This week I’m going to tackle a topic that I have never put into 10 thoughts before. I am among the biggest FOMO people out there, so when I commit to a prospect, I will hold on to them for a long time to make sure there isn’t a slow-growing curve in their career. Pitchers especially can be slower to develop, but recently a handful of outfielders took some time (Michael Conforto, Jesse Winker...).
Below are 10 players that, even in spite of an odd season, I'm passing on and moving on to better players. This is especially important with a chance to see so many prospects called up this year.
- Jake Arrieta (15% Yahoo; 61% Fantrax) Yup, long gone are the days where he was a top 5, heck even a top 20 starting pitcher. He is now two years removed from an ERA under 4.00. He’s three years removed from a win/loss record over .500, and his strikeout rate has declined for a fourth consecutive year (now at 6.15 K/9).
- Hunter Renfroe (33% Yahoo; 71% Fantrax) I was all in on Renfroe, ever since he was called up in 2016. His first year was amazing, 11 games, .371 AVG, four home runs it was aces across the board. Since that amazing small sample size, he has not had a season with more than .250 AVG and to some degree that was ok as he was a home run hitting machine. Now he’s struggling to get playing time with the Rays, his HR/FB is down from 23.6% last year to 16.7% this year, and some of it relies on his BABIP which is down to .148. I just can’t justify continue to hold on to him in the near future with these numbers, especially with the plethora of OF talent out there right now.
- Edwin Encarnacion (52% Yahoo; 85% Fantrax) I know he’s on a great team and I know he has got a hot round last week but while he and Nelson Cruz seemed to be playing a game of chicken against Father Time, it looks like Edwin has finally conceded this season. His batting average is down to .170, his strikeout rate has risen above 30% for the first time in his career and almost double his average, his walk rate is down almost 30%, and his groundball is up from 31% of his hits to 39% (which is fine, but it’s not what you expect from Encarnacion).
- Bryan Reynolds (43% Yahoo, 72% Fantrax) Sure this one was short lived but it’s not uncommon to see these one year blips (Brian Anderson, Chris Colabello, Mallex Smith etc..). There is a chance Bryan rebounds and he struggled in what is a peculiar year but his K% spiked and he traded in line drives for flyballs which would be fine if he had a HR/FB that was above 15% (he does not).
- Khris Davis (34% Yahoo; 62% FanTrax) Man was that a fun ride. You didn’t roster Davis because of his batting average (after his rookie year, he’s never batted above .250), you rostered him because of dingers. He hit above 40 home runs for three consecutive seasons and now sadly, the wheels have fallen off the wonderful ride. Across his 19 games this season he has just one homer, his K% is the second highest of his career, he’s batting .155 AVG, and his fly ball rate (normally above 40) doesn’t translate when your HR/FB is 5.9% as opposed to your normal 25%.
- Miguel Andujar (16% Yahoo) The injuries, consecutive seasons batting below a .130 AVG, no home runs across the last two seasons, a walk rate under 4%, his most recent relegation to the minor league, it’s all too much. Maybe he comes back some day and maybe you get to him first, but there are many more promising candidates out there to be pursuing.
- Manuel Margot (5% Yahoo; 59% Fantrax) There are just too many good outfielders to be holding on to one who has now spent years not producing. Manuel might be the exception as he has five stolen bases this year and a .280 AVG (that is considerably above his last few years where his batting average was below .250). He doesn’t hit for power but does provide stolen bases, my bigger fear is we are seeing a short blip which will falter. This is a rare situation of someone with decent numbers that I am NOT buying into.
- Ryan McMahon (56% Yahoo; 90% Fantrax) No more am I swooned by the tantalizing prospect that was Ryan McMahon. He has yet to bat above a .250 AVG in a season, he has yet to hit more than 25 home runs in a season, he has yet to steal more than five bases in a season. A lot of this could be attributed to the Rookies hoarding (and not playing) their deep prospect pool, but I am still selling all McMahon shares.
- Joe Musgrove (40% Yahoo; 78% Fantrax) I held Musgrove’s shares longer than just about anyone and I’m officially off. He continues to strikeout at elite levels but he’s also now walking at twice his normal levels and he has NEVER gone above .500 in wins and he has NEVER had an ERA below 4.00 in the five years he has been pitching (oh and his WHIP has increased for a third consecutive year now up to 1.6).
- Gregory Polanco (11% Yahoo; 47% Fantrax) This is someone who many have dropped. I will admit I held onto him until this season. The .149 AVG and two consecutive seasons with poor average, limited power and no more than five stolen bases is just too much for me to continue an investment.