Some players are struggling cause they are in a slump. Others are struggling cause they aren't very good. Still others are struggling because of unreasonable expectations. In this piece Ray Flowers will discuss the likes of Santana, Craig, Gyorko, Johnson, Segura and Myers and try to help you put all in their proper place.


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Some players are struggling cause they are in a slump. Others are struggling cause they aren't very good. Still others are struggling because of unreasonable expectations. In this piece Ray Flowers will discuss the likes of Santana, Craig, Gyorko, Johnson, Segura and Myers and try to help you put all in their proper place.

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Carlos Santana, C, Indians
What a crushingly disappointing season to this point. Santana is batting .146 with a .572 OPS (his career numbers are .245 and .793). Maybe there's something going on his persona life, maybe he's not comfortable playing third base (playing amateur physiologist), but the fact is this shouldn't be happening, not to a solid batter entering the prime of his career. His swinging strike percentage is better than his career mark. He's swinging at fewer pitches than ever before that are outside the strike zone. Heck, pitchers are throwing fewer first pitch strikes to him than ever before. We can blame a .162 BABIP that is .110 points off his career level. Santana has a 0.88 BB/K rate, two hundredths above his carer mark, so at least the struggles haven't led to him changing his approach. We can't blame his GB/FB ratio of 1.19 either since it's only seven hundredths off his career rate. We can't blame his 10.4 HR/F ratio which is in the margin of error (career 13.1 percent). We can blame a 12.5 percent line drive rate that is 50 percent below his career level. I'm still recommending you hold, or buy low, if you can.

6756.jpgAllen Craig, 1B, Cardinals
Craig hit .307 with 92 RBIs in 119 games in 2012. He hit .315 with 97 RBIs in 134 games last year. Per 150 games played he's posted a .297 average, 17 homers and 90 RBIs. The guy can hit. So why is he batting .233? His BB/K ratios for the previous four seasons was between 0.35 and 0.42. It's 0.39 this year. His HR/F ratio is 14.6 for his career and 13.8 for this season. However, here is the rub. His ground ball rate has climbed from 45 percent for his career up to 59 percent this season. That speaks to injury (not hearing anything) or a whacked out swing. I'm thinking it's #2. He's also seen his .334 or better BABIP the past three years drop to .271, partly because of all the grounders and partly cause the hits aren't falling. Moving from the analysis I'll just say it – he can hit. Period. As long as he's healthy he will be productive. A perfect buy low add.

8283.jpgJedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres
Though the end of May last year Jedd had six homers and 20 RBIs. With a week left in May this season he has five homers and 21 RBIs. Admit it, that surprised you. Now all is not right with Gyorko, I'm not even trying to sell that line of BS, but it's like people forgot that he hit .249 with a .301 OBP last year. He produces a ton of power for a second sacker, but he also never walks, strikes out a lot and is still working on his approach. The good news is that he can't possible play all season with a BABIP of .179 which is lower than last year by .109 points. His walk and K-rates are basically a match for last season, as is his GB/FB ratio. Things should improve, and it's not like the Padres are seriously planning on sending him to the minors. He's a flawed hitter, albeit one with power.

7160.jpgChris Johnson, 3B, Braves
Nothing is wrong with Johnson other than this – he sucks. I mean, seriously folks. You should have known that if you read anything I wrote all offseason or if you listened to the FSTA Experts League that took place in Vegas in January. That's a 13 team mixed league... and Johnson wasn't even drafted. His .321 average last season was a total mirage drive by his .394 BABIP. This year that number has regressed to a still elite .339 and he's hitting .255. The real problem is that he's a straight out hacker. Through 44 games this season he has five walks. Honestly, that's embarrassing. Any pitcher worth a damn will just throw it around the edges and Johnson will swing at it (he's also got 44 Ks in those 44 games). Even worse than the average drop is the fact that he has one homer. What were you expecting? Over the previous four years he averaged 11 homers a season. He has no power, isn't a .300 hitter and has nine RBIs despite spending 32 games batting 4th or 5th. He's just awful. Period.

7797.jpgJean Segura, SS, Brewers
Since July 15th of 2013 Segura has stunk. No way around it. Here are the horrible numbers: .245-3-25-39-25 over 97 games played. The only number that pops is the steals, an impressive total, but at the same time he's been caught 14 times which gives him a horrendous 64 percent success rate (the break even point for steals is 67 percent meaning that all the running he has done the last 97 games has hurt the Brewers ability to score runs more than it has helped. Think about that). I warned this could happen in his Player Profile. Here's a quote from that piece. “Segura isn’t going to help anyone in the homer and RBIs columns, and it’s doubtful if he will be anything other than really solid in the runs scored mark. That leaves his fantasy value pretty dependent on that batting average, and as I touched on above I’d put my money on him batting closer to .264 than .294 this season.” Pretty much dead on, right?

Wil Myers, OF, Rays
When is a .276-17-73-74 line in 511 at-bats not good enough? Apparently when you're Wil Myers it isn't (those are the numbers he's posted in 133 career games). Compare that effort to some of the greats to start their careers.

Barry Bonds: .223-16-48-72
Adam Dunn: .249-26-71-84
Prince Fielder: .271-28-81-82
Ken Griffey Jr.: .264-16-61-61
Dale Murphy: .226-23-79-66
Mark Teixeira: .259-26-84-66

I say it all the time folks – the game isn't that easy. Myers will be fine. Not just will be, he “is” fine. It was your expectations that were out of whack.




Comments

Ray Flowers 

JJ - Garcia is junk - I want him nowhere near any of my teams. Best case he's league average. Lake is junk. Neither anything other than last guy on bench. I'd go with the Lake side though. Lake has talent, Markakis is solid. Sanchez could be a top 20 SP. Grandal is behind Zunino, but not like it's a huge gap.

JJ 

Hope all is well! Which side would you favor in a 14 team 5x5 h2h league. (2 catcher league) werth, zunino and jaime or lake, markakis, anibal and grandal? Thanks for your help and have a great weekend!

Ray Flowers 

Christopher Backhaus - Adding Santana, I can totally support. Given how bad he has been, that's just too high a price to pay. Should be able to get Carlos for less.

Ray Flowers 

Miguel Enguidanos - The deal you propose is ok to do. Pull the trigger.

Miguel Enguidanos 

Ray, I'm looking to trade to the poor Fielder owner for one of his good pitchers. I was thinking of Chris Davis for Tanaka. Tanaka would help my WHIP and ERA and has great K/9 and K/BB numbers. The guy has Darvish, Scherzer, Sale and Verlander and even Lester...No wonder this is winning. Would you offer this trade?

Christopher Backhaus 

Hello Ray, Would you trade Arenado for Carlos Santana? regards,


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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

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