Fantasy owners are always looking to find breakout players, whether it’s those who haven’t emerged as of yet or those who are currently struggling. Obviously when you are looking to acquire someone who is under-performing the price tag is going to be the key. Who are worth targeting, assuming the price has dropped significantly? Here are three names to explore:
Paul Goldschmidt – St. Louis Cardinals
June Statistics – .181, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 10 R, 0 SB in 106 PA
It’s been a disappointing season for Goldschmidt overall (.246 with 14 HR), but things have gotten even worse in June. When you start to look at some of the metrics, however, it doesn’t really make sense:
- Hard% – 45.7%
- Oppo% – 27.1%
- Fly Ball Rate – 38.6%
- SwStr% – 10.7%
So he’s hitting the ball hard and he’s not swinging for the fences or taking a pull heavy approach, yet he carried a .209 BABIP for the month? Everything about that screams of a rebound, especially given his solid approach overall. Things will get better, as he settles into St. Louis, and a big second half could be in his future.
Verdict – Buy ‘Em
Wil Myers – San Diego Padres
June Statistics – .188, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 13 R, 3 SB in 82 PA
Myers is in a little bit of a tricky situation, since the Padres have multiple options and he could easily continue to lose playing time. That puts a little extra pressure on Myers to produce, and as the struggles build (overall he has a 35.7% strikeout rate, .401 SLG) that becomes harder and harder to guarantee.
The biggest red flag is the swing and miss, as he’s struggled to make contact against all types of pitches (Whiff%):
- Hard – 12.46%
- Breaking – 17.47%
- Offspeed – 17.12%
It’s not that he’s chasing outside the strike zone (27.7% O-Swing%), so maybe there’s a little bit of hope? He actually has improved his approach in June (12.2% SwStr%, 24.4% O-Swing%) and he continues to hit the ball hard (41.9% Hard%). Throw in some speed and you would think a hot streak is coming. Maybe we wouldn’t go out of our way to acquire him, but if you own him stay the course.
Verdict – Buy ‘Em (but don’t go to extremes)
Austin Meadows – Tampa Bay Rays
June Statistics – .206, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 1 SB in 117 PA
Meadows looked like a breakout candidate early in the year, but things have completely fallen off a cliff since. You have to wonder if he’s started swinging for the fences, something that’s cost him across the board. Just look at some of the metrics, comparing his overall mark compared to in June alone:
- Fly Ball Rate – 41.7% vs. 44.6%
- SwStr% – 9.8% vs. 11.7%
- O-Swing% – 27.6% vs. 31.0%
So he’s putting the ball in the air more and his approach has deteriorated. It’s interesting, because it’s not that opposing pitchers have flipped the script on him. Instead it appears to be an approach driven slump, and one that is not guaranteed to change. Meadows is better than this, but he’s also not a guarantee. Keep that in mind.
Verdict – Don’t Buy ‘Em
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball