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The Decline of David Fletcher

May 16, 2022 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Decline of David Fletcher
Could David Fletcher be a second half sleeper for the Los Angeles Angels?
David Fletcher will be out for a while. (KeithAllisonPhoto.com)

We’ve never really paid much attention to Angel infielder David Fletcher — to our detriment in 2019 and 2020, but not so much since then.

We’re not sure why he didn’t enter our consciousness more, but we’re here with a closer look now to rectify this.

Fletcher enjoyed a solid rookie effort in 2018, putting up some decent counting cats in a half season, so perhaps 2019 should never have crept up on us as a surprise, but it did.

In his first full campaign, he showed more extra-base sock and a vastly improved walk rate, and while he may not have been much of a help to Fantasy owners in homers or steals, he offered enough in runs and BA to be useful, and even valuable in OBP leagues. Fletcher’s contact skills were off the charts, with only Hanser Alberto proving harder to strike out in 2019. Oh, and did we mention Fletcher has some serious defensive chops (at least in the virtual world… see video below)?

In 2020, he took his on-base skills to the next level, proving his emergence the season before was no fluke. By this point, Fletcher looked like the new Mark Loretta (a player who, back in the day, was once a hero for the Los Angeles Dodgers).

But then came last year, and while Fletcher saw more action than ever, actually proved more useful as a source of speed (15 thefts), and improved his contact rates, his chief allure — on-base skills — regressed dramatically, pulling most of his value with it.

So far this season, things have gotten even worse as his OBP is just .220, and perhaps we now know why:

It’s quite reasonable to assume that a core muscle problem like this was behind Fletcher’s declining results. Which begs the question: when he returns around the All-Star break, could he be closer to his 2019-20 form? If so, this is a second half sleeper to consider.

In the meantime, Luis Rengifo — one of a few Angels that has a chance to take advantage of Fletcher’s injury — is a whole lot more interesting. Rengifo has posted a .375 OBP in a very small sample size this year, but considering his minor league career mark is .361, it’s not out of scope. Rengifo is young enough to have upside, and he’s flashed more power and speed potential than Fletcher.

Still, assuming Fletcher isn’t a write-off for 2022, we’ll be following his progress very closely as the second half nears as he has the potential to be a very fruitful addition for the stretch run.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Originally from London, England, Deep Purple helped develop both heavy metal and hard rock. In 1971, the band planned to record Machine Head at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland, but the building burned down during a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention show. Hence the backstory to Deep Purple’s classic “Smoke on the Water,” one of the greatest songs in rock history.

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The Wire Troll: Brandon Drury Raising His Trade Value

May 14, 2022 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Brandon Drury Raising His Trade Value
And while he remains ice cold now, he had driven in runs in three straight before Friday, making him an intriguing buy-low, streaming or DFS option as he remains as asset in OBP leagues thanks to his superb strike zone judgment (he drew a pair of free passes Friday). Grossman’s BABIP has been ridiculously low lately, and that’s bound to normalize, so taking a flier now could provide nice returns.
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2021-22 NHL Wire Troll All-Star Team

May 9, 2022 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on 2021-22 NHL Wire Troll All-Star Team
Our top early-season recommendation, Rodriguez enjoyed a breakout campaign in which he played every game and saw his most ice time yet while recording career bests across the board. Given that he had only managed 34 goals over six previous seasons, he’s put himself in position to earn some serious green as an UFA this summer.
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The Wire Troll: Danny Jansen Returning Soon

May 7, 2022 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Danny Jansen Returning Soon
Well, that issue’s been resolved with Langeliers getting shipped to Oakland, which will help expedite his arrival in the majors. An eight-game hitting streak (snapped on Friday) and a video game-like power display so far this season (10 homers in 25 games) will help. You need to grab Langeliers now, especially in dynasty formats. Oh, did we mention he’s known more for his glovework behind the plate?
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The Wire Troll: Madison Bumgarner Has Returned

April 30, 2022 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Madison Bumgarner Has Returned
On Friday, he took over the leadoff spot and delivered with two hits, two runs, a dinger and a walk. Pitchers have been attacking Demeritte with fewer fastballs than ever, so perhaps he’s being taken a bit more seriously as a hitter. Perhaps you should follow suit for the next few weeks.
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