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Stephen Vogt and Jason Kipnis are Some of the Players Looking to Rebound in the Second Half of the Season

Stephen Vogt is with a new team, and is looking to help the Brewers beat the former world champs for the division title.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Vogt, C, Milwaukee Brewers

Vogt was struggling with the Athletics this season, and it got so bad the team decided to designate their former All-Star for assignment. He would later be picked up by the Brewers, where he has already started to produce. Before reaching Milwaukee he was hitting a measly .217/.287/.357, but since arriving he has hit .313/.333/.875. There are a lot of reasons to pick the 2 time All-Star up from your fantasy waiver wire.

The first being that David Stearns obviously saw something in the 32 year old to trust him behind the plate. If you do not know Stearns has made a lot of underrated moves since joining the Brewers, and these deals are the main reason the Brewers are ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the standings. Some these deals include acquiring Chase Anderson, Eric Thames, Jesus Aguilar and Keon Broxton. All of these guys have been producing for the Brewers, and it seems like Stearns is rarely wrong when it comes to evaluating talent.

The second reason is that Vogt is going to a lineup that has been producing at a very high level. If you are playing in a standard 5x5 league then you should be aware that the Brewers’ new catcher should be giving you a lot more R’s and RBI’s in the Brewers lineup than in the Athletics lineup. It is also worth noting that Miller Park is known to be a very hitter’s friendly park, so that should add to Vogt’s power numbers. Adding Vogt to the end of the lineup could be the final piece in helping keep the Cubs in the number two spot in the standings.

The third reason is a very simple one, and that is that Vogt is simply a lot better than what he was doing in Oakland this season. Vogt was on some my preseason lists for being an underrated player going into the 2017, so maybe that has something to do with him making this list. However, there are not many solid catching options in fantasy baseball this season, and Vogt has consistently been a productive player offensively at the plate. He has the ability to hit 20 home runs and hit a batting average above .250, so maybe a change of scenery is all the veteran catcher needed.

Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians

Kipnis has had a disappointing season since coming off the DL. He has hit a measly slash line of .230/.275/.397 with 8 home runs in 2017. This is not what we are use to seeing from the Indians’ second baseman as he has been one the most productive hitters in the big leagues the past 4 seasons. He has shown that he is able to hit for average while also hitting for some power, and he is also pretty good at drawing walks which is evident by his career 9.4 BB%. This season his troubles seem to be from producing a lot more fly balls with soft contact. Over his career Kipnis has a 23.6 LD% which has dropped to 18.3% this season. He is also producing soft contact 3.4% more often than he was last season, and his hard contact percentage has also dropped 6.2%. It is also worth noting that his SwStr is up to 9.1% this season while his career average is just 7.3%. It seems as if Kipnis will have to make a few adjustments to his swing, but we should see the second baseman start looking more like the player we saw in last year’s World Series.

Nicholas Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers

It is surprising to see Castellanos is still struggling in 2017 when you see his 48.9 hard contact percentage. The reason for his struggles this season probably has something to with the fact that he is hitting ground balls 9.3% of the more than he was in 2016. One concerning fact about Castellanos is that over his career he has a a 14.1 SwStr%, which could lead to a high number of strikeouts and a low batting average. The reason why his strikeouts are not reaching into the 200’s is due to his exceptional plate discipline. Over his career he has only chased balls out of the zone 34.6% of time which should also help draw some walks. In conclusion Castellanos ultimately has the same problem Ryan Zimmerman had last year, and that is that he is hitting the ball hard into the ground. If he can get under the ball more often we could see an extreme rise in home runs from the 25 year old just like the Nationals breakout first baseman.

Aledmys Diaz, SS, St. Louis Cardinals

The former Cardinals’ All-Star is currently in the minors, but will most likely be back up in the majors not soon after the All-Star break. Diaz was great last season as he posted a slash line of .300/.369/.510. This season he has had some struggles. His .260 batting average is about league average, but his 4.5 BB% and .136 ISO are quite worrisome. He has been chasing 10.3% of pitches outside the zone more than he was last season, so this is most likely the reason for his walk rate dropping so much. Another factor in his poor 2017 is the fact that he is swinging and missing at pitches inside the zone 3.2% more than he was last season. With that being said, look for Diaz to work on his plate discipline down in Memphis, and we should see more production from the former All-Star when he gets called back up to the major leagues later on in the season.

Poll

What player do you think will have the best second half of the season in 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Stephen Vogt, C, Milwaukee Brewers
    (45 votes)
  • 26%
    Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians
    (38 votes)
  • 32%
    Nicholas Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers
    (47 votes)
  • 9%
    Aledmys Diaz, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
    (14 votes)
144 votes total Vote Now