Cut ‘Em Guidelines: Is It Time To Move On From These Early Season Disappointments (Deshields & More)

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 three players who we had high expectations for and try to determine how we should proceed:


Delino Deshields – Texas Rangers – Outfielder
2018 Statistics – .205, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 25 R, 10 SB

We all know speed has become one of the biggest commodities for fantasy owners, which is what added to the appeal of Deshields in the preseason.  That said he’s already played himself out of the leadoff spot (he’s hit ninth each of the past three games, with Shin-Soo Choo assuming the top spot in the order) and you have to wonder how long it will be until he finds himself on the bench.

He entered Tuesday with some interesting underlying metrics though:

  • Hard% – 25.8%
  • SwStr% – 7.7%
  • O-Swing% – 25.2%

Even with that type of Hard%, with his speed we’d expect better than a .270 BABIP (.358 in ’17).  As for the approach, does that jive with a 24.7% strikeout rate?  There are better days ahead, and as long as the Rangers give him time to figure it out he’ll ultimately reward those who remain patient.

Ditch List Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Droppable (but not a must drop)
  • 12 Team League – Must Hold
  • 14+ Team League – Must Hold
  • AL-Only League – Must Hold
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must Hold


Marcus Semien – Oakland A’s – Shortstop
2018 Statistics – .257, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 36 R, 4 SB

At 27-years old this was supposed to be a full breakout campaign, instead he’s limped along failing to rediscover the power he had shown in 2016 (27 HR).  The fact is that the big year is starting to look like the outlier, given these HR/FB (entering play on Tuesday):

  • 2015 – 9.1%
  • 2016 – 14.7%
  • 2017 – 9.2%
  • 2018 – 7.8%

He is putting fewer balls in the air this season (34.2%), so that could help, but is it enough?  He’s already benefiting from a .324 BABIP despite a 29.9% Hard% and he’s shown a similar approach to year’s past (10.3% SwStr%, 27.8% O-Swing%).  There is hope, but he’s hardly a player that’s a sure thing.

Ditch List Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Droppable
  • 12 Team League – Droppable (but not a must drop)
  • 14+ Team League – Must Hold
  • AL-Only League – Must Hold
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must Hold


Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles – Outfielder/First Baseman
2018 Statistics – .234, 7 HR, 17 RBI, 29 R, 0 SB

It was easy to see the risks facing Mancini entering the season, and we noted all of them in our preseason Draft Guide:

“Finally getting an opportunity to play every day, Mancini delivered by hitting .293 with 24 HR and 78 RBI over 543 AB.  It’s fair to wonder where the power potential lies, after producing a 51.0% groundball rate in ’17.  He slowly started to cut that down (51.6% in the first half, 50.5% in the second) and the hope would be that he could continue to improve as he matures and gains experience.  There also are concerns about his strikeout rate (13.4% SwStr%).  He did show some signs (10.0% SwStr%, 30.2% O-Swing% in August), and if he can simply maintain a mark in the 25% range it will be enough.  There’s some level of projection at play, but there’s enough upside to invest.”

Roughly one-third of the way into the season, Mancini hasn’t done anything to ease those:

  • SwStr% – 13.3%
  • O-Swing% – 32.8%
  • Groundball Rate – 55.4%

We all want to believe he’s going to figure it out, but at this point are you really willing to buy into it?  It’s an extremely hard sell, and in shallower formats he shouldn’t be viewed as a must hold.

Ditch List Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Droppable (but not a must drop)
  • 12 Team League – Must Hold
  • 14+ Team League – Must Hold
  • AL-Only League – Must Hold
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must Hold

Sources – Fangraphs, CBS Sports

Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings?  Make sure to check it out by clicking here.  


  1. Don'tBeAHader says:

    Rank ’em ROS…Bour, Mancini, DeShields, Desmond, Duvall.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It really depends on need. Obviously if you need speed, it’s Deshields. If you are looking for power, I’d probably go:

      Bour / Duvall / Mancini / Desmond (but it’s close)

  2. Joe Carola says:

    do you like Deshields or Hamilton for SBs going forward. Both are available. I’m trying to go with bulk (Gardner/Fowler/Bauers) but would like to just plug one guy in the SB slot. Thanks.

  3. Chris says:

    Hi Prof. Do you like Anderson, Profar, Peraza, Robertson, Cozart, or Kingery at SS over Semien? 10 team league, Redraft with 3 keepers. Thanks.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I still think Semien has the highest upside, but in a shallower league like this I’d ride the hot hand. If you had to drop Semien so be it, but I’d rather stash him until he warms up and go with Profar or Anderson for nopw

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