Fantasy Stock Watch – Week 22

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.

Johan Camargo

Camargo is second in RBI’s (18) for the Braves over the past month, slashing .306/.353/.472 with three slams in that time. His BABIP (.375) during this run is similar to what he posted in 82 games last season (.364) and is backed up by strong contact rates (20.5% Soft%, 47% Med%, 32.5% Hard) and a robust batted ball profile (25.3% LD%, 39.8% GB%, 34.9% FB%).

His overall season has been solidly productive (.279/.349/.452; 14 HR/63 RBI/ 49 Runs) and he has improved as a hitter in several aspects. His 10% BB% for the season is double what he posted in 2017, he has managed to decrease his GB% (45.9% in 2018, 47.6% in 2017) and has seen jumps in most power predictors as well (+3.6% FB%; +4.3% Pull%; +8.4% Hard%).

In general, Camargo has been a pleasant surprise at 3B this season, and has equaled or eclipsed the production (in fewer PA’s most of the time) of several players at the hot corner that came with a much higher price tag this offseason:

Name PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Kyle Seager 534 20 52 72 2 .219 .268 .402
Maikel Franco 444 22 47 66 1 .271 .315 .477
Jurickson Profar 487 14 68 65 9 .253 .337 .447
Anthony Rendon 469 18 64 65 1 .298 .358 .508
Johan Camargo 418 14 49 63 0 .272 .349 .452
Rafael Devers 423 16 47 55 5 .242 .298 .422

All of these players have higher ownership rates than Camargo (57% Fantrax, 36% Yahoo) meaning he is readily available if you want to buy in for the rest of the way.

Willy Adames

It has taken 4 years, but highly regarded prospect Willy Adames is finally showing why he was the main return for TB in the David Price deal. Adames has caught fire over the past month with five home runs, a .330/.400/.534 slash line and a club leading with 18 RBI’s as well. His BABIP (.400) during this run looks inflated based on his season total (.339) and the fact that his batted ball profile has not changed much during this stretch (18.5% LD%, 53.8% GB%, 27.7% FB%) so he will likely see a drop there in the coming weeks.

His contact rates have shifted recently, especially on the Hard% side of things (+8.5% past month) which may explain some of the better BABIP results he has been having lately. In addition, this increase in Hard% and a dramatic jump in his Pull% (+8.8% past month) have fueled his recent power binge despite a decrease in his FB% (-6.6% past month).

Strikeouts have been an issue for Adames so far at the MLB level (30.2% K% in 2018, 12.4% SwStr%) though recent production (23.8% K%, 9.9% SwStr%) over the past 26 games has seen him sit at levels consistent with his minor league production. His BB% has improved lately (+1.8% past month) and in general he has made positive strides in relation to plate discipline over the past month as well (-4.2% F-Strike%; -3.5% O-Swing%). Adames is widely available in most leagues (54% Fantrax, 33% Yahoo) if you need a MI boost the rest of the way.

Joey Lucchesi

Lucchesi has been one of the better rookie hurler’s this season, posting a 3.59 ERA (4.14 FIP, 3.54 xFIP, 3.75 SIERA) in 105.1 IP with solid strikeout and walk numbers (25.7% K%, 8.4% BB%). Over the past month, he has been even better. The last 30 days have seen Lucchesi post a 3.18 ERA (2.95 FIP, 2.74 xFIP, 3.19 SIERA) over five starts while striking out 30.5% of batters faced and walking only 7.6%.

This jump in strikeouts is supported by improvements in his SwStr% (+1.8%) O-Swing% (+3.8%) and O-Contact% (-5.5%). Lucchesi has been getting ahead of batters at a higher rate (+4.8% F-Strike%) as well, and more impressively, he has posted these recent numbers despite a league-leading .371 BABIP allowed over the past month. Here are a few starters with similar production to what Lucchesi has posted this season:

Name K% BB% WHIP ERA FIP xFIP SIERA
J.A. Happ 27.20 7.20 1.12 3.80 3.87 3.78 3.55
Joey Lucchesi 25.70 8.40 1.28 3.59 4.14 3.54 3.75
German Marquez 25.10 7.70 1.28 4.21 3.86 3.55 3.71
Tyler Skaggs 25.00 7.10 1.31 3.78 3.39 3.55 3.69
Eduardo Rodriguez 24.80 7.20 1.22 3.44 3.58 3.89 3.80
Mike Clevinger 24.30 8.20 1.23 3.30 3.50 4.01 3.98
Chris Archer 24.20 7.70 1.45 4.72 3.82 3.69 3.83

His career high for IP in the minors is 139, so Lucchesi should be fine the rest of the way based on his current levels pitched (112 IP both MLB and MILB). His ownership rates (57% Fantrax, 24% Yahoo) are low, making him an ideal option if you need another arm the rest of the way.

Hunter Renfroe

Nine home runs, a team leading 26 RBI’s and a .296/.318/.622 slash line over the past month is typically enough to land you in the “Up” portion of the Stock Watch, though I admit Renfroe’s first name also helped. Power and lots of it is really the best way to sum up this Padre’s recent offensive performance, a scintillating run that has almost doubled his power output for the season (17).

His underlying power indicators (40.4% FB%, 51.8% Pull%, 45.4% Hard%) for the season are very strong, especially regarding quality of contact (+10.8% Hard% in 2018, +2 MPH Exit Velocity). His BABIP for the month (.282) is in not outlandish and improvements to his batted ball profile in general (+4.9% LD% in 2018) should allow him to maintain higher levels of production. Renfroe has managed to control his strikeouts during this run (-4.8% K% last 30 days) and on the season as a whole (-3.8% K% in 2018 compared to 2017) a welcome change that should also help his production moving forward.

Despite these improvements, there will always be a lot of swing and miss in Renfroe’s game. If he can keep those strikeout levels closer to what we have seen recently, however, he could be a good source of power, especially given his low ownership rates (60% Fantrax, 18% Yahoo).

Noah Syndergaard

Thor has not looked very god-like lately, posting a mortal 4.74 ERA (2.74 FIP, 3.40 xFIP, 3.66 SIERA) over the past month (6 GS). While those numbers are not as bad as other performances we have seen during that same period, the fact that Syndergaard has only managed to strike out 20.4% of batter faced in his past 38 innings is more of the reason for his inclusion on this portion of the stock watch.

Taking a further look at various metrics does not give a clear reason as to why he has struggled to sit batters down with the alacrity he has previously shown in his career, though a few things stick out. His SwStr% is down slightly over this run (-.3%) and he has seen a rise in both his O-Contact% (+4%) and O-Swing% (+1.2%) as well. His velocity is down slightly (- .7 MPH) compared to last month (per Statcast) but continues to sit at outstanding levels in general, and there has not been a discernable change in his pitch mix.

Syndergaard’s recent performance appears a bit unlucky when you consider his depressed LOB% (64.6%) so he will probably see a bit of correction in his ERA due to that. My main worries with Thor all relate to his lengthy injury history, and while this recent dip in strikeouts may end up being just a blip on the radar, it troubles me all the same.

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Hunter Denson

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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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