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Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: NATHAN EOVALDI FOR MARTIN PRADO

Another day gone by and another day filled with trades that are shaping the 2015 fantasy baseball season.  The latest had the New York Yankees making a play for much-needed pitching as they sent second baseman Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps to the Miami Marlins for 1B Garrett Jones and SP Nathan Eovaldi.  So as we always do, let's dig in and find out how the trade impacts those players involved.

Nathan Eovaldi:  It was beyond stating the obvious that the Yankees needed starting pitcher.  After all their top two guys in C.C. Sabbathia (knee surgery) and Masahiro Tanaka (partially torn elbow ligament) are huge questions marks due to their poor health which also includes Michael Pineda who doesn't carry the type of paycheck his two rotation makes have.  Thus it is no surprise that the Yanks did the move as Eovaldi is an innings eater and is still young at only 25. 

Now as far as Eovaldi the player is concerned, he comes off a 2014 season that was pretty disappointing as he pitched to a 4.37 ERA and ugly 1.33 WHIP for the Marlins.  Eovaldi started the season impressively but he was hit hard all summer and into the fall which is primarily the reason the Marlins threw in the towel here.  However Eovaldi again is still very young at 25 and he can bring the heat as he averaged 98-mph with his fastball last season and touched 100 on more than a few occasions.  In fact on average Eovaldi was one of the hardest pure throwers of the baseball among ALL starting pitchers.  So with that said how is it possible Eovaldi struck out only 142batters in his 199.2 innings?  I mean someone who throws that hard should be a 200-K guy easy.  Well that is not the case with Eovaldi due to the fact his fastball comes in straight which of course is a very bad thing for a pitcher to do.  We have seen countless cases of hard-throwers such as this posting just all right K rates and getting hit around due to such a habit.  Major league hitters can hit any fastball that is straight, even one that comes in at 100.  Movement is the key and so far Eovaldi doesn't have that which is why we can't project his heat with generating more strikeouts this season.  In addition, Eovaldi takes as big a drop in ballpark as a pitcher can get in moving from spacious Miami to the launching pad that is Yankee Stadium.  While Eovaldi gave up only 14 home runs last season, that numbers will go up in his new locale.  In addition, Eovaldi will likely struggle to post an ERA under 4.00 and a useful enough WHIP again due to now pitching in the American League and in a rough home environment like he has with the Yankees.  Not a god development at all for Eovaldi and the trade makes him nothing but an SP 5 at best.

Martin Prado:  Shocking the Yankees dealt Prado as they absolutely raved about him after acquiring him from the Arizona Diamondbacks at least season's trade deadline.  Prado has always been one of the better pure hitters in baseball but his overall stat profile is a bit limited as his power is at best in the 15 territory.  Prado is a .300 hitter in his sleep who will always score a good amount of runs due to his high OBP.  Again 15 home runs is about as best as you can expect here and Prado has little to no speed so don't look for many steals.  However he takes a big drop in ballpark as well in moving from Yankee Stadium to Miami.  In fact the move likely puts Prado in the 10 home run area code unlike the 15 he could have smacked as a Yankee.  Second base is where you want to play Prado due to the shallow nature of the spot but he is just a low-end starting option after the deal.

THE REST:  Garrett Jones is nothing but a bench bat and sometime starter for the Yankees who has hit a nice amount of home runs over the last five seasons with a solid enough average.  The Yanks have a lot of corner infielders right now though so Jones is not going to play enough to be worth owning for a possible power boost.  Last but not least however is the gaping hole that is now at second base for the Yankees.  The trade could open up a spot for top second base prospect Rob Refsnyder who comes off a terrific 2014 season in the minors where he showed an advanced Martin Prado-like bat.  Refsnyder has to prove he can field but he now should be on all prospect lists going into spring training.

 
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