As of this writing, Robbie Grossman is rostered in just 57% of Ottoneu 5x5 leagues. Here’s why you missed this forgotten fogey and why you should add him ASAP:
So far in his career, Grossman hasn’t been memorable. He’s a 31-year-old journeyman who has never eclipsed 500 plate appearances, never stolen more than 9 bases, and just once popped 10 home runs. He also signed a yawn-inducing contract, on a rebuilding team. Because of this you had likely dismissed him as an option in fantasy baseball long ago.
So I’m sure it will surprise you to hear he finished last season tied for 16th in steals in all of baseball and 89th in homers. Kinda sounds like what you’re hoping to get out of Victor Robles, doesn’t it?
Just to drive the point home, let’s do that thing all of the analysts tell you not to do. Spread out over 162 games that looks like: 162 G, 73 R, 25 HR, 73 RBI, 25 SB, .241 AVG.
Alright, a 30-year-old dude had a career year, so what? Well if you re-read that second paragraph, he’s never eclipsed 500 plate appearances/he’s never had a full-time playing opportunity.
And that yawn-inducing contract? That cleared that up, doubly so. Not only is he playing every day, he’s also leading off.
For easy comparison, over a full season that’s: 162 G, 69 R, 14 HR, 74 RBI, 32 SB, .233 AVG.
Fewer homers, but more steals, a trade-off I think all fantasy baseball managers would be totally happy with.
But is it sustainable? We’re still talking about just a half season’s worth of games, split over two seasons.
Well to me, his underlying numbers seem to support it. He is combining newly elite plate discipline (99th percentile in Chase Rate) with already great contact skills (82.3% Contact%), AND he’s hitting the ball harder (40.4 HardHit%, 110.9 MaxEV, both career highs).
His 17.1% walk rate, also a career high and top 3% of the league, indicates to me that he should continue to get on base at a high clip which in turn will lead to more base stealing opportunities.
Plus, I think he’s going to start to even the HR/SB ratio back out, too. His launch angle and HardHit% are both on a three-year incline, leading to the highest barrel rate (10.1%) of his career which typically leads to more homers.
Plus, his Statcast expected stats suggest he should have been even better (.233 AVG, .259 xBA, .383 SLG, .453 xSLG, .341 wOBA, .379 xwOBA).
You too can get Gross for $1, but probably not for long.
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)