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Under-the-Radar Hitters On the Move


As it came, it went. We've just flipped our calendars to August and, opposite to what has been the norm forever, there will be no more impact trades this season as the MLB opted to install a hard deadline on July 31st.

Everything that had to move, moved. Everything that had to stay put, stayed. So now it is time to look at the full picture of what did and what didn't happen during what turned out to be quite a shaky day after all.

Here aer some under-the-radar players traded yesterday. There is always a chance they could turn into something, but keep your hopes at bay for the most part. You won't find the Castellanos or even the Aguilars of the market here, as those are players with a higher profile. Two of these guys are not going to move the needle at all, while the other two may be helpful here and there. So let's quickly analyze what each of these players will bring to their new teams.

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Derek Fisher (OF, TOR)

1% owned

The least impactful of all players moved is Derek Fisher.

Fisher was a first-round pick by the Astros in 2014, and the No. 4 prospect in Houston's farm not long ago in 2017. The problem is that, since his debut that season, he has only played 112 games and logged 312 plate appearances while struggling in his first taste of the majors. Not that good a look.

Although he has stepped up his game this year, he still has a ways to go to become an impact bat. Career wise (that is, putting together all of his performances since his first day as a major leaguer), Fisher has 56 H, 10 HR, 33 RBI, 43 R and a slash line of .226/.317/.367. You could easily expect a better slash line from practically any other rosterable player around the league. Ugh.

Don't pick him up. Really. He will do nothing good for you this or the next few.

 

Jedd Gyorko (2B/3B, LAD)

1% owned

Jedd Gyorko presents an odd case. He's the most experienced of the group of players explored here, and he's in the middle of his ninth MLB season. He has played 38 games for the Cardinals this year and even if he played another 38 for the Dodgers (he won't), that will mark a career-low in games played. He's been on the 60-day IL but is almost ready to return to the field. Still, he will only play a utility role.

Bad for Gyorko, this year there are a lot of good third-basemen available. The most compelling skill he brings to the table is versatility. He can play at both infield positions, and he's been hitting well against lefties. Here are the splits by handedness that Gyorko has built during his career (counting stats are shown on a per-PA basis to account for the difference between the pitchers' handedness he's faced):

Handedness H/PA R/PA RBI/PA HR/PA AVG OPS wRC+
v Lefties 0.242 0.127 0.111 0.042 0.271 0.809 122
v Righties 0.215 0.098 0.130 0.039 0.237 0.707 94

While he won't become a staple in the Dodgers lineup there is still a chance he can become a somewhat important part of it when he takes the field. I wouldn't go crazy after him (he's coming off an injury too), but keep an eye on him just in case he starts to perform and you need to jump to pick him up before others do.

 

Scooter Gennett (2B, SF)

37% owned

 

 

 

 

It's a toss-up between Scooter Gennet and Corey Dickerson for the first spot in our particular leaderboard. Let's start with the slightly under-owned new Giant.

Much like Gyorko, Gennett has been a major leaguer for seven seasons now. In those, he has amassed a plus-1.7 fWAR in four of them. This year, though, he's at a minus-0.4 fWAR. No wonder why Cincinnati opted to part ways with him.

His breakout 2018 season, which marked his career-high in games played and PA, saw him put up a 4.5 fWAR while slashing .310/.357/.490. He also hit 23 HR, got 92 RBI and lowered his K% more than three percentage points (from 22.9% to 19.6%) from his 2017 mark.

This year, though, he's regressing. But hey, so were the Giants, and look at them now! And look where Gennett is headed to! San Francisco is it! And for a team that is clearly out of division contention, but fighting for a wildcard, Gennett is as good an addition as one could get.

Being part of more than 37% of ESPN's roster is no joke. Gennett is actually the 30th most-owned second baseman there, and while he currently ranks in the 11th percentile in terms of Player Rating this year, he should improve his production. I'd pick him up if I could get him for free and had an infield hole in my lineup. The Giants have been bad, Joe Panik has been their first-option 2B all season and he has not been better than Gennett. There is a real chance he gets the starting job at the position.

 

Corey Dickerson (OF, PHI)

37% owned

Another veteran, Corey Dickerson gets the award of being the most-coveted player of this group by edging Scooter Gennett by a minuscule 0.1%ROST. Uh oh!

It is very difficult to asses Dickerson's game going forward. There are currently 64 outfielders qualified for the batting title. Only one (Bryce Harper) is part of the Phillies roster (!). Stricly limited to the left field, Dickerson will cover for Jay Bruce's injury. When he recovers, tough, Dickerson's role will be anyone's guess.

Dickerson made the All-Star in 2017 and won a Gold Glove award last year playing for Pittsburgh. His fWAR has never been lower than 2.6 in seasons he's played more than 130 games and he's already at 1.0 fWAR in 2019.

His Exit Velocity has lowered (from a peak 89.7 to 87.0 this year), as his Barrel% (11.3% to 6.7%). He's got 22 extra-base hits in 2019 and four HR to date and his batting average sits at a career-best .315 right now. He's walking more than ever since his rookie season with a 9.2 BB% and boasts a 0.57 BB/K.

Same as with Gennett, I'd bet on Dickerson if I could pick him for (close to) nothing before people start to realize his potential value.

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