MLB Free Agents: Break the Biggest Hole for Every Top Free Agent Left

Major League Baseball’s season has been on hold for more than a month and a half now, since 30 club owners voted unanimously to lock players and start with league out of work for the first time since 1994-95. When the locking process ends – that is, when both the owner and MLBTheir players’ union has approved a new Collective Bargaining Agreement – the league will have to find quick solutions for the rest of its off-season business, including the never-before-seen commercial market. startups and the free agency market still have some of the top players left on it.

It’s something the front offices have to play with the red team, the blue team on a player, the more likely they are to identify that player’s flaws. Sometimes those findings prove beneficial to their final analysis; sometimes, it’s like overthinking things. Anyway, We decided to play along by highlighting a potential sticking point with the 10 best free agents remaining on our season’s top 50 list..

Before starting the exercise, we are legally obligated to include some caveats. First of all, the 10 players mentioned below are all very good baseball players; observing a hole in their game is not an attempt to minimize that fact, nor attempt to show they are unworthy of the contracts we believe they will sign in the coming weeks. In addition, we will note that under certain circumstances this exercise can reinforce a player’s perception when their alleged “big hole” is an unchanging trifle. a lot of.

In short: these are all high-quality players and the flaws we are talking about here are mostly small beans. Understood? Well, now let’s get to our skeptic’s guide.

Error line: Astros‘cheating scandal

With as much skill as Correa (and, apparently, he’s skilled enough to rank number one on our break list), it’s hard to write about him without referencing the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme. . Independent research by Tony Adams revealed that Correa was one of the Houston celebrities most likely to receive a foreshadowed “bang” during their game in 2017. It is not yet known whether Correa (or any other Astro) benefits from the tip. What is certain is that Correa was once a good player when the Astros trash cans were only used for trash. He was the #1 pick of his time, and he had big seasons before and after the alleged period of scandal. Besides, for better or (probably) worse, the rest of the league seems indifferent to the whole situation; from here on George Springer signed a lucrative free agency deal last winter, and so AJ Hinch and Alex Cora quickly returned to the long legs made by AJ Hinch and Alex Cora.

2. Kris Bryant (Ranked 3rd in the top 50 list)

Error line: Rotation concerns

You would think that Bryant, a four-time All-Star and a career .278 / .376 / .504, would be transplanted from mechanical nitpicks. You will be wrong. Bryant’s sin is that he’s 6 foot-5 tall and he has long arms to prove it. Those levers are a potential problem because they often result in a longer spin, which in turn can leave him vulnerable to velocity effects as the bat’s speed drops. Exactly when, the switch will flip; it doesn’t seem to be last year, as he posted his highest contact speed with 95 mph or faster throws since 2017. Although, to be fair, he She posted her worst bounce rate against that subset since 2018. The lesson here is simple: take a hard look at any given moment in life, even the most dramatic ones. out in the best of times, and you’ll find traces of invasive rot.

Error line: Age

Other groups might argue that Freeman’s greatest flaw is his perceived loyalty to brave. Fair enough. For our purposes, the point is that Freeman is about to enter the 32-year-old season. (He will turn 33 in September.) Research has shown that rich people are in a decline when they hit the age of 30. With rumors that Freeman is looking for a six-year contract, the Braves (or any team) will have to count on their ability to hold out against Father Time longer than the average bears.

4. Trevor’s story (No. 11 in the top 50 list)

Error line: Arm strength

Before that, we featured Story’s decaying cannon in his free agency. We then note that his arm strength fell below average for short runs for the first time in 2020. The final break didn’t help him recover his strength. And it’s anyone’s guess whether this winter will bring him back to his old form. If the answer proves to be “no”, then the Story is likely to end up in a different location – perhaps second base – a long time ago. His bat is strong enough to withstand such a move, but it’s a consideration that teams will have to consider before they hand him a multi-year contract to serve as the short-run. surname.

Bug lane: Position and defense

Castellanos can really attack, and that’s a good thing he’s able to do because his obvious fitness has never translated into quality far-corner defence. The publicly visible metrics are mostly foul-smelling, but we’ll pinch our noses when it comes to Statcast’s Results Above Average metric. By that measure, Castellanos has had at least five underscore plays in every season since 2016. Just use him in DH, right? Totally… except, to quote the man himself: “I don’t want DH.” Perhaps Castellanos could be convinced by his next club (or, at least, by his next check). Until that is proven to be the case, his stubborn substandard glove will remain a problem.

6. Seiya Suzuki (No. 15 in the top 50 list)

Error line: Precedent

A lot of player analysis is driven by the past: about how players have performed or about how players with similar attributes have performed. In concert, those aspects form the basis of most projection systems. What’s complicated? Suzuki Free Dealer, then, is the lack of precedent. He’s from Japan’s Nippon pro baseball league, which means he’s never played in the pro leagues; meanwhile, it’s been a while since a player in the NPB position isn’t Shohei Ohtani came and had a lot of success. Suzuki seems like a fair bet to change that trend, but his contract could be extinguished as a result.

Fault Line: Endurance

This goes as simple as possible, so far the downsides are noticed. Kershaw missed Dodgers‘Post-break ran last fall because of forearm and elbow discomfort, adding another medical concern to his collection along with his history of back problems. Kershaw has reliably started 20 or more games in each of his full major league seasons (we’ll obviously rule out 2020 here, even though he’s scored 10 times in 60 games. ), but it’s fair to have extra worry about how much longer that will remain true as he enters the campaign at his 34th birthday.

8. Kenley Jansen (No. 20 in the top 50 list)

Error line: Control

There are several ways to watch Jansen’s season. From one angle, he still dominates by holding the ball five fewer shots and exactly half of his home runs every nine innings. In other words, he drove a lot of traffic by giving career-worst 4.7 free passes to every nine. Interestingly, Jansen’s overall strike rate is still much higher than the league average, but his scoring rate starting 3-0 has skyrocketed. For the entire season, there are multiple conclusions that can be drawn: either he becomes more inclined to work around higher hitters, or he is more prone to losing his mechanics for the whole number. bats at the same time. Jansen’s quality exposure suppression skills could make it a moot point, regardless.

9. Anthony Rizzo (No. 22 in the top 50 list)

Error Line: The Calamity Returns

Like Kershaw before him, Rizzo’s biggest flaw is beyond his control: his health. He has faced problems back in the past and those problems don’t tend to improve with age. (Ask, um, most people.) On Rizzo’s credit, he’s been able to manage well enough to appear in 345 games over the past three years, or, in about 90% of possible competitions. . It is not known whether Rizzo will be able to maintain such attendance in the future, or if he will spend more time on the bookshelves.

Error line: Last season

If Conforto qualifies as a free agent after last season, when he hit a career-high 154 OPS+ and he’s gone home at least 27 times in three consecutive official campaigns, he It will be higher on the list. Instead, he entered the open market after a bad season that left him stumbling at the gate before correcting his mistake. Teams will be right to wonder if he can consistently perform like he did in 2017-20, or if last year was a sign of things to come when he did. Are you about to enter your 29th birthday? MLB Free Agents: Break the Biggest Hole for Every Top Free Agent Left

Charles Jones

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