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jimbo504

Paul DeJong 2018 Outlook

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Really feel like DeJong is being overlooked right now, ADP around 225.

 

Last year's stats: .285 AVG/.325 OBP/.532 SLG/.857 OPS, 55 runs, 25 HR, 65 RBI, 1 SB in 417 AB

 

eligible at 2B and SS (on Yahoo at least).

 

Roster resource has him batting 7th, but that seems low considering he was batting 3rd last season. I think 5th is more likely.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by jimbo504

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What is his defense like?  His defense could keep him in the lineup if it he hits a rough stretch at the plate.

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Average to below average defense. His bat is what will keep him in the lineup. Plus the Cardinals do not have any other options at short

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16 minutes ago, jwblue said:

What is his defense like?  His defense could keep him in the lineup if it he hits a rough stretch at the plate.

 

He's not a butcher, he's pretty solid but unspectacular.

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Oquendo being back in the fold could help his defense too, he's very good at helping infielders.

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3 hours ago, Fuzzy_Slippers said:

 

when I saw this thread this is the article that stuck out to me.

I have to like the numbers they think he has potential to get.

Quote

Paul DeJong will be available and give you something like 80/35/95/0/.265

 

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10 hours ago, jimbo504 said:

Really feel like DeJong is being overlooked right now, ADP around 225.

 

Last year's stats: .285 AVG/.325 OBP/.532 SLG/.857 OPS, 55 runs, 25 HR, 65 RBI, 1 SB in 417 AB

 

eligible at 2B and SS (on Yahoo at least).

 

Roster resource has him batting 7th, but that seems low considering he was batting 3rd last season. I think 5th is more likely.

 

Thoughts?

 

Where are seeing 225.  every ADP I've seen has him under 150

 

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DeJong just got a six year, 26M contract with the Cardinals. They must have a lot of confidence in him. His numbers scare the heck out of me though. He looks like a Randal Grichuk clone if you compare their numbers from their breakout year.

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9 minutes ago, daethfromabove1979 said:

DeJong just got a six year, 26M contract with the Cardinals. They must have a lot of confidence in him. His numbers scare the heck out of me though. He looks like a Randal Grichuk clone if you compare their numbers from their breakout year.

 

Well, if anything, this sure guarantees full time at bats haha

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Bizarre article on RotoWorld right now calling him overrated. Then again, this article also calls Lindor underrated, so I have no idea what's going on. DeJong seems like a bargain where he's going in drafts.

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6 minutes ago, TribeFoo said:

Bizarre article on RotoWorld right now calling him overrated. Then again, this article also calls Lindor underrated, so I have no idea what's going on. DeJong seems like a bargain where he's going in drafts.

Yeah just read that as well.... I got him SUPER late and don’t see all that much hype I’m not sure where he is overrated 

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24 minutes ago, TribeFoo said:

Bizarre article on RotoWorld right now calling him overrated. Then again, this article also calls Lindor underrated, so I have no idea what's going on. DeJong seems like a bargain where he's going in drafts.

agreed. i know HR are up everywhere, but 25+ HR from your SS isn't something to sneeze at. hell, last season he hit 25 HR in a little over 100 games..

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Drafted dejong in a deep league as my starting SS and I'm not worried about it at all. I think he's one of the best values in accordance to ADP at the position and being eligible at 2B as well helps. 

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Two dongs from DeJong and no love? Damn, tough crowd.

 

 

 

Edited by lbjames6
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OK so I admittedly faded this guy on draft day.  Lack of track record, lack of pedigree, sky-high K%, low walk numbers...didn't seem like a recipe for future success especially in any league that either penalizes Ks or rewards walks/OBP.  I know taoball voiced similar concerns and he's one of the guys I trust a lot on this board. Very small sample size, but so far he has been proving me wrong, and he wouldn't be the first player to make a high K rate work.

 

It's too late now draft-wise, but anyone willing to do a deep dive and tell me I was so wrong, that there's something deeper to his mini break out and the Cardinals trust in him? Or are my concerns still valid? @garlando, if you're willing/able?

Edited by Baur10

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His homer today had plenty of room to spare as it sailed over the fence.

