by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Justin Ruggiano – Chicago Cubs – Outfielder
A preseason sleeper, Ruggiano struggled early on and ultimately missed time due to injury. Overall his numbers have been solid (through Wednesday), hitting .294 with 4 HR, 17 RBI, 19 R and 1 SB, and we have to remember that over the past two seasons he’s totaled 31 HR and 29 SB.
The first problem, however, is that he’s benefited from a .379 BABIP. That number would be viewed as unsustainable, regardless, but a 21.6% line drive rate makes it nearly impossible. Couple that with a 24.7% strikeout rate (25.5% for his career) and it’s clear that the average could regress significantly.
There’s no reason to think that he can’t continue his current home run pace, with an 11.1% HR/FB (career mark of 14.7%) and a 37.1% fly ball rate (career rate of 37.2%). However, is that enough of a reason to really buy into him?
Without the stolen bases (he could start running, though we would’ve liked to have seen a little bit more) and the average risk, things don’t look great. He also has spent the bulk of his time hitting second (88 AB), which is going to limit his RBI upside and could also limit his opportunities to steal bases, and there are more negatives than positives.
That’s not to say that he isn’t worth owning in five-outfielder formats, but he’s more of a depth option than anything.
David Peralta – Outfielder – Arizona Diamondbacks
A former pitcher, Peralta transitioned to the outfield in 2013 and fared well in the minors hitting .322 with 14 HR in 410 AB between 2013 and 2014. Called up to the Majors this season he’s continued that type of production, hitting .331 with 3 HR over 121 AB (through Wednesday).
Of course, despite a meager 18.6% line drive rate Peralta has managed to post a .374 BABIP. In other words, there’s little chance that he can maintain the average he’s posted thus far.
Peralta hasn’t shown much speed, with a total of 5 SB since his transition to the outfield. He also has been a groundball machine in the Majors, with a 58.8% mark. While he wasn’t that bad in the minor leagues, with a 44.0% at High-A and 45.1% at Double-A, it was also against lower level competition.
At this point, barring a change in his groundball mark, there’s just way too much risk. He has shown improvements in July, with a 42.3% mark, but that may not even be enough. The average is going to plummet and it’s hard to imagine significant power. There should be better options available on your waiver wire.
Sources – Fangraphs, Minor League Central
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