Dynasty BaseballTriple Play

TDG’S Triple Play: Philadelphia Phillies!

The Triple Play is back for a fifth season! This regular feature is broken down by senior writer Phil Barrington and he is joined by a rotating panel of some of the best Dynasty Baseball writers in the business. If you’re new to the Triple Play, this series breaks down an arm, a bat, and a prospect within each organization for your reading pleasure!

Follow Phil (@barrington_phil), Aaron Cumming (@SABRtoothTigers), Ben Sanders (@HPBenSanders) and Brian Shanks (@Brian59044) on Twitter and read their analysis here at the site!


Alec Bohm, Age: 25, Position: 3rd Base

Analysis by: Brian Shanks

Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bohm

Alec Bohm was drafted in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies number 3 overall out of Wichita State. His Stats at Wichita State were as follows:

G   

PA  

AB 

R   

H  

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO 

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

166

722

635 

121

201

40

4  

33  

125 

14  

3  

77  

84  

.317

.393

.548

.941

348

Heralded as one of the best college bats coming out, he clearly was worthy of the selection. My favorite part of the college stats are the minuscule strikeouts. If you strike out against college pitching, it is a major red flag of mine. That is not to say the kids can’t figure it out but I want to see it before I buy it. Turning the page to his first year in the minors, he had a decent showing in his first taste of professional pitchers with a line of .252/.335/.324. Clearly the power was nowhere to be found in his first year but once again the batter’s eye was there with 23 strikeouts in 139 at bats, a sweet 16%. 

Bohmshell

Being bereft of power that first year and being regarded as a plus raw power player, Bohm showed out in 2019 with 21 home runs in 475 at bats across three levels.  Between Single-A ball, Full and Advance, Bohm had 237 at bats and collected 81 hits for an average of .341 while tapping into that power that had been talked about. The power display gave us seven dingers, 19 doubles and three triples before getting the call to my favorite aspect of the minors, Double-A.  Bohm didn’t struggle much with the aggressive push and batted .269/.344/.500 slash line, hitting 14 home runs while knocking in 42 RBI and keeping those strikeouts down in the 16% range. 

I don’t want to talk too much about the oddities of 2020 but Bohm got to skip Triple-A and was the Phillies full-time 3rd baseman through the 2020 season and it was spectacular. He had a .338 average in 160 at bats with an on-base percentage of .400 and slugged .481 while, once again, keeping that strikeout percentage low at 22 percent. The future could not have been any brighter for the young man but baseball is rarely stagnate and along came 2021 and 2022. 

Bohm or Bust

2021 was a beyond frustrating year for Bohm as his strikeout percentage flew towards 30% and the power laid dormant. His on-base plus slugging fell 240 points. Not to mention his fielding completely crumbled as he had 15 errors and a fielding percentage of .936 while playing 3rd base. Did the frustration of not hitting cause the fielding or did the fielding cause the not hitting? Sophomore slump? 

Bohm has been much better this year, minus an apology to Philly fans for saying he “F@#%ing hates this place,” after getting booed for committing a couple errors. Bohm has cut that strikeout percentage back down to the 21% mark and the average back up to .286. I think Bohm is starting to play within himself again and not pushing so hard to be a hero. He is playing his game and the game is coming to him naturally again. He has all the tools to lead your fantasy baseball team to the promised land. Everything in the minors, plus a full season of good has to outweigh a full season of bad in my opinion, he is only 25 years old and I believe he can play his way to being an all-star caliber 3rd baseman.  

 


Ranger Suárez, Age: 26, Position: SP

Analysis by: Aaron Cumming

Ranger Suárez may have been 2021’s most interesting player. He went from a nondescript prospect to a statistical unicorn. In the last 110 years, no pitcher has had as many strikeouts, wins, and saves as he did with a lower ERA. (To be fair, John Wetteland’s ERA was only 0.01 higher in 1993.) Signed on the international market out of Venezuela at just 16 years old, 2022 is his fifth major league season despite being just 26 years old. He occasionally graced the Phillies’ top ten prospect lists from major publications, but was never considered top tier. Did everybody get it wrong? Or was 2021 just a small sample miracle?

Son of a Sugarman

After 67.2 uninspiring innings across the previous three seasons, Ranger did not make the big league club out of Spring Training last year. He was recalled in early May, and became part of the B-squad in a bad bullpen, throwing in blowouts and early relief innings. To everyone’s surprise, he was dominant in those outings. When Héctor Neris’s struggles warranted his demotion out of the closer role, Suárez was given the chance in early July. He earned four saves and maintained his brilliance before the organization realized they needed his skills in their rotation. He garnered his first start of the year in August and began stretching out to a full workload. There was no hurdle that he couldn’t manage, as he continued this elite per-inning performance while adding bulk; he even managed to throw a complete game, 4-hit shutout by the end of the season.

