Weekly Roster Update 08/17/18
August 17, 2018
Welcome to the weekly R.B.I Baseball Roster Update! The race to the playoffs is beginning to heat up and players like Mike Leake and Harrison Bader are doing everything in their power to get their teams to the postseason. As is the case for every Friday of the season, we’ve updated all rosters and given significants boosts to the prior weeks best performers. Let’s take a look at last week’s top players:
Mike Leake has been having a fantastic second half and his most recent start was no exception. The Mariners righty shut down the division-opponent Athletics, going 8 innings with 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB and 6 K. Leake has now thrown 6 consecutive quality starts and is sporting a 2.73 2nd half ERA. The midseason change in performance comes as a result of a nasty slider that has limited hitters to a .163 batting average against. We’ve boosted Leake’s Curve, Drop and Stamina ratings.
While Carlos Rodon’s 2018 campaign had a delayed start due to injury, he’s certainly been making up for lost time. Rodon is now sporting a 2.69 ERA with a career low 8.3 HR/FB ratio. The White Sox lefty has long been known for his biting slider and, while it’s been utterly dominant, it’s the strides Rodon has made with his fastball that are leading to success. The pitch has a 7.1 pVAL (definition here) with sub .200 batting average against, both of which are improvements on the four-seamer Rodon threw in 2017. We’ve boosted Rodon’s Curve, Drop and Stamina ratings.
We’re not all about the starting pitchers here at RBI! We like to show some appreciation for the relievers out there too, and Taylor Rogers is deserving of some appreciation. Since the All-Star break, Rogers hasn’t given up a single home run in 14 appearances. He’s sporting a 15+ K/9 with a sub 2 FIP (definition here) and 5 holds. Rogers has been using his sinker to set up a nasty slider/curveball combination that makes hitters look lost at the plate. We’ve boosted Rogers’s Velocity, Curve and Drop ratings.
The 2018 campaign got off to a bit of a slow start for Salvador Perez, but these past couple weeks have been exceptional for the Royals backstop. This past week alone, Perez is slashing .298/.345/.630 with an incredible .333 ISO. While Perez’s strikeout numbers may be up a little, his hard-contact has taken vast steps forward. Over the course of his career, Perez has made hard-contact with the ball around 32% of the time. This season? It’s a whopping 45%. We’ve boosted Perez’s Contact, Power and Fielding ratings.
Move over Matt Carpenter, the St. Louis Cardinals have another player who needs the spotlight: Harrison Bader. The Cards CF has been absolutely fantastic, both offensively and defensively this past week. He’s been making diving, run-saving catch after diving, run-saving catch all while slashing a cool .400 / .480 / .800 over the past week. That’s not all either: he’s also racked up 12 stolen bases on the season, making him the ultimate five-tool player. We’ve boosted Bader’s Contact, Power, Arm, and Fielding ratings.
When a guy is putting up a .333 ISO with a plus 20% walk-rate in a week, he deserves to get some attention – Cory Spangenberg has done just that. Even more impressive, the ISO isn’t a result of the long ball – though he did hit one – but because of his two triples! Spangenberg has a knack for hitting hard ground balls that he can leg out and this week was no exception. What makes him even more dangerous is when he does reach base, he’s a threat to steal. We’ve boosted Spangenberg’s Contact and Power ratings.