Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Contact Rate Risers & Fallers for Week 2 - Buy or Sell?

Welcome to Contact Rate Risers and Fallers for Week 2! Our premium tools allow us to get out ahead of trends in player performance, including contact rate. Every Thursday, we'll be looking at some players that have seen an increase in contact rate and some that have seen it decline.

Contact rate can foretell a player's batting average and general hitting statistics, and any drastic change could signal a shift in performance. Contact rate shifts often act as a precursor to hot streaks and slumps.

This week we will look at the first couple of weeks as a whole, as we are too early in the season to really look at changes in contact rate and make any meaningful conclusions about them. However, we can take a look at players who have started either strongly or badly and see how that differs from their 2018 numbers.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Contact Rate Risers

Willians Astudillo (C, MIN)

90.2% contact rate this season (-1.5%)

I am cheating a little bit here because I am actually picking a player who has worse contact numbers than last season. However, there is a method behind this madness! Astudillo's 91.6% contact rate was across just 97 plate appearances last season and therefore needed some time this year to see if that was a believable number. So far it looks like it may have been very correct and that sets Astudillo up in a rare position for a catcher, as a player who can contribute positively to batting average. Now there is next to no chance he is going to continue hitting at a .421 pace, but this start, combined with the strong debut in 2018 suggests there is a realistic chance Astudillo could contribute a .300 batting average this season. If he is still available in your leagues he is absolutely a player you should go and pick up immediately.

Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD)

84.8% contact rate this season (+13.8%)

When you come into a season with a career K% over 25 then your contact rate becomes an important indicator of your potential success for fantasy owners. Renfroe is off to a great start with an impressive 84.8% contact rate in his 33 PA so far this season. That has been reflected in his line to start the season, as Renfroe has posted a .333 batting average hit four home runs already. His success against right-handed pitchers this season has been in stark contrast to last season, as he has a .381 batting average against them this season compared to .245 last season. He was someone that I was extremely optimistic about coming into the season, and this start has only made me feel more strongly that 2019 is going to be a true breakout year for Renfroe,

Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, PHI)

85.5% contact rate this season (+5.7%)

All eyes were focused on how Hoskins would begin the 2019 season, after a tough 2018. The good news is that he has started it strongly, seeing his contact rate rise nearly six percent. That rise has helped contribute to a .324 batting average over his first 44 plate appearances. The only slight question mark I have is that the gains in contact rate have come on pitches outside of the strike zone. His zone contact rate has risen a couple of percentage points, but outside of the zone he is currently making contact 14% of the time more than he did last season. Hopefully, that is just an indication that he is picking better pitchers outside the zone to swing at, but whether that will remain sustainable over the coming weeks and months is yet to be seen.


Contact Rate Fallers

Hanley Ramirez (1B, CLE)

52.9% contact rate this season (-28.6%)

Ramirez is not off to a convincing start in 2019. The veteran slugger has just a .208 batting average to open the season and a massive 36.7% strikeout rate. So far he is just about making contact with half the pitches he swings at, largely thanks to swinging over a third of pitches he sees which are outside of the strike zone. On those pitches, he is making contact just 37% of the time, which is over 20% worse than at any other time in his career. Bizarrely, he is also swinging at just 58.5% of pitches inside the zone, but even on those, he is making contact just 71% of the time, compared to a career average over 89%. There was a lot of intrigue over Ramirez getting another chance this year and so far it is proving to be a mistake for the Indians and fantasy owners.

Matt Kemp (OF, CIN)

55% contact rate this season (-17.6%)

There was a lot of hope that a change of location might be good for Kemp. However, so far Kemp is making contact on just over half the pitches he swings at. That is fuelled by problems making contact both on pitches inside and outside of the zone. The biggest issue for Kemp is that he appears to be falling back into the bad habits from 2016 and 2017 in terms of swinging at around 40% of pitches he sees which are outside the zone. Kemp has never been a big walker but this season he has yet to register a single walk, while striking out over 40% of the time. Whatever experiment fantasy owners were trying with Kemp, it may be time to move on.

Brandon Nimmo (OF, NYM)

56.3% contact rate this season (-19.2%)

This one is extremely worrying because Nimmo was a breakout hitter last season, who we hoped would carry the good form on this season. However, Nimmo has been struggling to make contact this season, striking out a whopping 46.3% of the time and registering just a .152 batting average. Of the three players on this list, he is the one I am going to remain the most patient with. He is still young and for the time being, he is still the leadoff hitter in New York. However, he is struggling to make contact with pitches both inside and outside the zone compared to last season. Hopefully, he is just experiencing a slow start and will get back to being the 75% contact rate hitter he was last season. At this stage, this is nothing more than a caution, but it could quickly become something more if the Mets lose their patience with him atop the batting order.


Contact Rate Risers and Fallers - Premium Tool

Identifying top batting average surgers for each week can help you spot the best pickups before your competition. RotoBaller's Premium Contact Rate Risers and Fallers tool has you covered every day. As thoughtful fantasy baseball players, we won't lead you astray.

This type of data is available as part of our Premium MLB Subscription and will launch on April 22nd for the 2019 season. Don't settle for basic stats and surface-level advice from other sites. RotoBaller brings you advanced statistics and professional analysis that you need to win your fantasy leagues and DFS games because we're ballers just like you. We are your secret weapon!

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

More Recent Articles


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 15

Welcome to our Week 15 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to miss another game this week. Evan Engram and Daniel Jones are not expected... Read More

All-Day For the Win: Why Adrian Peterson Matters Again

I don't think anyone could ever be happy at any sports player getting injured. It just makes no sense, so please leave the hatred out now and forever when it comes to that. That being said, though, we're talking about just a branch of sports here with fantasy football, and we all know what is... Read More

Fantasy Football IDP Rankings for Week 15 (Top 100)

One of the great things about implementing IDP in fantasy football is that it balances out some of the insanity that the offensive players produce in some weeks. If you started a lineup with Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Boston Scott, A.J. Brown, Darius Slayton, and Noah Fant then you undoubtedly crushed your opponent while a... Read More

Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Kenny Golladay, Kenyan Drake, James White

If there was ever a week to have more booms than busts in your fantasy football lineup, it’s this week. The playoffs are either underway or about to start in fantasy football leagues across the nation and around the world. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a playoff team, then... Read More

Show Me The Money! Stashes That Could Win Your League

Success in the fantasy playoffs is all about planning ahead. Your bench is no longer a safe space for high floor players without much of a ceiling; they won't win you the big game. You need to look ahead and stash players with exploitable matchups in the weeks to come so that you don't get... Read More

Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 14 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. If you are preparing for Week 15 matchups, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed... Read More

The King's Week 15 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 15 fantasy football lineup rankings for the second round of your playoffs. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR, and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus... Read More

Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 15) - Targets and Avoids

Week 13 was a pretty chalky one with just three underdogs winning outright. The biggest upset was the Broncos absolutely annihilating the Houston Texans who were still celebrating their "Super Bowl" win against the Patriots the week prior. Three weeks remain and I'd be a fool to think there are hundreds who are reading this... Read More

The Tape Tells All - Robby Anderson Fantasy Outlook

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, who's shaken off a slow start to the 2019 season by going... Read More

Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers - Zach Ertz, Emmanuel Sanders, Robert Woods

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More

Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Sit Your Studs?

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More

Week 15 Warning Signs: Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Julio Jones

You made the playoffs. Awesome. Now you have even won your first game. That is even better. But now what? There are many players, some of whom performed in the first round, who may not be so fortunate this week. Whether it is a bad matchup or injuries to key players around them, this could... Read More