MARKET PULSE: Duvall's Advocate

See the end of the article for an explanation of the ratings used here. And a thousand thanks to the folks at OnRoto.com for providing the oh-so-important league ownership data for this article.

There are some great choices out there for mixed leaguers. What changed from last week? In some cases, roles changed, but for some it was simply having enough playing time for us to be confident that their skills changes were likely to be real.

As for "only" leagues, it continues to be a tough nut—if you're banging your head against the wall trying to find replacements, you're not alone. Just take a look at the players who are trending (and we also looked through a rather dismal list of those not trending). Then there's Nick Vincent, still unowned in almost half of AL-only leagues. We'll get to that in a bit.

 

Mixed Leagues (Shallow)

Player             Owned   Change  Team  Pos  Rating
================   =====   ======  ====  ===  ==========
Andriese, Matt       38%      33%    TB   SP  Watch
Bauer, Trevor        62%      29%   CLE    P  Buy
Cingrani, Tony       52%      27%   CIN   RP  Watch
Dyson, Sam           37%      27%   TEX   RP  Buy
Duffey, Tyler        38%      23%   MIN   SP  Buy
Duvall, Adam         52%      21%   CIN   OF  Buy
Gonzalez, Marwin     37%      21%   HOU   3B  Watch
Gray, Jonathan       54%      17%   COL   SP  Buy
Hill, Aaron          37%      17%   MIL   3B  Watch
Pearce, Steve        23%      17%    TB   1B  Watch
Hahn, Jesse          15%      15%   OAK   SP  Pass
Herrmann, Chris      13%      13%   ARI    C  Watch
Thompson, Trayce     12%      10%   LAD   OF  Pass
Duffy, Danny         12%       6%    KC   SP  Watch

Trevor Bauer (RHP, CLE) and his 3.86 ERA may look like a fringy buy, but he's stepped up his skills in 2016 with a 9.6 Dom, supported by a 12% SwK. It may be that he loses some of that in his new starting role, but in two of three starts (yes, small samples), he's struck out at least a batter per inning. He was once a highly regarded prospect, and at 25, he appears to be figuring things out.

Sam Dyson (RHP, TEX) doesn't have top-notch closer skills, but he's maybe the only reliable option the Rangers have right now. Yes, Jake Diekman (RHP, TEX) is flashing some top skills, but his FpK and history of control problems are a concern, and pretty much everyone else is hurt or lacking any significant experience. While not overwhelming, Dyson is a competent reliever, and has the role for the forseeable future.

Tyler Duffey (RHP, MIN) certainly won't turn your pitching staff around, but he's a very good, low-risk option for the back end of your rotation. He certainkly won't keep up his 1.85 ERA, but he has the skills to stay below a 3.50 ERA, with enough strikeouts to be a minor asset for you.

Adam Duvall (OF, CIN) gets an upgrade this week from his "Watch" last week. We've been watching him for a while now, and he's at the point (100+ PA) where we can put some faith in his improved ct%, as ct% stabilizes very quickly (and he's right around where he was in the minor leagues). With his power (218/156 PX/xPX), any contact level approaching 70% will yield strong home run totals without killer BA. He won't be a BA asset, but shouldn't kill you either, and 20 HR the rest of the way is a reasonable projection.

If not for Duvall, Jonathan Gray (RHP, COL) would have made this week's cover, but good free-agent hitters are much harder to find. As with hitters, a pitcher's strikeout rate stabilizes quickly, making Gray's 11.3 Dom pretty believable, especially when backed up by his 13% SwK. His 58% FpK is a possible portent that his Ctl will rise, but he's generally had good control, and even if it returned to 2015's level, he'd still have a 3.5+ Cmd. Plus, his 51% GB% helps keep him out of trouble in Colorado. Another top prospect who looks like a breakout.

Trayce Thompson's (OF, LA) .294 xBA and 6 HR would be a sign for most that he's arrived as a hitter. However, his 32% hr/f is driving his 185 PX (97 xPX), which is in turn driving xBA up. His 50% GB% and 17% LD% are harbingers of lower BA on the horizon. While in NL-only leagues, this isn't much of an issue, in mixed leagues, he will be below replacement if and when his production normalizes to his skills.

