“That’s Amore!” Why Sticking With Ryon Healy Is Paying Off

I get the frustration. You draft a guy, with a power bat, to solidify one of your utility spots, and he struggles through the first month. If you drafted Healy to either eat up a utility slot or be your starting third baseman you were ripping your hair after the first month. Through April, Healy slashed .245/.276/.415 with three home runs, 10 RBI, and 26 strikeouts. This isn’t the exact production you were looking for, and more than likely you were starting to search the waiver wire for early-season additions just in case Healy slumped more than just the first month. Luckily, he heated up after April, and he’s on pace to have a stellar season. This week, I wanted to focus on the benefits owners have reaped holding onto the slugger in this week’s installments of “That’s Amore!” Why Sticking With Ryon Healy Is Paying Off.

Healy made his debut in 2016, and was phenomenal for owners that took a chance from the free agent pool. He ended the season slashing .305/.337/.524 with 13 HR, 37 RBI, and looked like a solid mid-to-late round draft pick in 2017. As with many hitters, especially those entering their first full season, Healy had a few bumps along the way. Healy ended Spring Training leading the Athletics in home runs (5) and runs batted in (16). High hopes carried into the season, and his solid Spring enhanced his stock in fantasy drafts. Throughout April, the power numbers weren’t there and Healy ended with only three home runs. Fast forward through May, and Healy ended the second month slashing .294/.327/.520 and doubling his April home run total with six May long balls, and ending the month with 14 RBI. We finally saw glimpses of the slugger that every fantasy owners thought they’d be seeing.

Early into June, Healy hasn’t cooled off with a blistering slash line of .333/.350/.821 with an OPS of 1.171. If those numbers weren’t a great sign he’s already hit five June home runs to go along with 13 RBI. He’s been arguably one of the hottest hitters through nearly two weeks of June, and sees himself tied for sixth in home runs (14). If you were patient, or grabbed Healy after an owner dropped him, congratulate yourself. More than likely you held onto him if you drafted him, but if you were one of the owners that released him you have to be kicking yourself. I understand the consideration of dropped Healy especially with the numerous injuries that piled up early on, but isn’t too early to actually pull the trigger after the first month?

What’s been the biggest difference from month-to-month? Through the month of April, Healy was hitting to all part of the field, but his Hard% was at 35.3%. While this isn’t too alarming, he was making a high number of soft contact on pitches (16.2%). Another factor, in April, was his high K% at 26.5%. During his successful May campaign, Healy increased his Hard% to 39.5%, lowered his Soft% to 14.5%, and decreased his K% by 2.2%. This, along with his increased in Pull% allowed for the positive increase in his power numbers. What has made June his best month thus far? While Healy’s K% is high (27.5%), he’s had his best month in terms of Hard% at 46.4%. He’s seeing pitches well, and he’s seen a drastic decrease in Soft% from 16.2%, to 14.5%, to finally 10.7%. He’s hitting pitches hard, and he’s making great contact. After a slow start to the season, he’s heated up during the months of May and June and he’s looking like one of the better targets through middle-to-later rounds of fantasy drafts.

Healy’s multiple-position eligibility has made him vital in all fantasy formats. He owns first base and third base eligibility in ESPN, Yahoo, and Fantrax. He’s tied for fourth in HR (14) among fantasy third basemen and fifth in RBI (37). These are great numbers for a player that didn’t make the top-20 ranking for fantasy third basemen. Whether or not the production lasts all season remains to be seen. There’s no reason Healy can’t reach the 30 home run plateau, and easily drive in 80+ RBI. Would you consider dealing the Athletics third baseman? Depending on where you sit, Healy’s increased production could make for a viable trade piece. I’ve mentioned this week-after-week, but I’ve been battling injured pitchers all season long. If you’re in the same boat, and Healy is a utility piece, he could be the perfect player to acquire a solid arm. Remember, there are disgruntled owners that have had it with pitchers such as Johnny Cueto and Jake Arrieta. I’d prefer Cueto, but if Arrieta puts it back together he could be a dynamite arm to acquire. Either way, look at your team’s needs, and if there’s a hot player you can move, take a shot at it. If you’re on the other end, and looking for a hot bat then take a deep look at Healy. Either way, go for it and win now!

 

 

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