Player Profile: Devin Mesoraco

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

Need power at catcher? Look to Mesoraco

Need power at catcher? Look to Mesoraco

Devin Mesoraco burst onto fantasy radars following a prolific 2010 minor league season in which he hit twenty-six home runs across three levels for the Reds. Whether it was a matter of playing time or nagging injuries, Mesoraco has failed to recapture fantasy owner’s trust since then. Since returning from his preseason injury, Mesoraco has hit two home runs with an average speed off the bat of 105.1 mph and average true distance of 411.5 feet according to ESPN’s home run tracker. Although he seems to be swinging for the fences early in the season, there is enough pedigree to suggest that Mesoraco could make a run at 20 home runs as early as this season. In fact, in the preseason I projected him to hit 18 home runs for 2014 with 60 runs and 63 RBI. For reference his adjusted ZiPS projections are below:

  • Mesoraco Zips (Updated) – 100 G, 40 R, 15 HR, 56 RBI 268/330/471
  • Mesoraco Zips (Rest of the way) – 96 G, 37 R, 13 HR, 50 RBI 258/320/441

While these numbers are not great, they are interesting. Little can be made about a players first four games of the season but at a time when quality second catchers are hard to find, getting a borderline catcher one off the wire is a player to target. Mesoraco improved his LD% by almost five points from 2012 to 2013 while holding his HR/FB% at 10% and keeping his SwStr% under 10% as well. Factor in his home ballpark and ability to hit the ball for power and we are on to something. In fact, Mesoraco may just be scratching the surface of his talent. During his time in AAA, Mesoraco has an OBP of 359 which has yet to translate to the major leagues. Playing sparingly probably forced Mesoraco into trying to do too much in his at bats during Dusty’s tenure to hit his way into the lineup. But that does not work in the major leagues. While his plate discipline does need to improve, the biggest key to a full breakout will be his ability to hit balls to the opposite field. Below are his spray chart and batting average zone profile thanks to BrooksBaseball.net:

mesoraco spray chart

mesoraco batting average chart

Only two of his major league home runs have been to the right side of center field. Once he adjusts taking the ball the other way and avoiding that big grouping of groundouts to the left side of the infield will his breakout be complete. But for this year, Mesoraco is a player worth speculating on due to his advantage of playing time right now as opposed to another young power hitting catcher, Josmil Pinto. As of yesterday his ownership was as follows:

  • Mesoraco % owned – ESPN (5.3%), Yahoo (10%), CBS (38%)

There will still be some time to buy low on Mesoraco but striking early may pay rewards in the long run. Post hype sleeper or age 27 breakout, whatever the moniker, try Mesoraco for a boost at catcher. Ignore the recent past and buy Mesoraco for the future.

Greg Jewett
is a staff writer for Roto Analysis and you can follow us on Twitter @RotoAnalysis and @gjewett9

Devin Mesoraco picture credit: http://thebaseballhaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/mesoraco1.jpg?w=555

Statistical Credits:

Fangraphs.com

BrooksBaseball.net

ESPN Home Run Tracker

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Flirting with the Waiver Wire: Week 2 | Roto Analysis - April 14, 2014

    [...] Mesoraco is another player I just cannot give up on and today he had a home run and four RBI against Tampa Bay to not only help my DFS teams, but make him a target in two catcher leagues. The power is there and the only thing holding him back was playing time. With the departure of Dusty Baker, he should not only get the time, but this may be the year he breaks out. Colabello cooled off some this week but still produced 7 RBI and seems assured of playing time for a Twins team that craves offense. He will not be a source of batting average but the power and ability to drive in runs is worth speculating on. With the injuries to Beltre and Zimmerman it is almost assured that Plouffe’s ownership will be on the rise. He has occasional power and did score 5 runs this past week with 2 RBI. Plouffe will provide stablility to bridge the time until you get your stud 3B back. Wong has been a great source of steals this week swiping three bags while primarily batting second for the Cardinals. Although Ellis may be returning, Wong has done nothing to merit a decrease in playing time. [...]

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