Jun 17

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Could Andrew Heaney be 2014’s Jose Fernandez?

Undefeated at Triple-A in 2014, Heaney was part of a fleet of prospects called up by the Marlins on Monday. (Photo: Getty/Mark Cunningham)

Undefeated at Triple-A in 2014, Heaney was part of a fleet of prospects called up by the Marlins on Monday. (Photo: Getty/Mark Cunningham)

Andrew Heaney will be the 10th member of Baseball America’s top 30 MLB prospects to make his 2014 debut, for several reasons leap-frogging other top pitching prospects. He opened the season in Double-A, making eight starts and posting a 2.35 ERA with fairly impressive 8.72 K/9 and 2.18 BB/9 ratios. He earned his promotion to Triple-A where he made four more starts, going undefeated and posting even more impressive 10.57 K/9 and 0.78 BB/9 splits. To save you the math, that’s a whopping 9.76 K/9. Where it gets interesting is the tantalizing comparison to Jose Fernandez.

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Catcher

Added: Derek Norris (OAK), Russell Martin (PIT), Miguel Montero (ARZ)

For owners of either Matt Wieters (Tommy John surgery) or Wilson Ramos (hamstring) any of these three represents a viable add. Long-term however, it’s Martin that provides the most tempting value. We’ve seen the ups and downs of both Norris and Montero for the majority of the season thus far. While Montero’s youth and promise are tempting, the fact that he plays for the Diamondbacks should make you want to hold off. For Norris, with Jaso and Stephen Vogt continuing to draw playing time, it’s hard to rely on a consistent output from the Beard.

While stints on the DL and a suspension have limited the Canadian, Martin, to just 149 plate appearances in 34 games so far, 409 OBP is a career high. His .125 ISO is his lowest since his days with the Dodgers in 2009, but his K% is down from the previous two seasons, and his walk rate is the highest since ’08. He’s benefiting from an abnormally high .326 BABIP (career .285) but he’s added three stolen bases on the season. He’s due for regression, but we’ve seen that from the other two as well this year. He’s the one on the best streak right now with 12 hits in his last 10 games, and is worth riding out.

Dropped: John Jaso (OAK), Devin Mesoraco (CIN), Yan Gomes (CLE)

I’ve featured both Jaso and Mesoraco in either the “Added” or “Dropped” segments of this article in previous weeks, so I suppose it’s time to touch on Gomes. His ISO, BABIP, AVG, OBP and SLG all need to trend up to reach normal career standards. His 23.4 K% is right around normal though, and no more appealing than it has been in the past. and nearly four times as high as his all-time Major League high 6.5 BB%. He hits slightly more fly balls than ground balls (0.97 GB/FB), and his seven homers in 231 plate appearances are on pace for a career high, but it’s hard to see consistent production lasting for a full season with that strikeout rate.

Traded: Joe Mauer (MIN, C/1B), Evan Gattis (ATL, C/OF), Buster Posey (SF, C/1B)

If you have an opportunity to acquire Posey, jump on it. He’s playing for the best team in baseball, and his .274 BABIP is the lowest mark since he played Low-A for the Giants in 2008. We featured him in a look at hitters who are suffering Brian McCann among MLB stars looking for luck: Fantasy’s unluckiest hitters and pitchers so far by the numbers” href=”http://lockerroomfantasysports.com/looking-luck-fantasys-unluckiest-hitters-pitchers-far-numbers/”>bad luck and ready to turn around last week. There are good things on the way.

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: First base

Added: Brock Holt (BOS, 1B/3B/OF), Casey McGehee (MIA, 1B/3B), Matt Adams (STL)

Adams returned from the DL with home runs in three consecutive games before a meager 2/4 night Monday. He’s striking out (and walking) less often than a year ago, but all three parts of his slash line are improved. He’s getting lucky with a .384 BABIP which is 50 points higher than last year. Regardless, he plays on the best team, and holds the most promise for 2014 production.

Dropped: Adam Lind (TOR), Juan Francisco (TOR, 1B/3B), Adam LaRoche (WAS)

Despite coming into Tuesday with three straight hitless games, LaRoche needs to be owned above his current 64% rate on Yahoo! His walks are up, his strikeouts are down, and he’s on pace for 20+ home runs. His .338 BABIP should drop a touch, but not enough to cause panic.

