Mixing Fantasy & Reality: Senzatela, Davis, and More

Quick Look: Antonio Senzatela (Rockies)

Note: Let me know if you like the additional videos. They take a little more time to put together so I will be limited on other content I can add.

I watched most of Senzatela’s start yesterday and came away impressed. He allowed no runs while striking out six, walking three, and hitting Keon Broxton in the face.

Here is what I saw from him during the start.

Note: For the Grades, I am using current value, not future.

Fastball: 91-97 mph (Grade: 65), some release side run. He could really command this pitch and moved it all over the strike zone.

I thought he may have used a two-seamer because of the lower velocities but he doesn’t have one. He just had problems keeping up his velocity during the game.

Inning: Average FB Velo
1: 95.7 mph
2: 94.9 mph
3: 94.6 mph
4: 94.2 mph
5: 93.8 mph

He lost almost 2 mph over the course of the five innings. The drop isn’t surprising since he threw only 34 innings last year with a shoulder injury and is building up his endurance.

Slider (Grade 40): 80-85 mph Broke differently each time he threw it. Looked great, but it could get hammered if he left one up.

Change: 85-86 mph (Grade 40), straight, inconsistent. I don’t like changeups with no break because if the hitter can tell it is coming, they have an 85 mph meatball to crush.

Overall, I see the potential and I expect owners may start picking him up after he allowed no runs. He wasn’t shoving and needed an inning-ending double play in the first to get out of a bases-loaded jam. The fastball is outstanding but like many young pitchers, he still doesn’t have full command of his breaking pitches. His fastball dominance should keep him in games though.

For fantasy purposes, owners must not get too excited and remember he pitches for the Rockies. I would put his current talent level below Jon Gray and equal with Tyler Anderson. If Anderson is ownabled, so should Senzatela. Otherwise stay away from him for this season.

 

Quick Look: Rookie Davis

Before I watched Senzatela, I caught a few innings of Rookie Davis. I hate puns, but Rookie pitched like a rookie. He allowed four runs in three innings of work via five hits (two home runs) and two walks. He was able to get four strikeouts along the way. Here is what I think I saw.

Note: The Reds TV view is offset and it’s tough to see horizontal breaks. Additionally, the pitch classification system had no idea what he was throwing. When in doubt, they labeled a pitch a slider.

Fastball (Grade: 50): 90-95 mph with release side run. Acceptable major league fastball.

Slider (Grade 40): 78-82 mph, 12-6 drop, inconsistent. The first video is a good looking slider. The second one is Daniel Nava crushing one for a home run.

Good

Bad

Cutter (Grade 45): 83-90 mph. Glove-side and downward run. I like this pitch.

Changeup (Grade 40): 86-90 Straight as an arrow. Sometimes it fools the batter. Other times it gets crushed.

Fools

Crushed

He’s just not polished and it seems he was rushed to the majors. His fastball is serviceable but his breaking pitches are all below average at this point. His cutter and change blend together. He hangs his slider. I can see how the pieces may eventually come together but the puzzle is far from complete. Depending on an owner’s bench space, he could be stashed but not started until he can shows he controls his breaking pitches.

Notes

Michael Brantley has been playing but he has yet to really start putting some power behind his hits. Here are his average exit velocities from 2015 to and 2017. In 2015 and 2016, he played a limited amount of time because of his shoulder injury.

Season: EV, Dist
2015: 89 mph, 208 ft
2016: 90 mph, 219 ft
2017: 84 mph, 195 ft

I have heard comments saying he is back and going. I just want people to tap the brakes some on Brantley and continue with cautious optimism.

• The Diamondbacks are adding a humidor and may start using it this season.

Major League Baseball guidelines say that baseballs should be stored at 70 degrees with about 50 percent humidity. That isn’t possible in the dry desert air, particularly during the hot summer months without the help of a humidor.

“We have to store baseballs in a certain environment,” D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said. ” … The ability of the pitchers to grip the baseballs, especially through the summer months when it gets extremely hot and dry, no matter what we’ve done in terms of rubbing them up the right way, it seemed to be a challenge. This seemed to be the solution that we could come up with.”

The construction of the humidor should take about another four to six weeks, and it will need to be tested to make sure it is up to specifications.

In addition, Major League Baseball requires the balls to be stored in the humidor for at least two weeks before use in a game.

I would not adjust 2017 expectations/projections but I think the late-season effects will be a huge 2018 stroyline, especially for Paul Goldschmidt.

• During his last start, Garrett Richards’ hurt his bicep . I was not 100% sold on the stem-cell injections helping repair his UCL team so this injury is not a surprise to me. I want him to come back but I have my doubts.

We hoped you liked reading Mixing Fantasy & Reality: Senzatela, Davis, and More by Jeff Zimmerman!

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Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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After watching Senz’s 5 innings yesterday, I picked him up and dropped Mallex Smith. It’s a 20 team league with tons of keepers, and Tyler Anderson was drafted in the later rounds. At just 22 years old and a rotation spot he seemed like a better grab than Smith who hasn’t shown real success yet and will likely be out of a job once Rasmus returns.