The Dynasty Guru’s Triple Play: The New York Mets!
Welcome to The Dynasty Guru’s Triple Play! This is a brand-new series where three very cool dynasty baseball nerds- Adam Lawler, Patrick Magnus, and Keaton O. DeRocher- bring to you a succinct analysis of a pitcher, a hitter and a prospect from each organization. We’ll be running this regularly until we cover all 30 teams!
Each team will be covered in alphabetical order. This article we’re covering the New York Mets. And, while we here at The Dynasty Guru are primarily baseball obsessed, we’ll also be touching on some music we’ve enjoyed from each team’s home state. Enjoy, and leave us your question and comments below!
Michael Conforto, 25, OF
Analysis by: Patrick Magnus
Guess Who’s Back?
The former Mets’ top prospect recently made the return from a pretty nasty injury. TDG’s own Dr. Mike Tanner described Conforto’s injury as follows:
“The tissues that keep the shoulder in place were torn, causing instability. He was diagnosed with a posterior shoulder capsule tear and required arthroscopic surgery. The surgery repaired the instability by tightening the shoulder capsule and surrounding tissues.”
That sounds awful. You can read the Dr. Mike Tanner’s full injury report here. The good news is the that the overall prognosis is positive and that Conforto should return to full health by the end of this year.
All the Ingredients of a Dynasty Stud
There are a ton of positive indicators that scream “sky-high potential” for the young outfielder. He made his debut in 2015, and thus we’ve got a fair chunk of major league plate appearances to examine.
As you can see, prior to the injury in 2017 all the pieces were coming together. Conforto was able to make the same amount of contact while improving his patience at the plate. He was also pretty damn good at hitting the baseball hard and out of the park.
Conforto’s Batted Ball Profile is What Dreams are Made of
Don’t let society determine your definition of beauty, but do let Michael Conforto’s batted ball profile define beauty. Conforto does an amazing job at spraying the ball around the park; in fact the only other player I’ve analyzed with anything similar would be Bo Bichette, and he’s not a Major Leaguer yet.
I love, love, love that spray chart. It’s rare to find a hitter that can spray the ball to all parts of the field, and it’s glorious when you find one. What makes Conforto even more beautiful is how he hits the ball.
Sexy. While you may not be “impressed” with the fly-ball rate, that line drive rate is very good. In 2017 he managed to even improve on his career line by boosting his line-drive rate to 25%, which was 5% above league average. You can bet that will make that all fields approach sustainable. Cap that approach off with a career walk rate of 11.5%? MERCY!
But Wait, There’s More!
Take a look at Conforto’s Zone Charts courtesy of Baseball Savant
If a baseball comes into the strike zone, there’s a pretty good chance that Mr. Met will hit the baseball. The outside corners appear to be a bit of an issue for him, but he’ll make you pay if you miss.
During his 2017 breakout season, Conforto was sending baseballs out of the park on a frequent basis. His home run per flyball rate was an astounding 27.3%. That’s unlikely to continue, but that doesn’t mean he won’t hit for power.
|Year||Average Exit Velo||Average Launch Angle||ISO||Hard%|
More salivating stats from this New Yorker. Conforto has been posting ISOs near the .200 range since Double-A in 2015. The quality of contact Conforto makes is important too, and in 2017 he ranked 41st in barrels per plate appearance according to Baseball Savant.
Big Dreams, Big Bat, Big Apple
Michael Conforto is the stuff dynasty dreams are made of, beautiful, wonderful, sexy stats. The window for acquiring him with any discount due to his injury has likely passed. I know I failed to secure his services in the majority of my leagues, but don’t’ make the same mistake. It’s my opinion that you should sell the farm for Conforto. This is a perennial 30 homer bat with strong rations, and he’s only 25.
This year is likely to be a mixed bag for the New York Metropolitans’ budding young outfielder. Thus far the Mets have been rather conservative in their approach as to how often to deploy Conforto. He may also slump and underperform, although he’s hit the ground running in his short time back thus far. If there is another lull in production from Conforto this year pounce. He’s a dynasty outfield one, with potential for being a top 30 player.
Patrick’s Artist Selection
Thomas Szapucki, Age: 21, SP
Analysis by: Keaton O. DeRocher
Mets Sleeper Szaprospect
Drafted out of Dwyer High School in Florida by the Mets in the 4th round of the 2015 draft, Szapucki had originally committed to the University of Florida before eventually signing with the Mets for $375,000. In his pro debut in 2015 at Rookie ball, Szapucki pitched all of 2.1 innings and managed three strikeouts, no walks and four runs allowed. Szapucki put his filthy arsenal on display in his full season debut in 2016 and showed why there’s a good chance he just might be the steal of the 2015 draft. In 52 innings pitched, Szapucki registered a 1.38 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP, 20 walks and 86 strikeouts which translates to a 3.46 BB/9 and a 14.88 K/9.
The Whole Szapackage
Szapucki boasts two plus pitches (fastball and curveball) with a third on the way, assuming his changeup continues to develop. Want to see them in action? You’re damn right you do, but I have to warn you, his curveball will make you feel things.
His fastball peaks at 97 but sits more consistently in the 94-95 MPH range with some nice run to it that generates plenty of swing and miss action.
The curveball is just divine. A power curve with some saucey bite to it that freezes batters just as often it induces whiffs. His control comes and goes at times, but his command of all his pitches is workable and it’s not anything that looks like it will hold him back.