Traded: Joey Votto (CIN), Adrian Gonzalez (LAD), Freddie Freeman (ATL)

While I’m typically not a fan of Votto in standard Fantasy Baseball formats, he’s 3/8 in two games since being activated (.412 OBP on season), providing his usual value in batting average. The strong play of Todd Frazier and nearly promised upcoming improvement from Jay Bruce, indicate potential for production number boosts for Votto in the second half. If you can get him at a bargain, go for it.

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Second base

Added: Tony La Stella (ATL), Danny Santana (MIN, 2B/SS/OF), Josh Harrison (PIT, 2B/3B/OF)

With a surreal .427 BABIP, Santana has been locked into the Twins lineup. He strikes out over 20% of the time, has a 1.94 GB/FB ratio and doesn’t provide much power (.110 ISO). You can ride it out, but don’t get too caught up in the hype as he is due for a cool down at some point.

Dropped: Yangervis Solarte (NYY, 2B/3B/SS), Emilio Bonifacio (CHC, 2B/3B/OF), Jed Lowrie (OAK, 2B/SS)

Lowrie’s .122 ISO and .243 BABIP both have a long way to go to return to normal. A 0.61 GB/FB ratio shows promise, and he just needs to start finding some gaps.

Traded: Dee Gordon (LAD, 2B/SS), Matt Carpenter (STL, 2B/3B), Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

Gordon’s BABIP has regressed, but he still holds a .274/.321/.386 slash line. The power will always lack, but he hasn’t stolen a base since June 6th, and has only attempted two in that time span. With 36 SB on the season, he’s unlikely to abandon the best part of his game so you can count on more attempts to come, but to get true value from him, he will have to return the his early season form.

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Third base

Added: Mike Moustakas (KC), Todd Frazier (CIN), Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE, 1B/3B)

Moustakas has been improved since returning from the Minors, with two home runs in 12 games with the Royals. He’s managed six home runs and a .178 ISO despite a .180 BABIP. As soon as the latter regulates (.264 career), we should expect even more impressive numbers in regards to the former.

Dropped: Trevor Plouffe (MIN), Mark Reynolds (MIL, 1B/3B), Xander Bogaerts (BOS, 3B/SS)

With just three hits in the past week, Bogaerts has clearly begun cooling down. Brock Holt continues to play well, and Stephen Drew has rejoined the Red Sox lineup. He could start getting some days off, and unless you’re in a keeper league, you could be best off replacing the 21-year-old as well.

Traded: Evan Longoria (TB), Ryan Zimmerman (WAS, 3B/OF), David Wright (NYM)

Try to steal Wright away from someone if at all possible. All his metrics are right around their career average, with the exception of a pitiful .092 ISO and .355 SLG. At 31 he’s too young to justify age being the cause of such a power failure, and it’s safe to expect it to pick up in the second half.

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Shortstop

Added: Eugenio Suarez (DET), Erick Aybar (LAA), Justin Turner (LAD, 1B/2B/3B/SS)

Suarez garnered attention when he missed hitting for the cycle by a mere single on Saturday. Looking at his numbers at both Double and Triple-A earlier this season though, he could be much more than just one-game wonder. In 251 PA across all three levels so far this year he has 11 homers, and has lowered his strikeout rate by five percent upon moving to the MLB. His .500 ISO is shocking, and his .375 BABIP is above league average, but checks out with what it’s been at previous levels.

Dropped: Everth Cabrera (SD), J.J. Hardy (BAL), Jhonny Peralta (STL)

Hardy’s run and RBI totals are on track to be far below normal levels. AND HE STILL DOESN’T HAVE A HOME RUN!!!! The advanced stats are normal, but if you play standard Fantasy Baseball, let him go.

Traded: Ben Zobrist (TB, SS/2B/OF), Alexei Ramirez (CWS), Jose Reyes (TOR)

Reyes represents the most value, and the most difficulty to acquire. Go with Zobrist for versatility, the Rays are bad, but he’s not.

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Outfield

Added: Dexter Fowler (HOU), Marcell Ozuna (MIA), Gregory Polanco (PIT)

I like all three in the order of 1. Polanco 2. Fowler 3. Ozuna. Pick-up whichever one’s available.

