It is a tale as old as time. Larva is discovered and shunned because, well, it’s a larva. But some larva are caterpillars that eventually morph into a beautiful butterfly, when it is exalted for all its beauty. Some begin to shun it, though, when they realize it is still an insect. The human version is pimple-faced girl in high school is shunned then morphs into a supermodel, exalted for her beauty, only to be shunned because she is still a human. The fantasy baseball nerd version is player isn’t drafted, starts balling out, is exalted for the beautiful production, only to be shunned when some realize that there was a reason why said player didn’t get drafted. Manuel Margot is such a player. He was being drafted as the 397th overall player in NFBC drafts in the offseason. Slowly but surely, he started moving up the lineup order because he was hitting, hitting, and hitting some more. Over the last few weeks, though, he’s been in a slump and has been dropped in 10% of ESPN leagues. Is Margot a beautiful butterfly or an insect that we want to squash?

Margot is 27 years old, 5’11”, 180 pounds, and bats from the right side. He signed as an international free agent with the Red Sox back in 2011. He was traded to the Padres in 2015 and then sent to Tampa Bay in 2020.

Throughout his minor league career, he exhibited good plate discipline and speed on the base paths. The strikeout rate never exceeded 19% and he stole at least 30 bases in three seasons. There was some power but nothing too crazy. He hit 10 home runs in one season and the ISO was in the .130 range.

Once he made it to the majors, the plate discipline remained and he showed the power/speed combo, posting two seasons with 13/17 and 12/20.

Last season with the Rays, he accrued 464 plate appearances and went 10/13 with a .254/.313/.382 slash. The ISO was .128 while the walk rate was 8% and strikeout rate was 15.1%. Solid but nothing to write home about.

In 150 plate appearances to start this season, Margot has a .301/.367/.426 slash. The walk rate is 8.7% while the strikeout rate is 14.7%. He has three home runs and five stolen bases with a .125 ISO.

Over the last week and a half, though, the slash has been .133/.235/.167 in 34 plate appearances. Since May 15th, the slash is .205/.271/.273 in 48 plate appearances.

Let’s dig in.

The strikeout rate has ticked up while the ISO is .068 over the last month or so, compared to .125 on the season. Margot has been fortunate this season, as the BABIP is .342. That number has decreased to .257 recently.

Looking at the batted ball data, Margot is hitting fewer line drives, more ground balls, and the hard hit rate has decreased. He has been going oppo more often, though.

The plate discipline numbers show that he’s swinging more and contacting less. Not a great combo but the sample size is small and the differences aren’t egregious.

It looks like a good old-fashioned slump to me. It’s baseball. It happens. Manuel Margot had some good fortune to begin the season, which elevated his stats. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way. Things will even out as the season progresses.

Rest of season, Steamer has Manuel Margot projected for nine home runs and 12 stolen bases with a .149 ISO and .264/.328/.413 slash. There are only 24 players projected to go at least 10/10. As long as Margot is hitting atop the Rays order, he can be a valuable bat.

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Don't be a Hader
Don't be a Hader
5 months ago

Trash??
Pollock
Berti
Grisham
Voit
Brantley
R.Grossman

Son
Son
Reply to  Don't be a Hader
5 months ago

Status Quo
Trash
Should get better
Trash
Status Quo
Gross

LenFuego
LenFuego
Reply to  Son
5 months ago

Does Voit’s Trash rating apply in an OBP league too? Why?

Son
Son
Reply to  LenFuego
5 months ago

He gets a boost in OBP. That said, it comes down to your squad and what you need. The ISO is down and the BABIP is elevated

Nordberg
Nordberg
5 months ago

Congratulation Daddy from RCL4

Son
Son
Reply to  Nordberg
5 months ago

What did I win? Or do I have kid that I didn’t know about before?

Joed1414
Joed1414
Reply to  Son
5 months ago

Idk Son you ever slept with Nordberg? I guess the college years were a blur…

Son
Son
Reply to  Joed1414
5 months ago

Indeed they were. There was only one naked gun in my bed at the time