disastrous start to the 2017 campaign, after he took another beating last Thursday at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers.  In his six starts he’s allowed 4+ ER in four of them, only once going more than 5.0 innings (a 6.1 inning performance against the Blue Jays).  That clearly helps to explain his 6.30 ERA.

He’s been hittable, having allowed 49 hits over 30.0 IP.  Just by looking at the luck numbers, with a .446 BABIP and 69.3% strand rate, it’s easy to envision an improvement coming.  However he’s continued to be hit extremely hard, and while we would expect an improvement in his BABIP there’s no guarantee that a dramatic improvement is coming (line drive rates): Read more