Hitter Analysis, Players to Target

Players to Target: Shin-soo Choo and Carlos Gomez

A 34-year-old coming off an injury plagued 2016 and a 31-year-old who hasn’t been a fantasy asset since 2014? Yep.

These two are similar so I’m lumping them together. They are both on the down swing of their careers but they can both still have value, potentially significant value. They also both happen to play for Texas in a very good offense park. Owners suffering from recency bias might dismiss both of them based on their full season 2016 lines, but there are plenty of positive signs for these two.

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Hitter Analysis, Players to Target

Players to Target: Josh Reddick

Josh Reddick, long a fantasy favorite of mine, is finally out of Oakland and into a good situation. Reddick has had some injury issues, but when healthy he’s a solid contributor in all five categories without a major fantasy weakness. I’m willing to gamble on the health with Reddick because his current NFBC OF ADP is 69th (nice) and 287th overall. This means Reddick is likely barely being drafted in 12 team leagues. I think Reddick has top 30 OF upside and I’ll be grabbing him all over if that discount holds.

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Hitter Analysis, Players to Target

Players to Target: Tim Anderson

I have to start this post off with a caveat: Tim Anderson’s value takes a major hit in OBP leagues (his BB rate last year was 3%) so take that into account if you play in one of those leagues. Having gotten that out of the way, I love Tim Anderson for 2017. In 431 PA in 2016 Anderson logged a solid fantasy line of 9 HR, 57 R, 30 RBI, 10 SB and a .283 AVG. Tim Anderson will be an up and down player in 2017 but he is virtually guaranteed to be the full-time SS and may end up in a very favorable lineup situation. Overall Anderson has a solid shot at being a top 15 or even top 10 SS and can be had at a late round price.

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Hitter Analysis, Players to Target

Players to Target: Maikel Franco

In 2016, Maikel Franco finished as the 19th 3B (according to ESPN’s player rater) with a fantasy line of 25 HR, 67 R, 88 RBI, 1 SB and a .255 AVG. Not bad but certainly not cracking the top 10 at 3B with that line. Franco is a near-zero in steals but has upside in every other category. Franco definitely needs to make some adjustments but the foundation is there for a 2017 breakout.

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Hitter Analysis, Statcast

Statcast Analysis: Identifying HR Underachievers

Statcast is pretty new to the larger sabermetric scene but it’s uses are already becoming relevant, in particular to the fantasy baseball world. The vast amount of data can be intimidating to parse and draw conclusions on. Luckily, there are others much smarter than myself who have already done the grunt work. Drawing from their work, can we identify potential HR sleepers for the 2017 season?

From Alan Nathan’s excellent analysis, we know that the ideal launch angle is between 25 and 30 degrees. Angles lower typically don’t have the loft to get out of the park and angles higher are typically flyouts. Alan also found that 95 mph seems to be the starting point for when batted balls in this launch angle range start turning into home runs. Using the fantastic search tool at BaseballSavant, we can now return some data within these ranges and run some numbers.

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