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Welcome to Contact Rate Risers and Fallers! Our premium tools allow us to get out ahead of trends in player performance, including contact rate. Every Wednesday, 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.

Here is a breakdown of some of the biggest fantasy relevant risers and fallers in contact rate over the last seven days.

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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.

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Yoan Moncada (2B, CHW): 85% contact rate last seven days (+23%)

The last seven days represent Moncada’s return from the disabled list, and while the contact rate has skyrocketed the results haven’t quite been there. He has a .259 average, .644 OPS, and 78 wRC+ since returning to the disabled list. One positive is that Moncada drastically cut his strikeout rate. He was striking out 37% of the time before hitting the disabled list, and struck out 13.8% of the time last week. He also nearly cut his walk rate in half which meant only marginal gains in K/BB ratio. Earlier in the season he had a 0.3 BB/K ratio, and despite cutting down on strikeouts by 23.3% he had a 0.5 BB/K ratio. His quality of contact was atrocious, as he increased his ground ball rate and decreased his hard contact rate. On the season Moncada has been pulverizing the ball with a 92.9 MPH exit velocity and 51.5% hard contact rate. He is just 22 and coming off a disabled list stint, so he deserves a pass on his poor quality of contact for now. Jonathan Schoop had a similar situation last week and both Schoop and Moncada should be given more time to turn it around. However, this increase in contact is not encouraging for Moncada because it looks like he is selling out for contact and hurting his overall production. This is something to monitor with him in coming weeks.

Michael Conforto (OF, NYM): 89% contact rate last seven days (+20%)

Signs of life from Michael Conforto! Over the last seven days he hit .368 with a .926 OPS and 161 wRC+. There is good news and bad news from this little hot stretch. The good news is that Conforto cut his strikeout rate from 28% to 10% and raised his line drive rate slightly from 21.9% to 23.5%. The bad news is that he had just one extra-base hit during this stretch and had an 11.8% hard contact rate. He only played in five games over the last seven days and his numbers are inflated by a 4-for-4 with four singles performance on May 18th. Conforto’s exit velocity is already at a four year low at 87.1 MPH and his .139 ISO is his lowest at any level since he was at Low-A ball in 2014. It’s hard not to wonder if the shoulder injury he suffered has hurt his power production. This was mostly a good BABIP week for Conforto, but cutting his strikeouts is a step in the right direction. He still has a lot of work to do if he wants to recapture last season’s success.

Josh Bell (1B, PIT): 95% contact rate last seven days (+16%)

Josh Bell is not the first baseman of the modern era. He has a 50% groundball rate and 17.8% strikeout rate in his career. That made his 26 home runs last season seem like a fluke driven by an uncharacteristic 19% HR/FB rate. He got off to a putrid start, hitting .252 with three home runs through the first six weeks of the season. Things finally started to pick up for him last week and he’s hitting .318 with a .893 OPS and 141 wRC+ over the last seven days. Although Bell didn’t hit a homer, he had four extra-base hits over this span, which accounts for 25% of his extra-base hits all season. He also had a 52.4% flyball rate over the last week, and while that is a really small sample size it represents a stark shift from anything that Bell has done in the past. He has never had a flyball rate above 40% in either the majors or the minors. His average launch angle is up to 12.7 degrees this season, a four degree increase from last year. These are signs of a possible power increase, and while it might affect his batting average Bell is a career .259 hitter while driving the ball into the ground, so it’s not like he’d be sacrificing a lot anyway. He is going to be best used in points leagues or leagues that reward total bases and OBP. Expect more doubles than homers, but there might be something brewing here.



Brian Dozier (2B, MIN): 60% contact rate last seven days (-19%)

Over the last seven days Brian Dozier is hitting .095 with a .383 OPS and 14 wRC+. He also struck out 32% of the time during that stretch and has an 86.2 MPH exit velocity on the year, his lowest since Statcast’s inception. There is no way to sugarcoat Brian Dozier’s season thus far. The thing to fall back on, and those that have owned Dozier in the past know this, is the summer boom. In his career Dozier has a .686 OPS in April, .726 OPS in May, and then it bumps up to .854 in June and other than a July dip he stays hot for most of the season. These splits were even more pronounced in the past two seasons when Dozier transformed into a stud at second base. In 2016 his OPS was under .630 for the first two months and then he exploded for a 1.163 OPS in June and hit 37 of his 42 home runs after May. In 2017 He hit 26 of 34 homers after May and had another monster finish. There is nothing Dozier owners can do but hold and ride it out. You can try and buy-low, but sharp owners won’t fall for it.

Tommy Pham (OF, STL): 52% contact rate last seven days (-19%)

Pham had been crushing the ball all season long, but hit a bit of a rough patch this past week. He hit .241 with a .692 OPS, and 93 wRC+ over the last seven days. Those numbers aren’t too bad for a cold stretch, but he also struck out 14 times in 32 plate appearances, or 43.75% of the time. His .429 BABIP saved his numbers from a complete nosedive. Prior to this past week Pham had been a stud with a .319 average and .933 OPS to go along with seven homers and seven steals. His .379 BABIP is bound to drop, but with a .292 xBA and a 92.7 MPH average exit velocity there is no reason to be worried. Pham is proving that his 2017 breakout is legitimate.

C.J. Cron (1B, TB): 57% contact rate last seven days (-15%)

Cron’s strikeout rate has soared over the last seven days, as he struck out 12 times in 29 plate appearances, or 41.4% of the time. This increase in strikeouts went unnoticed because he unloaded three more home runs during that span, giving him 11 on the season. He also hit .269 and has a .960 OPS over the last week. He did that despite an 18% dip in hard contact rate from 39% to 21%. Right now he is rocking a 22% HR/FB rate to much of his success but everything else he is doing aligns with his career numbers. He has an unexceptional 38.8% flyball rate and his career rate is 39.8%. His 88.6 MPH average exit velocity, 13.1 average launch angle, and 5.2% walk rate are all around his career marks. The biggest difference is his strikeout rate, which sits at 25.4% on the season compared to a 21.8% career rate. The only other seasons where his strikeout rate have been above 24% he has hit below .260. With a .253 xBA there should be regression coming for Cron. He’ll probably get a career high in homers based on volume, but he isn’t hitting much better than he ever did in Anaheim. Sell while you can.


More 2018 MLB Advice and Analysis