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Statcast Review: Joc Pederson, Willson Contreras, Nestor Cortes (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

Jun 2, 2022
Joc Pederson

Memorial Day unofficially serves as one of the key checkpoints for a Major League Baseball season, and we have now surpassed said checkpoint and moved into June. By doing so, we can no longer claim that it is “early” in the season. This also gives us a fair opportunity to judge players over the longer sample size.

That is exactly what we will do in this article. We will judge the best and worst players relative to the league by simply ranking them into percentiles. It’s the equivalent of “grading on a curve,” where each number is scaled from 0 to 100.

xwOBA was used for sorting, but the tables below are self-explanatory and can be read on a column-to-column basis.

Percentile Rankings by xwOBA: Batters

Below are two tables for Percentile Rankings by xwOBA for batters. These numbers represent where a batter ranks relative to the league, and the higher number is better. Per Statcast, 2.1 plate appearances per team game was used as the qualifying cutoff for batters.

Sorted High-to-Low

Player xwOBA xBA xSLG xISO xOBP BRL BRL % EV HH % K % BB % Whiff %
Yordan Alvarez 100 99 100 99 100 98 98 99 100 69 90 68
Joc Pederson 100 99 99 99 97 96 99 99 99 66 58 66
Aaron Judge 99 93 100 100 91 100 100 100 100 25 66 45
Mike Trout 99 86 99 100 95 99 99 92 94 27 85 28
Willson Contreras 98 86 97 96 98 81 86 97 99 58 74 22
Taylor Ward 98 90 98 97 100 91 98 58 67 50 99 63
J.D. Martinez 98 98 96 91 96 93 94 79 83 34 62 28
Freddie Freeman 97 94 97 94 97 93 78 87 70 92 85 93
Bryce Harper 97 96 98 97 90 96 93 95 92 56 44 16
Max Kepler 97 94 92 84 99 77 74 81 74 78 88 67
Juan Soto 96 76 92 92 99 94 86 55 78 88 100 72
Giancarlo Stanton 96 89 96 94 82 99 100 100 98 14 51 6
Pete Alonso 95 87 95 95 87 98 92 75 85 57 62 39
Mike Yastrzemski 95 88 85 76 98 72 80 92 78 83 97 76
Christian Walker 95 75 97 98 80 98 95 72 80 61 76 50
Austin Riley 94 78 95 95 74 96 94 97 97 15 47 13
Willy Adames 94 59 95 97 74 86 97 75 78 13 78 12
Rowdy Tellez 94 69 98 98 58 93 92 81 87 39 38 53
Luis Robert 93 97 94 84 78 81 86 84 80 68 8 34
Rafael Devers 93 97 94 88 76 96 85 98 96 67 10 27

 

Sorted Low-to-High

Player xwOBA xBA xSLG xISO xOBP BRL BRL % EV HH % K % BB % Whiff %
Salvador Perez 7 10 35 57 2 59 62 86 71 19 2 5
Maikel Franco 6 34 14 12 6 31 20 25 38 60 6 25
Marcus Semien 6 8 7 13 10 26 13 7 9 78 50 77
Brett Phillips 6 5 9 23 6 11 45 50 38 1 33 1
Adam Duvall 6 3 14 43 5 41 44 25 41 3 42 20
Wil Myers 5 11 14 25 5 11 20 34 21 13 25 9
Taylor Walls 5 2 3 7 17 6 12 5 11 25 81 54
Mike Moustakas 5 1 2 8 20 6 11 22 9 48 66 44
Javier Baez 4 9 16 30 3 51 49 34 20 31 5 2
Rougned Odor 3 4 15 33 1 31 38 11 18 25 3 35
Yuli Gurriel 3 16 8 10 6 6 6 16 25 83 7 90
Mike Zunino 3 1 11 41 1 19 53 86 59 1 11 2
Kevin Smith 3 7 25 50 1 31 45 27 22 22 2 23
Lorenzo Cain 2 14 2 2 11 1 1 46 37 48 28 53
Tyler Wade 2 6 1 3 6 1 4 2 2 58 31 80
Victor Robles 2 4 1 3 7 6 11 1 1 17 22 46
Austin Hedges 1 1 4 11 3 11 25 3 2 29 36 21
Tucker Barnhart 1 1 1 2 1 1 5 6 7 8 10 41
Alcides Escobar 1 8 1 1 3 1 2 1 1 36 7 71
Martin Maldonado 1 1 3 18 2 11 28 66 64 3 39 17

