FACTS/FLUKES: Villar, Goody, F. Reyes, R. Lopez, T. Hernandez

Villar's 20 HR/30 SB season could move him up 2020 draft boards... When we visited Jonathan Villar (SS, BAL) in June, a 20 HR/30 SB season was within reach. With September left to play, the shortstop has already posted reached the mark with a .278, 20 HR, 62 RBI, 91 R, and 32 SB performance in 2019. Can he carry over his power and speed to 2020?

Year   AB  HR/SB    BA   xBA  bb%  ct%    G/L/F   HctX   PX/xPX  hr/f  Spd  SBO
====  ===  =====  ====  ====  ===  ===  ========  ====  =======  ====  ===  ===
2015* 396   6/31  .242  .239    7   70  57/20/23    75   85/ 44   10%  139  45%
2016  589  19/62  .285  .264   12   70  56/20/24   101  120/103   19%  110  43%
2017  403  11/23  .241  .240    7   67  57/21/22    90   89/ 83   19%  105  32%
2018  466  14/35  .260  .235    8   70  56/20/24    80   79/ 71   18%  111  30%
2019  521  20/32  .278  .261    9   72  50/20/30    70  106/ 64   18%  118  27%
*-Includes MLEs

With a spot near the top of Baltimore's lineup, his speed could come close to his 2019 results, but his power metrics create some doubts: 

  • While his xPX, HctX, and 4.3% Brls/PA (249th in MLB) create doubts about his 20 HR power, adding some FB% has helped his efforts. His average fly ball exit velocity has fallen from 94.6 mph in 2018 to 92.7 mph in 2019, and his average fly ball distance has remained similar at 333 feet. With 13 HR at Camden Yards, favorable park factors (16% LHB HR; 6% RHB HR), and a 17% career hr/f, his HR total may not fall too far in the current MLB HR environment. 
  • A slight Spd bump is encouraging, even with a few less SBO. After posting an 88% SB% in 2018, his 80% SB% from 2019 may be a reasonable expectation for 2020. His 27.9 ft/sec sprint speed is in the 72nd percentile, and with SBO, he should have another shot at another 30 SB tally in 2020.
  • Even with a drop in HctX, his ct% has improved from 2017, and he has improved his ct% against both sides of the pitching platoon. With a .261 career-BA and xBA that echoes that number, a similar result is a reasonable expectation for 2020. 

Adding batting average and home runs to his 30+ SB speed has turned out well in 2019 for Villar, as he has provided $37 worth of R$. With a slight increase in Spd and a steady SB%, he has enough speed for owners to target as a 30 SB option in 2020 drafts. The added home runs have boosted his 2019 value, even though his xPX, HctX, and average exit velocity add some doubt to his 2020 HR total. On the plus side, a higher FB% with a favorable home park and current MLB environment could soften some HR loss. With a career BA that doesn't carry as much risk, he has enough speed to leave 2020 draft boards in the early rounds. 

 

Goody finds fortune... After a strong finish to 2017, Nick Goody (RHP, CLE) lost most of 2018 to injury. He has returned to a positive R$ in 2019 with three wins, 41 strikeouts, a 2.10 ERA, and 1.11 WHIP in 34 IP. Does he have the skills to be a LIMA-target in 2020?

Year  IP   ERA  xERA  Ctl   Dom  Cmd  FpK  SwK    G/L/F   H%/S%  hr/f  BPV   LI
====  ==  ====  ====  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===  ========  =====  ====  ===  ====
2015^ 74  2.39  2.98  3.4   9.8  2.8  69%  11%  47/21/32  32/82    0%  115  0.66
2016^ 63  3.82  4.55  2.8  10.8  3.8  59%  15%  23/21/56  28/81   16%   85  0.45
2017  72  2.80  3.60  3.3  11.9  3.6  58%  17%  28/23/48  28/81   12%  130  0.55
2018  12  6.94  5.58  3.9   9.3  2.4  55%  14%  28/21/51  34/69   20%   68  1.57
2019  34  2.10  4.60  4.2  10.7  2.6  54%  17%  27/22/52  24/88    9%   85  0.86 
*-inc. MLEs

Unfortunately not, as some good fortune has covered his Ctl issues and FB% tilt: 

