FACTS/FLUKES: Bogaerts, Choo, Teheran, H. Robles, Da. Santana

Bogaerts posted his best season in 2019 ... It seems that Xander Bogaerts (SS, BOS) has been around a long time, but he will only be 27 in 2020. He had his first $30+ 5x5 campaign last year. Do we expect continued growth from here?

Year  AB   HR/xHR SB    BA/xBA   OBA  ct%  bb%   h%  HctX   PX/xPX    G/L/F   HR/F 
====  ===  ====== ==  =========  ===  ===  ===  ===  ====  =======  ========  ====
2015  613   7/ 8  10  .320/.269  355   84    5   37   100   71/ 60  53/21/26     5 
2016  652  21/20  13  .294/.262  356   81    8   34   101   91/ 73  45/20/35    11               
2017  571  10/ 7  15  .273/.262  343   80    9   33   101   77/ 54  49/21/30     7
2018  513  23/27   8  .288/.292  360   80    9   32   112  141/101  43/21/36    16
2019  614  33/28   4  .309/.283  384   80   11   34   107  130/116  41/19/40    17

​There are reasons to be cautious about expecting Bogaerts to improve on his 2019 numbers:

  • 2019 was excellent, but he overperformed his xHR and xBA. Some regression here is likely.
  • His plate skills (ct%, bb%) are solid, but not elite. On the other hand, his consistency in these skills the last three years establishes a nice BA floor.
  • Similarly, his power metrics (HctX, PX, xPX) are good, but not great. Statcast metrics back this up. In 2019 he was in the top 25% of hitters in Hard Hit% and Exit Velocity. He was in the top 35% of Barrels/Plate Appearance.
  • Bogaerts will probably not reach double digit steals again. His steal attempts have declined three years in a row and last year he only attempted six steals all season with a 3% SBO%. His Spd score also dipped below league average at 88.
  • Only one (Francisco Lindor (SS, CLE)) of the six shortstops with ADPs lower than his current ADP of 38 has a better reliability score than Bogaerts' AAB.

Bogaerts has been very consistent, posting $25+ 5x5 years in four of the last five years. His high-level consistency is very valuable, but drafters should not expect much upside from his 2019 numbers.

 

Choo still productive at 37... Shin-Soo Choo (OF, TEX) put up a productive season last year (.265, 24 HR, 15 SB). Current ADPs have him going in the 17th round. Is he a good investment at that level? Are there signs of an aging decline? 

Year   AB  HR/xHR  SB    BA/xBA   OBA  ct%  bb%   h%  HctX   PX/xPX    G/L/F   hr/f 
====  ===  ======  ==  =========  ===  ===  ===  ===  ====  =======  ========  ====
2015  555  22/24    4  .276/.267  375   74   12   34   105  130/122  51/21/28    19
2016  178   7/ 5    6  .242/.252  357   74   12   29   130   97/127  47/22/31    18         
2017  544  22/25   12  .261/.268  357   75   12   31   110   92/107  49/25/26    20
2018  560  21/32    6  .264/.254  377   72   14   33   112  110/124  50/22/28    19
2019  563  24/28   15  .265/.257  371   71   12   33   110  110/106  49/22/29    21

Choo's 2019 season was in-line with career norms and there are no signs of a declining skill set:

  • His ct% is below the league average of 74%, but he displays excellent patience with bb% above the league average of 9%. These plate skills combine to give him a stable floor of BA around the league average.
  • His HR totals have actually been a little less than what xHR forecasts. His HctX and xPX have been stable and above league average. These metrics are strongly backed by Statcast. He was in the top 10% of hitters in Exit Velocity and top 5% of Hard Hit% in 2019.
  • There are concerns about how the new Texas stadium will affect Rangers hitters. However, Choo has not shown significant Home/Road splits the last two years (.276/.383/.447 at home; .253/.365/.441 on the road). He hit 26 of his 45 HR in 2018-2019 on the road.
  • A bigger concern for Choo is that he could eventually find himself on the strong side of a platoon. Last year he was .280/.393/.494 against righthanders and .229/.317/.361 against lefties.
  • Choo has also been a very successful basestealer the last three years with an 87% success rate. The double digits steals last season were no fluke.

​NFBC drafters may not be anticipating another solid year from Choo, but all indications suggest he is very capable of another season of 20-25 HR and 10-15 SB without hurting your BA.

 

Teheran moves to the AL ... Is Julio Teheran (RHP, LAA) a reasonable choice to fill out a fantasy roster in the late rounds now that he will be pitching for the Angels?

