Any Hope for These 2020 Flops? Part 2

Calling someone a flop in two-month season requires some serious caveats, air quotes around “flop”, or both. That doesn’t mean there weren’t several disappointing players that deserve a deeper look to see what’s going on. This will be a running series this winter, check it out the other installments below.

Joey Gallo | TEX – OF – 77 wRC+

Gallo has been a fantasy darling for a while now spurred by back-to-back 40 HR seasons in 2017-18. The catch was a combined .208 AVG in those seasons so you had to plan around that deficiency if you wanted the power. Then in 2019 his BABIP soared to a career best .368, fueling a .253 AVG in the process, though it was just 70 games as injuries limited him. What I think was lost on many was that a .500 BABIP against lefties really drove the gains for Gallo.

In other words, it was fraudulent.

He still hit just .217 against righties (.306 BABIP) so those thinking he was a more complete player were setup for disappointment. It was even worse than expected as he went completely the other way against lefties with a .143 AVG/.161 BABIP while maintaining his level vs. righties (.203 AVG/.274 BABIP). Of course, that performance against lefties is just as much of an outlier as his 2019, just on the other end.

So where does this leave us going into 2021?

He is who he is. His 2017-18 seasons (average of .208 AVG, 40 HR, 86 RBI, 5 SB) should be the guide and Steamer agrees with that, tabbing him for a .210 AVG, 39 HR, 95 RBI, and 6 SB projection. This performance landed him around 90th overall so his ADP in the 170s is very enticing. Just make sure you plan around the batting average and that power can be a great addition to your lineup.

J.D. Martinez | BOS – OF – 77 wRC+

While Martinez’s 2019 was down in relation to 2017-18, it was going from MVP-caliber hitter to simply superstar hitter (169 wRC+ in ’17-18; 139 in ’19) so his 2020 output was a massive shock. He hit just .213/.291/.389 with 7 HR and 27 RBI in 237 PA, a season that was emblematic of the Red Sox season writ large.

The biggest issues for Martinez were a massive surge flyballs (+9 points to 44%) paired with a 6-point drop in his Hard-Hit rate which fostered a complete meltdown in his HR/FB rate (-13 points to just 10%) and BABIP (.259). His plate skills (K%, BB%) were a bit off, too, but not enough to make any substantive difference in his output.

The more I look at this, the more I see a 2-month blip as opposed to any fundamental issues worth worrying about in 2021. His age (33) and being DH-only are the only negatives in his profile as far as I am concerned, and neither is pushing me away from drafting him. In fact, his sharp drop in ADP down to late-90s/early-100s covers any worry on the age/DH front and leaves tons of room for profit.

If you are a Martinez proponent you should consider some early drafts as I can only see this ADP rising, especially if he shows out in Spring Training. His Steamer line (.277 AVG, 35 HR, 106 RBI, 94 R) would be great at this price while his 2017-19 season average remains very much in play (.313-41-113-98). Buy, buy, buy!

What do you think? Are you buying back in on these two? How do you plan ahead when you drafting Gallo? Do you build a strong AVG foundation early or look to pluck some AVG-first mid-rounders?

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Baller McCheesemember
1 year ago

Martinez seemed to blame a lot of his struggles on not being able to review video in-game. You don’t buy that, Paul?

Jolly Good Show
1 year ago

Yes, this is the chief concern I have. There are a few others who had the same problem. A lot of will rely on whether videos will be allowed in 2021.

1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

do you think there are other guys around the league that struggled but haven’t said used it as an excuse?

Ohtani was a guy with a similar breakdown — EV down, so too was batting average and power

Robert J. Baumannmember
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

Yelich also cited that as part of the reason for his struggles in 2020.