by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
On Friday the Los Angeles Dodgers shipped Howie Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies for Darin Ruf & Darnell Sweeney. Should fantasy owners care about the fallout? Of course, even though this deal doesn’t cause great change to our rankings or future outlook of any of the involved parties. Let’s take a look:
The Phillies Side:
Obviously they didn’t give up any significant pieces of their future in this deal. Whether Kendrick ultimately plays outfield or if this opens the door for further movement (aka a Cesar Hernandez trade) remains to be seen, but you have to bet that Kendrick is going to be in the lineup every day.
While Kendrick continued to show little power (8 HR) and speed (10 SB), he’s also coming off a .255 average. For a player that doesn’t bring much else, that’s clearly an unacceptable mark and it was not one poor half that led to it:
His line drive rate was 19.4%, the second time in the past three seasons that he was under 20% (18.9% in 2014). While there’s the chance that he improves given his .301 BABIP (.337 for his career), it’s not something to bank on.
Couple that with the modest speed and is there any reason to get excited? Before we point to finally placing him in a hitter’s park, which could lead to more power, keep in mind that he posted a 61.0% groundball rate and managed just 26 doubles. There’s simply little-to-no power and a best case scenario may be a 10/10 season. There’s going to be higher upside options available to you.
The Dodgers Side:
Sweeney returns to his original organization, though he’s coming off a poor showing at Triple-A (447 PA), as he hit .233 with 6 HR and 12 SB. Couple that with his pathetic showing in the Majors the year before (98 PA, .176, 3 HR, 0 SB) and is there any reason to get excited?
No one is going to argue against his speed, having stolen as many as 48 bases in a season, and there is a little bit of pop. However he also swings and misses a lot, with a 22.4% strikeout rate at Triple-A last season (27.6% in the Majors in ’15). Without correcting that he’s going to have issues, and he’s never been the most efficient base stealer (12-for-23 last season).
It’s possible he gets a crack at the second base job, but we wouldn’t bank on it right now.
Ruf could bring a little bit more intrigue, though only in the right circumstance. While he didn’t get much playing time last season, over the course of his career he has shown a dramatic split:
Could he form a corner platoon with someone like Andre Ethier (.303/.382/.506 against RHP) in one of the corner outfield spots, while also seeing time at 1B? It’s possible, though Ruf will be a fit only in daily formats where he can be plugged in under the right circumstances and little else.
Source – Fangraphs
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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings: