In Case You Missed It Podcast with Adam Scherer 8/20/17

Adam breaks down a couple talented players who are trending upward and takes another look at Sean Manaea.

Notes from the podcast:

Byron Buxton

Last 30 Days:

  • .405 wOBA
  • 155 wRC+
  • .254 ISO
  • 5 K percentage (29.4 percent season average)

Smaller leg kick than earlier in the season. Says that he was fouling off or popping up pitches that he should have been able to do damage on earlier in season.  Smaller leg kick helps him make more/better contact.

Article by Mike Petriello (mlb.com): click here to open in a new window

Monitor his contact/strikeout percentage.  Contact is the big thing with him.  As long as he continues making contact consistently he should remain a strong DFS play.

Tim Beckham

Since being traded to Orioles:

  • .544 wOBA (.313 before trade)
  • 249 wRC+ (96 before trade)
  • .360 ISO (.150 before trade)
  • 7 K percentage (31.8 before trade)
  • 9 pull percentage (49.5 before trade)
  • 0 opposite field percentage (16.5 before trade)

Stated in an interview when he was traded that he enjoys hitting in Camden Yards and thinks that it is a good fit for him because he drives the ball the other way when he is at his best.  In Tampa, he developed bad habits because he felt like he needed to crush the ball to hit a home run.  Very possible that his mechanics and approach at the plate stay more consistent with Baltimore as a result of the more comfortable hitting environment.  Obviously a very talented player (1st overall pick out of high school in 2008) so there is at least some chance that he legitimately puts it together with Baltimore.

Monitor his spray charts and how often he is pulling the ball/hitting it the other way.  The big thing with him appears to be that he looks to drive the ball the other way when he is on top of his game.  Looking to hit the ball the other way also allows you to wait longer and, in theory, should cut down on strikeouts.  If we see him starting to pull the ball a lot and not hit it the other way, there is a good sign a slump and increase in strikeouts is incoming.

Carlos Rodon

Still tough to trust numbers since he has only been pitching since the end of June and he has had some tough matchups.  Before his starts against the Astros and Dodgers, he was a leader in called third strike percentage.  Has very good stuff, so makes sense that we can look deeper than his swinging strike percentage as his stuff is good enough to freeze hitters if he is able to locate.

Seems to be developing catcher splits that coincide with the better pitch framer (makes sense given the called strike theory)

Kevan Smith: 20.2 IP, 30 Ks, 5 BBs, 6.0 K/BB ratio

Omar Narvaez: 33.1 IP, 29 Ks, 19 BBs, 1.5 K/BB ratio

Smith is a mediocre pitch framer and Narvaez is bottom 10 in MLB

High on Rodon moving forward, should benefit from matchups getting easier than the current stretch of Cleveland, Boston, Houston, Dodgers.  Prefer him with Smith over Narvaez

Sean Manaea

Had a better start against the Astros in terms of results so we needed to look to see if maybe he is good again.

Against Astros:

  • Velo still down 1.5 mph on fastball
  • 2 % swinging strikes
  • Still did not locate his fastball down in the strike zone (I mentioned on previous podcast and shows that his string of bad starts has coincided with him not locating his fastball down in the strike zone anymore- something he did consistently early on in the season)
  • .400 xwOBA allowed on his fastballs suggests he was pretty lucky to only give up 3 earned runs
  • 9 percent hard contact

Manaea still appears to be broken despite the decent results against Houston.  Still would not be surprising to see a DL trip before the season is over.  Continue to fade him and look to roster hitters against him.