Martin Perez: Fantasy Baseball Trade Value (2024)

Martin Perez: Fantasy Baseball Trade Value (1)

We’re nearing the two-month point in the 2022 season, which means it’s no longer valid to just dismiss everything we’ve seen as a “small sample size.” Two months of baseball has provided us with a multitude of data to examine and analyze to inform our projections for the rest of the year.

With all of this data we’ve been provided with, it’s hard to find anything that’s more surprising and outright confusing than this fact: Martin Perez currently leads the entire MLB with a 1.42 ERA.

In this article, we’re going to look over what has led to Perez’s phenomenal 2022 campaign thus far, and determine whether fantasy managers should be looking to sell high on the 31-year-old lefty if the opportunity is there.

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The Quick Rundown

Through 10 starts, Perez is 4-2 with a 1.42 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. He’s never been a strikeout pitcher and this season has been no exception to that (20.2% strikeout rate, 7.0 K/9). His success has been almost exclusively due to his ability to limit hard contact and generate ground balls. He’s only yielded four barrels across 177 batted balls (2.3% barrel rate) and his .318 xSLG ranks in the 92nd percentile of the league.

Perez has held batters to a line drive rate of just 13.1%, down from 23.8% last year. Meanwhile, he’s maintained a 56% ground ball rate and a 1.81 GB/FB rate, which are both significant increases from last year (43.6%, 1.34).

His greatest accomplishment, however, may be the fact that he has not yet allowed a home run this year, a feat that has led to some milestones for him.

Martín Pérez is the first MLB pitcher to allow zero home runs in a month in which he pitched at least 40.0 innings since LAD’s Hyun Jin Ryu in May of 2019 (45.2 IP), and the first A.L. pitcher to do so since BOS’ Clay Buchholz in June of 2015 (40.2 IP).

— Texas Rangers PR (@TXRangersPR) June 1, 2022

The Pitch Mix

The biggest change that Perez has made to his pitch mix this year is that he’s been leading with his sinker, a pitch that has always been one of his best offerings. It’s a pitch that he led with during portions of his first stint with the Rangers, but over the last few years, he wasn’t leaning on it as heavily. You’ll see from the breakdown of his sinker usage over the years below that he threw the pitch only 25.3% of the time last year. This year, that’s up to 37.8%.

Taking a deep look at Perez’s sinker history raises some red flags. While I mentioned that the sinker is one of Perez’s best offerings, I’ll contextualize that statement by clarifying that it’s far from a dominant pitch. It’s been the pitch that has resulted in the highest put-away rate for him and the lowest batting average for him, but it’s not like we’re talking about Dylan Cease’s slider or any truly dominant pitch like that.

The sinker has certainly been a good pitch for Perez, but it doesn’t have a history of completely baffling hitters. The pitch had a whiff rate of under 10% in each of the last two years, for example. He’s also allowed a batting average of over .300 on the pitch in multiple seasons. Is the pitch any different this year? The underlying stats above definitely don’t suggest that there’s been a revolutionary change to the pitch. We’re still seeing the same velocity and spin rate we’ve seen in previous years. The batting average and xBA are both right where they’ve been the past few years.

The notable changes on the positive end are the increased whiff rate (16.2%) and put-away rate (24.2%) as well as the decreased slugging percentage (.295). The former two stats indicate he’s fooling batters more, but the fact that the strides he’s made there haven’t altered his overall strikeout rate or his BA/xBA on the sinker in any tangible way is concerning. The decreased slugging percentage, however, is the change that bears the most significance. It’s fueling his 92nd percentile xSLG (.318) and could be his ticket to continual weak contact from here forward.

One last disparity I’d like to point out is the average exit velocity change on Perez’s sinker this year. Surprisingly, he’s allowing a career-high average exit velocity of 91.8 mph on the pitch this year, up substantially from 85.7 mph last year. His overall average exit velocity across all his pitches this year is 88.8 mph, which is the highest its been since 2018. Batters had an 88.6 mph average exit velocity against him last year and he held batters under 87 mph on average in both 2019 and 2020. Take this stat in conjunction with the aforementioned ground ball metrics. It’s not that batters are always making the weakest of contact against Perez; they are often hitting the ball extremely hard, but hitting it right into the ground.

