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Every year, there are surprises in fantasy baseball. Some players come out of nowhere and breakout or, in the case of Aaron Judge, absolutely dominate. Other players regress after a breakout season the year before. There are even the players who have long track records of mediocrity who, all of sudden, appear to have figured something out en route to becoming legitimate contributors both in fantasy and in, you know, real baseball. I like to call these players Justin Smoak-Logan Morrison-Yonder Alonso. The more popular terms among Razzballers for these players are Schmohawks and Hot Schmotatos.

Then, there are the players with longer track records of production who suddenly begin to struggle. This year, one of those players is Carlos Santana. Santana is a guy I like, especially in OBP and OPS leagues, and I have him on a few teams and recently traded him in another. He’s got power, he gets on base, he scores runs, he drives in runs, and he won’t kill your batting average. Heading into this season, I liked him in what appeared to be a pretty mediocre 2017 first basemen class.

As of this writing, he is slashing .211 / .305 / .384 through 250 at-bats in 2017. Those numbers are less than good and are well below his career averages. After I was done thinking “Why Meeeeeee?!” I started thinking “Why?” and “What is different this season?” and dug into his numbers over the past few seasons.

The most obvious to jump out was his BB%, which is at 11.6%, significantly below his career average of 15.3%. But 11.6% isn’t terrible, and it is not enough to justify all of his struggles. It does, however, display a troubling trend for Santana over the past few years:

Like I said, though, the BB% doesn’t tell the whole story. Santana’s numbers are down across the board, and a 5% decrease doesn’t explain everything. After all, his BB% dropped in 2016 while the rest of his production went up. His BABIP currently sits at .237, which is easily a career-low and helps explain some of his struggles.

I don’t expect his BABIP to remain that low, and some normalization in that area should help his batting average a bit. Santana is a switch hitter, though, and his lefty/righty splits this season show some interesting trends. For his career, Santana has been a better overall hitter from the right side but a more powerful hitter from the left side. As a righty, he is a .270 hitter with 37 home runs in 1453 plate appearances. As a lefty, he is a .233 hitter with 122 home runs in 2,952 plate appearances.

In 2016, it was much of the same. From the left: .256, 30 home runs, 492 plate appearances. Same power, a slight increase in batting average. From the right: .267 average, 4 home runs, 196 plate appearances. 2017, though, is a much different story. For starters, while Santana’s BABIP is down overall, it is actually UP as a left-handed hitter:

His BABIP is slightly up as a lefty but plummeted as a righty. And as I mentioned before, his BB% is down overall. In fact, his BB% is decreasing for the fourth season in a row. In 2016, his BB% from the right side absolutely plummeted:

This season, while his BB% his decreasing yet again from the left side, it is slightly increased from the right side (though it is still very low compared to his 2014 and 2015 seasons). What about his K%, you ask? Well:

Oddly enough, his K% is up from the left side and down from the right. This tells the story of a batter who is being more aggressive from the right side of the plate and is not having much success doing so. Looking at his Plate Discipline numbers, the one number that stands out is his O-Contact% (Number of pitches on which contact was made on pitches outside the zone / Swings on pitches outside the zone). His O-Contact% is up to 75.2%, with a 66.5% in 2016 and a career average of 68.8%.

And that is likely contributing to his struggles in 2017, especially from the right side of the plate. And what is perhaps most troubling is that 2017, while we are still just 2 1/2 months into the season, is not an outlier for Santana. From the right side, this year is his third consecutive year of decline. Take a look:

After increasing from the right side from 2012-2014, Santana’s wOBA has dropped from .381 all the way down to .258. He is batting just .196 from the right side of the plate, his OBP is just .283, and he is slugging just .299. And while his .189 BABIP from the right side will likely increase as the season goes on (his career mark is .292), the overall regression over the last few seasons is troubling.

Now, for the Week 12 Top 100 rankings.

Note: These rankings are considered ROS Trade Value

Mike Maher’s Top 100 Hitters

(Rankings based on 12-team Roto. GREEN = player rising. RED = player dropping. BLUE = new to the 100.)

Rank Name Team Pos
1 Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B
2 Bryce Harper WSH OF
3 Mookie Betts BOS OF
4 Nolan Arenado COL 3B
5 Jose Altuve HOU 2B
6 Charlie Blackmon COL OF
7 Kris Bryant CHC 3B/OF
8 Trea Turner WSH SS/2B/OF
9 Joey Votto CIN 1B
10 Daniel Murphy WSH 1B/2B
11 Nelson Cruz SEA OF
12 Corey Seager LAD SS
13 Francisco Lindor CLE SS
14 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B
15 Manny Machado BAL 3B/SS
16 Wil Myers SD 1B/OF
17 Josh Donaldson TOR 3B
18 Giancarlo Stanton MIA OF
19 Robinson Cano SEA 2B
20 Carlos Correa HOU SS
21 J.D. Martinez DET OF
22 Mike Trout LAA OF
23 Aaron Judge NYY OF
24 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B
25 George Springer HOU OF
26 Matt Kemp ATL OF
27 Brian Dozier MIN 2B
28 Ryan Braun MIL OF
29 Jose Ramirez CLE 3B/OF
30 Miguel Sano MIN 3B/OF
31 Yoenis Cespedes NYM OF
32 Jake Lamb ARI 3B
33 Marcell Ozuna MIA OF
34 Edwin Encarnacion CLE 1B
35 Michael Conforto NYM OF
36 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS
37 Christian Yelich MIA OF
38 Ian Desmond COL OF
39 Khris Davis OAK OF
40 Kyle Seager SEA 3B
41 Buster Posey SF C/1B
42 Eric Thames MIL 1B/OF
43 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF
44 Justin Upton DET OF
45 Mark Trumbo BAL OF
46 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B
47 Jose Abreu CWS 1B
48 A.J. Pollock ARI OF
49 Corey Dickerson TB OF
50 Ryan Zimmerman WAS 1B
51 Adam Duvall CIN OF
52 Dee Gordon MIA 2B
53 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B
54 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B
55 Matt Carpenter STL 1B/2B/3B
56 Jedd Gyorko STL 2B/3B/SS
57 Gary Sanchez NYY C
58 Adam Jones BAL OF
59 Billy Hamilton CIN OF
60 Rougned Odor TEX 2B
61 Michael Brantley CLE OF
62 Jay Bruce NYM OF
63 Justin Turner LAD 3B
64 Evan Longoria TB 3B
65 Eugenio Suarez CIN 3B
66 Carlos Gonzalez COL OF
67 Hanley Ramirez BOS 1B
68 Albert Pujols LAA 1B
69 Mitch Haniger SEA OF
70 Lorenzo Cain KC OF
71 Chris Owings ARI 2B/SS
72 Eric Hosmer KC 1B
73 Gregory Polanco PIT OF
74 Jean Segura SEA 2B/SS
75 Ian Kinsler DET 2B
76 Scott Schebler CIN OF
77 Andrew McCutchen PIT OF
78 Jonathan Villar MIL 2B/3B/SS
79 Chris Davis BAL 1B
80 Elvis Andrus TEX SS
81 Salvador Perez KC C
82 Yonder Alonso OAK 1B
83 Starlin Castro NYY 2B
85 Brett Gardner NYY OF
86 Ryon Healy OAK 1B/3B
88 Trevor Story COL SS
89 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B
84 DJ LeMahieu COL 2B
87 Aledmys Diaz STL SS
90 Jose Bautista TOR OF
91 Carlos Santana CLE 1B
92 Mark Reynolds COL 1B
93 Odubel Herrera PHI OF
94 Justin Bour MIA 1B
95 Eduardo Nunez SF 3B/SS/OF
96 Justin Smoak TOR 1B
97 Domingo Santana MIL OF
98 Ender Inciarte ATL OF
99 Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B
100 Mike Moustakas KC 3B

The Honorable Mentions (Next Five In…)

Rank Name Pos Team
101 Aaron Hicks NYY OF
102 Logan Morrison TB 1B
103 Nomar Mazara TEX OF
104 Avisail Garcia CHW OF
105 Travis Shaw MIL 1B/3B

Dropped from the rankings: Alex Bregman, Joey Gallo

As always, disagree with anything here? Have any questions or comments? Want to tell Mike how great he is or how much you agree with him? Want relationship or investment advice?

