Dynasty Divorces: Eric Hosmer, Alec Bohm, Robert Puason and Christian Pache
This year we are pulling out all the stops for Dynasty Divorces. We are not only talking about prospects but this year we have added major leaguers. We never want you to get burned by someone in dynasty baseball. There are warning signs. It may be easier to spot those warning signs with the prospect in the minors, but we also know you can’t rule out warning signs with a seasoned veteran. We don’t want you to be married to a dynasty player by staying with them too long. In each installment, Brett (@beautyofgrace32) on Twitter and Taylor (@TCasesLoaded) on Twitter, will both highlight a prospect and a veteran. I guess you could say we are doubling down in Dynasty Divorces this year.
ROBERT PUASON, SS, OAK
Analysis by: Brett Cook
Let’s talk about another prospect that was highly touted. Robert Puason’s name was being thrown around as one of the prospects you had to get your hands on. Puason signed before the 2020 season and his only experience was through the alternate site. It is important to note that Puason is only 18 years old. At the same time many 18 year olds have played better than Puason has this year.
It wouldn’t be fair to allow Bohm the chance to bloom and not give Puason the same opportunity. The fact of the matter is that Puason’s value may never be this low again. How much lower can it get? Puason was one of only two international prospects in that signing season to walk away with a five million dollar signing bonus. The players who get paid a ton of money are more often than not the guys we want on our fantasy teams. The stat line isn’t pretty. He has struck out in nearly half of his 237 plate appearances. His BAPIP is over .400 and his batting average is under .220. Those numbers are atrocious. There is no other way to describe it.
VERDICT – POSEIDON OR PUASON
I think everyone reading this knows that Poseidon is the Greek god of the sea that was known for his violence. For those who have Puason you are like a ship at sea. His value may never be lower. How much lower can it get for a highly touted prospect that is struggling in A ball. You are currently sunk on the bottom of the ocean. Trading him isn’t a good option for you. You may wait and wait and wait for things to change and that day never comes, and if that is the case, then so be it. On the same point, if you are reading this and you don’t have Puason, then here is your buy low opportunity.
CRISTIAN PACHE, OF, ATLANTA BRAVES
Don’t forget about Cristian Pache.
I say that knowing full well you probably haven’t forgotten about him, but it felt right. You know who has forgotten about Pache in the last six months? Prospect lists. I know those pesky lists are not sentient beings, but nevertheless, you’d be lucky to find the Gwinnett Striper center fielder on a top-100 dynasty prospect list right now.
So what gives, as the kids say?
Feels like some good ol’ fashioned recency bias to me. There is no doubt that the 22-year-old is uber-talented, especially when he has boots in center. And he’s one of the few prospects I’ve seen with a 70-80-grade glove, depending on who you ask. I don’t play in any leagues where fielding is a stat category, but it’s intriguing regardless, and seems like a strong basis for a player to keep his bat in the lineup. Can he hit, though? Well, my gut says yes, he eventually will. He’s struggled with triple-A pitching to date, but if you scout the stat line from years past, you’ll find that he often has struggled at a given level before racking up enough plate appearance. I realize that’s purely anecdotal, but I’m still dreaming over his 2019 season in double-A where he hit for a 134 wRC+ with 11 homers and 8 steals.
Make no mistake, his 2021 stat line is not great: .238/.316/.393 with 6 homeruns and 5 steals, ultimately calc’ing out to a below-average 89 wRC+. The positives, however, are a slightly improved walk-rate (up to 9.6%) and stolen base pace that is also up from his 2019 breakout in double-A ball. He also had a nice 6-game hitting streak a few weeks back where he was seeing the ball really well, so here’s hoping he can string together a solid month soon and get recalled for good later this season.
VERDICT – I STILL THINK THIS CAN WORK
I really do think that Pache’s bat will eventually catch up to his glove. I traded him recently in a 30-team league for players that can help me win in the moment, but let me tell you, I already have that FOMO feeling. There’s certainly risk that he won’t reach his potential, but I think he could be worth the wait if you’re rebuilding with an eye on 2022 and beyond.