Dropped: Oscar Taveras (STL), Christian Yelich (MIA), Denard Span (WAS)

Yelich (back strain) is expected to return as soon as his mandated 15 days on the DL are up. He’s close to a 20/20 pace, and has scored 41 runs on the season. A 3.22 GB/FB shows he needs to start hitting the ball a little harder, but with a .342 OBP and Giancarlo Stanton hitting behind him, he’ll still provide value. Hang on if you can.

Traded: Shin-Soo Choo (TEX), Yoenis Cespedes (OAK), Matt Holliday (STL)

Cespedes seems to be on track for a year somewhere in between his first two in North America. If someone’s selling him at last year’s value, buy, but hold off if they’re selling at 2012’s value. Unless you like him as much as I do… 

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Starting Pitcher

Added: Andrew Heaney (MIA), Tanner Roark (WAS, SP/RP), Wei-Yin Chen (BAL)

Heaney will be the 10th member of Baseball America’s top 30 MLB prospects to make his 2014 debut, for several reasons leap-frogging other top pitching prospects. He opened the season in Double-A, making eight starts and posting a 2.35 ERA with fairly impressive 8.72 K/9 and 2.18 BB/9 ratios. He earned his promotion to Triple-A where he made four more starts, going undefeated and posting even more impressive 10.57 K/9 and 0.78 BB/9 splits. To save you the math, that’s a whopping 9.76 K/9. Where it gets interesting is the tantalizing comparison to Jose Fernandez.

Now, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year never saw Double, or Triple-A, making the immediate jump to the Majors in 2013 after spending 2012 in High-A. Fernandez’ K/9 – BB/9 at that level that year was a more than pedestrian 6.87. Andrew Heaney last played at that level last season, where he posted a 7.15 K/9 – BB/9. Those numbers combined with the fact that Heaney stranded 8% more batters at that level, means his 29% owned rate in Yahoo! leagues, is about to get a whole lot higher.

Dropped: Marco Estrada (MIL), Daisuke Matsuzaka (NYM, SP/RP), Ryan Vogelsong (SF)

Well, that Dice-K resurgence was fun while it lasted.

Vogelsong is the most tempting here with his 2014 numbers looking more similar to his first two years with the Giants, than last season’s disaster of a campaign. Estrada meanwhile, is having his worst year as a starter. His 18.5% HR/FB shows signs of some improvement on the way, his 4.26 xFIP indicates it won’t get too much better.

Traded: Justin Verlander (DET), Michael Wacha (STL, SP/RP), Sonny Gray (OAK)

In his last three starts, Verlander has given up 19 earned runs. Name should only get you so far, in Fantasy Baseball. Of course, it can get you this in real-life.

Wacha’s 3.51 xFIP vs 2.88 ERA indicates some regression is on the way, so it may be wise to flip for help elsewhere, but isn’t completely necessary.

Never trade Sonny Gray…unless you’re the Athletics and can’t afford him.

Week 12 MLB Transaction Trends: Relief Pitcher

Added: Neil Ramirez (CHC), Jake McGee (TB), Jenrry Mejia (NYM, SP/RP)

It may be too early to jump the gun on Ramirez. He’s been used in Rondon’s place, but the Cubs official closer has done nothing to warrant losing his job. With Rondon expected to be fine, his job should be safe, although if you have the space, feel free to add the security blanket. McGee meanwhile picked up his first save on Sunday as part of a newly installed closer by committee. He has the best numbers on the Tampa staff though, and seems to be best in line for saves moving forward.

Dropped: Hector Rondon (CHC), Tommy Hunter (BAL), Mark Melancon (PIT)

As above, I feel Rondon is relatively safe, closer shuffling is not should not be, the Cubs biggest worry. Zach Britton has a firm grip on the Orioles closer job, and Jason Grilli has the hold on the Pirates 9th inning duties.

Traded: Trevor Rosenthal (STL), Francisco Rodriguez (MIL), Jason Grilli (PIT)

A move for Grilli could be wise at this time. Gregory Polanco has rejuvenated the Pirates offense (for the time being) and more wins (and save opportunities) could be on the way, while things look relatively steady for Rosenthal and Rodriguez.

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