New Everyday Players — Aug 30, 2022

The new faces never end!

Garrett Mitchell | OF MIL

The fourth ranked Brewers prospect, Mitchell was recalled over the weekend and seems to be the team’s new starting center fielder against right-handed pitchers. The 23-year-old was slapped with drool-worthy power/speed grades, including 60 raw power and 70 speed grades. That’s the kind of combination we love to see.

So far, his power hasn’t exactly matched his scouting grade. While he has posted mid-teen HR/FB rates at Double-A since last year, he simply hasn’t hit enough fly balls to take full advantage of his over-the-fence pop. That’s why his ISO was just .151 at Triple-A this season and sub-.100 at the same level in 2021. His HR/FB dipped into single digits during his first taste of Triple-A action this year, though it was over a small sample. It’s clear that despite his power grade, he shouldn’t be expected to contribute much in home runs unless he transforms himself into more of a fly ball hitter.

His speed is more intriguing at the moment. Over his minor league career, he has swiped 34 bases and has only been caught three times. That’s pretty amazing. He had also stolen nine bases at Triple-A and wasn’t caught, in just 85 plate appearances. So the upside of him not hitting many home runs is more opportunities to steal bases!

He posted high BABIP marks in the minors this year, but he has always struggled to hit line drives and posted a high IFFB%, despite an extreme groundball tendency. It’s an odd mix, but I wouldn’t expect the high BABIP to translate. The speed and GB% should result in a better than league average BABIP though, so perhaps he’ll end up being neutral in batting average.

For the stolen base potential alone, I’d take a shot here in deep mixed leagues and deeper formats.

Colin Moran | 1B/3B CIN

Look who’s back! Moran isn’t a new name, but he may now be the Reds’ starting first baseman, at least against right-handed pitchers, with Joey Votto out for the season. Moran enjoyed a power spike back in the short 2020 season, as his HR/FB rate surged to nearly 28% and ISO jumped above .200 for the first time. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold onto most of those gains, as his HR/FB rate retreated back to mid-teens last year, while his ISO plummeted.

One of the issues also holding back his power output is his lowly FB%. For his career, he’s just below 30%, with a career high of just 32.1%. With just a mediocre HR/FB rate, he’s not going to be a major source of home run power. However, he picked a good team to sign with, as Great American Ballpark ranked as the best home run park in baseball for left-handed hitters.

Moran is far from an exciting pickup. But it’s hard to imagine a better spot for him right now given his home park and the state of the Reds. I think he’s a worthy speculation in deep leagues, with a bit of a value boost in OBP leagues given his walk rate.

Chuckie Robinson | C CIN

Another new Reds face, Robinson isn’t a prospect, but at age 27, gets his first taste of MLB action. He has posted double digit HR/FB rate during his last three minor league stops, but his FB% has declined since 2019. Then, he was regularly posting FB% marks from about 39% up to the high 40% range. Since 2021, he hasn’t recorded a mark above 31.7%. That might be so terrible for a hitter with middling power, but it does limit his home run upside.

Surprisingly, Robinson has run a bit during his minor league career. He’s no Jason Kendall, but he has stolen 25 bases in the minors, so it’s something to consider as a possible surprise contribution.

With Tyler Stephenson out for the season, only Austin Romine is challenging Robinson for at-bats right now. Obviously, Robinson is going to have to perform to avoid be sent back to the minors. But at least his fate is in his hands and the playing time alone means he has to be considered in NL-Only leagues.

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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Yuuuuge Darvishmember
1 year ago

Big typo in your 1st paragraph under Colin Moran…