by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The dismantling of the Marlins continued yesterday, as they shipped Marcel Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals in return for four prospects. The had a trickle down effect, as the already crowded St. Louis outfield needed to be reorganized a bit. That came in the form of a Stephen Piscotty trade, as the Cardinals turned around and shipped him to Oakland. Obviously both players were impacted so lets take a look at their outlook moving forward:
Hes coming off a monster season, hitting .312 with 37 HR despite playing half his games in the less than friendly confines of Miami. Of course that raises a different concern, given this split (HR // HR/FB):
- Home – 22 // 25.3%
- Road – 15 // 21.1%
For his career Ozuna owns a 15.1% HR/FB, so its fair to assume the road number is closer to the truth (especially with an 18.9% mark in the second half, leading to 14 HR). Those numbers put him closer to a 30 HR hitter, not that there is anything wrong with that. Just know what to expect.
Ozuna also benefited from a .355 BABIP, despite a 19.3% line drive rate, and his 12.7% SwStr% could indicate more strikeouts are coming (21.2%, but he posted four months of at least 22% last season).
In other words Ozuna was always going to carry overdraft risk, considering a likely regression in both his power and average. The trade will make it worse, because the hype is only going to grow. That’s not to say that he won’t be solid, but one of the elite he is not.
There have long been rumors tying Piscotty to Oakland and it appears they have finally come to fruition. He’s coming off a rather disappointing season, hitting .235 with 9 HR over 341 AB. The question is if he’s going to be able to rebound back towards his 2016 line (.273 with 22 HR).
His line drive rate took a step back (20.2% to 17.6%), though he improved his approach a bit:
- SwStr% – 10.6% (12.4% in ’16)
- O-Swing% – 29.5% (33.1% in ’16)
The Whiff% improved across the board, which helps to justify the improvement, and you have to wonder if the lack of regular playing time played a role in his struggles in regards to his line drive rate. In June, the only month in which he topped 75 AB (he had 93), he posted a 20.8% line drive rate.
There’s always been questions about his power potential, though 60 extra base hits in ’16 did show a little bit of promise (though playing half his games in Oakland will help to cap the potential). Don’t look at last season and determine he’s a bust, but also don’t view him as a player that could put up monster years. His 2016 may be his ceiling, though there’s a good chance he can get back to those numbers. That makes him a player worth owning, especially in five-outfielder formats, but in shallower leagues the upside is capped.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Projections: