I’m a Chevy Chase guy. The National Lampoon movies, Caddyshack, and Spies Like Us were some of my favorites. I also enjoyed Fletch, in which he portrayed Irvwin Fletcher, a newspaper reporter who utilized a bevy of disguises. Would I shell out $13 for a movie ticket + $10 for popcorn + $5 for a drink + $5 for Red Vines if it was showing in the theaters now? Negative. It’s a B movie from the 1980’s, but if my desktop abacus is not failing me, the money I save from not going to the theater could allow me to purchase some mental PEDs, which would make it an A +++ movie. Regardless, the movie did well enough at the time of its release that the powers in Hollywood spent money on making a sequel, Fletch Lives. As with most sequels, it wasn’t as good as the first, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Which brings me to David Fletcher of the Anaheim (definitely not in Los Angeles) Angels, who is the sequel to another David of Angels past. Will this sequel fail to live up as well?

The other David whom I speak of is David Eckstein, who was 5′ 7″ 177 pounds, an Angels player for the first four years of his career, and won the inaugural MLBPA Heart and Hustle Award in 2005. A two-time All-Star and World Series MVP in 2006, Eckstein had a career 6.6% walk rate and 7.1% strikeout rate. He never hit more than 8 home runs in a season, but stole 29 bases in 2001. Eckstein often batted leadoff and scored over 90 runs three times.

David, the sequel, Fletcher is 5′ 10″ 175 pounds. So far this season, he has a 7.7% walk rate and 4.3% strikeout rate! He’s hit 3 home runs and stolen 3 bases. Let’s dig into the numbers.

The BABIP is .300, so the .306 batting average seems legit. Not sure what to make of the .148 ISO, though. For most of his minor league career, that number was in the .075 range, but he did pop a .209 number in Triple-A last season. In addition, there’s been talk that the balls are now juiced and the seams are different than their minor league counterparts, so double-digit pop isn’t out of the question.

When digging into Fletcher’s numbers, the plate discipline numbers jump off the page and are mind boggling. He has a 1.5% swinging strike rate. For perspective, Mike Trout is in second with a 3.3% number. All time, Marco Scutaro posted a 1.6% swinging strike rate in 2013. Crazy. With a low swinging strike rate, it would make sense that the contact rates would be high: 98.1% in the strike zone and 95.7% in general. Guess what? 2006 Juan Pierre was the only other player in the history of baseball to match his contact rate in the zone, and 2013 Marco Scutaro was the only other player to match is contact rate in general. Now, the sample size is obviously smaller than those other players, but it sheds a light on how good his bat skills are.

A criticism of Fletcher’s game when he made his MLB debut last season was that he was a free swinger who didn’t take a walk. Well, he increased his walk rate 3% from last season and slashed the strikeout rate 7%. In addition, he’s swinging at 8% fewer pitches and chasing 6% less than last season.

Why is Cypress Hill flooding my brain right now? Insane in the membrane indeed.

I doubt Fletcher steals 20+ bases like Eckstein did early in his career, and he may not even eclipse 10 home runs on the season, but a good batting average and a ton of runs should be scored, as long as he remains batting leadoff in front of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Justin Upton (when he returns from injury). He also possesses multi-position eligibility (2B, 3B, and OF).

VERDICT

 

  1. Joe Shmoe says:
    (link)

    Hi there,
    So I am debating dropping McNeil for Fletcher…. McNeil seems like a real similar player except Fletcher has the counting stats. Any thoughts?
    Thanks

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      Very similar players. I’d go with Fletcher between the two, though. I like that he has Trout, Ohtani, and Upton behind him (when healthy), and no pitcher behind him

  2. Chucky says:
    (link)

    Brendan Rodgers look like a 2B candidate for the Rox anytime soon? That duo of Mcmahon and Hampson is the prototypical dumpster fire. Had high hopes for Mcmahon but that enthusiasm has all but waned.

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      I’ve added him everywhere

  3. Andy says:
    (link)

    Lucroy or Ramos
    And
    Gregory Polanco or yandy ?

    Thanks

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      Lucroy.

      I like Yandy alot, so position eligibility plays a part, but in a vacuum, I like the upside of Polanco more

      • Andy says:
        (link)

        Thanks

        • Son

          Son says:
          (link)

          Anytime

      • Andy says:
        (link)

        Would u drop framil or senzel to keep yandy or stream?

        • Son

          Son says:
          (link)

          Man, that’s a tough one. Good problem to have I suppose. I’m keeping Franmil and Senzel

          • Andy says:
            (link)

            Thanks
            This is the full
            Lineup
            C Ramos or Lucroy
            1 Alonso
            2 mondesi
            3 rendon
            Ss villar
            O bellinger
            O Domingo Santana
            O Reyes
            U muncy
            U Braun
            Bench senzel
            Bench yandy
            Bench other catcher

            Sp paddack
            Sp Marquez
            Rp Jansen
            Rp hand
            P Hicks
            P Barnes
            P minter
            P strahm
            Bench Caleb smith
            Bench woodruff

            So looking to drop someone to grab Polanco off waivers
            And maybe a second to stream pitchers

            • Andy says:
              (link)

              Also have judge and Stanton on DL

            • Son

              Son says:
              (link)

              2 catcher league? If not, I’d drop one. Also, I’d be good with dropping Minter

              • Andy says:
                (link)

                No just one catcher

                You think Lucroy over Ramos ?
                And drop minter over yandy?
                Not sure if yandys launch angle has improved ?

                Thanks agakn

                • Son

                  Son says:
                  (link)

                  No need to use a valuable roster spot on a backup catcher.

                  As for Lucroy vs Ramos, they are similar. Lucroy playing a little better right now but Ramos probably has more power upside. Honestly, I don’t stress the catcher position too much. Stream and play the matchups.

                  Yes, I’d drop Minter and keep Yandy

                  Yandy has not improved his launch angle, but he’s barrelling more balls

                  • Andy says:
                    (link)

                    Awesome thanks so much

                    • Son

                      Son says:
                      (link)

                      Anytime

  4. Hebrew Hammer says:
    (link)

    16 team H2H DYNASTY LEAGUE

    Need 1:

    Maeta versus Washington?
    Arrieta rieta @ KC?

    Thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      Maeda for me

  5. pacer says:
    (link)

    Currently holding McNeill (using in OF) and Chavis (at 2B). Murphy sitting on my bench til he gets himself sorted out. Drop either Chavis or McNeill for Fletcher or Kike Hernandez who are both available on waivers? All four are more or less interchangeable for my purposes–at least they will be if Chavis obtains OF eligibility as expected. Points league so favor power over steals, if that matters. Thanks and love your columns!

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      Thanks pacer!

      I prefer Fletcher over McNeill, but they are similar so it’s personal preference.

      As for Chavis vs Kike….that’s a tough one for me. I think I side with Kike here. Both should have multi-position eligibility and the power/avg should be similar. Since this is Chavis’ first year in the bigs, there’s going to be an adjustment period. Kike has been through the process many times. I don’t think the 30% HR/FB is sustainable for Chavis. Finally, the Dodgers face a ton of lefties in their own division. Kike is a lefty masher and usually bats leadoff against them.

      • pacer says:
        (link)

        Very helpful. So do you also think Kike > Fletcher? Just trying to figure out which 2 of the 4 I want to own going forward.

        • Son

          Son says:
          (link)

          Depends what you want. Kike will provide more power

          • Pacer says:
            (link)

            Thanks as always!

            • Son

              Son says:
              (link)

              Anytime

  6. Andy says:
    (link)

    Lorenzo Cain and matt Carpenter were just dropped
    Are they must waiver claims?
    I can drop ja Happ
    But I’m getting too offensive heavy

    Team
    C Ramos
    1 Alonso
    2 mondesi
    3 rendon
    Ss villar
    Of bellinger
    Of Domingo
    Of Reyes
    U Braun
    U muncy
    Bench senzal
    Bench Greg Polanco
    Bench yandy
    DL judge
    DL Stanton

    Any offense u would get rid of to add? Cain or Carpenter washed up?

    Thanks

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      I like Carpenter. Not a big Cain guy, but what’s the league context?

      • Andy says:
        (link)

        12 team daily h2h

        5 bench spots

        • Son

          Son says:
          (link)

          Yeah, I’d scoop up both

Comments are closed.