Fantasy Baseball Risers & Fallers: Carlos Rodon, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Patrick Corbin
Welcome to the Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers article for Week 3 (4/12-4/18). I will be covering some of the hottest and coldest players in baseball over the last week. This weekly column aims to provide some insight into the players’ success and/or struggles mentioned below. We’ll discover if their recent performances have any staying power or if it was just a flash in the pan. It’s still very early in the season, but we’ll soon have to start making difficult roster decisions in our season-long leagues. This upcoming week, as always, is huge for some of the fallers mentioned below, and it should also shed light on the sustainability of some of the risers. With that said, let’s get into it.
Carlos Rodon (SP – CWS)
Rodon only had one start last week, but it sure was a doozy. Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably already know what happened, but it’s worth reliving. The 28-year-old was just two outs away from a perfect game vs. the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday (April 14) before hitting Roberto Perez’s foot with a slider. He ended up “settling” for a complete game, seven strikeout no-hitter. Unless you were a Cleveland fan, you most likely found yourself cheering for Rodon on Wednesday. It was a clear reminder as to why we love this game.
The former top-prospect has battled injuries and inconsistency throughout his professional career, and you could just feel the motivation and drive behind every single pitch he threw on Wednesday, it was a sight to see. He even hit 99 mph on the radar gun in the ninth inning. Rodon has only made two starts this year, but he’s sporting a pristine 0.00 ERA, 0.36 WHIP, and 16:3 K/BB ratio over 14 innings. He has his encore performance on Monday vs. the Red Sox.
Justin Turner (3B – LAD)
It was almost as if the fantasy baseball community forgot about Justin Turner during draft season. He had an average NFC ADP of 202.6 through March 31 and was the 23rd third baseman off the board in the average fantasy draft. Now, as of Monday, he only ranks behind the magnificent Ronald Acuña Jr. in terms of offensive fantasy production. He’s reached base safely in 13-of-14 games to begin the year and reached multiple times in 10 of those games.
His season slash line has him looking like Ted Williams with a .404/.453/.772 batting line to go along with six doubles, five home runs, and 16 RBI over 57 at-bats. He was instrumental in the weekend series vs. division-rival San Diego, going 4-for-10 with a home run and three runs scored as the Dodgers took 2-of-3 games. Turner looks locked in, healthy, and motivated at the plate. This blazing hot start will eventually slow down, but lest we forget, he’s still a career .294/.370/.474 hitter.
Jed Lowrie (2B – OAK)
What year is it? Jed Lowrie collecting multi-hit performances for the Oakland A’s has us feeling like we took a time machine back to 2013. From April 12-16, Lowrie went 8-for-16 with two doubles, a home run, and seven RBI, which is good for a .500/.579/.813 batting line. That four-game streak was obviously incredible, but he was having a stellar season prior to that. His recent play is a big reason why the A’s have won eight games in a row after starting the year at 1-7.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. (2B – MIA)
Jazz Chisholm Jr., perhaps you’ve heard of him? The 23-year-old has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball over the last week and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. For the season, he ranks in the 94th percentile or better in the following categories: Sprint speed, Barrel rate, Walk rate, xSLG, and xwOBA. His season batting line is .325/.451/.675 with three doubles, one triple, three home runs, six RBI, and three stolen bases over 40 at-bats. He has some issues with strikeouts (25% strikeout rate), but he’s got a 13:9 K/BB ratio thus far.
His most impressive play to date was his mammoth 402 ft upper-deck home run off a 100 mph four-seam fastball from Jacob deGrom in Citi Field back on April 10. It had an exit velocity of 107.4 mph and a launch angle of 31 degrees. His talent and ceiling are both undeniable. He was the centerpiece of the Zac Gallen trade with the Diamondbacks, after all. He’ll have his fair share of growing pains, but if he is still somehow available in your league, drop everything you’re doing and snatch him up right now.
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 10, 2021
Yimi García (RP – MIA)
Garcia was instrumental in a pair of series wins for the upstart Marlins this last week. He picked up two wins and two saves as Miami took 3-of-4 at Atlanta and 2-of-3 from the Giants in a weekend series. Garcia worked 4 1/3 innings while allowing one unearned run, three hits, and posting a 5:1 K/BB ratio in his four appearances.
