Performance Report: 6/5

Should you cut Jarred Kelenic? Is Chris Bassitt the A's ace?

Now that we are over a third of the way through the season, we are starting to get a clearer picture of how leagues are shaking out in the standings. Tough decisions need to be made and player performances need to be inspected. So, let’s dive right in this week and check out some player performances that deserve a deeper look.


Jarred Kelenic


Easily one of the most hyped-up prospects this year, this offseason it felt like you couldn’t go a day without hearing how incredible Jarred Kelenic was going to be. Every little new nugget of information and every story about his performance was taken and added to his increasingly superhuman mythos. When Kelenic overtook Wander Franco in some prospect lists as the number one prospect, it really started to seem like I was watching the origin story for the next Mike Trout.

There isn’t a lot to go on here yet, as Kelenic only has 88 plate appearances through 21 games, but he has not lived up to the billing so far. His batting line so far is .101/.193/.203 and he’s actually gone hitless in the last week’s worth of at-bats. Right about now, there are a lot of Kelenic owners starting to sweat wondering if he’ll hurt their team more than help it this year, particularly those that paid a premium for him on draft day.

I wish I could tell you that his underlying statistics paint a rosier picture, but there just isn’t enough data to say something like that yet. His .115 BABIP is unbelievably low, which means he has gotten a little unlucky, but he’s striking out more than you like to see and just overall pressing at the plate. On a positive note, his 9.1% walk rate gives him more opportunities at grabbing the occasional stolen base and even tacking on some runs.

There really is not enough of a sample size yet to label Kelenic a bust, but one thing is clear… he’s human. Of course, he isn’t some trash bag of a player. I think sometimes we forget in the midst of the hype and fanfare that the odds of a top prospect coming up and taking the league by storm are slim. Kelenic is known for his work ethic and his skills are such that it’s hard to imagine him being a bust. Playing in the majors and going up against professional pitchers is hard no matter who you are.

In any sort of redraft league, I am not cutting Kelenic right now, but it’s going to be hard to start him if I am competing. He really could turn it around this year, but my guess is we will see more adjustments to come, and lowered expectations would be wise.

In a dynasty or keeper league, now is a great time to inquire on Kelenic. The old adage that a prospect’s value is the highest right before or right when he is called up is so true. A month ago, you would have had to overpay by a lot to even get the Kelenic owner to consider moving him. I don’t think he would be a cheap acquisition now, but he should be appropriately priced as a potential star player. This could be your chance to actually get him, especially if the team with Kelenic is in a tight race for some of the offensive categories in your league. Especially if I was a rebuilding team, I would be making some aggressive offers to obtain Kelenic.


Verdict: HOLD/BENCH – redraft leagues    BUY – dynasty/keeper leagues


Chris Bassitt


Going into this season, not even Oakland Athletic fans would have said that Chris Bassitt would be performing as incredibly as he has so far. The last few years would have indicated that Bassitt was more of a high floor and low ceiling pitcher. He was the type of guy you expect to hold a spot in a rotation and give you good innings while never quite blowing the opposition away. 2019 was easily his best season on record when he pitched 144 innings with a respectable 8.81 K/9 and a 3.81 ERA. That was his first season eclipsing an 8.0 K/9, which is why there have never been high expectations around Bassitt being a source of strikeouts. The shortened 2020 season reinforced this notion when his K/9 slipped back to 7.76.

This season has been a horse of a completely different color. To this point, Bassitt has struck out 80 batters in 74 IP (9.73 K/9) while pitching to a 3.53 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. In addition to this, he has lowered his walk rate as well as kept the ball in the yard more successfully bringing his HR/9 down to 0.73. In an Oakland rotation with some younger and more exciting arms, Bassitt has found himself to be the most reliable and arguably the most valuable starter amongst their pitching staff.

The rise in strikeouts can largely be attributed to Bassitt’s slider. He first started tinkering with a slider in 2019, but he didn’t really introduce it into his arsenal until 2020. Last season it was nothing more than a “show me” type of pitch as he only threw it 3% of the time. However, this season Bassitt has upped his usage of the slider to 8.9% and has already gotten 23 of his 80 strikeouts with it. You know a pitch is effective when it gets featured in one of our “Nastiest Pitches” articles.

Bassitt is a guy to buy, but the window on getting him at a discount might be closing if it hasn’t already closed.


