More Batting Order Value Changes

Yesterday, I discussed five players whose spot in the batting order was a surprise, to me at least, and perhaps everyone else as well. I didn’t include everyone though, so let’s take a look at six more hitters whose value is in line to change if these new lineups stick.

Player | Actual Lineup Spot vs Projected Lineup Spot

Reds

Jose Peraza | 2nd vs 8th
Zack Cozart | 7th vs 2nd

Peraza was already a trendy sleeper even before he actually had a full-time job. Then the moment Brandon Phillips was traded, his value skyrocketed. However, the assumption was that he would open the season hitting 8th with Cozart in the two hole. My projections were based on such a lineup slot, but Tout Wars weekend, I kept mentioning on the radio that there’s an easy path to the top of the lineup and I expected him to move there eventually. I was right, but it happened far earlier than I imagined — immediately!

Obviously, this is going to be a positive everywhere. He’ll gain an additional 100 plate appearances or so, score a ton more runs, and best of all, he’ll have many more stolen base opportunities, simply due to the extra times to the plate. But also, hitters steal more often at the top of the order versus in front of the pitcher. And with the ultra patient Joey Votto behind him, he’ll have plenty of chances to swipe a base, especially be a part of double steal attempts with Billy Hamilton.

On the other hand, Cozart’s value takes a serious dive. Obviously, no one was pinning their championship hopes on him, but still, he was in a nice lineup spot and has some power. Now, his counting stats are all going to fall dramatically and he’ll score far fewer runs at the bottom of the order. He’s now really just an NL-Only option, and unless Hamilton slumps badly and gets dropped to ninth, I’m feeling like Cozart is going to be stuck at the bottom.

Mets

Curtis Granderson | 4th vs 1st
Asdrubal Cabrera | 2nd vs 7th
Jay Bruce | 6th vs 4th

Perhaps this lineup setup was known and I just kind of missed it by the end of spring. But David Wright being injured as usual has caused a domino effect on the batting order. I’m not sure why Granderson couldn’t continue hitting leadoff with Jose Reyes taking Wright’s expected slot in the two hole. But that’s not what happened, and now Granderson finds himself batting cleanup. While he’ll come to the plate less and score fewer runs, his RBI total should rise enough to offset the loss in the other counting stats. Overall, it’s probably a wash on his value.

Cabrera, though, gets a big boost. I had him forecasted to hit seventh, making him an unexciting option in shallow mixed leagues. But suddenly now he seems like a very solid shortstop choice. A loser here is Bruce, who for some reason I assumed would hit cleanup. Oops. He’s hitting sixth, which hurts his RBI chances a bit, but his runs scored totals even more. With the ever looming threat of Michael Conforto stealing playing time, I’m not too optimistic about his shallow mixed league value.

Andrew Toles 1st vs 8th

Well golly, who saw this coming?! I don’t think anyone actually believed that Toles would be a full-timer on the strong side of a platoon. And once you get past that belief, who woulda thunk he’d hit leadoff?! While it was back in 2013, he stole a whopping 62 bases that season, and then 23 last year, but in only what amounted to about half a season’s worth of plate appearances. Our scouting grades rated him as possessing 70 speed and he has always posted good strikeout rates in the minors. He becomes a must-own, even in shallow mixed leagues. At least for as long as he’s batting leadoff.

We hoped you liked reading More Batting Order Value Changes by Mike Podhorzer!

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Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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Dolemite
Member
Dolemite

I see Toles only hitting leadoff vs RHP and sitting vs LHP. Is that true? If so, does that still make him a must own in shallow mixed leagues if he is being platooned?

Thanks