Yasiel Puig- Puig has been a shadow of the player that stormed MLB two summers ago. His ISO is down to .168 as his HR/FB seems to have locked in at the 11-12% range over his last 878 plate appearances. I think its important to acknowledge large sample size issues that crop up. In Puig's case, the sample size indicates that he just isn't an elite power option that we thought he would be at this point in his career. While it is likely that he will see some rebound in his overall offensive production from its current level, owners need to be aware that Puig just doesn't appear to have that power bat that we hoped to see this season. Unless a huge change is made, owners need to adjust expectations moving forward into 2016 as well as 878 plate appearances is a large enough sample.
Maikel Franco- The Phillies recent boost to their offensive production has been thanks in no small part to Maikel Franco's power. Franco has a .209 ISO through 298 plate appearances in 2015. While I've been as impressed with Franco's early production as anyone, I have to caution owners that there may be some regression over the next two months. Franco's ground ball rate of 48.5% and his IFFB Rate of 17.3% are both fairly high especially for a player who needs to generate his value to fantasy teams on power production. While his HR/FB Rate has been a solid 16%, I'm concerned that his other contact rates will drag down his value.
Paul Goldschmidt- I feel like you could write about Paul Goldschmidt every day and still not talk enough about how good this guy has been in 2015. On Wednesday night, Goldschmidt stole his 18th base of the season. This will the third time in four years that Goldschmidt has eclipsed the 20 home runs/15 stolen base total for fantasy owners. I'm not sure there is a more valuable asset in all of fantasy baseball right now than Goldschmidt. His combination of average, power and speed is incredibly rare in modern baseball.
Kyle Schwarber- Kyle Schwarber has been an ideal hitter in his short major league sample size. He has shown solid plate patience with a 12% BB Rate through 83 plate appearances while exhibiting absolutely breathtaking power. His fly ball rate of 40% and 20% HR/FB are both excellent indicators of a solid power hitter. Obviously, we are dealing with an incredibly small sample size, but it is worth paying attention to these numbers. If the show any consistency over time, Schwarber will be a fantasy stud moving forward.
Gregory Polanco- I have made a habit of writing about Gregory Polanco when I cover the National League. I've been incredibly interested in Polanco as he was among the top prospects in the game. He has been an incredibly interesting cautionary tale about overvaluing a prospect before he actually accomplishes anything at the big league level. Polanco has 5 home runs, 18 stolen bases and a .243 batting average. None of these numbers is really worth owning in standard format leagues. His speed might play as a third or fourth outfielder in a NL only league, but he generally hasn't shown any ability to consistently hit major league pitching. Polanco puts the ball on the ground a ton (47.4%) and generates no power. It just goes to show that you really do need to beware shiny toy syndrome and wait for players to prove it in the show before buying in too aggressively.
Today's National League Player Blog is brought to you by Nicholas Rossoletti. You can follow Nicholas on Twitter @NRoss56.
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