 

 

Edited by rdf8585

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Last draft I did he went so damn late.  I just had no room for him and wanted to grab pitchers at that point.  Maybe should've grabbed him for the heck of it.  Still have him on 1 or 2 teams, he was going late in all of them.  Very overlooked.

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15 minutes ago, MrBrown said:

Last draft I did he went so damn late.  I just had no room for him and wanted to grab pitchers at that point.  Maybe should've grabbed him for the heck of it.  Still have him on 1 or 2 teams, he was going late in all of them.  Very overlooked.

I'm wishing I didn't pass on him as well.  Obviously he's not going to keep this up, but with SS being still a little rough, it would have been nice to have his start to the season.  I definitely could have had him too, but didn't want to take a chance on him duplicating last season as early as he went in my draft.  Oh well.  It happens.

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He’s a St. Louis Cardinal. Plate discipline is terrible, but he will be good because of the first fact. They pull these guys out of their a**. I don’t get it but he hit 25 homers in under 500 at bats last year and has 3 already. Really cheap right now I wanted no part of him and still spent 5 bucks. 2b/ss is great for a long season.

Edited by Marty Funkhouser

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As requested by @Baur10 , here’s a deep dive on Dejong and my thoughts on him going into the year. I want to start by saying that I was a fan of him as a prospect, I believe I touted him in the MiLB section of this forum at the beginning of 2016, citing his plus power potential and that in combination with the Cardinals giving him SS reps (he was a college 3B), I thought he could be a nice underrated piece. After his first year in the majors, I’m kinda meh on him and I’ll explain why. First, let’s take a look back at his breakout 2017. He slashed .285/.325/.532 with 25 HRs and 1 SB in just 443 ABs after a late May/early June call-up. He supported that line with a 28% K rate which isn’t ideal by any means, and also showed a lack of plate discipline with just a 4.7% BB rate. That 4.7% walk rate was tied for 17th worst in the majors, and that 28% K rate ranked in a tie for 28th worst in the majors among those with at least 400 PAs. Add in a .349 BAPIP which is higher than anything he’s posted in the minors aside from a 10 game sample in rookie ball back in 2015, and you can see why there was some skepticism among the fantasy baseball community about his ability to repeat what he did last year, and also skepticism about his ability to be a valuable SS/MI for fantasy purposes. All told, he put up a 122 wRC+ which is very impressive for an MLB debut. Also of note, he added 13 HRs with a .299/.339/.571 line in AAA in just 48 games last year…add it up and that’s a 38 HR year combined and that shows the sort of upside Dejong possesses. Dude definitely has pop! Let’s dig a little deeper and take a look under the hood.

 Looking at his batted ball data, the first thing that jumps out is his batted ball orientation is very much ideal for power and BAPIP. He hits the ball in the air a ton and limits groundball contact. He posted a 33.7% GB rate in the majors (28% in AAA) last year, as well as 42.9% FB rate (44.7% in AAA), and a 23.5% LD rate (27.3% in AAA). The high Line-drive rates help him support a higher BAPIP as line-drives are the least likely form of contact to be turned into outs, and the low-mid 40’s fly-ball rate helps him make the most of his power potential. Really love how little he hits the ball on the ground, as his 33.7% mark tied for 19th fewest in the majors with Trevor Story and Eduardo Escobar, and all the guys around him are quality power hitters. Among the top 20 lowest ground-ball hitters, Dejong has the 4th highest line-drive rate behind just Daniel Murphy, Jed Lowrie, and Josh Reddick which again helps his BAPIP and gives him a BAPIP floor (and therefore batting average) higher than some of the other more extreme low groundball hitters. He also uses the whole field pretty darn well too (32.7 Cent%, 20.4 Oppo%) which again helps him sustain a slightly higher BAPIP and therefore batting average, but yet is able to maintain a pull nature (46.9 Pull%) to help maximize his power. That high up the middle contact rate and ability to go the opposite way at a decent rate makes him a guy that shouldn’t be destroyed by the shift.

