Fantasy Throwdown: Niko Goodrum vs. Marwin Gonzalez: Who Is The Better Fantasy Target?

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We should all be looking for value and versatility late in our drafts, and when you can combine the two it creates a perfect bench player.  With players moving around the diamond more regularly there are plenty of multi-positional options, and based on current NFBC ADP there are some interesting names available really late in your draft:

  • Niko Goodrum – 295.81
  • Marwin Gonzalez – 337.33

A year ago it would have been shocking to see Gonzalez available this late, and also being selected after Goodrum.  Obviously a poor, injury plagued season helped to contribute to the drop but does that mean there isn’t rebound potential?  Should he be targeted at his current ADP, especially over Goodrum?  Let’s take a look:

Niko Goodrum

Goodrum brought an interesting blend of power and speed, with 12 HR and 12 SB over 472 PA last season.  Of course he also hit .248 as he struggled with excessive swing and miss, with a 29.2% strikeout rate, as he had issues against all types of pitches (Whiff%):

  • Hard – 11.55%
  • Breaking – 18.11%
  • Offspeed – 22.73%

For his career he owns a .567 SLG against fourseam fastballs (17 HR), and then the only other pitch he has a SLG better than .365 is curveballs (.463).  It makes you think that opposing pitchers will simply stop throwing him fastballs, which obviously would have a negative impact on his production.  Throw in the potential to fall into the short side of a platoon, and it’s fair to have questions about Goodrum’s ultimate upside.

Marwin Gonzalez

Interestingly Gonzalez showed more power (15 HR) and a better average (.264), the only “downfall” was missed time and a lack of speed.  Gonzalez has consistently shown a better approach throughout his career (11.1% SwStr% in ’19, 9.7% for his career), and he’s a .264 career hitter.  He is a little bit too pull heavy, but that hasn’t been a significant issue in the past.

His 14.7% HR/FB is right in line with what he’s done, and over a full season would put him in the 20 HR range.  That may not be significantly better than Goodrum, but we’d expect a little bit more power.

Conclusion

Which profiles as a better player?  A .270ish hitter with 20 HR and the potential to go 70 R/70 RBI?  Or a .240 hitter who could again go 12/12, while playing in a less than ideal ballpark with the potential to be on the short side of a platoon?  Opportunity and location alone would lead us towards Gonzalez (though the addition of Josh Donaldson may eat into his opportunities), and outside of the speed he also has more upside in the other four categories.  Considering the ADP, Gonzalez is the easy choice for a late round selection.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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