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


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


Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 12

Talk about a shocking move by Myles Garrett. The Cleveland Browns performed well against a beaten up Pittsburgh Steelers team last week, but the win was ultimately overshadowed by a fight between Garrett and Mason Rudolph on a meaningless play. After reviewing the incident, the NFL delivered multiple punishments in the form of suspensions and... Read More

Week 12 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

Week 12 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the bye weeks are in full swing, streaming becomes a more viable and almost 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 throughout the season could easily be the difference between missing the playoffs and having... Read More

Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 11 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As the season unfolds, 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 to help you fulfill... Read More

Buys and Sells - The King's Deadline Trade Targets

This is your last chance to improve your fantasy football team in a highly impactful way this week. That’s because the trade deadline is here in most leagues. You may only have a day or two left to make a significant move as you read this. So stop playing around and get serious. Don’t waste... Read More

The Tape Tells All - DeVante Parker Fantasy Analysis

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 Miami Dolphins wide receiver Devante Parker. Parker's been trending up for weeks, but remains incredibly undervalued and underowned for... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 12) - Targets and Avoids

Sunday was one of the worst Sunday's Vegas has had all season and remaining entrants in survivor pools nearly had the same fate. However, the Vikings rallied from a 20-0 halftime deficit, the 49ers scored late, and the Cowboys win was much narrower than it should have been. The Saints, Bills, and Ravens took care... Read More

Colts Conundrum: What To Do With Marlon Mack Hurt

Hello, my name is Eric Samulski, and I spent all my FAAB on Brian Hill last week. Phew! I’m glad we got that out of the way. Now that that’s on the table, we can talk honestly about this week's biggest running back decision: How the Colts will replace Marlon Mack, who just underwent surgery on... Read More

The King's Week 12 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 12 fantasy football lineup rankings. 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 the FantasyPros industry Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR)... Read More

Offensive Line Rankings Analysis: Week 12

Apologies for not making it out last week. I welcomed my daughter into the world, and while I would have loved the distraction of looking at the ability of offensive lines, that wasn't going to happen. Moving onto Week 12, the outcome of your season-long leagues is now taking shape and you know if you... Read More

Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Kenny Golladay

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

Wide Receiver Leaderboards Entering the Final Stretch - NFL Next Gen Stats

We've consumed our first "double-digit week" set of games. That means we've entered the final part of the season and, in fact, the fantasy football playoffs are closer than you may realize. There are just three more weeks to go until we hit Week 14 and celebrate our presence in the run for the chip,... Read More

Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Jeff Driskel, Deebo Samuel, Kenyan Drake

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

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