Jace Peterson (+25.9%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. SAGBJ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as SAGNOF, I’ll admit. Sounds like a disappointing sexual experience or something. Or perhaps just a disappointing Upton brother. Peterson has been anything but disappointing in his first season as Atlanta’s starting second baseman however. Through Sunday’s games, Peterson has produced a .284/.363/.389 triple slash line with 2 home runs, 28 runs scored, 31 RBI, and 8 stolen bases across 265 PA. His 10.9% BB% leads all qualified MLB middle infielders, which has helped to cement his position as the Braves everyday leadoff hitter. Peterson has speed to burn, which can be seen in his 148 steals in 389 career minor league games, so his 8 steals this season might be just the tip of the iceberg.
One thing to keep an eye on is Peterson’s success rate (or lack thereof) on the basepaths. He’s already been caught stealing 8 times this season (2nd highest total in MLB), leading to a 50% success rate on steal attempts, which is uglier than Eric Stoltz in his full Mask makeup. If that rate doesn’t improve soon, Peterson’s green light could turn red in a hurry. It doesn’t seem like a big issue for the team at the moment though. For fantasy owners, steals got the Jace face. If you have a need for speed, you know what to do. Run, Jace, run.
Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:
Joey Butler – 39.4% owned (+10.6%)
Each season, there seems to be one or two players who come out of nowhere to provide fantasy-relevant production. Butler seems to be one of those players in 2015. The 29-year-old was never considered to be a top prospect, and is currently enjoying his first real opportunity to play at the MLB level after spending time with the Rangers and Cardinals organizations prior to this season. While Butler’s .338/.375/.523 triple slash line this season looks fantastic, there are a few things to be concerned about in his profile. His 3.8% BB% and 26.3% K% are among the worst marks in baseball, and his .437 BABIP is the 2nd highest among all players with at least 150 PA. That .338 batting average looks unsustainable to say the least.
Let’s take a look at Butler’s monthly splits since his promotion to see how his production has held up thus far:
• May – 23 G, 77 PA, 3 HR, 9 R, 8 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 24 K, .329/.364/.534 BA/OBP/SLG
• June – 20 G, 83 PA, 3 HR, 9 R, 11 RBI, 5 SB, 4 BB, 18 K, .346/.386/.513 BA/OBP/SLG
Despite the poor walk and strikeout rates, everything seems to be trending in the right direction. He’s even added a speed element to his game this month with 5 steals in 20 games. Could Butler be this year’s Josh Harrison or Todd Frazier? It’s hard to say at the moment, but there’s certainly value to be had here. TREASURE.
Carlos Rodon – 45.7% owned (-8.2%)
Unlike Butler, Rodon is considered to be one of baseball’s elite prospects. After dominating hitters throughout his collegiate career at NC State, the White Sox selected him with the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, and fast-tracked him onto the big league roster less than a year later. The early results have been mixed. While his wipeout slider and hard sinker have contributed to a solid 8.58 K/9 and 47.2% GB% respectively, control has been an issue for Rodon. He’s allowed 28 walks in just 50.1 innings for a shaky 5.01 BB/9.
Rodon’s also struggled quite a bit on the road thus far in his young MLB career, posting a 5.25 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP across 24 innings away from US Cellular Field. Looking ahead to his remaining starts leading into the All-Star Break – at Detroit, at St. Louis, vs Toronto, at Chicago (NL) – relief doesn’t appear to be on the horizon in the near future. Three out of four starts are on the road with three of those opponents (Blue Jays, Tigers, and Cubs) being among the best in baseball at mashing left-handed pitching. In shallow redraft leagues, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere. TRASH.