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Fantasy Baseball Regression Candidates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Spencer Schwellenbach, Miguel Andujar

Fantasy Baseball Regression Candidates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Spencer Schwellenbach, Miguel Andujar

Which players are enjoying an unsustainable hot streak right now? Which players are uncharacteristically cold? And, which ones have simply been receiving too much or too little luck of late?

Each week in this article, players that are due for some positive or negative regression compared to their recent performance will be highlighted in order to assist fantasy managers in how to properly view each one. Digging underneath the surface stats, we will examine some hitting and pitching metrics to try to determine if a given player is overperforming or underperforming what should be expected.

The goal here should be clear. Now, let’s get to it.

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Positive & Negative Fantasy Baseball Regression Candidates

Stats up to date through June 24, 2024

Players Due for Positive Regression

Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B – PIT)

Many anticipated a long-awaited breakout for Hayes here in 2024. Yours truly was among them. He did finish up last season with a .271 AVG, 15 home runs, 31 doubles and 10 steals over 124 games. Much of that production came during a big second half that saw him post a .299/.335/.539 slash line with 10 long balls over 49 games.

Over the last few years, Hayes’ output has often lagged behind what the metrics indicate it should be. Nagging injuries have slowed him down as well. The story has been the same this year, as he spent three weeks on the IL in May. He came back on the 29th swinging the bat pretty well, going 9-for-33 with a homer over his first seven games. However, the 27-year-old third baseman has been mired in a dreadful slump since.

In 14 games dating back to June 7, Hayes has managed just seven hits (1 HR, 6 1B) across 54 at-bats for a woeful .130 AVG. His plate discipline has left something to be desired, as he’s struck out 13 times while drawing no walks. His contact rates (83.0 Contact%, 94.8 Z-Contact%) are strong though. Combine that with an elite 56.1 HardHit% and 22.0 LD% and it’s easy to see Hayes’ BABIP should be far higher than a mere .150 and closer to his career mark of .314.

Spencer Schwellenbach (SP – ATL)

It’s tough to gauge a pitcher with just a five-start sample size in the bigs, but Schwellenbach has pitched much better than his current 5.40 ERA suggests. On the surface, the 24-year-old righty is just a rookie going through the typical ups and downs of a young hurler. He was decent in his debut and has followed that by sandwiching a couple of great performances with a pair of shaky ones. Still, that rather lofty ERA is standing in front of a much better 3.69 xFIP.

In his most recent start this past Monday against the Cardinals, Schwellenbach surrendered four runs on eight hits over five frames. However, all of the runs and five of the hits came in a third inning that appears worse in the box score than it actually was. Schwellenbach induced a 50.0 GB% and 33.3 HardHit%. He also struck out six batters while getting 14 whiffs on 86 pitches (16.3 SwStr%) in the outing.

Those marks track with what Schwellenbach has largely been doing since his callup. His 42.9 GB% along with an 87.5 mph EV, 75.3 Contact% and 14.0 SwStr% provide a promising foundation. He has racked up 25 punchouts across 26 2/3 innings while allowing just seven walks and two home runs. Schwellenbach has also only allowed one Barrel (1.3%), showing that he’s quite difficult to square up in the zone.

Players Due for Negative Regression

Miguel Andujar (OF – OAK)

Andujar got off to a hot start for the A’s with a three-hit debut in his debut with the club on May 24. That was the first of four multi-hit performances over his first seven MLB games this season. The latest was an incredibly impressive 4-for-5 effort that included a homer and four RBI on the first day of June. That was also the date of his most recent big fly.

Even though Andujar slipped into a rough 1-for-20 stretch following that four-hit day, he has gotten right back to swinging a hot bat over the 15 games since, putting up a .356 AVG over 59 at-bats. That’s great, but 18 of Andujar’s 21 hits in that span have been singles. It’s tough to imagine, given his batted-ball profile, that he can keep it up much longer. Andujar’s .404 BABIP is unsustainable, particularly with just a 15.4 LD%, 38.5 HardHit% and 90.0 mph EV.

Hogan Harris (SP, RP – OAK)

Not to pick on the A’s, but Harris joins his teammate above among those for fantasy managers to be wary of despite recent results. The second-year southpaw has been a steadying presence in the Oakland rotation over the past month. Since May 30, he’s made five starts, logging at least five frames and giving up three earned runs or less each time out.

Overall, Harris has turned in a nice 2.28 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP across 27 2/3 innings over those five outings. However, hiding behind those marks is a concerning 4.72 xFIP. He has struck out just 20 batters (18.2%) and allowed a hard-hit rate of 41.8%, but Harris has still benefitted from a .192 BABIP that has resulted in a .202 AVG against. That’s not going to hold up, as his xBA against in that span comes in at .278 per Statcast.

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Nate Miller is a featured writer at FantasyPros. He has been an analyst in the fantasy sports industry for the past decade, covering the NFL and MLB. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad.

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