Jurickson Profar, 2B, SS
It may seem odd to see Profar in this spot given his nightmarish start to the season. But I am quite optimistic on him going forward.
The former top prospect is batting .165 with two home runs and three stolen bases. He has been exceptionally unlucky at the dish to date, registering a BABIP of .174.
His Hard%, Ground Ball% and Fly Ball% are all almost exactly the same as last season when he batted .254 with 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases. While the average is on the lower side, the power-speed potential is too enticing to ignore.
I expect the average to climb as his BABIP regresses upward and more balls start falling in for hits. The counting stats will take a leap as well. If someone has dropped him in your league swoop him up now before he goes on a hot streak.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC
Every season it’s the same story with Rizzo. Struggle in April and then figure it out in May. This year it’s no different. The 29-year-old slugger is batting .231 with 7 home runs and one stolen base. The power is there but the average is disappointing for a career .270 hitter.
The good news is that his average is going to bounce back. All of the important stats that measure how well a batter is performing are on track. Rizzo’s Hard% is at 43.5%, up from last year’s number of 34.1%, when he batted .283.
Rizzo is putting the ball in the air more than year (42.4% up from 37.3%), but in today’s game that’s a good approach.
He is striking out a bit more than year (15.6% vs. 12% last season). This number seems fluky given that his approach at the plate has not changed (31.9% Outside the Zone Swing% versus 32.9% last year). His ability to make contact remains consistent as well (7.2% Swinging Strike% vs. 6.9% last season).
Make a trade offer on Rizzo now if you can tempt an owner who is panicking about the slow start.
Chris Paddack, SP, SDP
So far is the rookie is living up to the all the hype. Paddack has 35 strikeouts in 33 innings with a 1.91 ERA and .70 WHIP. It’s hard to ignore those eye-popping numbers.
But right now his value is the highest it will be all season. For starters, we know he will have an innings cap and that the Padres will limit his starts in the second half of the season. There are also warning signs in his future performance when he we take a look under the hood. Paddack has a BABIP of .160. While we have no comparison to previous years, average BABIP for pitchers is .300.
Paddack’s Hard% is 48.1%, an astonishingly high number. Additionally his FB% is 45.5%. So hitters are mashing the ball against him and putting it in the air. This a disastrous combination that will come back to haunt him sooner or later.
Sell now to one of your league mates that is caught up in the hype and reap the benefits before it’s too late.