Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Should Fantasy Owners Believe In Ronald Guzman or C.J. Cron?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are a few young first baseman who are impressing and making an impact at the Major League level.  Can they maintain the numbers though?  Are they worth investing in long-term?  Let’s take a look (all stats are through Thursday):

 

Ronald Guzman – Texas Rangers
2018 Statists – .236 (30-127), 6 HR, 24 RBI, 13 R, 1 SB

He’s hit 5 HR in May, though he’s continued to struggle with his average (.241).  No one is going to question the power he’s shown thus far (19.4% HR/FB), though he had never shown it at Triple-A (13 HR over 643 PA over the past two seasons).  The bigger issue has been the average, where strikeouts (31.4%) and relatively weak contact (27.7% Hard%) have limited his potential.  As you would expect he’s really struggled against non-fastballs (Whiff%):

  • Hard – 11.96%
  • Breaking Balls – 20.29%
  • Offspeed – 20.78%

Guzman has only seen 60.26% hard pitches, and that’s even lower in May (59.94%).  That’s going to ultimately limit his value, and we have to remember the bulk of his power surge came courtesy of a five game span (he hit 4 HR over that stretch).  You take that out and would anyone really be interested?  He’s had some nice moments, but at the end of the day there’s not enough to get excited about.

Verdict – Deny ‘Em

 

C.J. Cron – Tampa Bay Rays
2018 Statists – .270 (58-215), 12 HR, 32 RBI, 32 R, 1 SB

The issue for Cron has long been a lack of steady AB, something he’s been getting in Tampa Bay and capitalizing on.  There’s nothing unsustainable about his current 19.7% HR/FB, compared to a career 14.6% mark (and at 28-years old he easily could’ve matured and maintain the growth).  It’s fair to question the approach, with a 24.3% strikeout rate, but he’s improved his SwStr% from last season (13.2% to 11.8%).  Last year he was susceptible to both offspeed pitches and breaking balls, but he’s taken a step forward in both (Whiff%):

  • Breaking Balls – 22.72% to 16.33%
  • Offspeed – 20.13% to 15.79%

If he can maintain those improved marks he should see at least a slight improvement in his strikeout rate, which would ensure his AVG remains usable (there’s nothing to question about his .313 BABIP).  Suddenly he looks like a .270+ hitter with power, who should also drive in ample runs in the middle of the Rays’ lineup.  Consider his stock on the rise and a player worth owning in all formats.

Verdict – Buy ‘Em

 

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

4 comments

  1. Frederic Kass says:

    Professor,

    Offered Bregman and Berrios for Rizzo and Buehler. Pull the trigger?

  2. Mitch says:

    This is kind of off topic but I have owned Bradley zimmer for a few years now in my dynasty league, but I’m getting kind of frustrated with him. He’s been terrible so far this year and he has had inconsistent playing time as well. I’m just wondering if you think he’s even worth a roster spot still? And is the upside even there still?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Yea, it’s definitely a frustrating situation but there’s still upside there. Unless you are trading him at fair value, it’s hard to justify just cutting him and moving on unfortunately.

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