Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Waiver Wire Cage Match: Jonathan Singleton vs. Cody Allen

Jonathan Singleton

Just got himself signed on to a 5 year/10 million dollar extension which included being called up to the major leagues. Fantasy players have already struck gold with Astros prospects being called up (George Springer), can the Astros repeat this again and march towards being bad instead of terrible?

There has been an ever increasing amount of buzz surrounding Singleton as he has been a top 100 prospect over the last four years. He has produced very well in Oklahoma City with a .941 OPS and a 141 wRC+.

While I don't think he's going to offer much in the batting average category, he has shown signs of developing this year as he's cut down on his strikeout rate, is hitting for increasing power and continues to draw a lot of walks. He did struggle in his first year in AAA before breaking out this year.

I think he'll have a similar learning curve in 2014 but I think he'll break out in either 2015 or 2016. Even with some possible early struggles, a selective eye at the plate (he walked in 17.6% of his plate appearances in AAA) should at least give him a decent OBP even if he struggles in other aspects offensively.

Cody Allen:

Has been the recent beneficiary of the tumultuous closer situation in Cleveland as it appears to be his turn to see if he can close the door on Cleveland's opponents.

The positive with Allen is he at least is going to give you strikeouts (10.55 per 9 in his career). He is giving up an increased amount of walks (4.07 per 9) but one thing that feels on shaky ground is that his ERA (2.96) is a decent size better than has FIP & xFIP. The main concern with him is that his WHIP (1.32 career) is higher than what you'd want out of the closer position but he has pitched well enough in his career so far that he may have a decent year or two as a closer in him.


This one depends on whether your needs are immediate or if you are in a format that serves long-term potential better. Allen has pitched well enough in his career to indicate that he'll at least rack up some saves and strikeouts this year. Singleton on the other hand is getting his first crack at major league pitching. While I think he will be a good player one day, he may experience another learning curve similar to what he had in AAA where he struggles for a year or two before unleashing his potential. I'm going to lean on what to expect in 2014, and give the nod to Allen.

Winner: Cody Allen

All data referenced found either on baseball-reference.com or fangraphs.com