Luke Voit (1B-NYY) went yard yet again, as he went 1-5 with a 3-run shot against Miami on Saturday. The 29 year-old has enjoyed a fine 2020 campaign, as he's now hitting .281 with 22 homers and 52 RBI through 230 PA. After striking out at a 28% clip last year, he's slashed that figured to 23% this season. Interestingly, his hard-hit rate is a healthy 39% that actually comes in well below his 43.5% career average. Voit's 75% contact rate is a career best, his 40% flyball rate is a career high, and his 13% swinging-strike rate is a career low. He posted a 40.5% HR/FB in 2018 and a 21% HR/FB in 2019, so while his 34% HR/FB seems ridiculously high at a glance it's really not for him. Ultimately, Voit has trimmed the whiffs, makes more contact, and barrels up the ball a good bit (13% barrels). Interestingly, his BABIP was .345 or higher in 2018 and 2019, and yet his average is healthy in 2020 despite the BABIP sitting at just .272. Anyway, it looks like he should be hyped going into 2021 drafts and it's tough to argue that he shouldn't be.
Cavan Biggio (2B-TOR) went 2-4 with a solo homer against the Orioles on Saturday. The 25 year-old sophomore is now batting .253 with 8 homers, 28 RBI, 41 runs scored, and 6 stolen bases through 260 PA on the year. He continues to walk at a high rate (15%) and has slashed the strikeouts significantly (down to 23% - was 29% in 2019). However, Statcast shows a poor 30% hard-hit rate and just a 5% barrel rate. Fortunately for his average, he's raised his groundball rate to 39% (was just 25% in 2019) while trimming his swinging-strike rate to 8% (was 9% last year) and elevating his contract rate from 76% in 2019 to 78% this year. His track record indicates that a high batting average is unlikely, but Biggio did take some steps forward in some key areas in 2020. Those who pick him in 2021 fantasy drafts will just have to hope that he's able to more regularly strike the ball with authority.
Hunter Dozier (1B-KC) went 0-3 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts against the Tigers on Saturday. The 29 year-old has put together an underwhelming 2020 campaign, as owns a .232 average to go along with 6 homers, 12 RBI, 29 runs scored, and a surprising 4 steals through 183 PA. While Dozier's 111 wRC+ is above average, his average and power (.171 ISO) are both down from his breakout last season (.279 average and 26 homers with a .243 ISO). Statcast shows that his hard-hit rate is down to just 32% after it sat at 43% last year while his average exit velocity is down to just 87mph after sitting at 91 in 2019. Dozier's contact rate is down to 71% after coming in at 74% last year while his swinging-strike rate is up slightly, from 12.3% to 11.5%. He is being more patient at the dish, with a 15% walk rate dwarfing last year's 9% clip. There were questions about whether he could repeat or improve upon his work in 2019 and his performance in 2020 isn't exactly encouraging overall.
Kyle Lewis (OF-SEA) went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts in the first game of a doubleheader with Oakland before taking a seat for the second game. The 25 year-old showed some promise in his debut last year, as he hit .268 with 6 longballs and 13 RBI in a 75-PA sample at the end of the season. There were some warning signs that fantasy owners shouldn't be too optimistic about him in 2020, though, such as a 39% strikeout rate, 4% walk rate, and an unsustainable 40% HR/FB. But he's put together a productive if uneven 2020 campaign, as he was hitting .271 with 11 homers, 28 RBI, 37 runs scored, and 4 stolen bases through 234 PA entering Saturday's action. Encouragingly, he's slashed his strikeout rate to a more manageable 28% and has walked at a very good 14% clip. However, Lewis's hard-hit rate is down to a pretty average 35% (was 47% in 2019) while his average exit velocity is down to 88mph (90 last year) and his barrel rate is down from 19% to 12%. His swinging strike rate is still high at 14%, although that's better than last year's 18%, while his contact rate crept up a little from 63% to 67%. Casting doubt on his value in 2021 is his inconsistent performance in 2020, as he batted .368 with 7 homers, 19 RBI, and 34 runs scored through the first 106 PA of the season before hitting just .161 with 4 longballs, 9 RBI, and 13 runs scored since. If one wants to gamble on him in 2021, expect peaks and valleys in production that culminate in a modest average but plenty of pop.
Deivi Garcia (SP-NYY) gave up 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk while striking out 7 in 6.2 IP against the Marlins on Saturday. The 21 year-old rookie brought a 4.88 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9 over 5 previous starts (27.2 IP) into the contest. His 4.94 xFIP suggested that his ERA was pretty reflective of his performance. Despite Garcia's ability to fan nearly a batter per inning and minimize the free passes, Statcast shows that opposing batters have amassed a solid 41% hard-hit rate against him to go along with a 12% barrel rate. That doesn't pair well with a tendency to give up a lot of batted balls lofted into the air (just a 34% groundball rate), especially when a guy calls Yankee Stadium his home park. While Garcia's heater isn't overpowering at 92mph on average, he throws an 81-mph changeup about 18% of the time while mixing in an 83-mph slider (8%) and a 76-mph curve (14%). He's rated as a 55 FV prospect and the top prospect in the Yankees system, with all four of his pitches currently graded at average or plus (his curve is rated 70 out of 80). While Garcia hasn't exactly kicked the door down in 2020, consider this an audition for a prominent role in 2021. Make sure he's on your radar.
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