I’ll say it again: don’t forget about Cristian Pache.
ALEC BOHM, 3B, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Analysis by: Brett Cook
Let’s start with a show of hands. With the numbers Bohm put up last season paired with the off-season hype, I know that many people boarded the Bohm train. I am one of the passengers that boarded the Bohm train in complete trust that he was going to obliterate pitching from day one.
The truth is that didn’t happen this year. Bohm had a .207/.254/.304 stat line as he tallied 27 strikeouts through the month of April. The month of May wasn’t any better as he hit .200/.252/.300 while adding 31 strikeouts to bring him to 58 in 192 plate appearances.. These numbers are nowhere near the .367/.421/.514 stat line he put up in September and October of 2020.
The good news is that Bohm turned a corner in June and hasn’t looked back. The last two full months Bohm hit over .300 and close to .300 and had an on base percentage near the .400 mark each month. He slugged .380 in June and then upped the ante with a whopping .481 slugging percentage through the month of July.
VERDICT – BOHMIAN RHAPSODY
The ways Bohm has improved since June is real life. This isn’t fantasy. Well it is fantasy baseball. Did I lose you? See what I did there? If not go listen to the first two lines of Bohemian Rhapsody! Alec Bohm was given the comparison of Freddie Freeman in the offseason. Is that a good comparison or a bad comparison? Not sure. Let’s allow Alec Bohm to be Alec Bohm. Let’s allow Bohm to bloom. Maybe Bohm’s production in the first two months was like the seed in the snow that was buried to grow but first has to deal with the harshness of winter. In this analogy, April and May were his winter. Let me put it this way. Dynasty baseball owners are like farmers. Patience is required to let a player bloom. Stick with Bohm. You will not regret it.
ERIC HOSMER, OF, SAN DIEGO PADRES
Eric Hosmer has had an interesting career. He’s up, he’s down, he’s…well, he’s all over the place, honestly. So let’s get right to it: is Eric Hosmer worth keeping on your dynasty baseball rosters? I know, right? What a genius, insightful question.
Now that I’ve veered off right as I said I’d dive in, let’s actually dive in. On the recently-dropped Top-500 OBP Rankings, Joe Garino and I have Hosmer ranked at #328 Overall, split between low and high rankings of #296 and #361, respectively. I’ll admit, I’m lower on him than Joe, and not just because I have the honor of watching him send endless ground-punishers out to second basemen league-wide on what feels like a nightly basis. No! the reason I’m lower on Hosmer at this point (and to be clear, Joe actually had to convince me to include him in the rankings at first), is that over his last 455 games, or since he became a San Diego Padre, he has accumulated exactly 0.2 fWAR. For context, that number ranks 30th over the last four seasons for first basemen with a minimum of 1,000 plate appearances. For additional context, thats 0.9 fWAR less than Justin Smoak, who hasn’t played an MLB game since September of 2020.
Needless to say, my hesitancy to rank Hosmer at all stems from what I perceive to be paltry individual contributions to his real-life team.
However. And there’s a period there because I need to compose myself before I say this: Hosmer can still contribute to fantasy rosters in standard 5×5 Roto leagues. He’s fallen quite a bit on some rankings lists, and he won’t blow you away in any specific category, but as I’ve stated before, counting stats don’t get enough love. And Hosmer’s 162-game average slash since he’s been a Padre is .265/.323/.416 with 21 homers, 164 runs and RBI, with a few steals to boot. At the very least, that’s better than paltry. And his walk-to-strikeout ratio is the highest it’s been in years, so let’s hope the change in approach sticks. Now we just need to get those balls out of the dirt!
VERDICT – COULD BE BETTER, COULD BE A LOT WORSE
Do I think there were most likely better fantasy options at first base when you drafted Eric Hosmer? Sure, probably. But is he killing your Roto team? Probably not. For now, he’s a hold and hope for the best.