Today’s mid-season fantasy baseball analysis looks at hitters projected to hit well that are failing miserably at meeting expectations. Our focus group is five fantasy baseball favorites, who were all drafted relatively early in most drafts, but who are most assuredly disappointing all that own them on their fantasy baseball team.

We’re including all hitters who are 25 points or more under their ZIPS projected batting average. The data table also provide on pace numbers for basic 5X5 fantasy baseball league formats. As we noted in a previous article that looked at hitters beating ZIPS projections, it’s easy to see that their production, whether up or down, is directly related to an increase or decrease in playing time. This is evident in counting stats like homeruns, runs, RBI’s and stolen bases.

However, as in our previous article, we’re looking at batting averages, comparing them to core skill metrics to see if their deficient performance is due to factors that are more “bad luck” related or if there is a legitimate reason for the decline.

Ultimately, we’re looking to spot players whose skill are intact even though their numbers aren’t. This usually identifies a strong likelihood that improvement is around the corner,  signifying potential buy low opportunities as we enter the second half of the fantasy baseball season.

Fantasy Baseball Analysis – Under Batting Average Projection

Kyle Schwarber (OF CHC)

Hitting a massive 73 points under his projected average (which at .243 wasn’t much to speak of in the first place), his mid-season average of .180 is just dismal. However, in his defense, I see a BABIP of just .203 and an increasing contact rate that sits at 5.6%. While not stellar, it’s better than his current average which tells me there’s room for improvement as the fantasy baseball season goes on.  When you look at his counting stats, you see that he’s not way off the mark either.

PROGNOSIS: Bad Luck

PREDICTION: Expect his average to come up near his projected numbers, but with time running out he’s still a batting average liability in the long run. Better luck next year for the power hitting Schwarber.

Carlos Gonzalez (OF COL)

I’ve scoured his stats up and down. I’ve looked at splits, sprays, core skills, plate discipline, batted ball and everything else I could look up when it comes to CarGo trying to explain why he’s not only 50 points under his projected batting average, but why he’s also 82 points under his career average. Folks….. I got nothin’ except a gut feeling that he’s not 100% health-wise. Why do I say this? A few more ground balls combined with a hard-hit rate that 9% under last year and 7% under his career. Combine this with an ISO, BABIP and wOBA that are a long way from career and recent years, it begins to smell more like injury that just bad luck. Not only is his average well under, but his on-pace numbers are sitting at almost 50% while his expected plate appearances is spot on to projected (533 PA’s).

PROGNOSIS: Possible injury related

PREDICTION: Not seeing just bad luck here and I’m way more skeptical with this one.

Manny Machado (3B BAL)

Machado season has all the makings of a big comeback second half…. Period! All core skills are within a couple points of career and recent years. BB%, K% and contact are all there and he’s hitting the ball hard. Looks like his FB are falling into the glove a bit more and his LD rate is low, (abnormally low). Combine this with a low BABIP with no loss of power and you have all the makings of big comeback second half.

PROGNOSIS: Bad Luck!

PREDICTION: If you can get him for any type of discount, jump on it! I can’t see any reason to not expect massive improvements in the second half of the season. Virtually no skill erosion here at all.

Rougned Odor (2B TEX)

Here is a case where it seems like we have a little bit of bad luck combined with perhaps inflated expectations and some decline in skills due to increased plate aggressiveness. Odor’s never had a great eye and his contact rate has gone down three years running. This screams over-aggressive to me (which by the way, seems to be a trademark of Odor if you know what I mean). Last year’s .271 average appears to bit unsupported with a contact rate of 78% and a BB/K of only .14.

PROGNOSIS: A little Bad Luck combined with a decline in skill

PREDICTION: Beware here. His aggressive plate habits, poor eye and average contact don’t bode well for repeating previous year averages.

