A Domingo Ate My BABIP

Seinfeld reference in a team name? HELLOOOO! I’m going to skip the lengthy introduction and jump right into things today with one breakout you should believe in and one that may not be a breakout at all. Happy May everybody!

I Believe…

  • Domingo Santana OF Seattle Mariners

He’s played more games than almost everyone else. He plays in a lineup that is over-performing. He strikes out too much. He had a terrible 2018. *Checks Notes*. Oh wait a minute, these are the reasons your friend will use to justify trading you this stud in the midst of a breakout. Now is the time to pounce. Over the last 14 days, Santana is just 8/46 with a .250 OBP. He has hit 2 homers and stolen a base in that span. So, why do I believe?

Santana has cut his strikeout rate to 26%, which is not great, but it is much better than his 30% career rate, and projection systems expected about a 32% rate. However, this still was expected to yield a .334 OBP. If Santana can keep his K rate at 28% or below, a .370 OBP that he showed in 2017 is a very real possibility. He walks about 10% of the time and hits the ball hard enough to maintain an inflated BABIP. Those same projection systems expected a .340 BABIP for Santana. Domingo is sporting a ridiculous 32% line drive rate in 2019 and a minuscule 13% soft contact rate. I love this hitting profile, because it scares the casual observer. High K rates and high BABIPs often cause some to dismiss guys like this. Matt Chapman fell into this category last year.

My Advice:

.260/.360/.460 with 30 HR and 10 SB is on the table here. Whoever has him in your league didn’t count on that when they drafted him/picked him up. So, use that to your advantage. The perceived red flags are overblown, and the recent struggles represent normal regression after his torrid start. This week you should offer a starting pitcher you don’t trust (Ray, Archer, Gausman, Lester) or get Santana and another player for a bigger name that is wholly unexciting (Abreu, Seager). Get creative and get Domingo Santana.

I Don’t Believe…

  • David Dahl OF Colorado Rockies

Disclaimer: No David Dahls were injured in the writing of this article. I think…

If you drafted David Dahl, you are a trusting person. I commend you. But, trust me…you shouldn’t trust him.

I don’t like the walk rate. I hate the strikeout rate. The BABIP is just silly. And, you shouldn’t have expected steals int he first place.

Through 86 plate appearances, Dahl has a 31% K rate and a .480 BABIP. I’ll wait to allow you to read that sentence again. I don’t see what people were so excited about during the preseason. What Dahl has done so far, despite the positive results driven by the BABIP, he has reinforced those concerns. This isn’t a 30 HR bat or a 10 steal guy, and the plate discipline skills are below average. This is also a player who is always hurt and has already been on the IL once this year.

The batted ball data is fine, although there is a lot of Medium contact. But, the lack of an elite FB rate means the BABIP luck will need to continue to justify his ADP. In fact, the only real change so far in his hitting profile shows that Dahl is hitting more ground balls to the pull side. That does not equate to fulfilling upside. I am pessimistic and cautious with regard to Dahl and believe it’s time to sell.

My Advice:

There is always one in every league. Find the guy that is always searching for the next big thing-the prospect guy. Dahl has tantalized this type of fantasy player for several years. See if you can get a German Marquez or Luis Castillo type pitcher for him. Maybe Glasnow? It might not be so easy to sell Dahl, but it’s time to try – maybe even as a throw-in to spice up a bigger deal. Good luck!


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Written by 

Avid Fantasy Baseball player, Yankees fan, amateur gambler, dog-lover. @AssemblyColin