Buying Logan Forsythe

I’ve been optimistic about Logan Forsythe all year, recommending him to AL-only owners back in April, when he was virtually unowned in fantasy leagues. This month, I ranked him 18th rest-of-season at second base, a significant jump up from where I had him in May (No. 26). I should have bumped him up higher.

One factor that has Forsythe’s stock on the rise is his production, plain and simple. The 28-year-old followed up a .282/.370/.465 April with a .297/.368/.465 May — an .835 OPS followed by .834. That’s consistency. He’s not showing many signs of slowing down either, as he’s already launched two bombs in the first week of June.

The other reason to board the Forsythe Hype Train is the fact that he’s losing zero playing time to the now-healthy Nick Franklin. One concern regarding Forsythe in the early portion of the season was that he wouldn’t see the field as much once Franklin returned.

Franklin was back on the active roster by May 17, but Forsythe has still remained in the lineup every single day, without exception. Furthermore, Franklin is doing everything he can to get shipped back to Triple-A Durham. He’s hitting .075/.159/.175, and though it’s just a 44-PA sample, it’s plenty alarming for a guy who’s sitting on a career .204/.280/346 slash in the first place.

As for Forsythe, the key to his success has been marked improvement in his production against right-handed pitching. Coming into the season, it looked like Forsythe’s future was that of a platoon bat, because of these terrifying splits:

  • vs L – .278/.347/.443 (.790 OPS), 9.2% BB, 17.8% K
  • vs R – .215/.281/.298 (.579 OPS), 7.1% BB, 21.4% K

This year, however, has been a very different story:

  • vs L – .227/.338/.561 (.898 OPS), 12.0% BB, 18.7% K
  • vs R – .302/.378/.413 (.790 OPS), 8.7% BB, 14.5% K

Not only is he mashing lefties to an even greater degree, Forsythe is now producing against same-handed pitching, with dramatically improved plate discipline. Of course, this is the part where you’re all starting to wonder if this 224-PA sample from 2015 is sustainable, especially when Forsythe had 1,098 PA to compile those ugly splits at the top.

Righties have always used the same game plan against Forsythe, because that plan has always worked. Pound the low-outside corner; rinse, lather, repeat:

The biggest reason for Forsythe’s revelatory improvement against right-handers is that he simply isn’t falling for it anymore. He has essentially stopped swinging at outside pitches from righties. For a handy visual, take a look at this zone profile through 2014:

Now, here’s the same map, but the new and improved 2015 version:

As a result, Forsythe has become a solid hitter against same-handed pitching, and there’s really nothing scary in his data that suggests regression. His BABIP is a perfectly reasonable .303, none of his homers have been cheapies, his improvement is the result of an easily identifiable adjustment, etc.

Currently the No. 9 fantasy 2B on the year, Forsythe’s career-best seven homers have him in fourth place among second sackers in that category. He’s also sixth in RBI (26), 11th in steals (4), 13th in runs (25) and 15th in batting average (.276).

Owners in CBS leagues have caught on, as he’s owned in 76% of leagues there. However, he’s owned in just 23% of Yahoo leagues, and is still available in half of ESPN leagues. If he’s available in your league, it’s probably time to change that.

We hoped you liked reading Buying Logan Forsythe by Scott Strandberg!

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Scott Strandberg started writing for Rotographs in 2013. He works in small business consultation, and he also writes A&E columns for The Norman Transcript newspaper. Scott lives in Seattle, WA.

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LHPSU
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LHPSU

Back when the Rays acquired Forsythe there was talk that the Rays were trying to find the next Ben Zobrist.

So far Forsythe has seen substantial time at 1B and 2B and a smattering of 3B. He hasn’t played SS or OF this year but had a few games out there last year so that might be something to look out for.