by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Having been a fantasy non-factor for the past three seasons, Andrelton Simmons has suddenly become relevant once again. The numbers over his first 291 PA may not blow you away, but they certainly have value:
.274, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 31 R, 10 SB
Always someone who has made consistent contact and flashed a little bit of speed, there’s nothing that’s unrealistic in those numbers. Sure it’s a few more stolen bases than we would’ve expected (10 actually matches his career high), but that’s enough to make us sour on him. There’s also nothing unrealistic in his luck (.278 BABIP) or his strikeout rate (8.6%, courtesy of a 4.9% SwStr%), so it’s very possible he continues hitting at a similar clip (think .275-.290).
That leads us to wonder about the power surge, bringing us flashbacks of his 17 HR display in 2013. His 10.0% HR/FB more than doubles what he’s done in recent seasons and his 29.2% fly ball rate isn’t conducive to significant power numbers. Then you have to look at the pitches he’s actually hit out of the ballpark:
- Fourseam Fastball – 3
- Sinker – 2
- Change up – 1
- Curveball – 1
So the bulk of the power has come against “hard” pitches, which he’s seen 59.24% of the time. That number has been trending down, opening June at 54.50%. That’s going to lead to fewer home runs, and given his averages all of his production could start to regress:
- Change up – .250
- Slider – .243
- Curveball – .125
Those are not strong numbers, so the fewer fastballs he sees the worse the overall production will be. Thus far it hasn’t been an issue, as he’s hitting .268 in June, but he’s also posted a miniscule 1.6% strikeout rate. Even with his tremendous command of the strike zone that number is going to rise, and with it will come a decline in the average.
You also can expect fewer fastballs to lead to fewer home runs, and in turn fewer RBI. It’s not to say that he isn’t intriguing, with the potential to finish the season as something of a .270ish hitter with 12 HR and 20+ SB. That said, he’s also not going to maintain this current pace.
Keep that in mind before committing to him as a mainstay moving forward.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||June 3|
|Second Base||June 5|