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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Champ or Chump - Fernando Tatis Jr. and Yoan Moncada


It can be incredibly easy to overreact to your team's performance thus far, but remember that it is still very early. You shouldn't even be thinking about dropping big names like Aaron Nola or Mookie Betts, nor should you count on Daniel Vogelbach or Jay Bruce continuing their home run binge.

That said, you don't want to be too slow to react to trends either. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Yoan Moncada have both dramatically exceeded preseason expectations thus far, and they have underlying peripherals that suggest they could remain good (if not quite as good) all season long.

Keep in mind, our Champ / Chump conclusions are based on whether we think a player will outperform their expectations. For example, a pitcher we view as "Tier 2" can be a Champ if they're seen as a Tier 3 pitcher, or they could be a Chump if they're perceived as a Tier 1 pitcher. All ownership rates are from Yahoo! leagues unless otherwise noted. Let's take a closer look at Tatis and Moncada, shall we?

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!

 

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS, SD)

79% Owned

This 20-year-old wunderkind is off to a scintillating start, slashing .281/.347/.578 with five homers and a steal in 72 PAs. The big knocks against him coming into the season were playing time and plate discipline. The Padres bucked the service time manipulation trend by breaking camp with the shortstop, leaving plate discipline as his only major question mark.

Tatis recorded 394 PAs at Double-A last season, walking at a reasonable rate (8.4 BB%) but striking out at an unacceptable 27.7% clip. He's been even worse at the big league level this year, recording a 30.6 K% against a 6.9 BB%. At first glance, you might suspect that Tatis is bound to come crashing down to Earth. However, his plate discipline peripherals suggest that Tatis might be okay.

Tatis is chasing 32.3% of the pitches he sees outside of the strike zone, just a smidgen more than the league at large (29.2% thus far). Similarly, his 11.9 SwStr% is only marginally higher than the league's mark of 11.1%. It would be one thing if Tatis was overly passive at the plate, but his 47.3 Swing% is higher than the league's 45.5% rate. There is some risk that his peripherals decline based on his MiLB history, but they've been fine so far. To date, his plate discipline should be slightly worse than league average, suggesting substantial room for his 30.6 K% to decrease.

Tatis's pop also looks at least partially sustainable. Statcast likes what it sees, as Tatis has above average airborne exit velocity (94.4 mph) and an excellent 16.3% rate of Brls/BBE. He's also pulling a healthy 26.3% of his flies, making it easier to lift the ball out of the park.

He probably won't maintain his 26.3% HR/FB all season long at PETCO Park, but his 45.2 FB% is high enough to produce a reasonable number of homers anyway if he can sustain it. Tatis's low 14.3 LD% suggests that some of his flies will become line drives moving forward, and he had an average 35.1% fly ball rate at Double-A last year. However, his 43 FB% at Single-A in 2017 gives Tatis some track record of strong FB% rates.

Tatis also has speed to burn, but his stolen base success rates haven't been stellar on the farm. He went 15-for-18 on SB attempts in 2016, but a volume spike in 2017 led to a success rate of just 68% (32-for-47). He got back up to 76% last year, but it came at the expense of attempts (16-for-21). He's 1-for-2 so far at the MLB level, so he might not run as much as you think.

The only other red flag is that the Padres have hit Tatis at the bottom of the lineup despite his hot start. He'll disappoint in R+RBI if he can't earn a promotion, but his stats to date suggest that this is a hot start worth believing in. It isn't advisable to pay a premium in trade for Tatis in redraft leagues, as there's always risk in rostering a 20-year-old. However, his peripherals don't support moving him for pennies on the dollar either. This kid is big league ready.

Verdict: Champ (based on 79% ownership rate)

 

Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS)

86% Owned

The 23-year-old Moncada is slashing .333/.371/.652 with five homers and a steal in his 70 PAs, a dramatic uptick from his .235/.315/.400 line with 17 HR and 12 SB a season ago. Moncada has always made outstanding contact (.346 career BABIP), but strikeouts have been a major bugaboo for him (33.4 K% last year). So far in 2019, he's only striking out 24.3% of the time. Has he solved his biggest problem?

Moncada appears to have discovered a workaround. He never really whiffed too often (12.4 SwStr% career) or chased too many bad pitches (24.3 O-Swing%), instead striking out because he was too passive at the plate (64.2 Z-Swing%). So far in 2019, Moncada is more aggressive on pitches in the zone (70.1 Z-Swing%). It's worth noting that he's also chasing more pitches outside of the zone (27.3% vs. 24.3% career), so Moncada hasn't improved his eye at all. He's just stepping up to the plate more willing to swing than he used to be.

