Archive for Player News

Bullpen Notes: April 30, 2016: Britton Banged Up, Next Up In Miami & More

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing):

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Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Named The 5th Starter, Is Vincent Velasquez A Lock To Produce In ’16?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The biggest question facing Vincent Velasquez is where his role ultimately lies.  Is he going to be able to stick in the rotation?  Is his long-term role at the back of the bullpen?  Time will tell, but the Phillies are clearly giving him an opportunity and will open the year with him as part of their rotation.  It makes sense, given his upside, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to thrive.

Acquired from the Astros as part of the Ken Giles trade, Velasquez showed swing and miss stuff with Houston last season (10.5% SwStr%).  He utilizes four pitches, though it’s clear which he prefers to use:

  • Fastball – 68.5%
  • Curveball – 18.7%
  • Changeup – 7.5%
  • Slider – 5.7%

That coincides with the scouting report Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 posted prior to 2015:

“Velasquez has a four pitch arsenal that features a fastball that sits 92-95 MPH with plenty of 6’s. His best secondary pitch is his hard curve ball that sits 78-80 MPH with a nice 11 to 5 break.  His changeup, while inconsistent, shows a lot of potential and could eventually be an above-average, if not more pitch.  He also throws a slider that is well behind the other three pitches.” Read more

2016 Value Selections: NL West Edition: Alex Wood, Trevor Story & More

by Ray Kuhn

At this point there really is no such thing as a true “sleeper” (especially as the definition has evolved and become less than crystal clear). Knowledge is readily available and consumed and sleepers have become players that people are high on and expect good things from in the coming season, compared to their prior year performance.

With that mind, instead of listing a sleeper from each team I am going to focus on a playerwho I feel has a good chance to exceed their draft day price. These are not necessarily exciting players, but options to keep an eye on. It is possible that they could go undrafted in some, if not all leagues, but the potential is there while the risk is not.

Let’s take a look at the NL West:

Socrates Brito – Arizona Diamondbacks – OF
As we get closer to the season and have a larger body of Spring Training numbers to evaluate, we have to reduce the urge to overreact. At the same time Brito is certainly trending in the right direction after his first 12 games this spring saw him hit .378 in 39 plate appearances with a home run and RBI. A large factor in Brito’s playing time had been the health issues surrounding Yasmany Tomas, who struggled through his MLB debut last season. Tomas does appear to be ready for the start of the season, but the Diamondbacks have already stated that Brito is line for substantial playing time. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Can Andrelton Simmons Develop Into A Productive Option?

by Ray Kuhn

Andrelton Simmons is known for his defense. It’s why the Braves locked him up to a long term deal and the same reason why the Angels traded for the Gold Glove shortstop this winter. While his glove does insure that he will be in the lineup, his defense doesn’t provide us with a fantasy benefit.  So what can we expect with the bat? Is there any value beyond that of a middle infielder in most leagues?

In 2013 he hit 17 HR, but after combining for just 11 over the past two seasons that is ancient history. He had a 39% fly ball rate in ’13, turning 8% of those into home runs. Both of those numbers have fallen off a cliff, including hitting a fly ball just 22% of the time with 4% of those being long balls last season. If you look at his Power Index, per Baseball HQ, that follows the same trend over the past three seasons (Power dropping from 86 to 47 and Expected Power falling from 89 to 61).

Simmons is still just 26-years old so there is room for a turnaround, but to me this also signals a philosophical change as the fly balls turned into ground balls. With the gap between his Power and Expected Power, there is some room for growth, but anything more than 10 HR would be surprising, although it is clearly possible. Read more

Post-Hype Buy: Why Lucas Duda Could Be Overlooked Heading Into 2016

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Coming out of last season there was a general feeling of disappointment when it came to the Mets’ Lucas Duda.  Before we get into the details and trying to understand why, let’s first take a look at our 2015 preseason projection as compared to the numbers he actually posted (which was actually pretty close to dead on):

Timeframe
AVG
HR
RBI
R
Preseason Projection.251278570
Actual.244277367

So why the feeling of disappointment? A lot of it was the inconsistency, with the power coming in bunches to go along with periods of virtual nonexistence.

The problem was more centralized to the first half, hitting 2 HR in 80 AB in April and 1 HR in 91 AB in June. Over the final three months, while he still had his ups and downs, he was putting up a bit more consistent power: Read more

2016 Rankings: Top 40 Outfielders (#1-20): Young Outfielders Emerging & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s obvious who the top options in the league are, with the two top overall players being found in the outfield.  After you get past Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, though, things start to become a little bit “murkier”.  That’s not to say that there aren’t tremendous options, but the order is debatable.  Who are we willing to target?  Who could be a bit overvalued?  Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:

1) Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
2) Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
3) Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
4) Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
5) Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
6) A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
7) George Springer – Houston Astros
8) Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
9) J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
10) Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles Read more