Home Run Regression

We all know that Perez isn’t going to go the entirety of the 2022 season without yielding a home run. The question is just how soon (and how badly) his home run regression will catch up to him. Perez has a career HR/FB rate of 12.1%. During some of his better years with the Rangers, he was able to keep his HR/FB rate under 10%. In 2014, his HR/FB rate was 8.1% and in 2015 the rate was 5.2%. Yet despite those impressively low home run rates, Perez was far from a standout pitcher in either of those seasons.

In 2014, he pitched 51.1 innings and had a 4.38 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. In 2015, he had a 4.46 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP over 78.2 innings. So while it’s encouraging to see that Perez has shown some prior abilities to limit home runs significantly when pitching for the Rangers, note that this feat of his hadn’t led to sustained and overall success until this year.

Perez is currently allowing a flyball rate of 30.9%, which is above his career average of 28.7%. So while he’s doing a great job of limiting line drives and producing ground balls, he’s still allowing a good amount of fly balls, which makes his home run regression seem even more imminent. Back in 2014 and 2015, he allowed career-low flyball rates of 24.7% and 22.1% respectively, and wound up allowing 0.5 HR/9 and 0.3 HR/9 respectively over those seasons.

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and project for him to replicate his 0.3 HR/9 rate from 2015. If he pitches another 120 innings this year to get him to 183.1 total innings on the year, we’d see him give up about seven home runs (0.53 HR/9 the rest of the way) to get him to a season-long HR/9 rate of 0.3. On the other end of the stick, if we project him to allow 1.7 HR/9 on the year (which is what he averaged in 2018, his last year with the Rangers before this one), then we’d be looking at about 34 home runs the rest of the way for him (2.55 HR/9).

Those are of course two very different alternatives. What will actually happen will likely be somewhere in between the two. Either way, the home runs will start coming at some point and along with the long balls, we’ll see his other stats start to regress as well.

The 2022 Landscape

Ok, so here’s the part you should have all been waiting for. With deadened ball theories abound and hitting down across the league, is Perez’s success something that could be sustainable in the pitcher-friendly landscape of 2022?

First off, just a quick look at how much offense is down this year. Runs per game are down from 4.53 last year to 4.27 this year while home runs per game are down from 1.22 last year to 1.00 this year.

For the most part, the 2022 season is looking a lot like the 2015 season, a season widely viewed as the transition year from the dead ball era to the juiced ball era.

Martin Perez: Fantasy Baseball Trade Value (3)

You may recall 2015 as the year that saw a breakout from another ground ball specialist named Dallas Keuchel. A 27-year-old Keuchel went on to win the AL Cy Young award in 2015 after going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.

If the deadened ball is indeed back this year, could 2022 Perez wind up being a replicant of 2015 Keuchel? In short, that outcome is extremely unlikely. Keuchel took ground ball pitching to new heights in 2015 with a 61.7% ground ball rate and a 3.14 GB/FB rate. Batters had an average launch angle of just 1.1 degrees against him and his 85.7 mph average exit velocity ranked in the 95th percentile.

As reminders and for quick comparison’s sake, Perez this year has a 56% ground ball rate and a 1.81 GB/FB rate. Batters have a 7.4-degree average launch angle against him and he’s allowed an average exit velocity of 88.8 mph (47th percentile). To make matters worse for Perez, in 2015 Keuchel also had a superior strikeout rate (23.7% to 20.2%) and a superior hard-hit rate (28% to 36.2%).

If 2022 remains a weak offensive environment, it will certainly help Perez attain sustained success. However, the indicators just aren’t strong enough to enable us to feel confident that he can continue to be dominant while he’s doing exactly what he’s doing.

Bottom Line

My overall advice for how to value Perez depends greatly on your league format and your team makeup. Perez is a must-roster, must-start player in most formats for now. If you’re in a league with savvy, veteran fantasy players and you can’t bait anyone into a sell-high proposal, then just ride the Perez wave for as long as you can.

