by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
When the Mets designated Matt Harvey for assignment the assumption was that they wouldn’t get much value back, if they were able to even find a trading partner. You can argue if Devin Mesoraco can be considered value or not, but there is potential and he’s an upgrade over what the Mets currently have at the position. Will either player truly benefit from the change of scenery and make an impact in ’18? Let’s take a look:
It’s looking like the injuries have taken their toll, as he’s continued to lose velocity (93.26 mph on his fourseam fastball) and with it has gone his ability to strikeout batters (6.67 K/9 with an 8.2% SwStr%). It’s clear he needs to reinvent himself and the approach he takes against opposing hitters, but expecting him to do it on the fly in the middle of the season seems misguided.
That alone would make you skeptical, but the fact that he’s been hurt by home runs in each of the past two seasons make it even worse:
- 2017 – 2.04 HR/9
- 2018 – 2.00 HR/9
With a 41.1% groundball rate that could continue to be an issue, especially moving into a much more hitter friendly ballpark.
Given the state of the Reds’ rotation he should slide back into a starting role (and that’s been the rhetoric thus far), but without strikeout potential, the risk of home run issues and the fact that getting a W will be nearly impossible, Harvey is best left on the waiver wire in most formats.
After losing his job to Tucker Barnhart you would have to think that Mesoraco will get an opportunity to claim the starting role for the Mets (as long as he’s healthy). Of course his ability to play every day is extremely questionable, considering his history, and when he has been on the field the past few years the performance has been abysmal:
- 2017 (141 AB) – .213, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 17 R
- 2018 (41 AB) – .220, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R
A career .234 hitter, while you may want to point to a .267 BABIP his bigger issue as been a 27.3% popup rate and a pedestrian 19.4% line drive rate. He’s particularly struggled against fourseam fastballs, hitting .158 without an extra base hit against them. Considering he’s seen them 62.43% of the time, it’s extremely concerning though it hasn’t been swing and miss issues (4.63% Whiff%).
Maybe a little bit more playing time allows him to rediscover his footing? Time will tell, but like with Harvey it’s hard to get excited. Maybe in two-catcher formats, where you can potentially catch lightning in a bottle, but in one-catcher leagues he’s easily just monitored off the waiver wire for now.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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