Szapick Him Up Now
Currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, there is no better time to buy. Before going down Szapucki got through 29 IP with a 2.79 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 27 strikeouts and 10 walks. I expect the drop in strikeouts was due to the injury and I’m not scared off by the small sample at all. Still just 21 years old, Szapucki has plenty of time to recover and return from TJ with a bang and cruise through the minors. Szapucki is the perfect buy low target because the reward potential is sky-high.
Keaton’s Artists Selection:
Let the beat, ummm, DROP
Robert Gsellman, 24, P
Analysis by: Adam Lawler
Robert Gsellman was good. Robert Gsellman was very bad. Robert Gsellman might be elite.
The New York lights shine bright on those who deserve (Syndergaard, DeGrom) and those who don’t (Harvey, Matz). Yet somehow, the worlds largest media market consistently overlooks the “other guys” (Wheeler, Lugo, Gsellman). Maybe it’s star power. Maybe it’s lack of track record. Maybe it’s the sheer fact that starters gon’ start and relievers gon’ relieve.
However, as a fantasy community, especially in dynasty formats, we must adjust our strategies to mimic baseball’s trend towards the bullpen-centric approach. Therefore, it’s important we begin to identify relievers who will be a commodity in the coming year or three. Staying ahead of the curve when recognizing trends and talents that fit those trends win pennants.
When analyzing Gsellman, the initial question to ask one’s self, “Should I believe Gsellman 1.0, Gsellman 2.0, or Gsellman X?”
Gsellman 1.0: The Young Arm with a Cathedral Ceiling
This version still shines through depending on the lens you have opted to choose. When BP listed him as #30 on their 2017 Top 101 Dynasty list, they may have gotten a little ahead of their skis. They were priming him as an SP2. Another love story in the glorious novel of Warthen warriors. That’s OK. We all do it from time-to-time.
However, it’s now safe to accept that we were operating with blinders. Assuming 2016 Gsellman would maintain or increase his 8.46 K/9 when he was never a punch out starting pitcher was a fool’s errand. Moreover, the uptick to a career high 3.02 BB/9 along with an 81.3% LOB and a microscopic .20 HR/9 were all underlying indicators than an electric premiere literally zapped those who overextended themselves (me) to add him onto their dynasty roster.
Gsellman 2.0: Ricky Nolasco?
For all intents and purposes, this version was never a truly accurate representation of Gsellman. Gsellman’s 2017 value was, depending on who you consult, either slightly above or slightly below league average as a starter (Fangraphs WAR is .7, BP’s pWAR is -.87). If you wanted some context to that WAR designation, Gsellman’s Fangraphs WAR equaled Ricky Nolasco and his pWAR a little worse than… Ricky Nolasco. The same Ricky Nolasco who ranks 184 on TDG’s SP ranking list and who TDG writer Jeff Good had a very funny write up on. Granted, there are underlying reasons he could have been that bad, but still, Ricky Nolasco is not company I want to keep.
To be clear, if given the chance to start again, he wouldn’t be his 2017 self; he would undoubtedly be better. Once can draw reasonable assumptions he was never really healthy during the 2017 campaign as he dealt with multiple DL stints, his velocity was demonstrably down compared to career norms, and a strange change in pitch mix during mid-2017 led to bad results.
That said, we can assume that the arms available in and around the organization are going to limit the opportunities for him to start. If he does get the occasional spot start, that’s just a cherry on top of what he’s presenting as in 2018. Let’s just hope he doesn’t become gassed and end up suffering in later outings for it. My guess, given how exceptional the Mets bullpen has been, is that they’re not going to tinker all that much with his role.
Gsellman X: His Best Self
O Swing % – O Contact %
To put it in perspective: above is a blind sample and judge Gsellman’s current run of excellence. It includes names of multi-inning relievers who are largely considered elite and Gsellman. A note about the table: I included O Swing % – O Contact % to get a gauge of how lucky and unlucky pitchers have been in the early going. The higher the negative, the more contact has been made on pitches swung at outside the strike zone and thus a reasonable assumption they have been unlucky.
Now, onto the results. First, Josh Hader is Player 1. He is an angel. Hot damn he is sexy. Player 4 is Brad Peacock. We all like him, but let’s pump the breaks on how good he might be. 7+ H/9 is not elite and gives credence to a negative regression. Player 3 is Chris Devenski and he is actually better than the current results suggest. With the current drama in Houston’s bullpen, I might be kicking the tires on acquisition cost. Player 5 is Andrew Miller. Old reliable. Nothing more to say there.
Player 2, as you have deduced, is Robert Gsellman. He’s right in the thick of things with the most elite talents in the game and hardly anybody is talking about it right now. The Met’s are essentially giving him 2 innings per appearance to let him grip and rip and he’s excelling. While there will be any number of managers willing to overpay on the elite names and those with the most helium, you can still get Gsellman for a reasonable cost. Given the current trends of baseball and how the fantasy game will inevitably adjust. Now’s the time to make that move and get yourself a multi-inning ace.
Adam’s Music Selection
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s…Karen O. is tantalizing. This song brings my heart to a place of joy. Right now, they’re touring with LCD Soundsystem. I would give my kidney to be at that concert. Plz come to North Carolina.
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Previously Covered Teams
|NL CENTRAL||NL EAST|