Sorare MLB: Upgrades, Holds and Downgrades

Sorare MLB: Upgrades, Holds and Downgrades

This article is part of our Sorare MLB series.

A quarter of the way into the MLB season, you likely have some players in your Sorare lineup you are quite happy with. They will be sticking around. What about the rest of your lineup, though? There is no need to sit idle, to stand pat. Some guys could be swapped in, while others could be shipped out. Here are my recommendations in terms of Upgrades, Holds and Downgrades.

Upgrades

Cristopher Sanchez, PHI ($6.47): Sanchez had a 3.44 ERA last season, and he has a 3.43 ERA to start 2024. However, there are several differences along the margins. Sanchez has a 2.86 FIP, and he's allowed only one home run thus far. Additionally, the lefty has seen his fastball tick up 1.9 mph, which is in the top 10 in terms of velocity changes, and three of the guys ahead of him are starters that moved to the bullpen. Sanchez has more starts with over 20.0 Sorare points than games with single-digit Sorare points through eight outings.

Jo Adell, LAA ($8.96): Remember when Adell was one of baseball's most promising prospects? That hasn't panned out yet, but now, in his age-25 season, maybe it's starting to. Earlier in May the outfielder had four games in a row with double-digit Sorare points. He's tallied seven homers and seven stolen bases, and his plate discipline has notably improved thus far. Adell's strikeout rate has dropped a full 15 percent.

Austin Wells, NYY ($3.23): The offensive output by catchers is, generally speaking, lower. As such, any catcher with offensive potential intrigues me. Last year, in only 19 games, Wells slugged .486 while making his MLB debut. Now, the lefty is regularly drawing into the Yankees' lineup, at least when righties are on the mound. Obviously, no catcher starts every game these days, but Wells has power potential, and he's been more disciplined in 2024. His strikeout rate is down, and his walk rate is up double digits. With a catcher, even games of 7.0 Sorare points or 11.0 Sorare points (two recent showings from Wells) work just fine.

Yordan Alvarez, HOU ($84.47): This is a chance, believe or not, to "buy low" on Alvarez. That is solely a comment on his performance thus far, and how much I expect it to improve. The Cuban has eight homers, which have given him some good days in terms of Sorare points, but he's batted .257 and slugged .437. Alvarez came into this season batting .295 and slugging .588 in his career, so there is a lot of room for theoretical improvement. He has a .710 OPS against righties and a .649 OPS at home. Even so, since 2022 he has a .988 OPS versus righties and a .908 OPS in Houston. If Alvarez's number don't pick up considerably, I will be surprised.

Holds

William Contreras, MIL ($15.32): Contreras has been a stellar bat at catcher, and this year he's slashed .359/.434/.553. Last season, his first with the Brewers, he slashed .289/.367/.457 with 17 home runs and six stolen bases. He just had 35.0 Sorare points against the Pirates. I saw "hold," because I believe. Perhaps it is gauche to simply point you to another article, but Jeff Passan at ESPN recently delved into MLB's Statcast data for hitters, and Contreras came out of said article as perhaps the star of the show.

Aaron Judge, NYY ($75.32): Judge, unlike Alvarez, has already started to turn things around. He has an 1.117 OPS over the last three weeks, and had a six-game streak of posting double-digit Sorare points. Also, he remains maybe the strongest dude in baseball. Judge has barreled up in 11.7 percent of his plate appearances, which is in the top 10. However, his exit velocity is a whopping 96.2 mph, second best to Miguel Sano, who is really just a strong guy who occasionally lucks into squaring up a ball and obliterating it.

Downgrades

Jake Fraley, CIN ($2.08): Fraley suddenly popped up for the Reds in his age-28 season with 15 homers and 21 stolen bases. This year, while he has seven swiped bags, he only has one homer and a .378 slugging percentage. The main reason for my concern is Fraley's 82.7 mph exit velocity. He's in the bottom 15 on that front, and most of the guys below him are slap-hitting middle infielders. When you are hitting with the power of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, that doesn't bode well. It also may speak to why he has one game with double-digit Sorare points in the last month.

Bo Naylor, CLE ($2.31): Bo's brother Josh is having a great season and racking up Sorare points. Unfortunately, that success is not genetic. Naylor is a catcher, and last year in 67 games he hit 11 homers and stole five bases. Coming into this season, I felt good about Naylor, especially adjusting for the position, but his game log is littered with outings with zero or negative Sorare points. His strikeout rate is up 12 percent, and his walk rate is down a couple percentage points as well. Bo may only be 24, and Josh didn't really break out until he was 26, but my concern is this season, and Bo doesn't look ready for prime time.

Jordan Montgomery, ARI ($2.98): Montgomery played an important role for the Rangers as they won the World Series in 2023, and then followed that up by signing with the team they defeated for the title. His season started late due to the fact that he didn't sign until deep into spring training, and so far it has been concerning. Now, he's only had one terrible game, an outing against the Dodgers that yielded -7.0 Sorare points. But even eschewing his 4.25 FIP, there are reasons for concern. Montgomery has only struck out 5.40 batters per nine innings. Additionally, his fastball velocity has dropped from 93.3 to 91.7. That may not seem like a lot, but it is the biggest drop of any starting pitcher who did not change roles. Also, while it's early, Montgomery has a 9.72 ERA at his new home ballpark.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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