Unlucky or Benchable?

We are getting close to the halfway point of the season, and a lot of decisions have to be made on whether it’s time to give up on a player or keep trucking away with him. Let’s look at 5 guys who have struggled so far in 2018 and whether there is hope down the stretch.

Yasiel Puig (.254 Avg – 8 HR – 6 SB)

MLB: NLCS-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

  Puig hasn’t been terrible this season, but he’s been far from what we thought could be a breakout season for the LA star. Let’s take a look at some key numbers for Puig compared to last year.


  So, Puig is hitting the ball in the air more, but not getting the home run to flyball % that he did last year when he hit 28 dingers. The strikeouts are up and the walks are down, but not a huge drop. So is there hope for Puig yet? In June Puig is hitting .333 with 3 home runs after hitting 5 home runs with a .283 average in May. So despite the April numbers dragging his overall numbers down, Puig has been more than playable the last two months.

Verdict: Unlucky, look for him to be hot down the stretch.

Gary Sanchez (.193 Avg 13 HR)

gary sanchez
(Getty Images)

    Sanchez has had a brutal season after being drafted as the #1 catcher overall in most drafts. The home runs have been there, but not much else has been. His walk rate has risen from 7.6% in 2017 to 12.1% in 2018, so it seems that he is seeing the ball well, so whats up? For one thing, his BABIP has gone from .304 to .203. So that screams unluckiness there. He also has 27 extra base hits this season. His flyball percentage is also up.

Verdict: So it’s a pretty easy call here, I don’t expect him to struggle much longer.

Jonathan Schoop (.212 Avg 7 HR)

jonathan schoop
Photo Credit:Kenya Allen, Pressbox

   Outside of Gary Sanchez, this is probably the most disappointing hitter so far in 2018. Jonathan Schoop has been nothing short of horrendous. His walk and strikeout rate are virtually the same as in 2017. His BABIP is down from .330 to .240, so you do expect some positive regression from there. However, his infield fly rate has jumped, along with a significant drop in line drive percentage. In short, I think Schoop’s breakout 2017 season will be a career year for him.

Verdict: He isn’t quite this bad, but he is nowhere near his 2017 self.

Brian Dozier (.233 Avg – 10 HR)

brian dozier
Source: Jason Miller/Getty Images North America)

  Another disappointing early round pick. Dozier was picked for his combination of power and speed, and so far after raising his average 3 years in a row, Dozier’s average is down to only .233. His walk rate and strikeout rate are both down, contradicting one another. His BABIP was a career high .300 BABIP in 2017, only to have a .244 BABIP this year. You have to think the BABIP will fall somewhere in the middle, which could raise his average to a respectable .250 range.  His line drive rate has fallen by 5.5%, which is definitely hurting his extra-base hits. Beyond that, there aren’t too many red flags in his profile. It has been a rough June, only hitting .185.

Verdict: This may just be a down year for a talented player in Dozier.

Trey Mancini (.223 Avg – 9 HR).

trey mancinin
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

   The farthest pick on this list, Mancini has not broken out the way I thought he would coming into 2018. His BABIP was an insane .352 last season and I think that is an unrealistic bar. It’s at .273 this year which I think is completely reasonable, and that doesn’t bode well for his future. He is walking at a 9% clip, which is pretty decent and his strikeouts haven’t gone up that much. So beyond the BABIP, what’s up with Mancini? His deeper numbers are virtually the same across the board as they were in 2017.

Verdict: This is one hitter that I think doesn’t get out of his funk.

Have any players you want me to examine? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @FantasyAid1

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