DROP THOSE COMMENTS!

If you want to talk fantasy baseball or football or have players you want Mike to feature, hit him up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment below!

 

   
  1. Mike says:
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    Hey Mike,

    Great article. Are you worried about Ozuna’s regression at all similar to last year? He started off similar last year but finished around .260 – I’m sure the power will stay as is if healthy though.

    I’m really struggling at SP. Would Ozuna and Andrus to get Scherzer and Owings?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Mike:

      Thanks. Appreciate that.

      I think his batting average comes down a bit but the power and rest of the production should remain.

      I would hate to give up Ozuna in any deal right now but if you really need the pitching then Scherzer is the guy to get. And I like Owings more than Andrus ROS, too.

  2. knucks says:
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    You should have closed with, “In summation, it’s time for Carlos to change his launch angle” haha

    Saw you tease this on the tweet deck last week. Well done brother.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @knucks:

      Haha. Thanks, knucks!

  3. Tony C says:
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    Hey Mike thanks for the research and top 100 hitters! This is one the first lists that I’ve seen Bregman tumble from the top 100 hitters for the ROS. Would you hold Bregman or move to add Castellenos, Solarte, Escobar, or Kendrick? Is there a prospect that I should add at
    3b if/when promoted this year?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Tony C:

      Thanks. Appreciate that, man. And I am a big Bregman fan, so believe me, it hurt me to drop him so much. In the long run, I think the kid is going to be a stud. He is just struggling more than I would like right now and might continue to lose some playing time to Marwin Gonzalez if the latter keeps mashing.

      That being said, I don’t like any of those names more than him, so I would hold for now.

      As for prospects, I assume this is a redraft league? Matt Chapman is a guy who Oakland just called up who has some pop. Devers in Boston, too, but he might not be up until August or September if they call him up at all.

  4. lwomack58 says:
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    What do you make of Peraza. Will he start to live up to his hype or platoon with Scooter

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @lwomack58:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about Scooter. And I like Peraza overall. He has been slumping but I like him to bounce back.

  5. Buck Martinez' Wig says:
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    Need to sit 1 of Peraza, Phillips, Mallex Smith and Pham. Standard 5×5 roto. Help?

  6. Jake says:
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    What are you seeing in Jedd Gyorko to have him ranked so high? He hasn’t produced at that level this season, and he’s never come close to it in previous seasons either.

    • Sun Tzu says:
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      @Jake:

      That was the first ranking that really stood out for me as well, and I assume Gyorkoff’s positional flexibility is baked into the rank.

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @Sun Tzu:

        I don’t typically account for positional flexibility with these.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Jake:

      He hit 30 home runs in 128 games last season. He is on pace for another 20+ this season and has added some average to go with it.

      I do have him much higher than Razzball Player Rater for ROS, though. Last I looked he wasn’t even in the top 125 yet.

  7. Sharpio says:
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    In a deal for next year in a 12 team AL only auction 5×5 would you want to trade for a 1 dollar deveinski who needs to be signed for 6 for 2 years or Wilson Ramos at 7.
    Im playing for next year.,,,,

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Sharpio:

      Uhhhhhhhh, Ramos I guess. More upside if he can get back to anywhere close to what he was. Devenski’s role could change at any moment and lower his value, so hard for me to commit to him long-term.

  8. Chucky says:
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    Going against the grain here….Starting David Peralta with 3 at home and 3 at Coors, all v RHP or Stanton, 7 games at home vs the likes of Gio, Max, Arrieta, Lackey and Lester? Leaning….heavily I might add, towards Peralta. What you say?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Chucky:

      I can see your point but I pretty much never sit a guy like Stanton. Too much to lose. Maybe it is because every time I do that the guy goes off for five home runs against relievers that week.

