Has Scooter Gennett Truly Arrived Or Is A Disappointing 2019 In His Future?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After a breakout 2017 campaign (.295 with 27 HR and 97 RBI) it was fair to be skeptical about Scooter Gennett entering 2018.  Was it just a lucky campaign?  Was he guaranteed to regress back to the pedestrian numbers he had posted while a member of the Brewers?  The answer to those questions became pretty obvious, as he followed up his breakout with another strong season:

584 At Bats
.310 Batting Average (181 Hits)
23 Home Runs
92 RBI
86 Runs
4 Stolen Bases
.357 On Base Percentage
.490 Slugging Percentage
.358 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Instead of operating as a place holder until Nick Senzel was deemed ready to contribute, Gennett strengthened his hold on an every day job.  Now the question isn’t with if Gennett is good, the question is how good can he truly be? Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is The Indians’ Shane Bieber Primed For A Breakout 2019?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Cleveland Indians appear to be a never ending stream of intriguing starting pitchers.  When one goes down the next steps up and thrusts his name onto fantasy radars.  While their rotation was hampered by injuries in 2018 the team benefited from the emergence of Shane Bieber, who quickly became a viable fantasy option with seemingly even more upside.  First, let’s look at the actual production:

114.2 IP
11 Wins
4.55 ERA
1.33 WHIP
118 Strikeouts (9.26 K/9)
23 Walks (1.81 BB/9)
46.6% Groundball Rate
.356 BABIP

He was obviously among the elite control artists in the league, a number that is fully believable (0.6 BB/9 over his minor league career).  When you couple that with enough groundballs you are instantly going to have an intriguing fantasy option.  The question is going to be whether or not he can maintain his strikeout rate, and also if he can improve upon his bloated BABIP. Read more

After A Disappointing 2018, Has Ryon Healy Become A Buy Low Candidate For 2019?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a disappointing first season in Seattle for Ryon Healy, hitting .235 with 24 HR and 73 RBI over 493 AB.  Things were particularly bad in September, as he was mired in a terrible slump and finished hitting .162 with 0 HR and 8 RBI over 85 PA.  Is it time to write him off?  Is the September swoon a sign of things to come?  Or is there upside and hope that he can put things together and produce big numbers?

The obvious issue was in his average, which was a problem all season long.  It wasn’t that he had a particularly poor approach, either in September or over the full season:

  • Full Season – 11.4% SwStr%, 36.1% O-Swing%
  • September – 10.4% SwStr%, 30.9% O-Swing%

Read more

Dynasty League Buy Low Targets: Identifying 2018 Disappointments Who Could Rebound In 2019

by Connor Henry

You hear it all the time: Buy Low, Buy Low! In fantasy baseball this can have many different meanings, ranging from trading for Brian Dozier at the All-Star Break or drafting a Tommy John surgery victim in their second year back to buying players in dynasty leagues who’ve maybe had an “unlucky” year. Let’s dig into a couple of pitchers who fall into the latter and I think could be solid buy lows for dynasty owners this offseason:

 

Luis Castillo – Cincinnati Reds
Of the Top 9 pitchers in swinging strike rate Castillo, at #8, is the only player with a K/9 below 10. In fact he incredibly has a K/9 of 8.75, which puts him with Cole Hamels as the only qualified pitchers in the Top 15 swinging strike rate with a K/9 below 9. Even with the impressive bat missing numbers, Castillo threw 169 innings in 2018 to the tune of a 4.30 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, not even within shouting distance of his 3.12 ERA and 1.07 WHIP from 2017. So what has changed? Let’s compare his stats from each of the last two seasons. Read more

2019 Sleeper List: Why The Twins’ Max Kepler Could Be An Ideal Post-Hype Sleeper

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was some hype behind the Twins’ Max Kepler entering the season, and while he did chip in 20 HR and 80 R it would be hard to consider his season anything but a disappointment?  Why?  First let’s take a look at all of the numbers he produced:

532 At Bats
.224 Batting Average (119 Hits)
20 Home Runs
58 RBI
80 Runs
4 Stolen Bases
.319 On Base Percentage
.408 Slugging Percentage
.236 Batting Average on Balls in Play

His average (as well as his OBP) and lack of stolen bases/RBI obviously zapped him of the bulk of his value.  The question is if there is room for improvement, developing into a post-hype sleeper, or if 2018 is more of a sign of things to come? Read more

2018 Leaders Review: Top 10 September Strikeout Rates: Did A Breakout Emerge?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We often say that September results are not indicative of what the future holds, considering the September callups helping to skew the competition level.  At the same time we’ve seen it before where a late season flourish helps to point towards future success.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Top 10 strikeout rates over the final month of the season to see if there is any surprises:

Ranking
Player
Team
Strikeout Rate
1. Justin VerlanderHouston Astros13.64
2.Max ScherzerWashington Nationals13.50
3.German MarquezColorado Rockies13.38
4.Blake SnellTampa Bay Rays13.37
5.Corey KluberCleveland Indians13.34
6.Carlos CarrascoCleveland Indians12.78
7.Gerrit ColeHouston Astros12.74
8.Robbie RayArizona Diamondbacks12.40
9.Stephen StrasburgWashington Nationals11.68
10.Aaron NolaPhiladelphia Phillies11.64

For the most part it’s your standard cast of characters, with one obvious exception (and another worth touching on): Read more