Fantasy Stock Watch – Week 19

Welcome to another edition of the stock watch. Read on to see what recent performances you should be aware of as you make roster decisions for the rest of the way.

As always, if you have a player you would like profiled or have a question about, feel free to post in the comment section or reach out to me on Twitter @hedenson18 with that or any other questions.

Mark Trumbo

Trumbo is batting .341/.362/.614 with four home runs over the past two weeks, finally injecting some life into what has been an uninspiring 2018 season. This recent power stretch has come despite a dip in both his Hard% (35.3% during this run, 39.8% on the season) and FB% (29.4% during this run, 34.4% on the season). In general, he has not struggled to create strong contact this season, posting his best average exit velocity since 2016 (92.7 MPH) and logging expected production levels much higher than his current line (.277XBA/.338WOBA/.482XSLG).

His LD% (23.1%) for the season would represent a personal best, and while his LD% (26.5%) over this recent stretch has been elevated, he has posted a 22.1% LD% for the past month. His K’s are down almost 3% for the past month, though his walks have dropped by a similar amount as well. Trumbo is an interesting bat to hold when he is hot, and while his ownership rates on Fantrax are high (70%), it sits at only 32% in Yahoo leagues.

Steven Souza Jr.

After spending most of the season on and off of the DL with a troublesome pectoral muscle, Souza has been working to make up for all that time on the shelf, posting a .338/.417/.531 line with 2 home runs and 1 steal over the past month. His batted ball profile during this run has been outlandish (31.5% LD%, 31.5% GB%, 37% FB%) as has his BABIP (.442) so he will regress a bit there in time.

His lack of power is somewhat perplexing given he is posting increases in both his FB% (37.5% 2018, 34.3% in 2017) and Hard% (42.7% in 2018, 34.1% in 2017). The main culprit for his lack of power looks to be a significant drop off in his Pull% (37.5% in 2018, 46.8% in 2017) but if he can move back to his normal levels there the power should come.

Souza Jr. is an interesting bat to consider for the rest of the way, and is owned in 68% on Fantrax leagues and 29% of Yahoo leagues.

Pablo Lopez

Lopez has been a good value so far in his short MLB career, failing to reach 6 innings in only two of his seven starts on the season. His numbers over the past month are solid, seeing Lopez post a 3.82 ERA (4.10 FIP, 3.74xFIP, 3.80 SIERA) while striking out 25 in 30.2 IP. Despite his low strikeout numbers on the season (7.13 K/9) Lopez has a slightly above average SwStr% (10.1%) O-Swing% (35.3%) and does a good job of getting ahead of batters, notching a first pitch strike 66.1% of the time.

While Lopez’s current lack of strikeouts affects his value a bit, he is still an interesting arm to consider. Advanced metrics see the potential for some improvement on his 4.32 ERA (4.61 FIP, 3.81xFIP, 3.90 SIERA) and his low walk numbers (2.16 BB/9) keep him out of a lot of trouble. Obviously, there is some risk as he has less than 50IP at the major league level, but he is widely available (14% ownership Fantrax, 1% ownership Yahoo) and is worth a flier based on his production so far.

Joey Votto

This one hurts. Votto has been a favorite of mine for years, both for his amazing levels of production and his decision to conduct an interview dressed as a Canadian Mountie in 2014. Despite my love for Votto, his play over the past month highlights what has been a very poor year for the Cincinnati first baseman. For the past month, Votto has hit an empty .275/.432/.348 with zero home runs. This complete absence of power has been a running story with him, as Votto has only taken one ball out of the yard since July 9th, notching only three long balls since May 13th.

For the season Votto is batting .289/.426/.427 with 9 home runs, 58 RBI and 53 runs scored, not something you want to see from a hitter with an almost 100% ownership rate (Fantrax and Yahoo). Digging deeper into Votto’s numbers gives me some hope for the rest of the season. His batted ball profile shows strong improvements in both LD% (32.7% in 2018, 23% in 2017) and GB% (37.1% in 2018, 39% in 2017) despite a drop in his FB% (30.2% in 2018, 38% in 2017). His average seems low given his BABIP (.340) and past production in that area, and Statcast’s expected metrics tell a different story than what we are seeing so far (.316XBA/.378WOBA/.539XSLG).

Votto has the potential to erupt in the second half, and I hope that happens, but his complete lack of power so far in 2018 has me worried.

Luis Severino

Severino has been hit hard over the past month, posting a 7.67 ERA with 24 K’s over 27 innings. The long ball has been a big issue as Severino has allowed at least one home run in every start since July 7th, culminating in an elevated 21.9% HR/FB% that is unlikely to continue. His LOB% (62.8%) and BABIP allowed (.402) during this run have been unlucky, something advanced looks at his performance support (7.67 ERA, 5.41 FIP, 3.99 xFIP, 4.10 SIERA).

Despite the recent drop in strikeouts, Severino’s control has not suffered, seeing him walk only 4% of batter faced. In general, this looks like a blip in the radar that should correct itself as the season continues. Severino is a top-tier fantasy arm, but if you can find someone who is worried about his recent performance be sure to take advantage.

 

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Hunter Denson

Written by 

Fantasy baseball enthusiast, Boston Red Sox fan and general lover of baseball living in the Pacific Northwest. More likely to remember Mel Ott's career HR number than my pin number. Married to an amazing woman who supports and encourages my baseball mania.

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