Now looking at his quality of contact stats, he’s very solid there too but isn’t quite elite. His 36.4% Hard Contact rate ranked in a tie for 61st best in the majors among those with at least 400 PAs with Aaron Altherr, Kyle Schwarber, Joe Mauer, and Yadier Molina. It ranked ahead of names like Joey Votto, Mookie Betts, Josh Donaldson, and Anthony Rizzo. He supported that hard contact rate by a slightly below average 86.4 MPH avg exit velocity (MLB average was 87.32). I think he gets to his power well though with his airborne contact so I’m not worried at all about his meh avg exit velocity limiting his power upside. I think there is 30 HR pop in his bat, with 35 on the high end of the reasonable outcomes and 25ish on the low end imo. I should also mention that his Soft Contact rate of 21.4% was poor, and ranked 31st worst in the majors and that maybe isn’t a surprise considering his slight contact issues.

Before I jump into his plate discipline numbers, here’s a couple more things I wanted to mention. His R/L splits are fairly even, posting a .288/.352/.600 line against lefties and a .285/.318/.516 line against righties, with the two notable differences being more patience and power against lefties which isn’t a surprise considering he’s a righty batter. Point of that was to say, he’s not a guy that needs to be platooned. Second thing is that his K rate got better as the season wore on…posting a 32.6% mark in June, and then a 29.7% mark in July, then a 26.4% mark in August, and finally a 25.4% mark in Sept/Oct. His wRC+ didn’t follow that same pattern, but you can see that as he got more comfortable in the majors, his contact rates improved and he saw some gains in that department.

Let’s take a look at Paul Dejong’s plate discipline metrics from last year:

His out-of-zone swing% was 33.6%                                        MLB average is 30%
His zone swing % was 72.3%                                                  MLB average is 65%
His overall swing % was 51.6%                                               MLB average is 46%
His out-of-zone contact % was 59.2%                                   MLB average is 66%
His zone contact% was 82.2%                                                MLB average is 87%
His overall contact rate was 74.2%                                        MLB average is 80%
His % of pitches seen inside the strike-zone was 46.4%    MLB average is 45%
His swinging-strike% was 13.3%                                            MLB average is 9.5%

As you can see, Dejong is an aggressive hitter, swinging more than the MLB average across the board. That supports his low walk totals from last year. He also clearly struggles to make contact, being below average both in the zone and outside the zone and that supports his high K rates from last year. Interestingly, pitchers seemed to be unafraid to challenge Dejong at the plate as they threw him more strikes than the average MLB hitter. I find that interesting as most power hitters typically see fewer strikes, especially those with poor plate discipline. His Swinging-strike% was also very high and that shows that he has a lot of swing and miss in his game and he will need to improve that for me to buy into him being an asset in batting average. Overall, his plate discipline metrics have dampened my enthusiasm on Dejong somewhat. I know it was only his first year in the majors and he was rushed up the minor league ladder by the Cardinals, but he’s fairly below average across the board. I will note, that he’s not as extreme as some other power hitters like Miguel Sano and Joey Gallo in terms of contact rates so his batting average floor is certainly a lot higher than them.

Overall, there’s a lot to like here with Dejong, he’s got a great batted ball mix that supports power and BAPIP, he’ll hit in the middle of a solid Cardinals lineup, and he plays a position in which he is one the premier power options making him a potential value. He’s a unique power hitter in that he’s limited by his plate discipline…generally power hitters are patient too and that makes it tough to find appropriate comparisons, especially with his contact issues. The MLB hitters that are closest in terms of profile to Dejong to me are Corey Dickerson, Randal Grichuk, and maybe a less powerful and less patient 2015 J.D. Martinez. I feel his lack of plate discipline and contact issues will likely make him a streaky hitter. He’s obviously not going to continue what he’s doing in 2018, a .556 BAPIP and .500 ISO are completely unsustainable, and he’s still showing bad patience (5% BB rate) and bad contact skills (30% K rate and 16.3 swinging-strike rate). I like him as a power option for SS, but for me I’ve learned to value speed at SS as it’s tough to take pretty much nothing SB wise at the position and make it up elsewhere unless you’re running a guy who can give you speed at a non-traditional speed position like Will Myers at 1st or are carrying a guy like Dee Gordon/Billy Hamilton/Trae Turner that carries your speed for the most part. That makes him a guy I find tough to fit in roster construction wise personally.  For 2018, I’m going to project a .268/.322 line with 27 HRs and 1 SB.

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