Francisco Lindor (SS CLE)

All core skills are on the rise. A better contact rate supported by a BB/K rate that can be considered good. He’s traded grounders for fly balls and that’s costing him a lower BABIP which is sure to rebound over time. His line drive rate is a bit out of character as well while his hard-hit rate has jumped almost 10%. I expect his average to climb as the season wears on.

PROGNOSIS: Bad Luck

PREDICTION: The batting average is the hit on this guy. All other counting stats are expected to exceed expectations. You probably won’t find buy low opportunities, but this was a notable example of batting average bad luck.

Name Team ZIPS HR On Pace HR +/- HR ZIPS Runs On Pace Runs +/- Runs ZIPS RBI On Pace RBI +/- RBI ZIPS SB On Pace SB +/- SB ZIPS Ave On Pace Ave +/- AVG ZIPS PA ACT PA +/- PA
Devon Travis Blue Jays 15 9 -6 60 41 -19 61 45 -16 6 4 2 .284 .259 -.025 471 371 -100
Jose Peraza Reds 8 8 0 63 58 -5 55 49 -6 29 15 -1 .279 .254 -.025 593 618 25
Francisco Cervelli Pirates 3 6 3 38 39 1 30 39 9 3 0 -3 .269 .243 -.026 349 384 35
Todd Frazier White Sox 30 30 0 84 76 -8 87 84 -3 14 4 -6 .243 .216 -.027 634 598 -36
Rajai Davis Athletics 7 4 -3 32 60 28 36 22 -14 0 14 26 .237 .209 -.028 267 447 180
Derek Norris Rays 13 17 4 54 39 -15 53 44 -9 6 1 -4 .229 .201 -.028 451 365 -87
Matt Carpenter Cardinals 18 26 8 86 92 6 67 79 12 2 1 0 .263 .235 -.028 601 663 62
Dansby Swanson Braves 12 11 -1 71 63 -8 64 67 3 7 1 -5 .253 .224 -.029 580 629 49
Randal Grichuk Cardinals 23 17 -6 69 53 -16 69 57 -12 5 5 4 .249 .220 -.029 524 445 -79
Stephen Piscotty Cardinals 18 11 -7 77 55 -22 79 57 -22 8 3 -2 .273 .244 -.029 625 490 -135
Josh Donaldson Blue Jays 34 15 -19 98 32 -66 105 41 -64 6 1 -4 .276 .247 -.029 657 350 -307
Yasmany Tomas Diamondbacks 23 15 -8 60 35 -25 70 60 -10 3 0 -3 .270 .241 -.029 524 335 -189
Brandon Moss Royals 22 19 -3 53 42 -11 59 30 -29 1 1 1 .225 .194 -.031 467 377 -90
Stephen Vogt Brewers 14 13 -1 50 29 -21 55 49 -6 0 0 0 .256 .225 -.031 467 349 -118
Tyler Collins Tigers 14 8 -6 46 32 -14 50 23 -27 6 0 -6 .231 .200 -.031 463 278 -185
Brandon Belt Giants 16 29 13 66 87 21 62 79 17 4 3 2 .267 .236 -.031 529 674 145
Ian Kinsler Tigers 17 17 0 90 93 3 75 42 -33 11 6 0 .275 .244 -.031 631 579 -52
Erick Aybar Padres 4 11 7 57 49 -8 45 24 -21 9 6 2 .259 .227 -.032 548 473 -75
Miguel Cabrera Tigers 27 21 -6 73 59 -14 91 78 -13 1 0 -1 .301 .267 -.034 583 581 -2
Mookie Betts Red Sox 24 28 4 101 110 9 95 97 2 27 15 1 .307 .272 -.035 710 726 16
Ben Revere Angels 2 2 0 60 34 -26 31 14 -17 25 7 -12 .267 .231 -.036 508 299 -209