  • The right-hander continues to miss bats with a slider-first (24% SwK) approach in 2019. His elite SwK backs his ability to post another double-digit Dom in 2020.  
  • Without many FpK, his Ctl carries possible ratio risk. While his 57% career FpK and 3.7 career Ctl support some small changes, some good fortune (H%/S%) has aided his 2019 WHIP. 
  • Even with a heavy FB% that can add ERA risk, his 26% IFFB% has alleviated some of his FB% risk in 2019. His average exit velocity on fly balls allowed has dropped to 88.1 mph in 2019, as he has missed more barrels. On the down side, his xERA, 13% career hr/f, 29% career H%, and 79% career S% suggest that his ERA could increase in 2020. 
  • With no save opportunities and an underwhelming LI, it does not appear that saves are in the picture for 2020.     

Goody's slider-first approach in 2019 has provided plenty of swings and misses, and he has the skills to post a double-digit Dom in 2020. Unfortunately, those strikeouts come with some ratio regression risk in 2020, as some good fortune has kept his ERA and WHIP lower in 2019. Even with a strong IFFB% and lower exit velocity allowed, his career H%, S%, and hr/f raise doubts about his ability to maintain an ERA in the 2.00's in 2020. With below-average FpK and more walks, he could see his WHIP increase in 2020 too. For 2020, Goody's skills (85 BPV) and LI fall short of LIMA-worthy status.  

 

Reyes carries power to AL... When BaseballHQ.com analyst Brian Rudd checked in on Franmil Reyes (OF/DH, CLE) in May, he noted Reyes' "impressive power" that could provide "35-plus homers." His insight was right. The slugger is hitting .244 with 33 HR, 63 RBI, and 53 R in 409 at-bats. With a trade to Cleveland in late July, can he carry over his power to the AL?

Year   AB  HR    BA   xBA    vL/vR    bb%  ct%    G/L/F   HctX   PX/xPX  hr/f
====  ===  ==  ====  ====  =========  ===  ===  ========  ====  =======  ====
2017^ 507  22  .243   N/A   N/A/N/A     8   71     N/A     N/A  116/N/A   N/A
2018  261  16  .280  .247 1.028/.748    8   69  49/21/30   113  134/115   30%
2019  409  33  .244  .255  .825/.822    8   69  42/30/37   113  146/146   31%
^AA MLEs

The power metrics say he can: 

  • His FB% increase has paired well with an increasing xPX, and his 9.7% Brls/PA ranks 16th in the majors. His 92.8 mph exit velocity on FB/LD is eighth in MLB, and his 98.8 mph exit velocity on fly balls is elite. With a 350-feet average fly ball distance and a 30% career hr/f, the slugger has the power to continue swatting 35+ HR in 2020.   
  • Although his below-average ct% may not help his BA efforts, his Hard Hit% is in the 94th percentile in the majors and his high LD% points to a better xBA. While his 30% career h% may help in 2020, his double-digit SwStr% against sliders, curveballs, change-ups, and fastball may keep his BA below average. 
  • The slugger offers power vL (144 PX) and vR (147 PX), and lifting more balls in the air vR with a 99.9 mph exit velocity on fly balls vR backs his OPS growth. 

Reyes's power is real, and when he makes contact, he can crush pitches. His growing xPX and above-average HctX pair well with an elite barrel rate and fly ball exit velocity. He has 35+ HR power for 2020, and he can provide power against LHP and RHP. His power does come with swings and misses, as a below-average ct% with plenty of whiffs may cap his BA in 2020, even with plenty of line drives. The power hitter played enough games in the OF to qualify for the position in 2020, and his power should provide enough value for a double-digit R$. 

 

Lopez ramps up velocity... In the first half of the 2019 season, Reynaldo Lopez (RHP, CHW) struggled with walks and his velocity dipped to 94.8 mph. Since July 1, he has posted a 4.33 ERA and increased his velocity to 96.5 mph. Through 153 IP, he has eight wins, 138 strikeouts, a 5.41 ERA, and a 1.48 WHIP. What do his skills say about his changes since July 1?

