While it’s still early to start drawing conclusions on players, it can be tempting to start making changes. But you have to be patient at this point of the season. Most players have only 30 or 40 plate appearances. Or they have only thrown 15 innings. But we can single out players that are off to obvious fluke starts. So with that in mind let’s take a look at some players of interest for week 3.
Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, ATL
The 21-year-old superstar is off to a slow start. Batting .176 with three home runs, maybe he has lost motivation after signing an 8-year, 100 million contract extension. Well maybe you can convince the owner of him your league that.
Despite the low batting average, Acuña is walking more this year (up to a 17.8% BB rate from 9.2% last year and striking out less (down to 15.6 K% from 23.3%). His HARD% is exactly the same as last year, 44.4%, when he took the league by storm batting .293 and blasting 26 home runs.
If you can get Acuña for even slightly less than market value (currently the number 9 overall player, do it in a heartbeat.
Tim Anderson, SS, CWS
Tim Anderson is off to a scorching start, filling the stat sheet in all five categories. The speedy shortstop has 2 HR, 2 SB, and a batting average of .517! In fact he has the highest BABIP in the league, clocking in at .565. In other words, almost 60% of the balls he puts in play are turning into hits.
Anderson generally has a slightly above average BABIP (career number of .331). But he has been amazingly lucky this year. Anderson has a HARD% of 28%. in 2018 he had a HARD% of 30% with a batting average of .240. Yikes. Also this season he is hitting the ball on the ground 64% of the time versus a career rate of 46.6%.
So he’s piling up a bunch of seeing-eye singles with soft grounders. Anderson is going to fall off the cliff any time now. Sell all your shares before has basically no value in two weeks.
Mike Clevinger, SP, CLE
Two starts in to the season and Mike Clevinger is dominating. Or at least if you look at his ERA and strikeout totals that´s the obvious conclusion.
Clevinger has a 000 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 12 innings. That’s right, zero runs allowed. He is punching out 52% of all hitters he has faced. So has Clevinger suddenly developed into a number-one starter?
Clevinger has a 100% LOB%. In other words, no runner that has reached base against him has scored. His career LOB% is 78.6%. He has a BABIP of .125 (versus career number of .277). But maybe his underlying skills have improved?
Actually, not at all. His contact rates are worse than last year (HARD% up to 37.5% from 34.8% last season). And he is giving up more line drives this year as well (up to a 25% LD% from 20.2% last season). Those hits are going to start falling in sooner than later and with runners on base.
I am selling all of my shares of Clevinger. There is nowhere to go but down.