 

"Only" (Deeper) Leagues

Player               Owned   Change  Team  Pos  Lg  Rating
==================   =====   ======  ====  ===  ==  ======
Ortega, Rafael         54%      54%   LAA   OF  AL  Pass
Centeno, Juan          49%      43%   MIN    C  AL  Watch
Gee, Dillon            46%      40%    KC   SP  AL  Watch
Bush, Matt             36%      36%   TEX   RP  AL  Watch
Shoemaker, Matthew     32%      32%   LAA   SP  AL  Avoid
Stubbs, Drew           56%      31%   TEX   OF  AL  Pass
Rutledge, Josh         31%      19%   BOS   2B  AL  Watch
Refsnyder, Rob         18%      18%   NYY   2B  AL  Watch
Moran, Colin           18%      18%   HOU   3B  AL  Watch
Gonzalez, Miguel       26%      15%   CWS   SP  AL  Pass
Wilson, Bobby          46%      15%   TEX    C  AL  Pass
Wright, Mike           39%      14%   BAL   SP  AL  Pass
Vincent, Nick          55%       6%   SEA   RP  AL  Buy
Chavez, Jesse          29%     -13%   TOR   RP  AL  Watch
Adleman, Timothy       45%      45%   CIN   SP  NL  Watch
Hanson, Alen           40%      40%   PIT   SS  NL  Watch
Bourn, Michael         37%      37%   ARI   OF  NL  Watch
Perez, Williams        34%      34%   ATL   SP  NL  Avoid
Buchter, Ryan          51%      19%    SD   RP  NL  Watch
Johnson, Chris         33%      -7%   MIA   3B  NL  Watch

You'd think that a .315 BA (.279 xBA) and 3 steals from Rafael Ortega (OF, LAA) would be worthy of at least a "watch," but we're looking at his 14 PX and saying "no." His minor-league SLG at Double-A and above? Try .297, .340, and a PCL-aided .378 from 2013-2015. He has speed, yes, and almost never strikes out. That means lots of weak ground balls that lead to lots of "Oh! JUST got him at first base!" from the play-by-play announcer.

Dillon Gee (RHP, KC) has benefitted from good fortune thus far, as his 28%/84% H%/S% shows. However, his 7.3 Dom is below the level that his 11% SwK would suggest, and his 3.8 Ctl also doesn't pair well with his 64% FpK. It's only 26 innings of work, and these anomalies usually work their way out over time. Such mixed signalling makes a "watch" a natural choice, especially as we wait to see how he adapts to a starting role.

Yes, Nick Vincent (RHP, SEA). There are still approximately 45% of AL-only leagues where he can be had. Get him. Sure, he doesn't even crack the top three on our saves depth chart. But he's #1 in Seattle in leverage index (1.71), ERA (2.02), and BPV (205). Closer Steve Cishek (RHP, SEA) is coming off a bad week, and while his skills and overall season numbers are still good, Vincent clearly has the skills, the production, and the manager's trust.

Alen Hanson (2B, PIT) is a good-not-great prospect with excellent speed, decent power, and little patience. He's an excellent pickup in a keeper league, but he's not likely to stick in the majors this time around.

His recent history suggests that Michael Bourn (OF, ARI) might be good for a .240 BA and maybe 2 SB while David Peralta (OF, ARI) recovers from a wrist injury. In NL-only leagues, that's not a wasted week by any stretch, but he's not anyone's long-term solution.

 

Explaining the Ratings

Strong Buy: Worth opening up the FAAB wallet.
Buy: Bid with confidence, but don't overpay.
Watch: Acquire if needed to fill a hole, otherwise, just pay attention to how he's doing.
Pass: Acquire if desperate, otherwise let someone else take the risk.
Avoid: Stay away; expected to do more harm than good.

These ratings are meant to be a guideline; your team and league circumstances should dictate your moves. Keep in mind even the strongest free-agent buys are 70% plays at best.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.