Trevor Story Rockies 26 20 -6 64 60 -4 77 64 -13 14 3 -9 .260 .223 -.037 520 510 -10
Taylor Motter Mariners 14 13 -1 57 42 -15 55 42 -13 15 9 2 .243 .206 -.037 492 422 -70
Alcides Escobar Royals 6 4 -2 65 61 -4 54 51 -3 18 2 -14 .264 .226 -.038 652 652 0
J.J. Hardy Orioles 10 6 -4 44 36 -8 48 40 -8 0 0 0 .249 .211 -.038 469 450 -19
James McCann Tigers 9 17 8 37 34 -3 47 48 1 2 0 -2 .240 .201 -.039 434 326 -108
Mike Napoli Rangers 23 34 11 56 62 6 67 73 6 3 0 -3 .233 .194 -.039 493 526 33
Danny Espinosa Angels 15 11 -4 49 49 0 46 52 6 7 3 -2 .202 .163 -.039 475 455 -20
Brandon Crawford Giants 14 13 -1 62 46 -16 78 74 -4 6 2 -2 .261 .221 -.040 575 530 -45
Josh Bell Pirates 15 30 15 73 78 5 74 80 6 4 2 0 .270 .229 -.041 612 614 2
Carlos Beltran Astros 21 20 -1 59 74 15 77 65 -12 0 0 0 .271 .230 -.041 521 572 51
Jorge Polanco Twins 11 6 -5 63 55 -8 67 57 -10 11 6 0 .269 .228 -.041 598 533 -65
Francisco Lindor Indians 17 27 10 86 91 5 80 82 2 19 4 -11 .298 .256 -.042 681 717 36
Jason Kipnis Indians 16 15 -1 78 61 -17 67 50 -17 17 5 -7 .272 .230 -.042 630 536 -94
Brad Miller Rays 20 4 -16 66 39 -27 66 28 -38 7 4 0 .248 .206 -.042 538 324 -214
Alex Gordon Royals 16 10 -6 60 51 -9 49 50 1 7 1 -5 .242 .198 -.044 529 566 37
Byron Buxton Twins 16 9 -7 72 55 -17 64 30 -34 16 16 14 .259 .214 -.045 533 526 -7
Michael Saunders Blue Jays 16 11 -5 55 48 -7 48 38 -10 3 0 -3 .250 .205 -.045 427 408 -19
Luis Valbuena Angels 15 11 -4 47 32 -15 46 41 -5 1 0 -1 .234 .188 -.046 408 337 -71
Jonathan Villar Brewers 15 15 0 74 62 -12 57 55 -2 45 16 -16 .256 .209 -.047 584 530 -54
Ben Zobrist Cubs 14 13 -1 74 43 -31 60 43 -17 6 0 -6 .267 .218 -.049 548 443 -105
Chris Herrmann Diamondbacks 5 13 8 27 34 7 28 39 11 3 1 -1 .235 .185 -.050 250 287 37
Maikel Franco Phillies 23 23 0 75 59 -16 90 84 -6 2 0 -2 .270 .219 -.051 581 646 65
Rougned Odor Rangers 29 32 3 86 89 3 92 75 -17 12 9 5 .275 .222 -.053 642 674 32
Jose Reyes Mets 9 15 6 59 69 10 39 56 17 16 10 3 .267 .214 -.053 456 608 152
Jace Peterson Braves 6 0 -6 57 8 -49 43 17 -26 11 2 -7 .240 .183 -.057 514 257 -257
Manny Machado Orioles 32 34 2 91 68 -23 86 85 -1 7 4 1 .289 .224 -.065 646 669 23
Carlos Gonzalez Rockies 28 11 -17 69 67 -2 83 40 -43 7 1 -5 .284 .217 -.067 544 533 -11
Ryan Schimpf Padres 24 26 2 62 45 -17 64 47 -17 1 0 -1 .225 .158 -.067 466 371 -95
Kyle Schwarber Cubs 28 23 -5 77 58 -19 78 53 -25 3 0 -3 .243 .170 -.073 461 507 46
Follow me

Doug Lukas

Dedicated baseball enthusiast with a serious passion for helping readers succeed in all areas of fantasy baseball.
Follow me
Share

Your above the fold CSS (copy the text bellow) :