Jake Marisnick’s Flawed Output
Jake Marisnick has always been a bit of a tease to fantasy owners. He has hovered in the middle of prospect rankings because he is a player of extremes. He first really hit radars in 2011 where he hit .320/.392/.500 over 118 games in the Blue Jays system with 14 home runs and 37 stolen bases. Since then his career has not only seen his tools at the extremes, but also his outputs. He is now in his 3rd organization after coming over to the Astros from the Marlins and despite all his flaws, he may be someone able to do a lot of fun things for your team for cheap.
Before we get into fantasy production let’s quickly talk about the stuff that doesn’t show up in a 5×5 league. Marisnick now has opportunity, the Astros have moved George Springer and Colby Rasmus to the corners for Marisnick. This is because Marisnick is an excellent defensive center fielder. His fielding won’t win you your league, but it will keep him in the lineup despite some obvious real life flaws in his profile.
In terms of price, Marisnick is dirt cheap right now. We rated him the 94th outfielder in dynasty leagues, Bret rated him the 371st best player, and by these rankings I just overdrafted him with the 308th pick in a brand new dynasty league. Marisnick is young, he just turned 24 a bit over a week ago. So there is a chance to get someone who might not be a cornerstone for your team, but could be a deserving keeper going forward.
So far in the majors, Marisnick has run out a .227/.264/.300 batting line in 105 games to go with 14 stolen bases and 4 home runs. It is as unimpressive as it gets, especially when you factor in the 3.9% BB% and 26.5% K%. Much like every year, hope spring eternal each spring as Marisnick added to an already impressive career spring line of .357/.411/.548 with a .333/.404/.533 1 HR 4 SB 2015 (in 18 games). Now this seems to indicate there is something to the AAAA label creeping in, but also that there is some talent here.
It isn’t just this talent that makes Marisnick interesting, with the move from Miami to Houston, he goes from the 23rd best park for RHBs to the 7th best park, and for home runs he goes from the 30th best park to the 8th best park. Which partially explains why he hit .167/.216/.167 as a Marlin and .272/.299/.370 as an Astro last year. We see it even more when we see that he hit .301/.337/.458 at Minute Maid Park with 3 home runs in 25 games. This isn’t to say this is entirely sustainable, but he could hit 10+ home runs at home in 2015 if he plays all year. Couple that with a 20+ SB a year pace (even with pitiful on base numbers) and you have something close to what ZiPS predicts for him, a hitter with an average around .240 with 11 HRs and 21 SBs.
This comes to the final conclusion of sorts. In 2014, 26 outfielders stole 20 or more bases, of those only 9 of them hit at least 10 home runs. The average is going to hurt, and it is the difference between Marisnick and a player like Christian Yelich. But you may be able to game the average some with careful platooning to mitigate it some. As for the other counting stats, he is currently batting 9th for a team with a ton of power in its lineup so he may be a bit sneaky with the runs if he can get on base some. Marisnick might not win you your league, but as a OF 4 or OF 5 he can give you better stats than a lot of guys taken around him, and come with big upside if he can work through the approach.