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]

ADP Champ or Chump - Trey Mancini and Ryan Zimmerman


This week we are taking a trip to the DMV. Don't panic, not the Department of Motor Vehicles! We are going to compare two first basemen in very different parts of their career from the Baltimore/Washington area. With the loss of Manny Machado and the expected loss of Bryce Harper, the star power in the region has been diminished quickly. However, there are still some reasons to remain positive about the baseball in that area but maybe not in the place that many expect.

First base has become somewhat of a black hole for fantasy value in the last couple of years. It does not seem long ago that the position was awash with talent, and now people are scrambling to find 10-12 options they even consider usable. However, there are two players in Trey Mancini and Ryan Zimmerman who are seemingly being completely overlooked in drafts this year. Can either or both of these players offer a ray of light at the first base?

Let's take a closer look at these two somewhat contrasting first basemen.

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!

 

Trey Mancini (1B/OF, BAL) ADP: 225.83

Playing in Baltimore is pretty tough right now. The team won just 47 games last season and said goodbye to their talisman in Manny Machado. A once seemingly stacked roster is now full of has-been names, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, and young guys looking to make a name for themselves, Cedric Mullins and Chance Sisco. Mancini is one of those guys that still falls in the category of a player looking to make a name for himself. Mancini's major league credentials are solid if unspectacular. In two full years in the majors, Mancini has hit 24 home runs in each season but has failed to really put a marker down anywhere else. In 2017 he hit for an impressive .293 batting average, only for that to drop to .242 in 2018. He averages just 67 runs scored and 68 RBI across those two seasons and has yet to really lock down a position in that batting lineup.

However, there are reasons for optimism. First, 24 home runs is nothing to be sniffed at. It is not a number in the current climate which lights up fantasy teams but it is not to be discounted either. Additionally, at 26 many would argue that Mancini is now entering somewhat of a prime in his career. We looked at Max Muncy and Justin Turner last week who broke out around this age, and they did that in a ballpark generally less favorable to hitters. There are not many parks which can beat the 1.15 home run factor that Camden Yards offers right-handed hitters. Of the parks that do top that Mancini also plays a handful of games there as well, Yankees Stadium. If he is to take that next step as a power hitter, Baltimore is a good place to do it.

Looking at some of the batted ball data from Mancini there are reasons to be optimistic. As you would expect Mancini's HR/FB rate has been extremely consistent the last two years, as approximately 20% of his fly balls have been clearing the fences. When you then combine those numbers with his Statcast batted ball data the picture looks equally rosy.

Last season, Mancini was at the 73rd percentile for average exit velocity. If you then remove the times he struck out and walked, his Barrel% per batted ball event ranks him 37th in the league. That is above names such as Edwin Encarnacion, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Jesus Aguilar and Manny Machado. The issue for Mancini is that he had the 311th-worst launch angle in the majors, and just 26.5% of his batted balls were classed as fly balls compared to 54.6% ground balls. If he makes a minor adjustment there we could be looking at a player who can clear the fences 30 or more times.

What we will hopefully find out this year is whether the .293 or .242 batting average is more likely to be his career norm. If we look at Mancini’s xBA from Baseball Savant it is clear that a lean towards the .242 is the more likely option. His xBA the last two years has been .264 and .254 respectively, suggesting that we will see something slightly above last years number but not as high as the 2017 number.

One thing to consider is that last year Mancini was moved around the batting order a lot. He spent a lot of time leading off and actually logged PA at every spot in the lineup. For a young hitter that can be disturbing, but hopefully now he is one of the main hitters in this group should not be an issue anymore. Mancini should now see the majority of his time hitting in the three through five spots in the lineup. Hopefully, more stability can lead to better results.

As I said in the introduction first base is a really weird position. There are a group of safe guys and then a lot of question marks. Mancini is one of those questions marks but the price is so cheap that there is virtually no downside. Even if he repeats a mediocre to poor 2018, he is still giving you 24 home runs and a salvageable .242 batting average. However, if he pops you could be looking at 30 or more home runs. Additionally, a batting average in the .260 region is not ideal but at this draft value it is more than acceptable, especially if he can pair it with a handful more home runs.

Verdict: ADP Champ

 

Ryan Zimmerman (1B, WAS) ADP: 330.98

2018 was a tough season for Zimmerman, as he managed to play in just 85 games log only 323 PA. Zimmerman spent more than two months on the disabled list. Coming off the back of a monster 2017, in which he hit 36 home runs and for a .303 batting average, a lot was expected. However, a slow start, followed by the injury ensured that Zimmerman would ultimately disappoint fantasy owners in 2018. However, once he returned from injury there were some bright spots, including six home runs and a .316 batting average in August. Despite everything that happened in 2018, there were indicators that suggest Zimmerman can still provide fantasy value in 2019.

