Thursday, May 15, 2014

Waiver Wire Cage Match: Yangervis Solarte vs. Chris Young

Yangervis Solarte:

Solarte has seen his value go up in recent days due to an extended hot streak & also with the bonus of multi-position eligibility (second base, third base & shortstop). The results have been very strong so far but can he keep it up?

Before this season, he wasn't a highly heralded prospect and he had spent eight years in the minors before being signed as a free agent with the Yankees. His minor league numbers aren't overly imposing (.736 career OPS & .727 OPS last year with the Rangers AAA affiliate in Round Rock (in comparison the Pacific Coast League average OPS last year was .756).

He did show some indication of power with double figure home run totals the last couple years. Off the bat, I already have a healthy dose of skepticism.

One thing going in his favor is that this start is not merely the product of getting to play at Yankee stadium as he actually has a much better performance on the road.  His BABIP is a bit high (.364) so he is due for regression there.

While he leads the AL in batting average now, I would be very surprised if he is at the end of the season (it will probably land in the .260-.270 range), there's not much to indicate that he's going to be a major home run source but he will likely end up with about a dozen homers. If your in a league that counts OBP, I think Solarte will be a bit more valuable going forward as he has shown he can draw plenty of walks against major league pitching.

Chris Young:

To clarify, this is in regards to the Chris Young that pitches for the Mariners.  For Young, having talent has never been the problem (109 Career ERA+), led the NL in hits per 9 innings in 2006 & 2007, for him the ability to stay healthy has been his problem as he hasn't made 30 starts in a year since 2007.

Not much was expected of him coming into this season as he missed all of 2013 and he's about to turn 35. In his 7 appearances (6 starts), he has been a pleasant surprise (and with his next start at Target Field this looks good to be extended for at least another start). The questions with him is how much of this can he sustain and can he actually stay healthy.

While he will have the advantage of playing his home games at Safeco field, one thing he will not have the advantage of is sustaining a .183 Opposing BABIP for the entire season. One thing that this extremely luckiness is hiding is that his FIP is at 4.81 for the season. Granted his career FIP is about 1/2 a run higher than his era (4.28 to 3.74) but the point is that he's going to regress to below average-ness sooner rather than later.

Verdict:

I'm not necessarily high on either of these players. For Solarte, I think he'll have a decent season but nothing that screams super-star. With Young, his luck is going to run out at some point and I wouldn't be surprised to see the ERA north of 4 this year which as a by product will keep the win count in single figures.

Cage Match Winner:

Yangervis Solarte

All numbers, comparisons, etc. found on baseball-reference.com