  9. Deerfield Doubledays says:
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    I’ve never had such a frustrating roster. The couple weeks they have all put it together have been glorious but it’s been a battle. I’m sitting in fifth place as we speak. I need another set of eyes on these guys and suggestions are greatly appreciated. 12 team ops league. Keep 7. We play one util and one extra indfield elig player.

    Perez Bryant kinsler lamb lindor story benentendi Khris davis mazara cargo(col) Matt Adams.

    Severino nova verlander matz Walker Roark 2 streamer spots. Colome Diaz dl Duffy na Rosario.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Deerfield Doubledays:

      I can feel your pain, especially with Kinsler. I have him in a couple leagues myself. I am not a big Story guy, personally, but I am in the minority there. Other than him the only guy I am really down on right now is CarGo. If he doesn’t turn it around soon he is going to be the guy in Colorado who starts losing playing time when more guys are healthy.

  10. Mike says:
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    Hey Mike, great job on the ranking as well as the 2-start pitcher column. I am a frustrated Albert Pujols owner who is baffled that he continues to be ranked as highly as he is, not just by you but by many other sights. I am fairly shocked that no one in the fantasy industry is writing about his decline. He was my DH but I’ve benched him for Moustakas. It’s all I can do to keep from cutting him. His peripherals look terrrible and it seems like he might be done (Ks and GB rate are up, BBs, LD rate, Hard contact all down). The power and RBIs you want from him are the same thing all of the breakouts provide (Bour, Smoak, Morrison, Alonso, Moose, Schebler etc) yet he is ranked higher than all of them . Help me understand what you and others see to continue to rank him that well.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Mike:

      Thanks, Mike. Really appreciate that.

      I am still holding out hope for Pujols but he is definitely someone I have trending down while the others you mentioned continue to rise. I am holding out a bit longer before I drop him even more.

      That being said, I have already seen him dropped in one of my six leagues.

      For now, he is ranked higher than those guys because he is Albert Pujols and they are not. Pretty much everyone you listed except for Moose is one prolonged slump away from a platoon ROS. Smoak and Morrison, in particular, have been in this league for a long time without doing a whole lot.

  11. Scott says:
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    Polanco still on this list? Look at his numbers. 45% ground ball rate. 1 xbh in the month of june, 2 rbi. No stolen bases in last 28 games. This guy has been a huge bust. I am considering cutting him in a 10 team league that starts 5 OF.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Scott:

      Still on the list but falling, for sure. I personally think he is playing hurt right now, which could be affecting him. I am holding out for a bit longer before dropping him, though.

      FWIW, Razzball Player Rater has him at 53 ROS.

  12. KD says:
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    Interesting work, any chance you could do the same thing with Hanley? I have both Hanley and Santana and that investment is NOT paying off.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @KD:

      Oof. I feel your pain! Hanley would be an interesting one to take a look at, but I think the bigger problem for him is that he is playing hurt. They are playing that pretty close to the vest, but if he is really too hurt to even play first base then that sounds like a pretty substantial shoulder injury that could be affecting him at the plate.

  13. Moneyball says:
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    Would anyone on the planet right now trade Aaron Judge for Wil Myers?
    Or one of the other 10 guys ahead of him not named Mike Trout?

    (in a re-draft league)

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Moneyball:

      Razzball Player Rater has Judge at 55, so I am even higher than they are. I think the thing everyone wants to see with Judge is where he settles in. He isn’t going to keep up his .450 BABIP, either. He has been incredible, but this pace is unsustainable. I think we are all waiting for some regression and league adjustment for Judge before anointing him. We’ll see how the next few weeks go.

  14. Cafuné

    Maxi says:
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    Made a pretty big trade yesterday in a 16 team, h2h keeper league. Cats are different: R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG; Pitching cats: IP, Ks, QS, ERA, WHIP, SV+H

    I got:
    Lamb ($11), Yelich ($27), Devenski ($1)

    He got:
    Thames ($5), Maikel Franco ($8), Betances ($7)

    I’m sitting in first place despite running out the gaping Franco hole all season, and while I know he’ll probably get hot at some point this month or the next (he did hit a HR as a parting gift to me yesterday), I think Lamb is better for my team moving forward since my OF is stacked. I’ve had Moncada in our one NA spot as well, but him coming up and hitting is not a lock so I figured I would do what I could after Thames’ big week and get me some Lamb du jour. Because IP is a category, I’m hoping Devenski should help me off-set the loss of Betances, although nobody can compete with DB’s ratios.

