by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
He’s long been one of the elite players at his position, but like most of the Red Sox 2014 has been a miserable one for him. Through Tuesday he was hitting .267 with 3 HR and 2 SB, though before we take pennies on the dollar we have to stop and ask ourselves if there is any potential upside.
Yes, the power may no longer be a part of his game. It’s been trending that way since setting a career high of 21 HR back in 2011 and his HR/FB the past three seasons have been 8.5%, 5.6% and 4.8%. Considering his fly ball rate is down to 28.3% (he was at 27.9% in ’13), it’s easy to expect 10-12 HR, max, at this point with single digits being realistic.
He will also turn 31 in August and while that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of stolen bases, you do have to think he’s going to slow down. As it is he had 17 last season and never stole more than 26 in a season. Is 15 his high point this year? Is it impossible he even falls short of that? Having been caught 4 times in his 6 attempts, it’s definitely possible.
There is reason to believe that his average will come around, given his .295 BABIP and 24.2% line drive rate… Of course his career marks are .313 and 20.6%, plus we just finished saying he may have lost a step.
I’m not about to endorse giving Pedroia away, but he is also clearly not the same player he once was. If you are a team looking to win now, maybe he catches fire, but maybe not…
The interesting note? Jose Altuve is now a better fantasy option.
Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
Through Tuesday Holliday was hitting .265 with 4 HR?! This was Mr. consistency, a player you could lock in for .295 and 22+ HR. Is it age?
There are a few obvious issues:
1) His HR/FB is down from 15.7% for his career (15.0% last season) to 6.1% this year
That’s obviously a huge concern, considering how consistent he has always been.
2) His line drive rate is down, currently at 16.0%
It’s not a crippling number, considering his career mark is just 19.4% and his current strikeout rate is 14.7%. Still, it needs to be mentioned.
3) He is popping the ball up
His IFFB is 13.6%, a disturbing trend that actually started last season (13.6%). Couple that with a groundball rate north of 50%, for a player with not much speed at this point and there is no wonder why the average is down.
Given his consistency there is no reason to panic, but he also isn’t necessarily a player I would be looking to buy low on. The cost is probably still a little bit prohibitive based on name alone.
Source – Fangraphs