Notes

  • Yordan Alvarez and Aaron Judge have been mentioned numerous times throughout this series, but Joc Pederson fits right among them in looking at pure rankings. If there’s any knock on his game, it’s that his walk rate is comparatively lower. But that’s the epitome of nitpicking for someone who has performed as well as he has. As of this writing, Pederson is posting career highs in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and OPS.
  • Staying toward the top of the list, it’s not surprising to see names like Mike Trout and Freddie Freeman, but Willson Contreras as a catcher? That’s incredible, and he deserves to be highlighted for his extreme success compared to the league average. As an added note, Contreras actually leads the league in hit-by-pitches even though it doesn’t appear in this chart. More amazingly, he also led the league in this category two years ago.
  • It feels like Rafael Devers and Rowdy Tellez have appeared in so many of the Statcast articles that I have to mention them as they help round out the top 20. Technically, both may have cooled off from prior hot streaks, but their presence among the league’s best is no fluke. Tellez is clearly boosted by the power at the expense of batting average and an impossibly low-speed rating while Devers does everything except walk. That’s acceptable with a batting average north of .340.
  • As always, there is the opposite side of the chart. Salvador Perez is clearly worth highlighting after he slugged 48 home runs last year, but other names like Javier Baez and Marcus Semien are hovering toward the backend of the league’s rankings for too long. It’s one thing to refer to what has happened to them as a “slow start.” It’s an entirely different argument when June rolls around and slight improvement has been made.

Percentile Rankings by xwOBA: Pitchers

Below are two tables for Percentile Rankings by xwOBA for pitchers. These numbers represent where a pitcher ranks relative to the league, and the higher number is better. Per Statcast, 1.25 plate appearances per team game were used as the qualifying cutoff for pitchers.

Sorted High-to-Low

Player xwOBA xBA xSLG BRL BLR % EV HH % K % BB % Whiff % xERA FB Vel. FB Spin Curve Spin
Clay Holmes 100 99 100 94 98 43 53 83 98 89 100 91 51
Ryan Helsley 100 100 100 94 91 66 69 100 52 98 100 100 99
Jason Adam 99 100 99 83 75 85 98 98 50 99 99 65 98
Joe Mantiply 99 78 97 99 99 83 51 50 99 46 99 12 34 26
Edwin Diaz 99 98 99 94 93 80 39 100 16 100 99 99 78
Sam Hentges 99 90 95 83 72 69 65 93 95 79 99 73 36
Alex Cobb 98 94 98 83 97 86 90 82 59 57 98 68 17 71
Kenley Jansen 98 98 96 73 63 94 96 96 36 64 98 34 94
A.J. Minter 98 98 90 34 3 26 75 99 86 88 98 55 96
Trevor Stephan 98 83 97 94 96 84 70 61 64 80 98 90 90
Daniel Bard 97 99 97 73 48 65 43 94 48 78 97 97 96
Scott Effross 97 89 92 73 76 78 49 80 81 52 97 10 40
Tyler Kinley 96 93 96 99 99 32 22 79 69 87 96 77 56
Brusdar Graterol 96 96 98 94 98 98 100 41 18 34 96 97 33
Nestor Cortes 96 94 93 42 81 63 80 86 77 32 96 5 70
Dominic Leone 96 82 87 73 65 83 82 85 92 97 96 41 84
Sam Moll 96 95 99 94 93 92 90 94 18 69 96 41 97
Jhoan Duran 96 97 95 73 62 54 63 98 88 98 96 99 35 73
Emmanuel Clase 95 70 91 94 96 96 78 74 82 37 95 100 98
David Robertson 95 99 98 94 94 94 94 94 13 88 95 43 99 71

