Hitter Profiles: Shifty Hitters – Razzball Fantasy Baseball

The foundations, they’re a altering.  This 2023 season brings with it a complete new set of modifications for gamers to navigate and fantasy managers to foretell.  Perhaps it’s pickoff limits and bigger bases resulting in extra stolen bases.  Perhaps the pitch clock will reward pitchers that prefer to play thoughts video games.  Nevertheless, this week we are going to spend a while taking a look at gamers which have probably the most to realize entrance the elimination of the shift.  Groups will adapt and discover methods to flex the foundations (taking a look at you Tampa Bay) and acquire a slight benefit.  Will you?

Matt Carpenter

A resurgent 2022 lower brief by harm delivered 15 longballs in solely 47 video games because of an insane 30% HR/FB charge.  Going into 2023, the Padres have rolled the cube to see if Carpenter can proceed to seek out the fountain of youth whereas trying to carve out a job past a DH share with Nelson Cruz.  Wanting on the shift, Carpenter has been probably the most shifted in opposition to gamers in current reminiscence with roughly a 90% shift charge over the previous 4 years.

For good purpose, groups have acknowledged that Carpenter is a heavy pull hitter.  Over the previous two years, Carpenter has had an enchancment in wOBA between .066 and .182 when the change was not utilized.  In 2022, a part of his success was merely ignoring the shift and pulling the ball with laborious contact within the air (profession excessive pull % at 58%).  Carp is on the downhill of his profession, however on draft day he’s mainly free and might be one of many greatest shock winners with the shift ban.

Brandon Lowe

I’ve written about Brandon Lowe just a few occasions through the years as a believer in his skillset regardless of the harm struggles he has had the previous few years.  The 150-game profession common of 32 homers, 84 runs, 90 RBI with a .249 common is just not too shabby.  From a shift perspective, Lowe pulls about 40% of batted balls and in 2022 noticed a wOBA with out the shift of .362 in comparison with .297 in opposition to.

Lowe goes within the thirteenth spherical because the tenth second baseman off the board.  Coming off a yr wherein his BABIP and HR/FB charges had been effectively beneath his profession marks, I’d argue he needs to be going earlier than gamers like Max Muncy, Gleyber Torres and Jorge Polanco.  Add within the alternatives with the dearth of a shift and the 28-year previous shall be on lots of my groups this spring.

Carpenter and Lowe are two examples of gamers that will profit from the elimination of the shift.  There have been over 60 gamers throughout 2022 that noticed extra then 80% of at bats focused with the shift.  Guys like Corey Seager, Kyle Schwarber and Jose Ramirez all will see a major distinction after they stroll to the plate this yr.  It stays to be seen what number of hitters will shift their approaches to take benefit, however this rule change shall be enjoyable to look at in 2023.