Each week, Collin Hager uses his HVaC Scoring System to let you know whom to start and drop this week in head-to-head fantasy baseball leagues. This week’s players to avoid:
Sometimes, it is just a bad year.
Brewers shortstop Jean Segura came into the season as one of the potential bright spots in Milwaukee’s lineup. He had a fantastic rookie campaign, highlighted by 44 steals and a .294 average that had owners drooling. Segura had all the attributes of a successful middle infielder in fantasy baseball while potentially adding a slight bit of power.
Fast-forward to August, and we have a situation where owners have finally started to drop him. His 15-point decline in ownership across ESPN leagues is alarming, but that number should be steeper. Segura posted a .129 ISO last season, his best at any level other than Class A, likely showing that double-digit home run expectations were off from the start. His 13 percent infield hit rate even with his speed could have been because of regression, and has shown to be the case.
Segura has been swinging more often and at more pitches outside of the strike zone. He has seen 422 pitches on a 0-0 count this year and swung just 41 times, hitting just .244 when he does.
Pitchers are capitalizing by throwing more first-pitch strikes. This is a big reason for his struggles, and owners should continue to drop him. The HVaC has him outside the top 10.
Danny Santana, CF-SS, Twins
The most added player in the last seven days across ESPN leagues, Santana is being given a lot of credit for his recent success. Owners should hold off. His BABIP of .383 to hit .314 is 30 points higher than any season he had in the minors. Add to it an ISO that is above where one would expect and an infield hit rate of 16 percent, and owners should hold off. The HVaC sees him outside the top 20 shortstops the rest of the season.
Yovani Gallardo, RHP, Brewers
Owners are starting to take a chance on Gallardo, but as discussed before he should be left to the side. The HVaC has him outside the top 60 pitchers and has kept him there most of the season. His strand rate is better than three of the last four years and his ground-ball rate is better than he has seen at any point in his career. The drop in strikeouts and an FIP a half-run higher than his ERA all make for red flags.
Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres
Gyorko is still three deviations the wrong way in H/PA and better than a deviation from the runs and RBI marks as well. While owners are looking to add him, the HVaC has him sitting as the No. 25 player at second base. With his struggles in ISO and BABIP coupled with a strikeout rate that has not come in line the way many would have hoped, and you have a player who should stay on the wire.
Alfredo Simon, RHP, Reds
He had an exciting run, but it is time to ditch Simon. As the 93rd-ranked pitcher, he has not found a way to get himself into a position where the HVaC calls him a safe start. Though he had a similar BABIP last season, it was in time all as a reliever and his career mark of .279 shows that his .246 is not likely sustainable long term. With a strand rate over 80 percent and an FIP over a run and a half worse than his ERA, Simon should be dropped.