Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Stock Report: Just Dong’s in the Desert

on

With the All-Star break officially over, the baseball season resumes with a few big story lines to follow. Who will be buyers and who will be sellers at the trade deadline? Which star will the Dodgers trade for this year? Will David Dahl ever play a game? Most importantly, how will the curse of the Home Run Derby affect Aaron Judge in the second half?

In regards to Judge, he had been struggling before Tuesday’s game. In those four games since the All-Star break, Judge has gone just 1-for-21, and has seen his average drop 11 points in that span. This means almost nothing in a four game sample, but it’s a talking point that fits the narrative of Aaron “Literally God” Judge that the baseball world seems to revolve around.

As the trade deadline approaches, some players could see their value sky-rocket or absolutely tank. The first big trade of the season will pay huge dividends for owners of the first player om the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Stock Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Stock Report

Stock Up

J.D. Martinez, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

The first blockbuster of the season went down on Tuesday afternoon as the Tigers traded outfielder J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks for three prospects. Martinez is already one of the best power hitting outfielders in Fantasy. However, the move to Arizona will provide a massive boost to his value for the rest of the season.

For one, the move from Comerica Park to Chase Field is a massive improvement. According to ESPN Park Factors, Chase Field ranks second in home runs, doubles, and runs while ranking third in hits. On the other hand, Comerica Park ranks ninth in hits, 10th in HR, 12th in doubles and fifth in hits. The move to the extreme hitters park is only the second biggest factor in the move.

Martinez will now be placed in the heart of an Arizona offense that ranks seventh in runs scored this season. Martinez will likely hit between Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb, an incredible position for any batter. With Goldschmidt, and A.J. Pollock in front of him and Lamb behind him, Martinez will be racking up the counting stats like never before. As a bonus, the NL West has the most left handed pitchers of any division in the Majors, and Martinez has a 1.661 OPS against them this season. Martinez could be a top-10 bat for the rest of the season and if there’s a way to acquire him, the effort should be made.

Anthony Swarzak, RP, Chicago White Sox

Swarzak see’s his stock rise as a result of another trade on Tuesday. The White Sox are close to trading Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees. With Robertson and Kahnle out of the picture, Swarzak is first in line to take over as the White Sox closer.

While not as dominant as Robertson or Kahle, Swarzak has been extremely effective this season. In his 43.1 innings this season, Swarzak has a K/9 over 9.00 and has walked just 2.27 batters per nine. The biggest contribution to Swarzak’s career year has been his ridiculous 0.41 HR/FB rate. However, his peripherals are still good enough (2.29 FIP, 3.45 xFIP) to be a solid source of saves if he has full control of the ninth.

The White Sox have been the worst team in the majors when it comes to save opportunities, presenting just 21 on the season. Tyler Clippard has been traded to the White Sox as part of the package, and may be a threat for saves. However, Clippard has been struggling lately and may be flipped to a contender. Regardless, Swarzak will give owners a good number of strikeouts and solid ratios while sprinkling in some saves. Owners desperate for saves should make the add.

Alex Cobb, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

Before Tommy John surgery robbed Cobb of both his 2015 and 2016 seasons, he is finally healthy and looking like the pitcher that showed so much potential prior to his injury. Over his last seven starts Cobb has gone 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA. The streak has lowered his his ERA from 4.52 to 3.59. His GB% has soared in July, jumping up nearly 10% this month, coinciding with a nine percent drop in his Hard%.

His K/9 (5.85) is nowhere close to where it was prior to his surgery. However, his ability to keep the ball in the park and limit walks will help keep his ERA in the 3.50 range. In many cases of Tommy John, it takes the pitcher more than a year to fully recover, meaning that Cobb could just be hitting his stride and is getting back to normal.

Cobb won’t wow anyone with his strikeout numbers and will not be a championship winning piece. However, his solid if unspectacular contributions can provide great back of the rotation contributions in the right matchups.

Stock Down

Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners

It’s been a very rough comeback for Haniger. He started 2017 like he was shot out of a cannon, hitting .342 with four home runs and 16 RBI in April. Haniger was crushing the ball and enjoying a spot in the heart of the Mariners lineup. Unfortunately, his hot start was derailed when he suffered a strained oblique at the end of April. Since returning, Haniger has been a completely different player.

In 17 June games, Haniger hit just .231 with six RBI. One possible reason for Haniger’s decline is the change in his luck. His BABIP in April was an unsustainable .418, which has dropped to below .260 since his return from injury. His walk rate has also decreased and his strikeouts have increased since returning from injury. It might be that pitchers are adjusting to him, as he’s seeing fewer sliders, a pitch that he’s hit well in his short career.

With the way he has struggled, the Mariners have moved Haniger down in the lineup. Without the protection provided by Nelson Cruz, Haniger has not been seeing pitches he can hit. His struggles have been so bad, that he’s no longer worth holding on to in 10 and 12 team leagues.

Jason Vargas, SP, Kansas City Royals

Vargas has been outpitching his peripherals all season long. Prior to the start of July, Vargas was carrying a 2.22 ERA, a mark far below his 4.04 FIP and 4.86 xFIP. His last two starts have been more in line with his advanced stats, as he’s given up 12 earned runs over his last 7.2 innings pitched. In those two starts, Vargas has surrendered 15 hits and walked five batters.

Having never showed the ability to pitch at this level, it’s not surprising that Vargas is regressing to his career norms. His 83% LOB is quite high, and will regress and opposing batters start to hit more often with runners on base. As Vargas is not a strikeout pitcher, the likelihood that his LOB% remains 10% above his career high is unlikely.

Vargas is a known commodity, and is not having a breakout season at age 34. His value is about to take a massive hit and owners should be looking to sell as soon as possible.

Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros

It was a worst case scenario for Correa owners, as the young shortstop was placed on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb. The injury is expected to sideline him for 6-8 weeks. That timeline puts his return sometime in the first two weeks of September. If he does not suffer any setbacks, Correa will only be available for the last two weeks of the regular season. With most hand injuries, it may take some time before Correa can get back to full speed.

Correa’s return timeline means he will not be a contributing factor for many fringe playoff teams. Owners fighting for a playoff spot may be better off moving him for someone who can immediately contribute to the playoff chase. Owners in the playoff race have the option of holding onto him in hopes of a boost during the playoffs.


Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *