by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We all know the players who have disappointed, but the bigger question is if they can turn things around or if it’s best to cut our losses and move on. In terms of pitchers we have the added “bonus” of at least being able to pick our spots, if the upside remains, though that may be a small consolation prize. Let’s take a look at two players who we had high expectations for and try to determine how we should proceed:
Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies
After exploding onto the scene in 2017 there were high hopes for Hoskins heading into 2018, but thus far it has yet to fall into place. Through Wednesday he was hitting just .239 with 6 HR and 3 SB, failing to make an impact in any category. He was supposed to be a mix of power and plate discipline, something you wouldn’t guess given these numbers:
- Strikeouts – 28.4%
- Home Runs – 11.1% HR/FB
He is still drawing walks (16.8% walk rate), and a 9.5% SwStr% doesn’t justify the gaudy strikeout rate he’s posted. Things have been far worse in May (33.3%), where he’s struggled against both offspeed pitches (17.74% Whiff%) and breaking balls (15.79%). It’s possible he’s pressing, given the overall issues, but you would also think that things will turn in time.
Maybe he’s taken a home run-centric approach (51.4% fly ball rate), but again that’s not the biggest concern. It could help to lower his BABIP (currently .323), but he’s hitting the ball hard (36.2% Hard%), should see an improvement in his strikeout rate and will start to send balls flying over the fences more regularly. While he’s been a disappointment, that actually makes it the perfect time to try and buy low before he truly catches fire and certainly not a player to give up on.
Verdict – Hold ‘Em
Zack Godley – Arizona Diamondbacks
Everyone is ready to jump off the bandwagon after his disastrous start against the Brewers on Wednesday (6 ER over 3.1 IP), as he now owns a 4.53 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. The big issue overall has been a lack of control, as the underlying metrics otherwise look reasonable:
- Strikeouts – 8.41 K/9
- Control – 4.69 BB/9
- Groundballs – 50.3%
While his pitch selection hasn’t varied greatly, you have to wonder if he’s lacking the pitch to truly keep opponents off-balance and with more familiarity he is getting worse results. He operates mainly with a sinker (33.6%), cut fastball (22.6%) and curveball (38.9%), and he also has lost over a mile per hour on his sinker (91.9 mph to 90.2).
Adding to that theory is the ERA based on the number of times through the order:
- 1st Time Through – 2.66
- 2nd Time Through – 4.19
- 3rd Time Through – 7.47
You could argue he needs to utilize his changeup more… You can argue that the loss of velocity is having a significant issue… You can argue it’s both… Either way, while we wouldn’t necessarily cut bait completely we also wouldn’t go out and try to buy low given the questions hanging over him.
Verdict – Not a must ditch, but he’s hard to buy into today
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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