How to Become a Player Flipper Part 2 – DapScout’s Corner

by Dap Scout
How to Become a Player Flipper

This week I continue my Player Flipper series with, How to Become a Player Flipper Part 2. Here is the link to last week's article where I introduced the term Player Flipper - "How to Become a Player Flipper".

(I just said "Flipper" way too many times)

I was going to skip writing an intro this week because frankly I fell down a deep rabbit hole with this article and wanted to keep it under 74 pages. However, my editor said, "Um, this is really boring why don't you try to add some pictures?"

Confession of a really bad, no good, Fantasy Football player

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I am not good at Fantasy Football. This is something that I am not proud of, much like my addiction to Oreo cookies (even though I am lactose intolerant). In my Tweet below, I recap my awful showing throughout all my Fantasy Football leagues and highlight some very small, ok huge, issues I need to work on.

In the coming weeks, I will start my come back and rise up from the ashes. With the help of Charles Vakassian (@chuckster7777) and Ryan Kirksey (@KirkseySports) I will remake one of my dynasty teams into a champion.

Yesterday, when I was introduced to Charles and Ryan, they immediately wanted to see my roster. It took less than 30 minutes before I got this amazing quote from Ryan:

"There is some potential there. Although the bench is about the worst I've ever seen."

Was he right? Absolutely. I immediately thanked him and then cried for an hour.

Follow along on the journey. We will be using #DapDynastyRehab as we make moves, and the experts continue to make fun of me.

Now back to baseball...

How to Become a Player Flipper Part 2

Get prepared for the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season by using the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.

Jordan Luplow, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks  - (ADP 784)

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In all honesty, before I started writing this I thought Luplow was still with the Rays. However, on November 26th, a day that will live on forever in Diamondbacks history, Luplow was acquired for Ronny Simon.

Jordan Luplow - The name that strikes fear in left-handed pitchers' hearts

If you have been playing in daily fantasy at all the last few years you should know about Jordan Luplow. If he is starting against a left-handed pitcher you are starting him. He mashes lefties.

In 2021, Luplow had an ankle injury that limited him to 193 PAs. The ankle injury was significant enough that he had offseason surgery this past October. However, the injury did not stop Luplow from hitting a grand slam in Game 2 of the ALDS against lefty Chris Sale. The pitch that Luplow homered on was a four-seamer which Sale typically has incredible success with against right-handed hitters. A perfect ending to a strange season.

The curious case of Luplow's 2021 season

In 2021 Luplow did the unthinkable and had much better splits against righties than he did lefties. Just take a look at his splits from this season and for his career:

2021 Splits

VsBB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
Righties10.7%28.6%0.38.247.345.548.893
Lefties17.4%30.3%0.58.167.312.378.690

Jordan Luplow Career Splits

Vs.BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
Righties14.3%23.0%0.62.245.360.539.899
Lefties9.8%25.1%0.39.205.291.369.660

Deep dive into the 2021 numbers

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Let us dig a bit more into the stats for 2021.

In April

Vs RHP (27 PA)

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
7.4%25.9%0.3.208.296.667.963

Vs LHP (42 PA)

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
23.8%19.0%1.3.188.381.500.881

Luplow's numbers for the first month against LHP were pretty much in line with his career numbers. However, his split against RHP was really good, all-star good, tee-ball good.

In Matt Lyons (@mattrly on Twitter) fantastic article "Maybe it's time to unleash Jordan Luplow", he points out that during that first month of the season, the Indians should have tried making Luplow an everyday player regardless of who is pitching. With the way Luplow was hitting in April, I couldn't agree more. Put him in every day!

However he also explains that Cleveland tried to do this in the past (as recent as 2020): "Just last year, Luplow faced more righties (49 PA) than lefties (43 PA), but he wasn’t particularly elite against either."

Oh no, it's the month of May! Run!

The calendar turned to May and the injuries started. May 4th, Luplow felt some discomfort in his left groin and would need a day or two off. Then he rejoins the club on May 7th. He plays 6 games, 2 of which he appeared as a pinch hitter before leaving the game with a left ankle sprain on May 17th.

After that injury, Luplow played six more games (one as a pinch hitter), before being placed on the 10-day injured list on May 28th. The 10-day IL visit turned into 60-day IL, and Luplow doesn't play again till August 6th.

During May his numbers cratered:

Vs. RHP (29 PA)

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
13.8%24.1%0.6.208.345.417.761

Vs. LHP (21 PA)

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
21.7%39.1%0.6.056.261.056.316

The RHP numbers are not really representative of Luplow's struggles unless we break them out further:

From May 1st to May 17th (17 PA):

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
11.8%23.5%0.5.200.294.333.627

Then the ghost of Babe Ruth shows up (May 17th to May 28th - 12 PA):

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
16.7%25.0%0.7.222.417.556.972

Behind those numbers is a video game set on easy mode, pace of 50% HR/FB and a near-perfect 33% to each field.

Rest of Season

When Luplow returned on August 6th he continued to teach me a lesson on never assuming someone can only hit left-handed pitching:

Vs. RHP (28 PA)

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
10.7%35.7%0.3.320.393.560.953

Vs. LHP (44 PA)

BB%K%BB/KAVGOBPSLGOPS
9.1%36.4%0.3.200.273.425.698

What do all these numbers really mean?

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Honestly, I'm scratching my head. His career numbers show a right-handed hitter who loves to hit left-handed pitching. However, 2021 shows Luplow possibly figuring things out against right-handed pitching.

Final Verdict

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By the start of the season, Jordan Luplow should be completely healed from his offseason ankle surgery. If 2021 is any indication he should get off to a really fast start in 2022.

Arizona has a VERY lefty-heavy lineup, so Luplow should see regular ABs, especially against lefties. I expect his numbers in 2022 to be more in line with his career splits and show that 2021 was just an outlier.

Why do we flip him?

He is a platoon batter who MAY be able to play every day but has given every indication that with extended at-bats, right-handed pitchers figure him out. If you are in a weekly league send him to someone who just looks at Luplow's overall numbers in April and sees someone off to a really hot start.

In daily leagues, you might want to hold on to him until at least the All-Star break. Depending on the injuries that may occur during this potentially strike-shortened season, his value is only going to go up. It is a gamble, but one I'm willing to make for the No. 784 player off the board.

Next week I promise short write-ups on the rest of my hitter flipper targets before moving to the pitchers.

Seriously are you still reading?

If you made it this far can I just tell you that you are my favorite person ever! Either way, thank you for reading. I promise to suck less next week! If you have any ideas about what I should cover, a show I should watch, or a charity I should spotlight, leave me a comment below or hit me up on Twitter – @dapscout.

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