Year   IP   ERA  xERA  Ctl   Dom  Cmd  FpK  SwK    G/L/F    H%  S% hr/f  BPV 
====  ===  ====  ====  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===  ========  === === ====  === 
2016* 153  4.51  4.46  3.5   8.9  2.5  56%  10%  41/23/35   33  71   9%   88
2017   48  4.72  5.66  2.6   5.7  2.1  61%   9%  30/22/48   29  68   9%   39
2018  189  3.91  5.05  3.6   7.2  2.0  60%  10%  33/20/47   27  73   9%   44
2019  153  5.41  5.32  3.4   8.1  2.4  59%  11%  35/22/44   33  68  13%   69
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2H-19  60  4.33  4.83  2.8   8.2  2.9  63%  13%  37/25/38   33  68   7%   86
*inc. MLEs 

His improving skills from July provided hope, but a poor August tempers expectations: 

  • While his 96.5 mph velocity on his four-seam fastball (8% SwK) can help, his slider (15%), change-up (15% SwK), and curveball (11% SwK) are boosting his SwK. His current SwK supports a Dom better than his 7.5 career-Dom in 2020. 
  • His FB% decrease and fewer hard-hit balls (28% hard-contact allowed) have helped his second-half ERA. His 93.6 exit velocity allowed on fly balls before July 1 has dropped to 89.3 mph on fly balls since July 1. His second-half xERA hints at an ERA below 5.00 in 2020. 
  • With more FpK in the second half, his improved Ctl is a fact. He has lowered his BB% against right-handed batters from 8% in 2018 to 5% in 2019. While his 3.5 career Ctl needs a larger sample size, see if he can bounce back from his 3.5 Ctl in August.   

With more velocity on his fastball and three pitches with a double-digit SwK, he has the skills to best his 7.5 career-Dom in 2020. Allowing fewer fly balls and fewer hard-hit balls bode well for potential ERA benefits in 2020 if he can continue to avoid barrels. His above-average FpK in the second half supports his Ctl gains, and owners should monitor his Ctl in September to see if the gains stick. While his second-half skills (86 BPV) are closer to league average, his 57% DIS% points out that he still needs to work on limiting the inconsistent starts. 

 

Hernandez tries to build on strong July... Teoscar Hernandez (OF, TOR) finished the first half with a .198 BA, seven HR, and four SB. His .284 batting average with eight HR in July moved his R$ up in second half. Has he improved his skills, or did he just have a hot month?

Year   AB  HR/SB    BA   xBA  bb%  ct%    G/L/F   HctX   PX/xPX  hr/f  Spd  SBO
====  ===  =====  ====  ====  ===  ===  ========  ====  =======  ====  ===  ===
2016* 523  12/28  .262  .234    8   76  48/12/40   102   94/ 75   14%  134  34%
2017* 488  25/15  .252  .246    9   69  28/23/49    80  149/139   31%  124  22%
2018  476  22/ 5  .239  .238    8   66  36/20/44    90  157/149   16%  158  10%
2019  343  20/ 4  .222  .226   10   64  40/17/43    97  135/144   21%  121   9%
*Includes MLEs

His low ct% carries risk, but he has improved his second-half skills with a 65 BPV:

  • Although his xPX has remained above average, his 176 xPX, 114 HctX, and 98.7 mph exit velocity on fly balls in the second half back his second-half power. He has increased his average fly ball distance from 324 feet in the first half to 369 feet in the second half. His power metrics back 20+ HR in 2020.  
  • His below-average ct% has continued, and while his 114 second-half HctX is encouraging, his xBA and 65% career ct% point to a BA that could struggle again.  
  • Even with a sprint speed in the 93rd percentile in MLB, his Spd decline and 57% SB% temper expectations for SB in 2020. While his bb% can help his efforts, his SBO and SB% point to another single-digit SB total.  

Hernandez backed his July surge with a 92 BPV, and his above-average xPX with a strong exit velocity backs another 20+ HR season. His power probably won't come with BA help, as his below-average ct% and HctX point to an xBA and BA that may drag down a roster's BA. Even with an above-average sprint speed, his SB%, Spd drop, and SBO expect another single-digit finish, which is a likely outcome in 2020. Without much speed, his power carries more value in deeper leagues.  


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.