The downside of that approach would be a loss of contact quality, but Moncada doesn't seem to be having an issue with that. His 98.4 mph average airborne exit velocity in 2019 is excellent, as is his 20.4% rate of Brls/BBE. Moncada had a 94.2 mph average airborne exit velocity and 9.6% Brls/BBE last season, and very few batters sustain his current marks over a full season. Thus, regression is likely, but the fact that his numbers are this good right now is all the evidence we need to conclude that a more aggressive Moncada can produce the same contact quality the more passive version did.

Everything else about Moncada is generally favorable. His 42.9 FB% (40.1% in 2018) suggests that he lifts the ball often enough to take advantage of Guaranteed Rate Field's cozy dimensions. He's pulling a lot more fly balls (28.6%) than he has over his career (18.1%). He doesn't care about the shift at all (.398 in 169 career PAs against it), and he has plus foot speed (28.8 ft./sec Statcast Sprint Speed last season). Heck, he's even moved to the second spot in Chicago's batting order for maximal counting stat opportunities.

The one remaining weakness in Moncada's game is his general inefficiency on the base paths. His 12 swipes last season came with six CS for a 66% success rate that just won't cut it at the MLB level. His .386 BABIP and 23.8% HR/FB are also likely to regress to some degree even if both are likely to land above the league average. If you decided to roll the dice on Moncada in your 2019 drafts, it looks like you just might get the breakout you have been hoping for.

Verdict: Champ (based on 86% ownership rate)

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice




More Recent Articles

 

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 12

Rotoballers, if you're not active on the waiver wire this time of year, there are only two reasonable explanations: 1) You're sitting at 3-8 (or worse) and don't find it enjoyable to play spoiler to your league mates, or 2) You're 8-3 (or better) and have nothing but matchup-proof studs on your starting lineup and... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 12 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

This could be the most exciting installment of waiver wire adds in a while. Not that any of these choices are necessarily league-winners but at least we have a bunch of new names to ponder. Bye weeks are nearly over but this one will be particularly tough with the high-scoring Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers, and Cardinals... Read More


Week 12 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Almost out of time to make that last push for the playoffs--no time like the present to squeak out a win because you picked the right defense. Below are RotoBaller's Week 12 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 12 of the NFL and... Read More


Week 12 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

It's Week 12, and the fantasy football playoffs are just around the corner. Teams are jostling for playoff position both in the real world and the fantasy world. You gotta have the right kicker at the right time in the right matchup, and it matters now more than ever. The margin for error in these... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 12. Some of you are concentrating on building lineups that will commandeer a spot in the fantasy playoffs, while others are making slight adjustments to teams that have already secured their place in the postseason.... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

Week 11 is behind us and we're getting closer and closer to the end of the fantasy regular season. For some of us, Week 12 represents the final chance to get into the postseason, while for others we have another week or two left. Here, to help you get ready for the playoffs, is a... Read More


Week 12 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

With fantasy football leagues only a couple weeks away from their playoffs, this is not the time for teams to be short a tight end. Not only do fantasy footballers have no Travis Kelce or Hunter Henry during this crucial week in their fantasy seasons, they do not get to take advantage of using a... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 12

We saw some monster weeks at the quarterbacks position, with four quarterbacks topping 37 points, and ten scoring over 25 points. These weren't all big names putting up these points either, as low-owned quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and even Jeff Driskel had some big numbers in Week 11. That means we've got plenty... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 12 Lightning Round

We're onto Week 12, which means the last of the bye weeks approaches. The Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings hit the hammocks as we can finally start to look at players without worrying about future offweeks. To help you look towards those precious playoff weeks, here is the waiver wire lightning round heading into Week... Read More


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups List

Back by popular demand in 2019... RotoBaller has brought back for the NFL season our Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also try our other lineup tools below. Using your phone? Be sure to also download our free app which includes news, notifications, injury alerts & articles.   Rankings WizardWeekly... Read More


Week 11 Surprises? We Must Overreact - Jeff Driskel, Bo Scarbrough, Ryan Griffin

In Week 11, Josh Allen scorched the Dolphins Defense for three touchdowns through the air and one touchdown on the ground, finishing as the No. 1 quarterback on the week. As expected, Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott finished as top-five quarterbacks, while Sam Darnold rebounded in a "get well" matchup against the Redskins. Kyle Allen... Read More


Holiday Shopping - Who To Buy For The Playoffs Run

As the fantasy football season nears the home stretch, most owners should begin turning their eyes towards the remaining six weeks of the fantasy schedule. Either you're comfortably in the playoffs and need to see who you should be rostering in order to get the best matchups or you need that extra boost to qualify... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 12)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... 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 11 Marlon Mack has been diagnosed with a broken hand and may be out several weeks. Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)... Read More