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]

Power Risers/Fallers for Week 26: Buy or Sell?


Welcome to Week 26 of the 2018 MLB season and a new week of our investigation into the steepest power trenders in baseball, whether those trends are positive or negative.

It has blown by insanely fast, but believe it or not, the final week of the 2018 MLB regular season has officially arrived. Most fantasy baseball leagues have already had their trade deadlines come and go, and the only decisions left for managers to make in terms of personnel are whether players are worth the AB they are receiving and whether a player is worth adding for a postseason push. Getting the jump on identifying the catalytic variables and telling trends in these player's recent offensive performances could be the key factor in the management of your roster in the season's final months.

To do this, we'll be taking a look at the batting metrics that influence a hitter's power (Fly-Ball%, Pull%, Hard-Hit%, Exit Velocity) and determining whether you should buy or sell respectively on these surgers and strugglers. Since it's always best to wait and trudge through with the power play from players like Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon, Joey Votto, and Mookie Betts, we are going to be focusing on players who have seen a change in their power profile due to a change in batting metrics and has either warranted greater attention for waiver wire pickups or for a potential trade to cash in on what's left before it's too late.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!

 

Power Risers

Yasiel Puig - (OF, LAD)

Gut-wrenching home burglaries aside, Yasiel Puig is having himself a great month of September. With seven HR and a 1.199 OPS in 48 AB to this point, his strong finish is a big reason that the Dodgers are currently atop the NL West and at the very least are in a strong position to see October. A look at Puig's offensive metrics makes it clear to how he has accomplished his best month at the plate in an already successful 2018 campaign. His plate discipline has been fantastic with a season-best strikeout rate of 14.8% and an 11.1% walk rate which has allowed him plenty of opportunities to make contact and reach base to grab stolen bases. In terms of quality of contact on batted-balls, Puig has particularly exploded this month. Though he has only hit fly balls at a 35% frequency so far in September he has been cranking balls yard with a 52.5% pull rate, just 12.5% soft contact, and a significant hard contact rate of 50%, ultimately culminating in an ISO of .458. With impressive displays of strength like an 89.6 mph exit velocity and a 414-foot average HR-distance (not to mention outfield assists that defy the laws of physics), it is no secret that he is an extremely dangerous and talented hitter, so now that the pieces have all come together in September, the devastation he has dealt to opposing pitchers should come as no surprise. It may come as a shock but Yasiel Puig is 27-years old now, and the strong finish to his strong season establishes him once again as dangerous power/speed combo outfielder for 2019. Now flip a bat to that.

Ketel Marte - (SS/2B, ARI)

Few players have had power-hitting performances as surprising throughout the year as Ketel Marte. The first note of surprise comes in the middle-infielder's above-average exit velocity of 88.8 mph and fantastic average HR-distance of 406-feet (assisted by such behemoths as a 465-foot dinger). This month has been another solid showing from Marte: with an .869 OPS, three homers, and an ISO of .268 in 56 AB, this month has gone a long way in proving to all watching that his work at the plate in 2018 has been no joke. There have been some drawbacks to his offensive results thus far into September. His strikeout rate of 18.8% is his highest of the year for an individual month, his fly ball rate of 33.3% leaves a little to be desired for hitting deep, and he has produced a less-than-ideal soft contact rate of 19.6%. Despite these apparent cons, it's all a part of the process. His hard contact rate of 37% is solid, his pull rate of 52.2% is his highest of the year for a month by a margin of 12.2%, and his GB/FB ratio has actually reached a season-low 1.13 despite his low frequency of flyers due to a very high rate of line drives (28.9%). This influx of extra-base hitting has wreaked a little havoc on Marte's stolen-base figures (though he has still stolen six bases in seven attempts), but this high-quality batted ball contact mixed with his speed and line drive tendencies has led to a great well-rounded year at the plate and very well may culminate in him being MLB's 2018 triples champion. Still being just 24-years old, the skill set that Ketel Marte has demonstrated throughout the entirety of this season bodes well for his continued play and progression in coming years.

