The ‘Old School’ Player
His flat-planed swing produces a high ground ball rate (54.3% in 2020) and thus a higher BABIP, but this doesn’t inherently help him.
We can all agree, 2020’s sample size was extremely small, but Fletcher had 1 barrel in 185 batted ball events. That is painfully bad. This had him in the lowest possible percentile (1st percentile) for hard hit rate in 2020. Fletcher not only has contact issues — he also has poor defensive skills away from second base, demonstrated by a 6th percentile outs above average (OAA) mark in 2020.
He’s fun to watch if you enjoy ground balls and “old school baseball”, but he’s an extremely volatile asset. He returns very little value outside of above average speed and the 0.05% chance he puts a ball in play at above 95 miles per hour with the proper launch angle.
Fletcher has played five positions since entering the league in 2020, but the position he’s best at is second base. His DRS of 15 at the spot is 2 runs higher then his total at 3B, with 212 less innings. So, while he adds slight value at different spots, the position he adds the most at is slowly becoming one of the least important positions to field.
We can all agree the Reds and Dodgers are two of the smartest front offices in baseball. What does it say about the position of second base when these two teams are fielding Max Muncy (-0.3 UZR at 2B) and Mike Moustakas (-3 DRS at 2B) at the position? It’s blatantly obvious what it means — the ability to shift a player based on advanced scouting reports and batted ball profiles make tools and abilties like range near obsolete. Fletcher’s best defensive ability is his range (1.2 RngR, 1.6 UZR vs 0.5 ErrR, -0.1 ARM). With his best abilities becoming useless in today’s game, why would they want to keep him?
They shouldn’t, so here are three possible teams they could ship him off too.