by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
News broke yesterday that two hitters were returning to the Majors due to injuries. Let’s look at each of them to get a feel for their potential role and the impact they can make this time around (which in a few cases it could prove to be a brief stay in the Majors):
Franchy Cordero – Outfielder – San Diego Padres
(Unranked, C+ Grade)
The injury to Manuel Margot has opened an opportunity for Cordero, the question is if he’ll be able to take advantage of it. He showed an intriguing mix of power and speed at Triple-A last season, with 17 HR (56 total extra base hits) and 15 SB, and he surprisingly coupled it with a .326 average. Of course the batting average is tenuous, at best:
- BABIP – .431
- Strikeout Rate – 28.2%
The BABIP is unsustainable and the strikeout rate could get significantly worse given his 18.5% SwStr%. In 2016, splitting time between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A he owned a 17.9% SwStr%, so it’s hardly an aberration. We saw that in 99 PA in the Majors last season, as he struck out 44.4% of the time leading to a .228 average. As MLB.com described him as having an:
“aggressive approach and lack of strike-zone judgment comes with considerable swing-and-miss tendencies”
Speed and power are nice, but if you are continually striking out and not getting on base (5.5% walk rate last season) you can’t tap into those skills. That risk may trump all, and it’s easy to envision him struggling and ultimately spending time back at Triple-A to try and refine his approach. Until that happens the risk is going to outweigh the reward.
Tomas Nido – Catcher – New York Mets
(#7 Prospect, C+ Grade)
The Mets may have lost Travis d’Arnaud for the season due to a partially torn UCL, and after seeing Kevin Plawecki hit on the hand yesterday there could be ample playing time available. If Plawecki avoids the DL it’s possible Nido’s time in the Majors is short (he was recalled from Double-A, and the team could opt to add Jose Lobaton to the 40-man roster and summon him from Triple-A).
Entering 2017 Nido appeared to be a promising catcher prospect, coming off a year where he hit .320 over 370 PA at High-A. The numbers regressed significantly upon reaching Double-A in ’17, hitting .232 over 404 PA, but what was important was that he continued to show an improved approach (15.6% strikeout rate, 7.4% walk rate). Of course he was swinging and missing more than the strikeout rate indicates (11.4% SwStr%), and that could be exposed in the Majors.
Couple the risk of an increased strikeout rate with a pedestrian line drive rate (19.8% in ’17) and little power (8 HR in ’17 was a career high, and he added just 19 doubles and 1 triple) and there’s little to get excited about. Even if he plays, the upside appears to be minimal.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com
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