Joc Pederson - (OF, LAD)

Speaking of the young Dodgers propelling the squad to the postseason, Joc Pederson has so far slugged his way to five HR and a .953 OPS in 57 September AB. It has definitely been an up and down year for him, he is even striking out at an astounding rate of 32.3% during this, his excellent month to close out the regular season. However, despite a strikeout rate that is even higher than his already-high season average and his soft contact rate reaching 18.9% this month (his highest since May) everything else about Pederson's work at the plate during September aligns extraordinarily with successful power-hitting. He possesses natural power, but it more translates into homers of the "laser" variety than the "bomb" variety, as evidenced by his below-average HR-distance of 393-feet and his well-above-average exit velocity of 91.6 mph. His GB/FB ratio this month has hit the abyss at 0.61 off of 48.6% fly balls and just 29.7% grounders, and while his pull rate has dropped it still remains at a trustworthy 43.2%. In conjunction with the tremendous hard contact he has managed this month of 51.4%, Pederson has produced an ISO of .333 which is his highest since his ten-homer month of June. He should probably stop trying to steal bases (he has successfully nabbed just one base in six attempts this year), but at 26-years old he has set the tone for himself as a yearly albeit streaky candidate for 25+ dingers.

Power Fallers

Eugenio Suarez - (3B, CIN)

There is no doubt about it that 2018 has been Eugenio Suarez's big arrival, complete with 32 homers, 101 RBI, and his first selection to the All-Star game. However, he has so far limped through this month of September to the tune of just two dingers and a mediocre .621 OPS in 75 AB. The issue is that, as far as how these results came to be, it is hard to nitpick with Suarez. His walk rate has been great all season but his strikeout rate this month has ballooned to 29.1%, while his respective rates for grounders and fly balls of 44% and 32% have netted a season-high GB/FB ratio of 1.38. His pull rate still sits well above the league norm at 46%, and although his September hard contact rate is his worst of the season and his soft contact rate hasn't been as high as it is now since May, both figures still stand as highly competent at 38% and 10% respectively. His hard contact contains plenty of pop too as evidenced by his 399-foot average HR-distance and 91 mph exit velocity. As there have been few problems with his quality of contact on batted-balls or plate discipline as a whole on the year, the driving force behind Suarez's September slump is likely the increase in strikeouts and a higher rate of batted-balls hitting dirt, because if he had hit them for line drives or fly balls, we would likely be discussing his triumphant end to an emergent campaign. Don't feel trepidation in trusting 27-year-old Eugenio Suarez in future seasons, this 32-HR season could be the tip of the iceberg.

Max Muncy - (3B/1B/2B, LAD)

Hold up, there is indeed one young Dodger putting the breaks on a bit as the regular season dwindles down, and it's Max Muncy. Fortunately, though he has slowed down, it hasn't been in his overall game but just in the power department as he has hit just three HR but has still managed an impressive .892 OPS in 51 AB. His plate discipline has been extremely polar this month with a still-concerning strikeout rate of 29.4% yet a stratospheric walk rate of 23.5%. It is also encouraging to assess that very few components are out of place for Muncy at the moment. His GB/FB ratio remains at a homer-friendly 0.62 off of 41.9% fly balls and just 25.8% grounders, his pull rate provides a moderate assist at 45.2%, and his hard contact rate is still high-quality at 41.9% (though this is incredibly his lowest figure since April!). Though, one peripheral that seems to be leaking through the month has been his soft contact rate which sits at 19.4%, his highest of the season by a 3.8% margin. Overall though, a slight slow-down, when combined with what is still a very successful well-rounded month at the plate, shouldn't inspire any concern. The 28-year-old's breakout campaign of 2018 has been stacked with month after month of hard contact being applied to a high-volume of fly balls, resulting in 33 balls-gone-yard for Los Angeles. His plate discipline may waver on occasion, but he possesses enough raw power (90.4 mph exit velocity and 401-foot average HR-distance) to accrue an ISO of .196 even in his worst offensive month since the start of the regular season. Breakout seasons from emergent Dodgers have been a staple of the last few years, and while they come and go, Max Muncy's demonstrated consistency in producing elite power peripherals projects favorably for the last week until the postseason and 2019.