In deep leagues where you’re having trouble filling out your rotation and meeting your minimum starts needed each week, Perez is much more valuable than he is in a shallow league where you can find reasonable starting pitchers off the waiver wire.

So if you’re one of those deep league managers who is relying on him for starter depth right now, I wouldn’t just sell him off for any offer that came around. I’d take my chances on him being at least a serviceable back-end rotation arm for the months to come. If someone goes crazy and offers you a borderline top-100 player who is struggling like Jose Berrios, Jesse Winker or Marcus Semien, then I’d jump all over it. If the offer is a fringe hitter or pitcher like Trey Mancini or Hunter Greene, I’d keep rolling with Perez.

If you’re a deep league manager who doesn’t really need to lean on Perez for rotation depth, then I’d most definitely be looking to trade him to the highest bidder. Trading for someone like Mancini would be a worthy endeavor if you needed a reliable, safe floor type of hitter. I’d also be willing to gamble on the upside and move Perez for Greene or even a top pitching prospect being stashed like Max Meyer or Grayson Rodriguez.

As for the shallow leagues, I’d be willing to jump at just about any offer that seems somewhat reasonable whether or not you feel as if you need him for rotation depth. If Perez quickly resorts to the type of results we’ve seen from him in years past, he’ll be waiver wire fodder in shallow leagues within a matter of weeks. I don’t necessarily think that’s going to happen, but it’s a plausible outcome from a guy with a career 4.53 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Grab either a hitter at a position of weakness or a pitcher who seems more likely to have sustained success this year. Examples of some pitchers who I’d trade Perez for in shallow leagues without thinking twice are Alex Cobb, Tylor Megill, and Patrick Sandoval.

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Martin Perez: Fantasy Baseball Trade Value (2024)


What does trade value mean in fantasy? ›

Traditionally, it's a table that separates fantasy players by position (QB/WR/RB/TE/draft picks) and assigns each a “trade value.” At its core, the “trade value” assigned should indicate a player's future potential and account for his past.

How do you use trade-in value? ›

If you're trading in your car with a loan, you'll first determine if your trade-in value is worth more or less than what you still owe on the loan. If it's worth more, you can use the trade-in value to pay off your loan and then use what's remaining toward your new car.

What is your trade value? ›

Trade Value means the total worth computed by multiplying quantity with individual unit price.

How do you win a fantasy trade? ›

Always get the best player

Always aim to acquire the best player in the trade. This seems obvious but even if it's a package deal you always want to come out with the best player. This doesn't mean it's an unfair trade, it simply means you walked away with the most talented player in the deal.

What happens if your fantasy player gets traded? ›

If you have a player in your lineup that has been traded to a new team that is not included in that contest, you will receive zero points for that player. However, you can always edit your lineup before the official start of the contest and replace traded players.

How do fantasy trades work? ›

In fantasy football, trades involve exchanging players between teams to improve your roster's overall performance. A well-executed trade can address weaknesses in your lineup, provide depth in crucial positions or simply upgrade your team's talent.

Is trade in value same as fair value? ›

The main difference is that fair value is an estimate of the intrinsic value of an asset, while market price is the actual traded price in the market. Fair value provides a theoretical benchmark for the value of an asset, while market price reflects the current market conditions and investor sentiment.

How do trades work in fantasy football? ›

In fantasy football, trades involve exchanging players between teams to improve your roster's overall performance. A well-executed trade can address weaknesses in your lineup, provide depth in crucial positions or simply upgrade your team's talent.

What is the difference between trade in value and resale value? ›

The trade-in value is usually less than the retail value because the dealership is acting as the middleman. In order to make a profit, they need to put a markup on the vehicle before listing it. Many dealerships will also fix up the car before reselling it, which also accounts for the disparity.

How do you calculate fantasy value? ›

For example, if a player has a salary of $10,000 and we project them to score 25 points, their value would be: (25/10,000)*1,000 = 2.5x value. The higher the player's value the better.


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