Ottoneu Cold Right Now: April 1, 2024

Cold Right Now (CRN) is a weekly Ottoneu feature focused on players being dropped or who should be dropped in Ottoneu leagues. In this feature we will break down players into three sections:

  1. Roster Cuts: Analysis of players who have been cut in a high percentage of leagues.
  2. Recent Injuries: A look at the implications of recent injuries (not all, just some high-profile ones).
  3. Cold Performers: Players with a low P/G or P/IP in recent weeks.

This article will typically run once per week and will help fantasy managers keep track of players that need to be given extra attention to improve rosters.

Roster Cuts

Sean Bouchard, Add% (-) Change (7 days) – 12.19%

The 28-year-old Colorado outfielder, who had a real shot at making the Rockies’ opening day roster, was optioned to the minors on March 26th. In the last 7-days, he’s been dropped in 16.56% of Ottoneu leagues. Jeff Zimmerman’s late February Minning the News shared that Bochard was expected to play as an everyday outfielder:

Tasks like wearing down a pitcher with plate discipline and being on base for others become important for the Rockies, who play in an extreme offensive environment at Coors Field but are on a different baseball planet on the road.

But, Bouchard did not have a good spring, slashing .205/.308/.341 in 52 plate appearances. The Rockies went with the 26-year-old Brenton Doyle instead, sending Bouchard down to AAA. Bouchard has major league playing time already under his belt. In 2023, he recorded 43 plate appearances and slashed .316/.372/.684. Though he struck out over 30% of the time, he produced an incredible barrel rate of 20% and an above-average (85.4%) zone contact rate of 89.7%. His projected playing time is uncertain, but he seems like the first outfielder the Rockies would call up if needed and he could be a sneaky 10-10 player if he sticks around. The BAT X currently has him projected for 334 plate appearances with 11 home runs and seven stolen bases.

Wilyer Abreu , Add% (-) Change (7 days) – 6.87%

Last season, the 24-year-old outfielder slashed .316/.268/.388 in 85 plate appearances, but couldn’t find that same magic in in spring training, slashing a poor .127/.286/.270 in 77 plate appearances. In their Names to Know: 100 More Relevant Prospects Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin wrote:

Abreu will probably perform better…on a rate stat basis when he faces mostly right-handed pitching during a season, but overall he’s a 40-hit, 50-power corner outfielder with a swing geared to get to all the pop.

Abreu’s spring BB% of 18.2%, but spring K% of 33.8% seems to confirm that “swing geared for pop” approach. In points league formats that give more weight to slugging percentage, Abreu is still worth rostering.

Ben Joyce, Add% (-) Change (7 days) – 6.25%

Joyce was optioned to AA at the end of Angels spring training after struggling with command and the home run ball in a small 7.1 IP sample. His ERA climbed to 8.59 in his spring showing. Many Ottoneu managers were thrilled with Joyce’s 100 MPH fastball and it’s potential to earn saves and holds for their fantasy teams. From the looks of it, Joyce has a wipeout slider paired with the fastball, and a 121 Stuff+ grade gives the pitch a measurement to prove that. Yet, sliders have a habit of scoring well with Stuff+ among relievers and Joyce ranks 109th among relievers with 10 IP in 2023. For now, the Angels bullpen looks crowded and Joyce will have to improve his command in the minor leagues. His 10 IP in 2023 still holds proof that he can get there but still needs to develop. His 5.40 ERA in 2023 came with 4 holds.


Garrett Mitchell, Add% (-) Change (7 days) – 6.88%

The 25-year-old broke his finger in spring training and landed on the 10-day IL to start the season and may require six to eight weeks of recovery time. Mitchell had a great spring, slashing .319/.385/.426 with one HR and two stolen bases. In the meantime, Sal Frelick is likely in a platoon with Blake Perkins, while Jackson Chourio roams center field. Eric Longenhagen wrote of Mitchell:

key aspects of his skill set that are tough to evaluate and project…issues implied by his TrackMan data and visual flaws in his swing, both of which have made it hard for him to hit for power in games and may make it tough for him to hit big league pitching at all…The industry has been waiting for a swing change that might bring out the power more consistently, but that hasn’t happened yet.

That was written in Milwaukee’s Top Prospects Report back in December 2o22, so things may have changed. Though in a very short major league stint in 2023, Mitchell struck out 35.6% of the time. He did slug .446 and was able to take enough balls to walk 9.6% of the time. Mitchell is worth a stash, but may take some time to bear fantasy fruit.

Cold Performers

Cold performers are marked by measuring low P/G or P/IP in the last 14 days.

NOTE: Please don’t read too far into this. These players are simply off to a slow start in only four (or less) games.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand,  .67 P/G:

The following was written about CES before he went deep against Kyle Finnegan and the Nats. It goes to show you how small samples to start the season shouldn’t be used to make decisions.

I won’t try to play swing doctor, but early in the season when the games start to matter and pitchers are now playing for keeps, it may take time for hitters, especially young hitters, to get their timing down.

CES has started the season with four strikeouts. There’s no doubt CES proved his power-hitting ability in 2023’s 241 plate appearances where he slugged .477 and hit 13 home runs. Now that he’s been given a chance at a full season, we’ll have to see if he can lower his high K%, 28.6% in 2023, or if he is more of a free-swinger with power. Either way, in time he will connect and send the ball far. Fantasy managers do not need to worry.

Zach Neto,  -3.5 P/G:

Like CES, Neto has struck out four times but in 10 plate appearances. He’s been caught looking several times and may be starting the season with a more patient approach. Neto did not struggle with strikeouts in the spring (14.5% K%) and had a great slash line of .310/.339/.603. Again, like CES, Neto may simply need to get into the rhythm of his swing as the young season turns into a grind.

Alexis Díaz,  -29.2 P/IP:

Díaz got blown up by the Nationals after he walked the leadoff hitter and then gave up a pair of singles followed by another walk. With the bases loaded, Díaz hit Keibert Ruiz and was taken out of the game after recording only one out. A blown save in the books and disappointed fantasy managers ensued and no one in their right mind reacted by dropping the Reds closer.

Camilo Doval,  -19.5 P/IP:

Up by eight runs in the ninth inning, Erik Miller was called out of the pen for the Giants against the Padres. Miller walked the lead-off hitter, gave up a two-run home run, and then walked another. After Miller got Kyle Higashioka to strike out looking, Doval was called upon to close out the game. Doval also walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a home run to Graham Pauley. He eventually closed out the game by getting two groundball outs. Shakey control paired with a serving of floating sliders got Doval into trouble in his first outing.

Comments are closed.