Author Archive

Two Braves Starters May Get Called Up Soon

A few days ago the Braves entered extra innings with only one reliever available. As the game could have very well continued far past that point, the Braves were bracing themselves for using Alex Wood on his throw day and pushing his start back. They were considering bringing up Matt Wisler, if they were forced to use Wood that afternoon, but the Braves lost the following inning and the situation was avoided. What this does show is that the Braves are close to bringing Wisler up, and I expect him to be in Atlanta sooner rather than later as Mike Foltynewicz has struggled of late as well.
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2013 Draft Day Retrospective: Clint Frazier and Eric Jagielo

It is MLB draft day, which is an exciting time for prospect focused fans and especially dynasty league participants. I already have three potential first rounders on my dynasty team, so I will certainly be focused on today’s action. Unfortunately, it usually takes a few years for even college players to make their debuts, and it is not uncommon for high schoolers to spend five years in the minors before coming up to the majors.
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Rubby de la Rosa Looks Ready to Breakout

In looking through my three annual league rosters this morning, I noticed there were two players I have in each of those leagues. Those two are Marcus Semien and Rubby de la Rosa. To give some perspective, one of these leagues is a deep, 20-team industry dynasty league and the others are keeper leagues. I made a trade during the offseason for de la Rosa in the dynasty league because I love his velocity and think he has the potential to be one of those Garrett Richards type post-hype breakout pitchers.
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Braves Back End: Foltynewicz and Perez

The Braves started the year with the low-upside and low-downside combination of Eric Stults and Trevor Cahill, but have now moved to two younger starters to hold up the back end of their rotation, one of which was expected and one of which is a surprise.
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Daniel Norris and Rougned Odor in Long Term Leagues

Two of the younger players in the American League, Rougned Odor and Daniel Norris, were popular on draft day in many leagues, especially deeper leagues or long term leagues such as dynasty formats. In those long term leagues, injuries to players ahead of them during spring training solidified them spots out of the gate, and many – including myself – were hopeful that the youngsters would have what it took to stay both on the major league roster and productive from a fantasy perspective. I even went so far as to write up on Odor when he struggled over the first few weeks of the season, but I was unfortunately wrong on my tout.
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Matt Adams and the Struggles of Free Swingers

As a big guy standing on the left side of the plate who previously hit 36 home runs in a minor league season, it is safe to say that the Matt Adams we have received over his first 1,000 plate appearances is a very different Matt Adams than what we were expecting.

I traded for Adams yesterday in a dynasty league, mainly due to his age and security of role on a top team, but it led me to analyze Adams a bit deeper and figure out what exactly is happening with him. Adams was never much of a plate discipline maven, as he has never recorded a walk rate above 10% at any level, but I did expect more than the sub-5.0% walk rates he has been putting up since becoming a full time regular. While he has pretty massive platoon splits, which I will get to in a bit, the low walk rate is not limited to only the times he is facing same handed pitchers. He is an equal opportunity free
swinger, which does not bode well for Adams owners in on base percentage leagues.

Adams does have quality hand eye skills, which is why his strikeout rate has not gotten out of hand despite a O-Swing% that hovers around 10% more than the average hitter. Adams makes contact in the zone more than most first basemen (90% Z-Cotact) but pitchers this year, intentional or not, have opted to throw him less strikes in general due to his high chase rate. He has seen 40% strikes this year compared to 44% last year. That could be an aberration, or it could be front offices, pitching coaches, and pitchers noticing that Adams is up there to hack so why throw him pitches in the zone.

This creates some worry for Adams and those who own Adams, because he seemingly only has two options here. He can continue to swing away freely and see his power sapped as he swings at an excess of pitches out of the zone, or he can become a patient hitter and start taking some walks to become the three true outcome type hitter everyone expected out of him in the minor leagues.

Going back to Adams’ platoon splits, he is on his way to becoming a full on platoon player and rightfully so. This season he has a 110 wRC+ against righties and a -28 wRC+ against lefties, albeit in 19 plate appearances. Against southpaws this year, he is 2-20 with two singles, one walk, and nine strikeouts. For those with a long term vested interest in Adams such as myself, expect the Cardinals to continue to employ Mark Reynolds types going forward to platoon with Adams. This will limit his plate appearances, but will also likely improve his actual on the field production, ala Ike Davis the past two seasons as a full-time platoon member. To ensure I am not basing this off of only this season, of the 1,000+ plate appearances Adams has had, he has a .304/.345/.498 line against righties and a .189/.220/.307 line against lefties.

There is still hope for Adams as a useful fantasy option, even in standard formats, but the hope lies within him altering his approach at the plate. If the Cardinal coaches want to get as much out of Adams as they can, they need to preach a patient approach with him and for him to be more comfortable with strikeouts than ground outs. From a stats perspective, things are not looking too great for Adams going forward. His numbers as a full-time regular are not too impressive and his projections all have him with a sub-110 wRC+. From a scouting perspective, however, he has the tools to be a well above average hitter but needs to work on his plate discipline and overall approach. If the latter happens, the former will be a much better looking picture.

Buying High on Shelby Miller

Last year Shelby Miller had a sophomore slump that saw him be worth 0.5 WAR over the course of 31 starts, a very poor number for such a highly regarded prospect coming off of an impressive rookie campaign. Miller was able to net a more respectable ERA than his WAR would suggest, for the second year running, but his strikeouts were down and walks were up, which we all know and understand to be a very dangerous and ominous combination.
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Odubel Herrera, the Fantasy Relevant Rule 5 Pick

Through the magic of fantasy sport position eligibility designations, Odubel Herrera is looking like one of the more flexible fantasy options available on waiver wires. The time to pick Herrera up is dwindling by the day, if not gone entirely already, in most leagues, but he is still a player worth looking into for trade purposes or for those in long term leagues that want to know exactly what they have.
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Revisiting the Chris Taylor vs. Brad Miller Debate

Shortstop has been a difficult position for most fantasy owners this season. As of earlier today, after Hanley Ramirez the top four in Yahoo!’s actual production ranks have been Adeiny Hechavarria, Zack Cozart, Marcus Semien, and Brandon Crawford. While I am very fond of Semien and think Crawford has made notable improvements, this is not exactly the glowing age for fantasy shortstops.
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Just How Good is A.J. Pollock?

I have been a pretty big A.J. Pollock fan for some time now. I made a bold move that could be conceived as an overpay for Pollock in a dynasty league (Ryan Braun for Pollock and Odor – with prospects moving on both sides), which I believe shows how much of an advocate I am for Pollock – and Odor for that matter.
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