Year   IP   ERA  xERA  WHIP  Ctl   Dom  Cmd  FpK  SwK  H%   Vel  hr/f  BPV   
====  ===  ====  ====  ====  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===  ==  ====  ====  ===  
2015  201  4.04  4.15  1.31  3.3   7.7   2.3  57   11  29  91.2   13    68
2016  167  3.21  4.01  1.05  2.0   8.0   4.1  62   11  27  90.9   10   108  
2017  188  4.49  4.94  1.37  3.4   7.2   3.1  64   10  29  91.4   14    55
2018  176  3.95  4.52  1.17  4.3   8.3   1.9  61   12  22  89.8   13    49
2019  175  3.81  5.07  1.32  4.3   8.3   2.0  60   10  28  89.7   11    52

Teheran's mediocre skills will be tested in his transition to the AL:

  • His Cmd and Dom have been below league average the past two years as has his SwK.
  • His Vel has decreased each of the last two seasons.
  • Research has shown that pitchers moving from the NL to the AL typically see an increase in ERA and WHIP the subsequent season. Dom tends to decrease.
  • On the positive side of the ledger, Teheran has consistently posted better ERAs than his xERA would suggest. His career ERA is almost a full run less than his xERA.
  • Teheran is also an innings-eater. He has a BAA reliability score and even with his below average Dom he typically throws enough innings to accumulate decent strikeout numbers.

Teheran, with an ADP of 342, could be a late round pickup who will provide innings and strikeouts as a back-end starter. There is risk that his ratios will increase based on his move to the AL.

 

Robles closing for LAA ... Hansel Robles (RHP, LAA) seized the closer job when Cody Allen (RHP, TEX) imploded early in the season for the Angels. Will he be able to hold on to the job in 2020?

Year   IP  SV/HLD   ERA/xERA  Ctl   Dom  Cmd  FpK  SwK   Vel  H%  GB/FB  hr/f  BPV
====  ===  ======  =========  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===  ====  ==  =====  ====  ===
2015   54    0/12  3.67/3.64  3.0  10.2  3.4   60   13  95.7  24  33/49   12%  113
2016   78    1/13  3.48/4.33  4.2   9.8  2.4   59   12  95.2  32  30/41    8%   73
2017   57    0/ 5  4.92/4.72  4.6   9.5  2.1   54    9  94.9  27  34/44   15%   59
2018   52    2/ 8  3.70/4.41  4.0   9.5  2.4   57   11  96.0  31  35/41   14%   75
2019   73   23/ 2  2.48/3.89  2.0   9.3  4.7   61   13  97.1  29  39/40    8%  131 

Robles had a career-best year in 2019, but it may not have been as good as it looked:

  • The only other year he has displayed comparable skills was in 2015.
  • His ERA was almost 1.50 runs below his xERA. Some regression is likely, especially if he doesn't maintain the unprecedented Ctl he found in 2019. His league average FpK suggests his outstanding Ctl of 2019 may not be sustainable.
  • His Vel has increased each of the last two years supporting a strong SwK of 13%.
  • If Robles stumbles, the Angels could turn to Kenyan Middleton (RHP, LAA) who showed promise before his 2018 TJ surgery.

Robles had an excellent 2019 and will likely open the season as the Angels' closer, but he hasn't consistently demonstrated that level of performance. He should be drafted as a lower tier closer.

 

Santana broke out in 2019 ... In his first season with over 500 plate appearances Daniel Santana (1B/OF, TEX) posted a 20/20 season (one of only nine major leaguers to do so) with a .283 BA, while logging time at every position except pitcher and catcher. Can he repeat 20/20 in 2020?

Year    AB  HR/xHR  SB     BA/xBA   ct%  bb%   h%   OBA  HctX    PX/xPX   SBO  Spd
====   ===  ======  ==   =========  ===  ===  ===  ====  ====  ========  ====  ===
2015   261   0/ 1    8   .215/.230   74    2   29   241    85    56/ 56   26%  138
2016   233   2/ 5   12   .240/.246   76    5   31   279    93    58/ 76   39%  127
2017   168   4/ 5    7   .202/.255   76    4   24   243   103    94/121   27%  108
2018*  364  12/ 2   10   .211/.244   69    4   29   240    90   118/149   32%  101
2019   474  28/26   21   .283/.258   68    5   36   324   106   141/111   26%  131
*includes MLEs

A repeat of 20/20 is a possibility. But his poor plate skills and 2019's unsustainable h% suggest a significant drop in BA:

  • His BA is due for regression. His poor ct% and bb% have limited his BA potential the last two years. And he is unlikely to repeat a h% of 36%.
  • He was a much more productive hitter at home (.297/.352/.629 at home; .269/.296/.445 on the road). Only 10 of his 29 HR were on the road. If the new Texas park proves to be a more difficult offensive environment, Santana's numbers could suffer. 
  • His power metrics (HctX, PX, xPX, xHR) all validate his HR surge. Statcast metrics do as well. He was in the top 10% of Exit Velocity and the top 25% of Hard Hit%. 
  • The Rangers let him run last year (26% SBO) and his 131 Spd score suggests he will continue to be a threat on the basepaths.
  • Another uncertainty in his profile is his position. The Rangers have not committed Santana to a position, but have lauded his versatility. In addition to being qualified at 1B and OF he could add other infield positions to his eligibility in season. But without a set position he may not accumulate full-time AB.

Santana is an interesting player for 2020. He has a decent chance to repeat a 20/20 season with multiple eligibility, but drafters should be clear about the significant BA risk he carries as well as the uncertainty about how the Rangers new park will play.


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