Pick Up All the Rockies

With just about two and a half weeks to go in the season, using the schedule to gain any possible advantage could be the difference between first and second place. Amazingly, the Rockies have a seven game homestand this week! Not only are they playing seven games, while some teams are only playing six, but all of them come at Coors Field, one of the league’s most favorable hitting environments. So it’s time to stock up on Rockies still in your free agent pool!

Let’s discuss those hitters owned in less than 50% of CBS leagues who have been earning full-time or close to regular at-bats. Obviously, we still don’t care about the bench players who might start just once or twice during the week. A number of these hitters have been covered previously in one of my New Everyday Starters articles.

Yonathan Daza | OF CBS 5% Owned

After missing nearly a month to injury, Daza returned from the IL and has played every day, batting second, since. That’s a prime spot for a Rockies hitter and one that would normally lead me automatically be interested in rostering the hitter. However, Daza is the rare hitter who doesn’t contribute in either power or speed categories. He owns just a 3% HR/FB and .071 ISO over his short career and hits lots of grounders and few fly balls, so he’s hit just four homers.

He does have speed and runs with a Sprint Speed well above the league average, but for whatever reason, he has rarely run in the Majors. Despite stealing as many as 31 bases back in 2017, he’s swiped just three in seven attempts during his MLB career.

However, if you just want someone who shouldn’t hurt you in batting average and could score a bunch of runs if the Rockies enjoy an offense-happy homestand, Daza could be a solid add. With a mid-teen career strikeout rate and .340 BABIP, he has hit .286 in his career, but .310 at home. That means he’s not a bad injury plug-in.

Michael Toglia | 1B/OF 13%

Toglia didn’t enter the season as anywhere near a top Rockies prospect. However, the 24-year-old has shown excellent power in the minors, before absolutely exploding over a small sample during his first taste of Triple-A action this year before his recall. There, he hit seven home runs in just 66 at-bats.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t exactly carried that performance over to the Majors. While his overall power has been fine, he’s posted just an 11.8% HR/FB rate, good for just two homers over 59 at-bats. But, he’s hitting a ton of fly balls, so the potential is there for him to knock a couple of homers over the final two and a half weeks of the season, especially this week at Coors.

So far in the Majors, his plate discipline has deteriorated, as his walk rate has been nearly cut in half, while his strikeout rate has jumped over 30%. There’s risk here that he starts getting benched, but the Rockies are one team that is impossible to predict their playing time decisions. I picked him up a couple of weeks ago for a homestand in my 12-team mixed league and intend to start him again this week for the potential big power. Hopefully he earns at least six starts.

Elias Diaz | C 26%

While Diaz isn’t playing every day, he’s likely to garner the majority of the at-bats behind the plate. Since becoming a Rockie, his HR/FB rate has sat in double digits, but as expected, he’s been even better at home. There, he’s posted a 17% HR/FB rate vs just a 10.3% mark away. His wOBA has also been significantly better at home, as he has posted a .351 mark there vs just a .274 mark away.

Overall, Diaz looks like your typical replacement level catcher who might hit you the occasional homer, but not contribute much elsewhere. At home though, he suddenly becomes perhaps a top 10 catcher, contributing positive catcher value everywhere except steals. The only question is how many of the seven games he’ll start.

Alan Trejo | SS 1%

Trejo is another Rockies hitting with a starting job who wasn’t a top prospect and in fact, never even made a prospect list. But who cares about prospect status now?! Trejo has been earning the majority of the starts at shortstop, though the Rockies continue to give Garrett Hampson a start every now and then, which might frustrate those starting Trejo this week (I’ll likely be one of them!).

He has posted strong power numbers at Triple-A the last two years, with mid-to-high teen HR/FB rates and mid-to-high .200 ISO marks. Oh, and he’s a fly ball hitter too, so imagine the type of power output we could see from a middle infielder playing a full week at Coors.

So far in the Majors, he hasn’t shown as much power, but more concerning is the low maxEV. He’s put 85 balls into play, but his hardest hit ball has been just 104.9 MPH. That doesn’t match up with his minor league power at all, so that’s really surprising. I am also aware that the Rockies’ Triple-A park is very hitter friendly as well, but it’s hard to believe any hitter could post that level of power numbers with such a weak maxEV. So perhaps it’s just a small sample fluke, or maybe the minor league park really did him wonders.

With a .325 wOBA, he has hit well enough to not risk getting benched for performance-related reasons, so I’m likely going to be starting him as I continue to need home runs.

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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CarMars Favoritemember
4 months ago

Would you prioritize McMahon over these guys?