2014 Bust Analysis – Second Base Edition – Who Will Bounce Back (Cano, Kipnis & More)?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As with the first baseman (who we looked at last week and you can view by clicking here), you could easily classify the preseason “top” second baseman as bitter disappointments in 2014.  In fact each of our preseason Top 3 failed to live up to expectations.  Is there hope for a rebound?  Should they be written off for 2015?  Let’s take a quick look:

 

Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
2014 Statistics – .314, 14 HR, 82 RBI, 77 R, 10 SB

We all knew that there was the risk of a power regression with the move out of Yankee Stadium, but what was interesting about Cano’s issues was that he actually hit more home runs at home (9) than on the road (5).  Obviously it’s not like the home number was fantastic, but it does bring upside and it’s easy to expect him hitting more home runs on the road moving forward (7.2% HR/FB).

You also have to wonder if he pressed a bit in an attempt to live up to his gaudy contract.  While he’s never been a huge fly ball hitter, he posted an inflated 52.6% groundball rate and a miniscule 24.7% fly ball rate.  He may never push 30 HR again, but he should post better numbers moving forward (think 18-23, at least).

Outside of the power (which took his RBI with them), he still posted a top average and should continue to be viewed as one of the better options in the league.

 

Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
2014 Statistics – .240, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 61 R, 22 SB

Talk about a disaster, as an oblique injury both cost him time and hampered his performance all season long.  We all know that this is not indicative of his upside and getting healthy should go a long ways into getting him back on track.

After attempting at least 37 stolen bases in each of his first two seasons, he tried just 25 times last season.

His 10.0% career HR/FB plummeted to 4.8%.

Despite a solid 18.0% strikeout rate and 22.6% line drive rate, he posted a .288 BABIP and a poor average.

In other words, it’s easy to expect a bounce back performance in 2015.

 

Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
2014 Statistics – .278, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 72 R, 6 SB

At this point it’s easy to say that Pedroia simply isn’t the same player that he once was.  He’s simply not running as much as he once did and at his age it’s easy to imagine it continuing to be that way.

His power was also down, and considering it was the second straight season it’s a major concern.  Over the past two seasons he’s posted fly ball rates of 27.9% and 27.8%, as well as HR/FB of 5.6% and 5.2%.  While he has a track record of more, it’s easy to think that this simply is what he is at this point.

No power and no speed?  His days as a top fantasy option clearly appear to be behind him.

 

Source – Fangraphs

One comment

  1. Marc says:

    Your argument for Kipnis’ performance reverting back to previous heights is also what I was thinking for Chris Davis, right down to the same injury. Do you agree/disagree? I wasn’t thinking 50 HRs for him again, but somewhere in the 35-45 range.

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