Anthony Bass (9.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 5:2 K/BB ratio over six innings) started out the season as the closer in Miami but struggled immediately, blowing his first two saves chances. Garcia is now manager Don Mattingly’s preferred ninth-inning option and has a firm grasp on the job. Entering Monday, he’s rocking a 2-1 record, 0.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 9:3 K/BB ratio over 9 1/3 innings. He’s 3-for-3 on save opportunities and should continue to see the lion’s share ninth-inning work for The Fish.
Madison Bumgarner (SP – ARI)
Mad Bum easily could have made this list last week after his horrendous start to the season, but I was remiss. He actually put up one of his best starts in a D-Backs uniform on Sunday when he limited the Nationals to one run over five innings, but he surrendered six runs over 4 2/3 innings in his other start this week (4/12 vs. OAK). The 31-year-old southpaw has been downright awful this year. Even with the stellar outing on Sunday, he has an 8.68 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 20:9 K/BB ratio over 18 2/3 innings.
The expected stats aren’t much better, with a 7.08 xERA and 5.83 FIP. His four-seam fastball is averaging a tick under 90 mph (89.9), and he’s seen a decline in movement on all four of his pitch offerings. The former World Series MVP hasn’t looked right since signing with Arizona back in 2020. In fact, he’s yet to post a quality start in a D-Backs uniform (13 starts). It’s been a precipitous fall for Bumgarner, who’s been a workhorse his entire career. It seems that all the mileage he racked up during those deep postseason runs with the Giants has caught up to him. It won’t get much easier for the left-hander as he gets the Braves on the road in his next start.
Patrick Corbin (SP – WSH)
Corbin only had one start last week, but that was enough to make this list. He was absolutely destroyed by the Diamondbacks on April 15 when he surrendered a career-high 10 runs (nine earned) over just two innings. He’s only made two starts this year, but his numbers are mind-blowingly bad: 21.32 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, and 6:7 K/BB ratio over just 6 1/3 innings. Who would have thought Corbin would have more walks than innings pitched mid-way through April?
Now we know Corbin is not this bad, and he did have a late start to the season after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list to begin the year, so we should cut him a little slack. But there were signs of a decline that began last year with his diminished fastball velocity. He’s averaging 90.2 mph with his four-seamer this year, about the same as last season. It’s way too early to write him off, but he can’t be started with confidence at the moment. He gets the Cardinals at home in his next start on Tuesday, which should be a good test for the 31-year-old. If you drafted him, you’re watching that start very closely.
Clint Frazier (OF – NYY)
You could really put the entire Yankees lineup on the “Fallers” list after they’ve dropped 8-of-10 games. They were just swept at home by division-rival Tampa Bay and are sitting at 5-10 on the year. Of all the letdowns in the Bronx, Clint Frazier may be the most disappointing. He went 1-for-11 last week and saw Brett Gardner start over him twice. He’s currently mired in a 2-for-24 slump and has a .167/.250/.222 batting line (36 at-bats) to start the year. He’s still searching for his home run and RBI if you can believe that.
The silver lining is that Frazier has been so bad that he has nowhere to go but up, right? He has time to get right, but his leash may not be very long, with Gardner outperforming him whenever he plays. Frazier could find himself in a platoon once again if he doesn’t start to show signs of improvement.
Joc Pederson (OF – CHC)
How bad has Joc Pederson been this season? He went 3-for-18 (.166 BA) last week, which raised his season batting average. He’s slashing .149/.281/.255 with one home run over 47 at-bats. He’s struck out 17 times, and his 32.1% K rate is the worst of his career. Pederson’s .154 xBA and .249 xSLG rank in the fourth and fifth percentiles in the league, respectively. The 28-year-old has been an everyday player for the Cubs, starting all but one game this year, but he’s batting .077 with a .220 OPS in 14 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers.
The Cubs signed him to a one-year, $7 million deal this offseason, so they will give him plenty of time to work out the kinks, but he’s not making a strong case to continue to receive regular at-bats. Unfortunately, he’s showing everyone why the Dodgers used to bench him whenever they faced a lefty.
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