Anthony Rizzo - (1B, CHC)

Despite an .840 OPS, 24 homers and 96 RBI this season for the NL Central-leading Cubs, 2018 has quite easily been Anthony Rizzo's worst offensive season since 2013. In 75 AB so far in September, he has smacked just two homers with an unusually pedestrian .786 OPS, and like his counterparts being discussed today, the issue he is having in going deep this month appears relatively easy to diagnose. His strikeout rate of 13.6% and walk rate of 11.4% are both superb, his pull rate of 46% lends a considerable helping hand within hitter-friendly Wrigley Field, and his power metrics remain above-average and active with a 90 mph exit velocity and 403-foot average HR-distance (not to mention that his bat comes in one of baseball's most dangerous run-scoring orders). In contrast, he has been hitting a lot of grounders (41.3%) as compared to his 33.3% fly ball rate which has translated into a 1.24 GB/FB ratio. Most concerning, his batted-ball contact has regressed significantly this month with a hard contact rate of just 28.6% and a high soft contact rate of 19.1% that are both highly uncharacteristic of the seasoned slugger. This explains his September ISO of .120, while his superior plate discipline combined with his high frequency of line drives and medium contact explain how his BA and OBP have yet to suffer. Anthony Rizzo has been good for so long that it is hard to believe that has yet to turn 30, and while his September power outage is a bit concerning, he will have a chance to work that out in the postseason for the Cubbies so that the issues need not resurface come April of 2019.

More Risers and Fallers




More Recent Articles

 

Finding Combo-Player Values Using Z-Scores and ATC Projections

Towards the end of last season, I asked the question – “Draft Speed or Pound the Power?” Loaded in this seemingly simple query are two contradictory approaches – one for power and one for speed. Power Approach 1: Home run totals are dramatically up in baseball these days. Therefore, there are many power bats available... Read More


ADP Showdown - Whit Merrifield vs Austin Meadows

Spring training is officially underway, which means baseball season is upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already begun dealing with tough draft position decisions. The outfield position is deep as always, but... Read More


2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Third Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More


2020 Dynasty Leagues: Players to Sell (Premium Content)

As draft day approaches in dynasty leagues, the window to sell-high on a big name has never been better. The first days of spring training are a chance to cash in on players who may have hit their peak value before the 2020 season begins. Bartering is a matter of risk vs reward. You hate... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast: Early Round Values

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) and Zach Braff (@BraffZ) and they discuss early round values. They go through and highlight a few players that are going inside the top 150 in ADP that offer a great chance to return profit. Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast... Read More


Second Year Pitcher Preview: Fantasy Baseball 2020 ADP Analysis

Host Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller Radio discuss the 2020 fantasy baseball season and keeps you updated with all the latest news and analysis Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, every weekday afternoon from 1-2 PM ET, Saturday nights from 9-11 PM ET... Read More


Relief Pitchers to Target for Holds

Hold on... there are fantasy leagues that reward middle relievers, not just starters and closers? Yes, there are, and leagues that reward holds are one of the fastest-growing segments of fantasy baseball as real baseball continues to diminish the role of the starter in favor of building deep bullpens with multiple relievers that throw 95+... Read More


2020 Second Base Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a different strategy if you wish to truly compete. Rankings themselves are a different beast altogether, as category specialists like Mallex Smith and Dee Gordon (stolen bases), Kyle Schwarber and Franmil Reyes (home runs),... Read More