If we look at the Statcast data for Zimmerman the numbers are pretty fascinating. He ranked second in hard hit%, 12th in average exit velocity and 23rd in barrels per batted ball event. On a per PA basis, he was the fourth-best in the league in barrel%. To give you an indication of the company he is in, the other members of the top five were Joey Gallo, J.D. Martinez, Khris Davis and Mookie Betts. Had Zimmerman been able to play a full season he would have been on pace for at least 25 home runs. That is obviously a lot less than the 36 he hit in 2017 but it is still valuable.

It seems unrealistic to expect that Zimmerman can match his 2017 numbers, as his HR/FB rate was nearly 10% higher in than in any other year of his career. However, the difference between 2017 and the two seasons before is in his barrel%. In 2015 and 2016 Zimmerman had an average barrel% of 8.5%, while in 2017 that rose to an impressive 12.7%. The encouraging sign is that despite playing fewer games and seeing his HR/FB rate regress, Zimmerman actually increased his barrel% once again in 2018 (13.6%).  In fact, if you take just the end of July and then the whole of August, Zimmerman actually had a HR/FB rate in the 20% range. Granted it is a small sample size and then he struggled again with injuries in September, but what it demonstrates is that when he is hot Zimmerman can light up the stat sheet.

The key here with Zimmerman is the price. If you were having to pay up for him then his injury history would be too much for me. However, a hitter with the potential to put up 20 or more home runs, combined with the potential to have an average that will not sink you is hard to pass up. In fact, over the last four seasons, Zimmerman has had an average xBA of .276, so it is reasonable to project him having a batting average somewhere in the region of 0.270. If you look at his batting average history that is by no means a lock, but if you remove the 2016 season, the lowest batting average he has ever put up is .249. That is a nice floor for someone being selected this late. If you get priced out of the first base market early then Zimmerman makes for a late-round gamble who has the potential to give you top-10 output come the end of the season.

Verdict: ADP Champ

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice




More Recent Articles

 

The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 15)

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


FAAB Bidding - Week 15 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 15 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 15 is here and for those of you that won the first week of your fantasy playoffs, congratulations. If you had a bye week, good luck to you this week. Kicker lives still matter, and three different kickers had 15 or more points last week. Three different kickers outscored Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick... Read More


Week 15-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Still doing things a little differently this week--for those of you who are still alive. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More


Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

You have to love fantasy football. You have to, otherwise you would have given up by now. In a week that most likely represented the first matchup of the fantasy playoffs or a must-win in some form for the vast majority of players, we were treated to the following: Alvin Kamara netting three fantasy points,... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

It is almost inconceivable that we are progressing into the second week of fantasy postseason matchups. Congratulations to those of you whose teams are still competing in the playoffs. Your meticulous planning during the draft process and the regular season has been rewarded with an opportunity to win your leagues' championships. This critical week provides the opportunity to... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

Week 15 is upon us, which means that even the holdovers who play in leagues with four team playoffs and no byes are now in fantasy playoff mode. This is it: the home stretch. Are there any wide receivers left on the waiver wire who can help you in the playoffs? Let's look at some... Read More


Week 15 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football season is over, either because you did not make your league’s playoffs or because you have had enough of failing in DFS contests, then this column is not for you. Congratulations if you HAVE qualified for your fantasy league’s playoffs! To reach the postseason you must have received some decent play... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs in almost in the books, and if you're fortunate enough to have advanced then it's already time to start thinking about Week 15 lineups, especially for those who stream quarterbacks. Luckily, there are plenty of viable options available as eliminated owners have stopped making moves, and if you... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 15 Lightning Round

An injury-laden Week 14 decided many matchups, with several big names going down in a Red Wedding-esque affair. Not only was Josh Jacobs was a late inactive, but Jared Cook, Devante Parker, Albert Wilson all left with concussions, Mike Evans pulled up with a hamstring injury, Calvin Ridley and Ryan Griffin hurt their ankles, Derrius... 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 14 Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Jared Cook has been ruled out of the game after... Read More


Monday Night Fantasy Football Starts/Sits - Week 14

Finally, we had a good fantasy matchup last week. And now, as punishment, we get this. The Eagles against the Giants is a good rivalry game. But for fantasy? Not so much. Even key players Saquon Barkley and Carson Wentz have been severely disappointing in 2019. The game is not going to be something to... Read More


Week 14 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 14... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More


Updated Week 14 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 14 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 14 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss Week 14. Adam Thielen (hamstring) has officially been ruled out. Le'Veon Bell... Read More


Fantasy Football Mailbag - Q&A for Week 14

This article's content may vary week-to-week, but generally, it will be answering questions fielded from either the @RotoBallerNFL twitter account or my personal one (@RotoSurgeon). This week, the focus is on start/sit questions, and there were plenty. Every week, many of us struggle with which quarterback to start, or who to flex, and I am... Read More