MLB: Week 19 Mailbag
Each Wednesday I'll answer your questions which you can send to me at @BaseballGuys on Twitter. Rookies, vets, its all in here. Trust me. It's good. Really good.
Rookies, everyone wants them – Wong, Baez, deGrom will all be discussed to satiate your appetite. I will also touch on veterans on the hill – Weaver, Gonzalez and Wilson come up for discussion. What about veteran hitters? Beltran and Choo there to satisfy those of you that want to hear some talk along those lines. Answers to your questions in this mailbag article are a coming.
I broke down Baez, who blasted a homer in his first game, in this Player Profile. As for Wong he's slowed a bit since a nice run after he was recalled hitting just .204 with a .216 OBP and .306 SLG over his last 13 games. On the year he's been very productive with seven homers and 16 steals, in just 68 games mind you, but his slash line is also terrible (.243/.288/.387). He'll play daily, but his power surge was never likely to become a “thing,” and he's gone deep just once in 16 games. He'll continue to steal bases, but with a poor average, a terrible OBP, and declining power output. I'd be more than willing to take a shot on Baez who, for all his greatness, also has plenty of concerns as he learns the game at the major league level. Still, both are risky options in a 10 team league.
I gave my thoughts earlier this week on deGrom in his Player Profile. Let me quote myself (such a narcissist). “deGrom has good stuff, but it's not elite (most predicted he would be a #4 big league starter with #3 upside. No one thought he could develop into a top of the rotation type of guy).” He's a strong add in dynasty leagues, but you need to know that you aren't getting a fantasy superstar despite his work the last two months. This isn't the second coming of Matt Harvey.
Yelich is also a fella who is never going to be elite, so in that respect this deal is intriguing on both sides. Yelich has played in 156 big league games and check out the numbers which are, in my opinion, indicative of the type of production you should be expecting from him: .277-12-54-95-23. With a little luck he could go 20/20 a season or two, but he's really more likely to be targeting 15/15 efforts. His average could climb a bit, he might push .300, but the power isn't likely to take a leap forward. Basically you're looking at a Dexter Fowler, Alex Gordon type of player. Solid and a guy you want, but not elite.
I'm fine with this deal for both sides. All depends on what you need more – the hitter or the pitcher. If in doubt, I go with the hitter.
Both guys have been huge disappointments. Both guys numbers are terrible. Both guys are white hot of late.
Beltran has 70 more at-bats this season and he's hit five more homers than Reddick. At the same time he's hit just .248 on the year and his .306 OBP is awful. He's also killed it since the All-Star break with four homers, 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored an a .364 batting average over 18 games. The 37 year old always seems to be hurt though. There's also the fact that his walk rate has gone down 30 percent from his career level the past two years and he's unlikely to help out much on the base paths as the Yankees ask him to stay healthy and on the field.
Reddick has been atrocious, but of late scalding hot is he. In 14 games since returning from injury he's torched pitchers for a .388 average, four homers, eight RBIs and 11 runs scored. The hot streak has pushed him up to .263 on the year, .020 points better than his career mark. His current .316 OBP is better than his mark the past two years. His .439 SLG is better than his carer mark (.428), for what that is worth.
Reddick is literally a decade younger. The A's are surging. I'd tilt ever so slightly in his favor knowing full well that the correct answer to this question will likely come down to which guy is able to stay healthy the last two months of the season.
Do you need a third baseman or outfielder? That has to factor into the decision.
Both players, like in the last question, have been el floppo's though the situation is obviously worse with Choo who had such high expectations with the move to Texas.
Headley has hit a mere .245 with a .669 OPS in 14 games with the Yankees. He hit .229 with a .651 OPS over 77 games with the Padres. Face it folks. His 2012 season was an aberration. You also need to admit that since the start of the 2013 season that Headley has been pretty much a total mess. Over those 232 games and 852 at-bats he's hit .243 with a .328 OBP and .383 SLG. That's not even league average stuff. He's also hit a mere 21 homers, driven in 87 runners and scored 91 times while stealing 12 bases. The only way you chose him here is if you need corner infield help.
I know Choo has been hurt and woefully unproductive this season. There is also zero doubt that he's more talented than Headley. He's a better bet in batting average. He's at least as good a bet in the homer category. He's likely to steal more bases. He's just a more talented player, period.
Go Choo and hope he remembers who he is – a borderline elite offensive contributor.
– Gio Gonzalez an OK buy-low or do you think there's something physically wrong going on there?
The Nats aren't saying it's anything physical with Gonzalez to explain his recent struggles. His ERA is up at 4.01 and that stinks, but the rest of his game is pretty much right there. Honestly. Take a look.
2014: 1.27 WHIP, 9.23 K/9, 2.59 K/BB, .303 BABIP, 1.19 GB/FB
Career: 1.31 WHIP, 8.85 K/9, 2.22 K/BB, .288 BABIP, 1.37 GB/FB
Though his GB/FB is a bit down his ground ball rate is only two percentage points off his norm so there is nothing to worry about with that part of his game. He's certainly scuffling right now, but since he returned from injury on June 18th he's been, well, pretty much himself: 3.42 ERA, 9.06 K/9, 3.59 BB/9. Frustrating to own, I get that after nine runs in his last two outings, but he would seem to be healthy and overall he's pretty much performing in line with expectations in the majority of objective measurements.
Look at the symbiotic questions today. Good work folks.
I just gave my thoughts on Gio.
Wilson has been a total mess wrapped around injury. In his first start back he allowed six runs while recording just four outs, and here are his sickly numbers his last five outings: 12.50 ERA, 2.61 WHIP. I don't have to break things down any further. Overall this season there's a lot of “normal” Wilson here, but he's been so bad of late you can't start him in any format right now.
The answer is Weaver. I never understand why some people just can't accept that Weaver is a very, very good arm. Over his last nine outings he's allowed two or fewer earned runs seven times. On the year he's a healthy 12-6 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, clearly the best numbers of this group. His K's are a bit lower than the other two at seven per nine, but that's who he is. I'm a little concerned that his walk rate has jumped a half batter per nine this season, but out of this trio he's still the arm to count on down the stretch.
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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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