Verdict: BUY


Alec Bohm


Similar to Jarred Kelenic, Bohm is a high-profile and high pedigree young guy who is struggling mightily in the majors right now. The difference here is that last season Bohm looked to have all the makings of a guy who would hit right away rather than one who needed some time to get his feet under him. He has gone from batting .338/.400/.481 in his 2020 call-up, to slashing a measly .215/.258/.310 this season. No shade on Brad Miller, but you know things are rough when he is starting to bat above you in a punchless Phillies lineup.

For as hard as Bohm can hit the ball, he needs to do a better job lifting it if he is ever going to reach his power potential. Right now his launch angle is just 4.2% and he’s hitting ground balls 53.1% of the time. He’s going to have a difficult time bringing his batting average up so long as he keeps killing all the worms in the infield.

Of course, in a dynasty league, Bohm is a buy. The pedigree and his age make me believe he is more likely to figure some things out than not. Conversely, in any redraft setting Bohm is a guy who needs to be on your bench and could even be approaching cut territory depending on the size of your league. It’s going to become increasingly hard to justify playing a guy like Bohm if he stays in the bottom of the order and can’t bring his batting average.


Verdict: BENCH – cut in shallow redraft leagues


Evan Longoria


How can you not root for Evan Longoria? Here’s a 35-year-old player who was largely written off in fantasy circles heading into this year as an afterthought. He has surprised all of his doubters by mashing nine homers with 30 RBI and a triple-slash of .275/.363/.506. For those of you who may still be in the non-believing camp, look at his statcast page!

I’m not sure if he just benefitted from having a shortened 2020, or if he’s found the fountain of youth, or something else altogether, but this is exactly the type of veteran player I love having on my team to pile up stats. I can almost guarantee (especially in dynasty leagues) if the Longoria owner is open to selling him that the trade market will be thin. Most owners will look at the age and run, but that could be the exact reason you could acquire him at a reasonable price.


Verdict: BUY


Photo by Mick Haupt/Unsplash | Feature Image by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Gabe Zammit

Gabe Zammit has been writing about baseball since 2017. He is a contributor on Pitcher List in addition to Friends with Fantasy Benefits. Outside of the baseball world, Gabe is a music director and producer and loves to chat about anything and everything music.

2 responses to “Performance Report: 6/5”

  1. theKraken says:

    I blame the Mariners. If they would have promoted him sooner, then JK would not be struggling. Just kidding. Remember the scandal from the offseason. Writers need something to talk about in the offseason I guess. I am a big JK fan and he never passed Franco – anybody that did that is a hack. I think there is very little chance that he is going at any discount in a dynasty league. That is just not realistic. Somebody paid through the nose for him or drafted him as a baby and fell in love with his meteoric rise… nobody sells in this type of situation. Even if he hits like this for 140 games, he won’t be too discounted next year as it becomes a sunken cost. You are correct that a month ago was the time to move him.

    I think Bohm is a lot more interesting than you have outlined and I mean that in a bad way. He was nowhere near the prospect that JK was. All of the negatives that you are calling out this year have long been his defining characteristics. There has always been a lot of questions about him – specifically his ceiling. His height always made him high risk and the power has not always been something that was clearly going to show up. I don’t think he is a clear buy. I mean I would buy him, but you can kind of call everyone a buy if you want. I suspect that selling this offseason following what looks like a fluky debut was in fact the right move. I suspect that Bohm is a guy that you end up waiting on more than he actually produces. I was also excited for a breakout following last year, but this year looks a lot like it was always supposed to. Bohm is all about the off chance that he takes a step forward as opposed to what he is currently.

    Re: Longo – I am so surprised that nobody wants to throw out the maybe he has just been lucky slant. That is by far the most likely thing happening. Batted ball data does nothing to legitimize luck. He has always been above average even as he has aged – he is just never healthy. When he is healthy is worth owning, but that is usually just rare. In Baseballsavant, go ahead and flip it back to 2020 – its very similar which suggests that this is more luck than anything else. In fact, I believe that this is one of the best specific examples if how insightful batted ball metrics are. You have a monster breakout supported by data… and that same data also fueled a big mediocre burger last season. Maybe the moral of the story is that he had a flukishly bad season last year? To me it looks like he has in fact made some changes as his career is almost over. I think he has achieved over his head so far this year but that he might be productive if he can stay healthy. All that said, you better believe that his price is excellent in a dynasty. If a rebuilder owns him, you have little to lose my making an offer. He also suffered a new injury yesterday I believe. You absolutely have to own two 3B if you own longo.

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