Risers and Fallers



As you may have noticed, we’ve been updating some of the trade values on our site recently. In a normal season, barely one month of data would be considered too small of a sample size. But in this weird 2020, it represents half of a season. And with the trade deadline fast approaching, teams are evaluating players using the same amount of data we have — and in some cases, already making transactional decisions based on what they’re seeing.

So we’re aligning with that — albeit carefully. We started with the edge cases — those players who are at the extremes of being hot or cold. A hitter with an OPS over 1.000, say, or under .600; a starting pitcher with an xFIP well over 6.00, or well under 2.00; relievers with strongly positive or negative WPAs.

So far, this has squared well with the minor transactions we’re seeing — DFA’s of guys like Daniel Robertson, Ildemaro Vargas, and Scott Schebler; guys with options, who are underperforming, being sent down — such as Mallex Smith and Jordan Yamamoto.

In some cases, we’re seeing players who have seemingly transformed themselves suddenly getting hot. These include relievers Gregory Soto, Josh Staumont, and Jordan Romano — none of whom were really on anyone’s radar before this. Dylan Bundy and Wil Myers have found new life. And we also have to acknowledge the continued hot performances of late bloomers, such as Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano, and just about every hitter on the Orioles.

In other cases, some guys have been inexplicably cold, and seen their values fall a fair amount. These include much buzzed-about trade candidates Matthew Boyd and Robbie Ray, former top prospects Vladimir Guerrero, Jr, Austin Riley, and Kyle Wright, and former top closer Brad Hand. Injuries also play a role, as in some cases, such as with Kirby Yates, they’ve wiped out the rest of the season

We know, however, that these performances won’t last at their current pace. We believe strongly in regression to the mean — for the most part. But we also think an extreme performance now has meaning, and must be accounted for.

Here’s just a sampling of the list:

Risers: Starting Pitchers

Risers: Relievers

Risers: Hitters

Fallers: Starting Pitchers

Fallers: Relievers

Fallers: Hitters

Clearly there are some big names that have gotten off to cold starts. Things will change, of course, over the next month — so we expect the players on this list will change as well.



About the Author

John Bitzer

John Bitzer

Founder and editor of baseballtradevalues.com