Yangervis Solarte or Javier Baez?

Okay, in any sort of keeper or dynasty situation, the titular question is ridiculous of course. The recently promoted Javier Baez has all the pedigree, power and speed, and Yangervis Solarte is a 27-year-old non-prospect with few tools and a total lack of position. Game over.

But in redraft leagues, we’re only interested in what Solarte and Baez will do the rest of the way. And in Yahoo, they’re both shortstops that are available in more than three-quarters of the leagues out there. So… is it still obvious?

Let’s pro-rate their rest-of-season projections on this site to full-season work. Two months, more or less, so let’s give them 180 plate appearances. What would they do with those plate appearances if we just use the numbers?

Javier Baez 0.237 0.284 6 6 18 24
Yangervis Solarte 0.255 0.310 4 0 17 17

Given the weights that Jeff Zimmerman found in his SGP method fantasy prep session this past off-season, Baez’s production has more value… barely. A homer is worth about the same as a stolen base, and all things being equal, either a homer or a steal is worth three points of batting average. Baez wins by RBI and a little more than a homer. But if Solarte can beat his rest-of-season projected .275 batting average on balls in play, he’ll tighten it up.

But of course there’s a higher bust rate associated with Baez. Solarte is doing what he’s doing now, and Baez is not.

Chris St. John added isolated slugging percentage to his bust rate work and re-named it JAVIER because of Baez, so let’s look at what JAVIER has to say about this. St. John’s system spit out a 11.8% productive percentage, a 23.5% average percentage, and a 64.7% bust percentage. That’s a super-high bust rate for a prospect with his pedigree, and it includes many years of chances. If we were to talk about the chance that Baez would hit well in these final two months, we’d probably have to push that number higher, perhaps bast 75%.

So now that slim lead that Baez had over the surer thing in Solarte has evaporated, at least for players that need more of a sure thing. If your team is doing okay and you need a stop-gap, the ‘obvious’ answer is already shifted over to Solarte.

Bradley Woodrum did a broad-scope look at translating PCL stats to major league ones today:

Of course, this stuff is hard to do and rife with problems, but the line does suggest that Baez will see a wRC+ under 90 this year in the bigs. Here are some guys under 90 wRC+ that fit the general bill:

Chris Davis 17 42 51 2 12.3% 33.0% 0.188 0.249 0.194 0.304 0.382 88
Dayan Viciedo 13 51 40   5.9% 21.8% 0.159 0.273 0.234 0.282 0.393 82
Jay Bruce 10 50 43 10 10.6% 27.6% 0.157 0.279 0.216 0.302 0.373 85
Ryan Howard 16 48 63   9.9% 28.2% 0.151 0.271 0.215 0.297 0.366 84

It’s not a terrible group, but if you’re looking for sexy, it’s not a sexy table either.

I hate to play the role of Debbie Downer too often, but it really looks like Yangervis Solarte is more likely to help your redraft fantasy team over the rest of the year, especially considering he can play all over the diamond for you. Javier Baez is either going to power your team to victory from the shortstop position, or end up back on your wire in two weeks as you keep searching for the solution.

With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Angel Dust in the Outfield
Angel Dust in the Outfield

I’d take Baez in any format hoping to catching lighting in a bottle. If he struggles you drop him for a Solarte-ish replacement.