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In the aftermath of Troy Tulowitzki being traded to Toronto, many of the storylines focused on either the Blue Jays’ powerful offense or the Rockies’ unfortunate handling of the trade in relation to previous agreements made with Tulowitzki. Fantasy owners have flooded the Bat Signal with questions about Tulowitzki’s value in Toronto and whether it’s time to sell on right-hander Jeff Hoffman before he gets devoured by Coors Field.

Any discussion about Jose Reyes has been centered on the Rockies’ desire to flip him elsewhere and how other teams currently aren’t biting. Few people are asking whether Reyes will benefit from the Coors Field Effect™ and whether his fantasy value has increased—at least for the remainder of the 2015 season.

Rogers Centre in Toronto has a reputation for being a hitter-friendly ballpark—and that’s largely true—but that reputation is more tied to its home-run boost, rather than its overall run factor. For example, Toronto’s home park has a top-10 factor for homers but actually ranks 20th in Major League Baseball in terms of its overall run environment. This has remained relatively consistent over recent years:

Year

HR Factor

Rank

Run Factor

Rank

2015

1.157

10th

0.948

20th

2014

1.310

3rd

1.042

9th

2013

1.289

3rd

1.118

4th

2012

1.030

15th

1.008

15th

Fantasy owners have eyed playing in the Rogers Centre as being a boon for power hitters, and there is ample statistical evidence to back that up. However, most people don’t realize that Rogers Centre isn’t as effective at producing runs as home runs. This has caused people, in my mind, to underestimate the difference between Coors Field and Rogers Centre for hitters. The chasm between the two is massive:

Year

TOR Run Factor

COL Run Factor

2015

0.948

1.360

2014

1.042

1.501

2013

1.118

1.273

2012

1.008

1.579

As one would expect, Coors Field leads Major League Baseball in run factor by a significant margin. The difference between a “hitter-friendly” field, such as Rogers Centre, and Coors is even more mind-blowing.

In this way, perhaps fantasy owners should view this trade as a potential step forward for Reyes’ fantasy value.

*****

Jose Reyes is no longer the high-profile shortstop that demands attention in the first two rounds; however, he’s currently hitting .285/.322/.385 with 16 stolen bases and is the sixth-best fantasy shortstop in ESPN leagues. His injury history and his age detract from his value. Suggestions that he’s washed up or not valuable in fantasy leagues, though, don’t seem to hold water.

In a simplistic sense, one should expect a move to Coors Field and the Rockies to positively affect his overall offensive production. One should also expect at least some positive movement in terms of his health due to not playing on turf most nights. Still, some red flags make such simplistic analysis dangerous.

Reyes has seen two core skills decline in recent years: his power and his walk rate. The former isn’t surprising, given that he’s 32 years old and not a prototypical power hitter, but his decreased walk rate is more notable:

Year

BB%

ISO

2015

5.5%

.101

2014

5.8%

.111

2013

8.1%

.131

2012

8.8%

.146

With declining power and a declining walk rate, it seems that Reyes is precariously close to becoming an average/speed type of fantasy player. This is valuable, but what always made him special was the fact that he could hit double-digit homers with the 30+ stolen bases and .280+ batting average. He contributed across the board.

One does wonder if his numbers started to significantly decline once he transitioned to the American League, but he performed well in 2013 with the Blue Jays, hitting .296 with 10 homers and a quality walk rate. Instead, it appears his increased age and his long history of injuries are starting to catch up to him and limit his fantasy value.

Furthermore, Baseball Savant indicates that Reyes’s batted-ball velocity is among the worst in Major League Baseball. He ranks 317th out of 348 batters with at least 50 at-bats. His infield-fly rate has also ballooned to 24.4 percent. He’s not hitting the baseball with as much authority as before, so the data suggests that his power struggles are legitimate and something fantasy owners should expect to continue in the near future.

Given the premier run environment in Colorado, one should expect the batting average and run-scoring opportunities to remain level. I’m not convinced that fantasy owners should look to Reyes for increased power production, given the home-run environment in Toronto, but the Coors Light Effect™ should help keep him fantasy-relevant.

BUYER’S ADVICE: HOLD

Ultimately, it’s about understanding what kind of value a player provides. The park factors discussed above indicate that Reyes should not be expected to increase his power production, simply because of a move to Coors Field, but his offensive environment is becoming much better. His batting average and run-scoring opportunities should remain healthy. And because the Rockies rank in the middle of the pack in stolen bases, it doesn’t appear that his speed numbers will be hamstrung by the move.

In the end, fantasy owners should not expect Reyes to become a stud fantasy shortstop because of the trade to Denver. They shouldn’t expect him to add power or become something that he hasn’t been. However, fantasy owners should expect Reyes to build on his strengths with the move to Coors Field. The injury concerns and non-impact profile keep me from recommending a “buy,” but it makes complete sense for fantasy owners to hold and enjoy the improved performance in the categories in which he has already contributed.

Thank you for reading

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LlarryA
7/29
When speaking of Reyes, don't say "hamstrung"...

I think perhaps some PitchFX analysis is due. In Coors, he'll see curveballs that don't curve and sliders that don't slide, and therefore probably more fastballs. Question becomes, what can he do with them? I expect his contact rate on off-speed pitches goes up, though whether that results in solid or weak contact remains to be seen. If fastballs blow by him, he's in trouble, but if he can still catch up to most of them, he ought to be fine.
akkratte
7/31
And...Hoffman?