Ditch List Guidelines: Should You Stay Patient With These Highly Hyped, Struggling Young Hitters?

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It’s always difficult when young players get off to slow starts. What does the future hold for them? Could a return to the minors be in the cards? Could they be sat down for a lengthy period of time? Obviously each case is different, so let’s take a look at a few players who have gotten off to slow starts and try to determine how to proceed:

Jesse Winker – Cincinnati Reds – Outfielder
There were high hopes for the Reds’ Winker entering the season, but an abysmal start has led many to become primed to cut bait and move on.  Even in a worst case scenario, would anyone have predicted these types of numbers:

.042 (1-24), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 SB

That lone hit is a single and it’s not like he’s been getting on base via the walk, with 1 BB.  It’s easy to say not to make a snap judgment on a small sample size, but when it’s this bad it’s sometimes easier said than done.

While his approach has regressed from last season, if you simply looked at his 9.4% SwStr% and 33.3% O-Swing%, especially when paired with a solid 35.3% Hard% and 35.3% Oppo%, you aren’t going to raise any red flags.  Opposing pitchers are throwing him a few more breaking balls thus far this season (26.02% to 31.25%), and that’s a trend that could continue considering these career marks:

  • Fourseam Fastball – .308
  • Sinker – .310
  • Slider – .246
  • Curveball – .257

So the question is if Winker will be able to make the necessary adjustment, along with getting a little bit better luck.  It’s pretty safe to assume the latter (.059 BABIP), and that alone tells you better days lay ahead.  With that in mind, staying patient in nearly all situations is the prudent decision (even with the chance he loses a few AB) until we get a little bit more data.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Don’t Drop
  • 12 Team League – Don’t Drop
  • 14+ Team League – Don’t Drop
  • AL-Only League – Don’t Drop
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Don’t Drop

Brandon Nimmo – New York Mets – Outfielder
After finally breaking out in 2018 it’s been an extremely disappointing start for Nimmo:

.103 (3-29), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 0 SB

While it’s hard to imagine, could he play himself out of AB once Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie return?  The Mets have been giving Jeff McNeil time in LF and seeing them utilize McNeil, Michael Conforto and a combination of Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton on a regular basis is very realistic.  That’s assuming Nimmo can’t right the ship.

He’s continued to draw walks (13.9%), which has helped, but he’s seen his SwStr% rise significantly (9.5% to 20.4%).  It’s obviously a small sample size, and it also isn’t like opposing pitchers have changed their approach (he’s actually seeing more fastballs, going from 64.00% to 66.47%).  He simply hasn’t had a hit against anything but a fastball as of yet, and it’s easy to chalk that up to being an aberration.  Strikeouts are going to be part of his game, though it’s more due to his extremely patient approach, and the swings and misses should regress as well.

He’s not going to bring significant power or speed, and that is going to limit his appeal.  That said unless he loses his starting job simply giving up on him now doesn’t make much sense.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Consider Drop (But not yet)
  • 12 Team League – Don’t Drop
  • 14+ Team League – Don’t Drop
  • AL-Only League – Don’t Drop
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Don’t Drop

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

2 COMMENTS

  1. What about strahm? He hasn’t looked good despite showing nice upside in relief and in spring. First start was a disaster. Second one could have been a lot worse if you look into it. Thanks

    • Let me add him onto the list! I’ll try to get a Quick Hit type piece out in the next day or two, but it’s definitely going to be format dependent

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