by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Yesterday brought a flurry of activity across the league, with several big names being jettisoned in three separate trades. Let’s take a look at how the movement impacted the stock of some of the key players involved in the transactions:
Jurickson Profar (1B/3B/SS)
Traded to Oakland
It was a bit of a surprise that the rebuilding Rangers finally decided to trade Profar, especially dealing with him within the division for what appears to be a rather underwhelming return (we discussed the prospects in that deal yesterday, which you can view by clicking here). As for Profar himself, the new locale shouldn’t have a significant impact on his value. While he did hit 20 HR last season, he’s not an extreme power hitter and should still be able to produce similar numbers in Oakland.
He also showed an impressive approach, which should translate well to his new home ballpark:
- SwStr% – 8.4%
- Hard% – 37.3%
- Oppo% – 27.3%
Those marks should yield better than a .269 BABIP, especially in the vast expanses of Oakland, and in a better lineup the opportunity will be there for ample runs scored. The arrow was already pointing up and landing in Oakland, where he could settle in as the #2 hitter, doesn’t change that.
Stock – Up
Yasiel Puig (OF)
Traded to Cincinnati
Puig has always been a polarizing player, though he is coming off a productive year at the plate hitting .267 with 23 HR and 15 SB over 444 PA. Now he should slot into an everyday role, something the Dodgers did not always give him, while playing in a hitter friendly ballpark. While the splits haven’t always been dramatic, take a look at it from last season:
- Home – .243/.295/.390
- Road – .292/.359/.605
He hit 17 of his home runs on the road, and while we aren’t going to count on his 26.6% HR/FB it does show just how much better his production could be. He needs to cut down on the popups (17.4% IFFB), though he hits the ball hard (38.4% Hard%) and his approach isn’t an issue (10.5% SwStr%, 31.1% O-Swing%).
The upside is significant, even with the little bit of risk, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he finally reached the potential we’ve always heard about given the new ballpark and opportunity to play.
Stock – Up
Alex Wood (LHP)
Traded to Cincinnati
While the move to Cincinnati is a good thing for Puig, what type of impact will it have on Wood? Even in a down year he continued to show enough of all three skills we look for from a pitcher overall:
- Strikeouts – 8.01 K/9
- Control – 2.37 BB/9
- Groundballs – 48.9%
It’s a concern that his fastball velocity was down (his sinker went from 92.28 to 90.52 mph) and maybe that’s why he was throwing it less than ever before (42.98%). That also led to fewer groundballs, and moving out of Los Angeles and into Cincinnati that could spell home run troubles.
As it is you could argue that his stock was declining, especially given the constant risk of injury. While the trade doesn’t necessarily make the drop in value significantly greater, it doesn’t help his cause.
Stock – Down
Domingo Santana (OF)
Traded to Seattle
For a rebuilding team the acquisition of Santana makes a lot of sense. It was a disastrous 2018 (.265 with 5 HR) and it’s not like he was stellar while at Triple-A (.283 with 8 HR over 227 PA). Even more concerning is the strikeout rate, as he was at 32.8% in the Majors and 33.0% at Triple-A. Maybe a fresh opportunity will allow him to get that under control, though even during his breakout 2017 season he owned a 29.3% strikeout rate.
Obviously any player who hit 30 HR with 15 SB is going to catch our attention and he’ll be well worth the look, but the risk is obvious and just because he’s a Mariner it doesn’t change (especially since he won’t be handed a regular role and will need to earn it with his play).
Stock – Stagnant
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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