 

Sorted Low-to-High

Player xwOBA xBA xSLG BRL BLR % EV HH % K % BB % Whiff % xERA FB Vel. FB Spin Curve Spin
Jonathan Heasley 5 16 19 48 42 33 18 1 1 33 5 57 76
Bruce Zimmermann 5 8 3 1 4 12 28 32 83 13 5 14 75 43
Tyler Beede 4 1 15 83 88 17 5 1 13 2 4 83 16
Reiver Sanmartin 4 3 5 48 45 40 24 3 23 14 4 7 36
Bryce Elder 4 15 9 48 37 68 32 8 3 49 4 16 7
Jesse Chavez 4 2 4 28 5 5 1 58 86 17 4 6 23
Dauri Moreta 3 37 4 28 1 11 15 68 35 92 3 80 50
Jose Suarez 3 10 6 48 33 7 10 29 7 60 3 34 42 86
T.J. McFarland 3 1 6 42 25 1 1 11 59 9 3 5 3
J.B. Wendelken 3 1 9 60 57 77 87 6 37 14 3 68 82
Jose Berrios 2 3 2 1 8 8 11 16 71 9 2 55 41 22
Antonio Senzatela 2 1 7 34 67 10 28 1 77 1 2 50 18
Heath Hembree 2 15 2 42 4 47 21 15 6 8 2 63 64
Spenser Watkins 2 5 3 10 15 14 28 1 24 13 2 13 72 59
Zach Logue 1 11 1 7 2 10 9 27 42 43 1 10 8 42
Adam Oller 1 3 1 34 7 4 7 10 6 17 1 27 23
Robert Gsellman 1 1 1 34 6 24 5 9 88 40 1 38 2
Drew Steckenrider 1 1 1 42 14 47 45 11 57 17 1 63 67
Kris Bubic 1 2 1 28 1 22 18 11 3 7 1 22 14 67
Matt Brash 1 2 12 48 35 6 14 37 1 73 1 85 45 95

Notes

  • While the top of the hitters’ chart was filled with household names, the pitchers who have been consistently delivering are a lot less popular. That’s also because almost all of them are relievers. It’s not hard to see why, as the sheer volume of relief pitchers increases the likelihood that a handful can keep their ERAs shockingly low. Clay Holmes and Ryan Helsey are the prime examples, as they have combined to allow a total of two earned runs in 43.1 innings.
  • The list isn’t exclusive to relief pitchers, however, as Nestor Cortes sneaks in midway through an undeniable breakout campaign. Maybe it’s unlikely to continue, but one look at his numbers shows that he is delivering across the board for the Yankees. That is until we reach his fastball velocity, which is among the lowest in Major League Baseball. The fact that he has performed so well despite a relatively low velocity makes his 2022 season just that much more extraordinary.
  • Keeping with the New York theme, the Mets’ closer has had quite the roller coaster tenure since being acquired in a trade four years ago. It appears that Edwin Diaz and his numbers have settled now, and he slides in as one of the best in the sport. As of now, he is posting the second-highest strikeout rate of his career.
  • Opportunities clearly don’t automatically translate into positive outcomes, as most of the latter table where the pitchers who have performed worse are highlighted is filled with relievers. The same logic applies, as the volume pushes enough names onto the list that we can’t find room for too many starters. That’s probably not a good sign for Jose Berrios, as he finds himself in the middle of an unfortunate group. Berrios signed a seven-year extension with the Blue Jays this past offseason, and his first full year with the team has left plenty to be desired.

Have something you want me to cover in this space, or just want to talk baseball? Feel free to reach out on Twitter @MarioMergola with questions or requests.

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Mario Mergola is a featured writer at FantasyPros and BettingPros and the creator and content editor of Sporfolio. For more from Mario, check out his archive and follow him @MarioMergola.

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