Thursday, March 3, 2016


When Cuban exodus of players to the major leagues began a few seasons ago, there were some smashing instant star debuts that really got the market rate shooting sky-high in terms of investing in these international hitters and pitchers.  Jose Fernandez, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Abreu were all first-season stars and are currently keeping that momentum going as one of the best at their respective positions.  As a result, there has been an even more pronounced rate of arrivals from Cuba into the major leagues but the success rate so far for a lot of these players has not been great at all.  One such case is possibly unfolding in Arizona in the form of Yasmany Tomas who garnered a ton of attention at the fantasy baseball draft table a year ago after he signed a six-year free agent deal worth $68.5 million despite not having taken one at-bat in a minor or major league.  Still the D-Backs talked up Tomas' power potential and his overall abilities as a hitter.  While many shared that sentiment, the D-Backs made a crucial early error with Tomas by having him begin spring training of 2015 manning third base despite him having very serious range and defensive problems.  True to form, Tomas was a disaster at third base in early spring training games and he also couldn't hit a lick either.  Instant excuses were made for Tomas, with the most ardent being that his head was too clouded with his problems at third base which was causing his struggles with the bat.  The D-Backs then shifted Tomas to the outfield but were too far along in spring training to have him break camp with the team in April. 

After a few weeks of seasoning in the minors, Tomas was called up in mid-April as expectations began to circulate again regarding his power potential.  Once again showing that he would not go with any sort of script, Tomas reversed his hitting projections by putting up a shockingly good .313 average but only 5 home runs during the first half of the season.  It was predicted that Tomas would be known more for power like a Yoenis Cespedes and not the average due to the fact he had some sizable holes in his swing which would result in a ton of strikeouts.  Tomas went the other way with that notion however which made him more infuriating to own.  Be that as it may, his fantasy baseball owners continue to run with him since the average was good and the power would show up eventually. 

Once the All-Star Game was in the books, the bottom completely fell out on Tomas as opposing pitchers began to finally exploit the holes in Tomas' swing as he struck out a ridiculous 55 times in his 154 second half at-bats for a .208 average.  The power also failed to show up again as Tomas hit just 4 home runs.  The bottom line numbers were 9 home runs, 48 RBI, and a .273 average.  Even the average was fluky and should not have been that high due to the fact Tomas had a very lucky .324 BABIP and his 25.8 percent K rate was ugly.  The bottom line was that Tomas was one gigantic bust both in real and fantasy baseball. 

When you put it all together, Yasmany Tomas looks like a very shaky investment for 2016 fantasy baseball.  He is slated to be the team's everyday leftfielder this season but Tomas struggled too much against righties, struck out too much, and did not show hardly any power in 2015 to call into questions his use in our fake game.  There are simply way too many question marks for us to advise investing in Tomas as anything more than a late round grab with the idea he could possibly be a post-hype sleeper.  We are not thinking this will happen and so it probably is best to let Tomas pass on by in the draft.  Yoenis Cespedes he certainly is not based on the early numbers and hitting rates from last season. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .259 14 HR 65 RBI 56 R 8 SB 


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