by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously there are players who can go outside the strike zone and still see success (you will find some names on this list). That said, the more someone chases outside the zone there are two results that become more likely:
- A swing and miss
- Weaker contact
So players who are prone to chasing add an extra layer of risk. Who has proven most willing over the past three seasons? Let’s take a look:
1) Pablo Sandoval – 47.3%
2) A.J. Pierzynski – 46.3%
3) Avisail Garcia – 44.9%
4) Adam Jones – 44.7%
5) Marlon Byrd – 43.0%
6) Salvador Perez – 42.6%
7) Scooter Gennett – 42.1%
8) Evan Gattis – 40.8%
9t) Josh Hamilton – 40.7%
9t) Chris Johnson – 40.7%
9t) Wilin Rosario – 40.7%
A lot is often made of Sandoval’s weight, which is obviously an issue, but his propensity to chase pitches is an issue as well. While he doesn’t strikeout a lot (14.5% in ’15), he also has never shown an ability to post a gaudy line drive rate (18.8% in ’15, 19.7% for his career). With no speed it shouldn’t be a surprise that his BABIP has been .301 or worse for four straight seasons, bottoming out at .270 last season. While his name tends to hold appeal, it’s hard to buy into a bounce back.
We’ve already covered him in detail, which you can view by clicking here. The bottom line is that while there was a time that he was viewed as a potential superstar, there’s little chance that he even performs as a viable option in ’16.
His name may be the most surprising on this list. That said he’s been over 40% for six consecutive seasons and has continued to produce so why would we start worrying now? At 30-years old it is possible that he begins to slow down and regress, so his .269 average and back-to-back poor line drive rates (17.5% and 17.8%) are a bit eye opening.
He also has seen his speed diminish in recent years (10 total SB in the past two seasons). It just means that maybe he’s lost a step or two, so balls that he once beat out become groundouts (further suppressing his upside).
Does it come together to mean that Jones is a player to avoid? Not necessarily, but he also isn’t someone we’d overpay for. The bottom could completely fall out quickly, so it’s something to watch. We’ll take an in-depth look at him in the near future.
We know he doesn’t walk, so his inclusion on this list shouldn’t come as a surprise. This just backs it up and shows us that the average upside may be limited. While he’s been a .290+ hitter before, the .260 he’s posted in back-to-back seasons is probably closer to the truth.
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|Second Basemen||Second Basemen||Second Basemen|
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|Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40||Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40||Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40|
|Starting Pitchers: 1-20 | 21-40||Starting Pitchers: 1-20 | 21-40|
|Relief Pitchers||Relief Pitchers|