When it was all said and done, Suárez ended the year with over a strikeout per inning, eight wins, and four saves. He did all that with a sparkling 1.36 ERA. In fact, sparkling might be underselling it. Among all pitchers with at least 100 innings thrown in 2021, his ERA was first by more than an entire run (Carlos Rodon was next at 2.37). Not only did he help catapult any fantasy teams lucky enough to pick him up to the top of their leagues, but he added some long awaited stability to a Phillies pitching staff that had a huge drop-off after Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. He was locked into the rotation in 2022 and expectations were high.

Within Range

Even Suárez’s most passionate supporters didn’t plan for him to simply duplicate his otherworldly performance from last year, but they definitely didn’t think he would have such a mediocre start to the year. Granted, through his first eight starts, he has yet to give up more than three earned runs. But unfortunately, he has only given up fewer than three earned runs in three of those games. He hasn’t had the same arsenal, and that has led to a drop in groundball rate, a drop in K-rate, a jump in BB-rate, and harder contact given up. A 4.12 ERA doesn’t seem all that bad, but when that is roughly triple the number he put up last year, that counts as disappointing.

When you dig into his pitches, you can see the main culprits: diminished movement on his changeup and slider. Those were his out pitches to complement a solid sinker, and if they are missing their spots, then it makes everything more hittable. This is where narrative plays a huge role; in addition to the lockout shortened issues that everyone experienced, Suárez dealt with visa issues and was on an even more truncated throwing program than most other pitchers. The game logs show things are trending in the right direction, allowing a pass for having to face the Dodgers in back-to-back starts. If he can continue to improve his command of the off-speed and breaking pitches, he can work his way back to the groundball machine that dazzled fans last year. I expect to see a nice bounce back, and think this is the prime time to acquire a very exciting pitcher.

 


Andrew Painter, Age: 19, Position: SP, Level: Low-A

Analysis by: Ben Sanders

Paint it Black

Teenage pitchers? Bah, humbug! My years of dynasty experience have made me a firm believer in TINSTAAPP. Not that there’s literally no such thing as a pitching prospect, but that they aren’t a particularly good use of roster space. Not only do they get hurt and bust at an alarming rate, but even the ones that succeed often don’t do so until after they’ve broken a few hearts. Lucas Giolito was at one time regarded as the best pitching prospect in baseball, and is now an ace, but many dynasty managers cut bait during his disastrous 2018.

I have found it easier to rummage through the post-hype bargain bin looking for discarded Giolitos than it is to hold them from the low minors to MLB-Acedom. Andrew Painter, however, has captured my attention. Even as a devout unbeliever in young arms, I must admit that his start to his MLB career has been unusually impressive.

Paint by Numbers

Painter, the 13th pick in the 2021 MLB draft, did not allow an earned run through his first 29 professional innings. He pitched six scoreless at the complex level as a rookie, striking out 12 of 21 batters he faced, and that dominance has carried over to full-season ball. Pitching for Low-A Clearwater, he struck out 14 of 16 in a game against Tampa on April 23, with 20 of his 70 pitches producing swinging strikes. Even after some minor struggles recently, he still has a 50 percent K-rate, 1.35 ERA, and 0.94 WHIP on the season.

Painter was considered very mature and polished for a pitcher drafted out of high school, and has been able to add muscle to his imposing 6’7 frame. His fastball velocity has gone up since he was drafted, now sitting in the high 90s and breaking 100 at times. That fastball and a dominant slider were all he needed against Tampa, though scouts see his changeup and curveball as potential plus pitches as well.

The Joy of Painting

Painter’s Low-A dominance is far from a guarantee of MLB success, and he comes with all the risks of any teenage pitcher. He walked five of the 15 batters he faced in his last start, so his command isn’t perfect. He will also have to use his secondaries more as he moves up the ladder. Injuries are not only possible, but likely.

However, Painter looks as promising as any teenage pitcher I can remember. He should obviously already be rostered in all dynasty formats, but he is the rare young arm I would try to target in a trade for a rebuilding squad. Sometimes even the most pragmatic dynasty managers have to throw caution to the wind and dream a little bit, and this is an arm to dream on.

The Author

Phil Barrington

Phil Barrington

Fantasy player since 1999, specializing in OPS leagues. Accountant by day, fantasy writer by night. Spreadsheets are life. Currently traveling throughout Europe. Follow my travels at https://waypastcool.org/

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