Darin Ruf- 1B- SF- Stats- After 3 seasons in Korea Ruf has had a decent return to MLB. He is slashing .282/.363/.542 with 4 homers in 80 PAs. Ruf has gone against career trends in having reverse platoon splits this year. His slash line against RH pitching was .333/.417/.524 while it was .277/.346/.574 against southpaws. Ruf has hit 3 of his homers against LH pitching, which accounts for the SLG discrepancy. He has appeared at both corner OF positions as well as 1B and DH in 33 games in 2020. This looks good but underlying the numbers are an overall .354 BABP and .500 against RH pitching. With a .299 career mark the 34-year-old is a major candidate for regression in 2021.
Vince Velasquez- P- PHI- Hot- Velasquez had his longest and best start of the season, recording his first quality start of 2020 in his 6th start of the year. He allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6 in 6 IP. Control has been Velasquez's biggest issue and only 64 of his 104 pitches were strikes. His 12.13 K/9 this season is outstanding but his 4.55 BB/9 is a big part of what has led to his 5.46 ERA. Bad luck has also played a part for Velasquez as his FIP is 4.41. This has been his worst year for BB/9. In 2019 Velasquez posted a 3.30 BB/9 over 117.1 IP. If he can regain control and also maintain his strikeout power he will be positioned to make a big jump in 2021 from his production in a very small sample (29.2 IP in 2020. Watch Velasquez in spring training.
Ian Anderson- P- ATL- Cold- Control was an issue for Anderson again as he walked 4 in 4.2 IP Only 58 of his 99 pitches were strikes. Anderson was charged with 3 runs but struck out 8 of the 22 batters he faced. The 22-year-old has a lot of potential if he can harness his 95 mph fastball and get better acquainted with the strike zone. Anderson's K/9 of 11.81 is very impressive for a rookie. He should be watched in the spring.
Kyle Schwarber- OF- CHC- Cold- Schwarber has seen his bat go ice cold over the past couple of weeks. Since September 4 he has gone 3-for-45 with 9 walks, 16 strikeouts, and no extra base hits. His BABIP for the stretch before his 0-for-4 last night was .115. Schwarber's average has now dipped below the Mendoza line and he is slashing .192/.308/.395 for the season. He has slugged 10 homers, although the last one was on September 1. Schwarber had 94 homers from 2017-2019 so there is hope that he will rebound in 2021, especially if he gets better luck than his current .229 BABIP.
Luis Patino- P- SD- Rookie- The highly touted prospect made his first major league start after making 9 appearances for the Padres out of the bullpen. It didn't last long as he was lifted after 1.2 IP. Patino threw 50 pitches, 28 of them strikes, and allowed 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. He is only 20 years old and was the youngest pitcher in SS last year. In a normal season Patino would have been back at AA and progressed to AAA in 2020. He can still touch the upper 90s with his fastball but needs to work on his control, as his 7.16 BB/9 suggests. Patino hasn't done anything to diminish his prospect status so he is worth holding onto in keeper leagues as his ceiling is high. The odds are, though, he will spend most of 2021 in the minors honing his craft.
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