ADP Showdown – Matt Olson vs Paul Goldschmidt

Pitchers and catchers have officially reported and position player workouts are getting underway, which means baseball season is officially upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already started dealing with tough draft position... Read More


2020 Second Base Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

As the season draws near, we realize more and more that it's draft season. There is a large portion of fantasy baseball busy with mock drafts, rankings, sleepers, and more mock drafts. The Dynasty community, on the other hand, is looking to continue their dominance, rebuild, or in a worst-case scenario, stick their hands up... Read More


Six Undervalued Draft Targets for Mixed Leagues

Heading into 2020, there are a number of players who had poor 2019 campaigns that should bounce back strong. Some of these players are presently undervalued by fantasy owners for one reason or another. In this article, I'll identify a few such players who should outperform their current ADP in 2020. While each of these... Read More


Josh Hayes' 2020 Best Ball Draft Targets (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. The fantasy baseball season is here! For those fantasy players looking to get an edge on their 2020 leagues, Best Ball formats are a great way to get a head start on the players that look to be ADP risers this season. One key... Read More


Josh Hayes' 2020 Best Ball Draft Avoids (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. The fantasy baseball season is here! For those fantasy players looking to get an edge on their 2020 leagues, Best Ball formats are a great way to get a head start on the players that look to be ADP risers this season. An underrated... Read More


Nine AL Rookies Ready to Leap Into Starting Lineups

Every year, there are those rookies who we expect to make a splash right away. Think Kris Bryant, Ronald Acuna, Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge--those guys. Once we make it through all the service time manipulation shenanigans, there are always youngsters ready to snatch roster spots immediately, and 2020 is no exception. Below are nine of... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Spin Rate

Spin rate has become one of the most recognizable Statcast metrics, with supporters of a given pitcher highlighting his spin rates to make their case. Unfortunately, the baseball world has done a lousy job conveying what spin rate really means. The result has been a ton of owners who know that spin rate exists, but... Read More


More Recent Articles

 

D.J. Chark - Dynasty Price Check

Are you ready for some football? If you are in a dynasty fantasy football league, you most certainly are! The time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is a prime opportunity for hardcore owners to evaluate their current team and prepare for their upcoming rookie drafts. We've already looked at young players likeCourtland... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (NFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More


Biggest ADP Surprises: Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano review the draft board from RotoBaller's 2020 Way Too Early Mock fantasy football draft. They look at early ADP, reaches, values, and surprises throughout the first 10 rounds. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Quarterback Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target and opportunity risers and fallers, based on the first two weeks of XFL data. Now, it's time to evaluate the quarterbacks, for better or worse. There are few known commodities, even among seasoned NFL fans, at the quarterback position in this league. Relative unknowns like Phillip Walker and Jordan Ta'amu... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Opportunity Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target risers and fallers based on the first two weeks of XFL data. The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are,... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Target Risers and Fallers

The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are, just mere days from Week 3 matchups! With two dates already in the rearview mirror and plenty... Read More


NFL Draft Combine Preview: Quarterbacks

With the Super Bowl now behind us, it is officially NFL Draft season! It's time to speculate on draft picks for teams, who should land where, and which players should be valued over others. This also marks the unofficial start to the 2020 fantasy football season. Getting in the early preparation can give owners a... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Anthony Miller

Many of you have already begun planning and building your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have assembled teams in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are inspecting the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued your process of relentless roster evaluation. As the... Read More


Is Lamar Jackson Worth a First Round Pick?

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the idea of taking Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round of 2020 fantasy football redraft leagues. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure... Read More


Why Lamar Jackson Should Be a First-Round Pick in 2020

Sometimes I like to make noise and some headlines if I can. That is why I host shows six days a week on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio representing RotoBaller. If I can get people buzzing about a topic, calling in or responding on social media with passion and vigor, I am having fun. But whenever I... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Darren Waller

Many of you have already launched into the planning process for your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have embraced the opportunity to draft in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are also monitoring the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued a pace of... Read More