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Dynasty Building Blocks, Bargain Spotlight: Randall Delgado

For those of you that have been following along with the Bargain Spotlight series, you have already read about Hector Santiago, Matt Adams, and Mike Moustakas. For those of you that haven’t, we’ll all wait while you catch up to the class….

….Ok so now that we are all on the same page, this will be the last Bargain Spotlight post of this season. I will be starting a Sell High series next week. I’d like to provide one disclaimer before we get started breaking down Randall Delgado. I went into this article with a completely different view on him, and i was quite surprised and somewhat perplexed by the stats and trends that i was noticing. So the following article was written off the cuff based entirely by my surprise. Enjoy!

Bargain Spotlight

Randall Delgado    Team: ARI    Pos: RHP    Age: 23

Randall Delgado was signed out of Panama in 2006 by the Atlanta Braves. He made his first appearance on Baseball America’s Top 100 after the 2010 season with a #35 ranking. His arsenal includes a 91-94 mph fastball that can touch 96, as well as a two-seam fastball with similar velocity. He also has control over a plus curveball that sits in the high 70’s and a usable change-up that lives in the low 80’s. Most fans of Delgado’s expected him to break onto the major league scene in 2011 but that was not to be the case. He has had some control issues in the high minors and that has led to some of his luster wearing off, a perfect storm for dynasty league managers. So far in his professional career he has pitched 871.2 innings spread across all levels. The reason I bring that up is because those innings are split across low minors (A+ or lower), high minors (AA-AAA) and MLB just enough to remove sample size concerns.

Level

IP

ERA

WHIP

FIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

Low

355.1

3.29

1.22

3.08

9.9

3.1

0.6

High

291.0

4.48

1.44

4.16

8.8

4.1

1.0

MLB

225.1

3.83

1.27

4.50

6.6

3.0

1.2

At first glance, you’re probably noticing that his FIP, K/9 and HR/9 are going in the wrong direction. To be honest, I didn’t notice that trend until I laid the stats out in this table. So I’m going to diverge from my original plan of attack and investigate this a bit further. Since he only pitched in 7 games in 2011, I’m going to focus on his 2012 campaign with the Braves and his 2013 stats with the Diamondbacks.

Year

IP

ERA

WHIP

FIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

2012

92.2

4.37

1.41

4.07

7.4

4.1

0.8

2013

97.2

3.69

1.16

4.35

6.5

1.8

1.5

Year

O-Sw%

Z-Sw%

O-Con%

Z- Con%

F-Str%

SwStr%

2012

30.4

62.3

69.7

85.4

60.9

9.0

Average

30.8

64.7

66.8

87.2

59.8

9.1

2013

35.2

62.3

74.4

85.3

62.9

8.9

Average

30.8

65.4

66.7

87.2

60.4

9.2

With these tables we can identify a few interesting issues. First, Delgado has an a great BB/9 this year with Arizona, but the reason for that is that he has a 74.4% contact rate on balls outside of the zone. Considering that the league average is 66%, that rate seems quite fluky to me. Secondly, combine that with the 35% swing percentage on balls outside the zone and a below average zone swing %, it tells me that he is fooling hitters, and getting them to swing at balls and take strikes. He has lowered his LD% from 21.9 to 19.8 this season, and his GB% decreased as well, 50.2 to 44.6 this season. With his FB% being raised from 27.9 to 35.6% this season, it’s pretty simple to see that hitters are making better contact and when they swing at balls outside of the zone, he is getting more fly balls. This has led to his increased HR/FB rate, 10.7% to 15.1%.

What does all of this mean?

My semi-educated answer is….Delgado needs to reduce the number of fly balls, especially pitching in Chase Field with a Park Factor of 112. I like that he is able to fool hitters and is getting them to swing at balls, but he’ll need to continue that trend and keep the ball down in order to reduce the long ball. If he can do this we’ll see that his K/9 rate will go up incrementally from the increased number of swinging strikes outside of the zone. Since, his K/9 is at a sub 7 level his value in the eyes of dynasty managers could be quite low.

Now, after all of this information, you’re probably asking, why should I believe that his value will go up? The answer to this one is pretty basic. In the 15 starts for Arizona this season he has 10 quality starts, good velocity and control of his pitches. He has the pedigree of a top prospect, and because of his struggles keeping the ball in the park, his value could be at an all-time low. As we have seen in the recent past, the Diamondbacks can produce break out pitchers yearly, and like Miley and Corbin before him, I think Delgado will be a guy next season.

Blueprint:

Delgado is currently owned in 1.9% of ESPN leagues and 34% of CBS leagues, although only being started in 18% of said CBS leagues. In the deepest of league varieties, I can see him being owned right now, but that won’t stop me from trying to acquire him in the off season. There is a very good chance that he will be available in the draft in keeper leagues, and I would not think twice about taking him. For those of you in contract leagues, or deep, deep keeper leagues, he could probably be had in trade for a middle tier prospect, someone outside of the top 100. At least, that’s what I would be looking to offer for him. If you can talk his owner down based on his K/9 and FIP I believe that you will be in for quite the reward in 2014.

The Author

Andy Barnes

Andy Barnes

2 Comments

  1. Matt
    September 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    All over Delgado. He screamed post hype sleeper in spring training and your analysis just backs that up. Definitely going to be looking to lock him up long term.

  2. […] At this point in the draft we were very pleased with the solid rotation we had built at the major league level (Price, Masterson, Cain, Griffin, Peralta and Pineda). However, we knew that we would only be able to get a couple of solid years out of top tier guys, so we needed to invest in some youth. We started that trend with Peralta (24) and Pineda (25) but wanted to continue it for a few more selections. Our goal was to target pitchers that fell into one of two categories- A) major league level and under 25 or B) minor league level with high upside. I also wrote an article on Delgado back in the fall, which you can find here. […]

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