Fantasy Stock Watch – Week 23

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.

Luke Voit

Voit has been a huge surprise over the past two weeks, out-performing every other hitter on the Yankees over his past 13 games. In that time he has slugged seven home runs and driven in thirteen while slashing .356/.420/.822. While Voit’s Hard% during this run (51.6%) has been outstanding, his other power predictors are right at league average (37.5% FB%, 38.7% Pull%) making this recent power run a bit inflated, especially when you take into account his out of this world HR/FB (58.3%).

That being said, his batted ball profile during this run (31.3% LD%, 31.3% GB%, 37.5% FB%) supports his currently higher than usual BABIP (.360) and Statcast is very positive on his work in general based on quality of contact (.277 XBA/.416 WOBA/.648 XSLG). He has managed to cut his K% lately (26% last two weeks, 28% overall) though neither level is desirable for long-term performance.

This is a lot of review for a 27 year-old with just over 200  career plate appearances, and it is hard to extrapolate much from this recent run given his lack of experience at the big league level. In general, Voit was always solid in the minors, but this hot streak is above what most would have expected. Ride this incredible run while you can, and if you still want to jump on the train be sure to look for Voit in your league (30% ownership Fantrax, 32% Yahoo).

Stephen Piscotty

I highlighted Piscotty as someone to watch coming into the season, and early on that looked like a huge mistake given his struggles, especially in May (.160/.203/.307 with 2 HR). After that disastrous month, Piscotty turned things around in June (.303/.382/.517 with 4 HR) and has continued to be a solid option ever since. Over the past two weeks he has been unstoppable, slashing .327/.368/.712 and sending six balls into orbit against opposing pitchers.

Piscotty has been generating strong contact all season, seeing strong increases in his Hard% (+9.1% in 2018) and average exit velocity (+2.4mph in 2018) compared to last season. Statcast is very positive on his expected performance this year (.279 XBA/.342 WOBA/.528 XSLG) with all metrics rating ahead of his actual numbers so far on the season (.265/.321/.479). Piscotty has already equaled the power production we saw in 2016 and has the chance to surpass that year’s performance in fewer plate appearances depending on how he finishes the season.

At 27, he is an interesting play the rest of the way and moving into next season as well, especially for someone owned in only 51% of Yahoo leagues.

Hunter Dozier

For the second week in a row someone sharing my first name has done well enough to be included in the stock up portion of this report. Dozier has been raking lately, posting a .340/.360/.723 line with three home runs over his past twelve games. His power predictors during this run are all up compared to his season totals (+3.1% FB%, +5.6% Pull%, +16.2% Hard%), and while his HR/FB is currently at an elevated level (20%) it is still within the realm of possibility given his already above average rate on the season (12.2%).

Dozier has always struggled with K’s, but he has managed to drop his K% a good bit during this run (-7.6%) and has seen dips in his SwStr% (-2.4%) as well. His BB% has not been great during this run or on the season either (2.2% last two weeks, 6.4% 2018 season), though he has always posted stronger rates in the minors. His batted ball profile for the year is solid (22.7% LD%, 39.9% GB%, 37.4% FB%) though he will struggle to maintain a tolerable batting average given his low walk and high strikeout rate (29.6% on the season).

Dozier has limited ownership rates (16% Fantrax, 4% Yahoo) but could be an interesting add given his recent run. He will have to cut his strikeout rate in order to provide consistent value moving forward, but his power potential is interesting given his positional eligibility, even with the lower average he will likely provide.

Wei-Yin Chen

Over the past month Wei-Yin Chen has pitched very well, going 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 25.2 innings over his four starts. He has gone over 5 innings in all of these outings, tossing a season high 8 innings in his most recent outing against the Blue Jays. Chen has sat down 26% of batters faced during this run (including 10 against Atlanta on 8/25) and has proven adept at limiting walks as well, issuing free passes 4% of the time during this run.

Chen has been a bit lucky over this run, allowing a miniscule .224 BABIP against and stranding 84.3% of batters faced. Advanced looks at his performance (1.75 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 3.60 xFIP, 3.38 SIERA) acknowledge that, but even with that taken into account, his recent run has been very good. If you are in need of an extra arm for the playoffs, Chen is widely available (26% Fantrax, 13% Yahoo) and an interesting veteran option who has failed to reach 5 IP only twice since June 16.

Aaron Sanchez

Sanchez has struggled since coming off the DL August 25, posting an 8.79 ERA in his 14.1 innings of work. Advanced looks at those outings are a bit more favorable (4.76 FIP, 4.79xFIP, 4.92 SIERA), but in general, he has not looked good outside of his most recent start (6 IP, 3 ER, 8K). While that jump in K’s was nice to see, his K% both during this run and on the season (16.7% last two weeks, 18.4% in 2018) are low, and look worse when paired with his BB%’s (9.7% last two weeks, 12.1% in 2018).

Sanchez has struggled to get ahead of batters lately (50% F-Strike%) and has seen his SwStr% dip back towards previous levels (-1.8% last two weeks) after posting an improved 9.7% mark there for the season as a whole. Obviously this is a small sample, and Sanchez could build upon his last start to right the ship for the last few weeks of the season. Given that only a few weeks remain in the 2018 campaign, however, I would be cautious trusting Sanchez for the rest of the way.

Rhys Hoskins

Hoskins has been MIA for the past month, flailing his way to an .188/.301/.365 line with five home runs over his past 27 games. His Hard% has taken a hit during this stretch (-6.4% last 30 days) and his batted ball profile has declined as well, seeing negative changes in his LD% (-4.7%) GB% (+6.1%) and FB% (-1.4%). His BABIP has been low (.191 BABIP last 30 days) compared to his season rates (.279) making it likely Hoskins has been a victim of some bad luck in that area even when factoring in his batted ball struggles.

His walk and strikeout rates have been in line with what he has posted for the season, and he has actually seen a dip in his SwStr% during this recent stretch (-1.2% last 30 days). Pitchers have struggled to get ahead of Hoskins lately (48.7% F-Strike% last 30 days) and his chase rate outside the strike zone (20.5% last 30 days, 20.9% in 2018) has stayed constant when compared to season totals.

Despite these struggles, I think Hoskins has made some good adjustments that will serve him well moving forward. He was never going to maintain the power production he showed last season (31.6% HR/FB) and even though that has dropped off this season he is still producing at an above average rate (15.8% HR/FB). He has seen improvements in both his FB% (+4.2%) and Pull% (+2%) on the season, and despite a decent drop in Hard% compared to last season (-11.9%) I am optimistic about him increasing his power levels from what we have seen this season.

 

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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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