    I still have Judge for $2, and some other good options, although not quite as cheap as the Thames a $5. Overall, how did I do? My roster is below, although I won’t include pitchers since nearly half are DL’d starters anyway haha:

    C: Flowers
    1B: Rizzo
    2B: Schoop
    3B: Lamb
    SS: Lindor
    OF (3): Judge, Ozuna, Schebler
    UTIL: Bour, Yelich
    Bench: Broxton
    NA: Moncada

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Maxi:

      I like it. Franco is so hot/cold that it is hard to trust him. He has been on and off waivers in most of my leagues. So I definitely like Lamb/Yelich > Thames/Franco.

      • Cafuné

        Maxi says:
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        @mikeMaher: Appreciate the feedback! I went based off your rankings in finally convincing myself, even though it seemed like Thames has come out of his funk, I’ll take his first 20 HRs in 2 months and call it a season! haha

        thanks again

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:
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          @Maxi:

          Np. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

  15. Mike says:
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    Looks like I can get Dallas and posey for cueto, beltre and Brandon duruy. Seems like a win for me.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Mike:

      Yeah I would do that.

  16. StevenDeGafney says:
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    Lindor still at 13?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @StevenDeGafney:

      For ROS value, yeah. Average is down right now but he is still a potential 20/20 guy. With 13 HR already he could even end up as a 25 or 30 HR guy.

  17. Paul says:
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    So I own Mazara and he is on your cusp of being top 100 all my other OFs are in your top 100
    I have Stanton, conforto, Brantley, Desmond, and Cargo

    Every week I see cargo is still ranked way higher than Mazara and wonder why

    Do you think cargo will bounce back or will be better than Mazara the rest of the way?

    I’m trying to figure out what player to drop to steam pitching

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Paul:

      I have CarGo dropping and Mazara rising, so they are two players headed in opposite directions.

      Brantley just went to the DL with an ankle sprain if you can DL him.

      Razzball Player Rater has him at 47 ROS right now, probably just because of his past track record. This is a guy who hit 40 home runs just two seasons ago. But if he doesn’t start hitting soon he will be dropping on every list.

  18. swaggerjackers says:
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    Gotta move Bellinger up. Two more dingers in 2 innings tonight!

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @swaggerjackers:

      Certainly on the rise! Dude has been killing it. Looked like he was going to slump/regress there for a week or so, but now he is back.

  19. Christian Herman says:
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    Rest of season, who puts up better numbers between:
    Pujols, Domingo and Souza JR.

    Plus: Any additional comments on Souza and if hes close to your top 100 if he maintains a .265 average

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Christian Herman:

      Santana for me.

      Souza looks good so far but I do think the average drops a bit. His .345 BABIP would seem a little high but he actually had a .348 BABIP last year, so maybe it isn’t. His walk rate is WAY up, and idk if that is a different approach for him or what it is. I wouldn’t want to rely on him as one of my main 3 OFs, but you could do worse at Util or a bench bat. Looks like he is going to hit 25+ home runs.

  20. Sun Tzu says:
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    Gotta be about time to add Starling Marte back to this list for ROS value. He’s back in a month…

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Sun Tzu:

      Yeah, I have a note about him in my spreadsheet and have debating when to add him back. Maybe next week.

  21. Slowmez says:
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    Nice list, my humble takeaways…

    Too High: Yelich, Trumbo, Odor
    Too Low: Bellinger, Duvall, Nunez

    Question: Do you foresee Bellinger being a top 50 pick in next year’s drafts?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Slowmez:

      Fair criticisms, though I do have Bellinger rising quickly. I think Yelich turns it around and puts up something like a 16-18/18-22 HR/SB season though, with a good average. Could do much worse.

      And re: Bellinger. At this point, yes, I do.

Comments are closed.