- Rougned Odor's power simply isn't worth the price you need to pay for it.
Rougned Odor is going to hit for power. That’s a guarantee. He belted 33 homers in 2016. 30 in 2017, and 18 in just 129 games in 2018. He’s had HR/FB ratios of at least 13.7% each year, and a total HR/FB ratio of 15.8% over the three seasons. He doesn’t have a homer yet, but he will soon enough.
Here’s the big question, though. Will they matter? Balanced against his other stats, will the homers move the needle? The bet here is that they won’t, and that’s why he leads our look at fantasy baseball Droppables this week.
Odor’s power has always come at a significant price. He ranked 32nd in strikeout rate among the 144 batters with 500-plus plate appearances in 2018. The year before that, his owners paid for his 30 homers in the form of a .204/.252/.397 slash line. He had a .171 isolated slugging percentage in 2018, and a .193 mark in 2017. Those ISOs were good for 79th and 69th, respectively, in the league those two seasons. Odor’s lack of on-base skills put all the pressure on his power numbers, and even those aren’t reliable enough to justify his high ownership rate.
Odor has seven hits and 15 strikeouts in his first 47 plate appearances this year. He’s not going to be this quiet all year, but how long of a slump do you really want to sit though, for a payoff of, say, 20 homers and 10 steals? Especially given the evidence that the ball is a bit more on the juicier side than it was last season? The negatives in Odor’s fantasy profile outweigh the positives, and that should land him on the waiver wire in plenty of leagues.
What that, let’s get to the rest of this week’s Droppables.
Matt Harvey, SP, Angels
Harvey landed on some watch lists at the end of spring training, and was a potential flier in deeper leagues after pitching well enough with the Reds last season. He fanned 111 batters in 128 innings with the Reds, and posted his lowest walk rate since 2015. That optimism, however, has evaporated.
Harvey has been shelled for 16 earned runs on 21 hits and seven walks in 14 1/3 innings. He has just 11 strikeouts and has surrendered four homers on 15 fly balls. The Dark Knight is not rising.
A pitcher’s division can be an overrated data point, but pitching in the AL West won’t help Harvey. There’s no guarantee he’ll face any one team more than another, but it stands to reason that he’ll see the mighty Houston, Oakland and Seattle lineups more than a few times this year. A revival in both the ball and Harvey’s HR/FB ratio could create some ugly stat lines against those three teams.
Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels
We’re not done with the Angels. Calhoun hit a pair of dingers in his first seven games, and that provided some hope that he could return to his previous form of being a 20-homer threat. He has cooled off since then, striking out 10 times in his last 25 plate appearances, looking more like the Calhoun of the last two seasons. That version failed to slug better than .400 and had a worse OPS than all but six hitters with more than 500 plate appearances in 2018. Given the depth of the outfield position, Calhoun shouldn’t be on the radar in most leagues.
Keone Kela, RP, Pirates
Kela entered 2019 as an intriguing non-closer fantasy reliever because of his ability to miss bats and status as the primary setup man for the Pirates.. He hasn’t held up his end of the bargain, though, allowing four runs on five hits, including two homers, and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. he does have six strikeouts, but there’s as much value in the gaudy rates of the elite non-closing relievers as there is in their strikeouts. If either one of those isn’t part of the equation, the reliever in question, in this instance Kela, no longer has meaningful fantasy value.