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Week 22 Hitting Planner: A Desmond in the Rough

Photo Credit: Ian D'Andrea

The long-awaited return of Josh Donaldson seems to be on the horizon as he’s set to begin in the Blue Jays minors. Hopefully, everyone else has also begun salivating about a lineup including Donaldson and Vlad Guerrero Jr, but with that, let’s jump into the Week 22 Hitting Planner.

Weather Forecast

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Summer seems like it just started, but the scent of fall has crept into the air in the Week 22 Hitting Planner. Temperatures across the USA will be on the cooler side in comparison to the previous week’s heat index. The Midwest has the most chance to see rain with Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis all projected to see some showers. Hopefully, the rain can keep the pumpkin spice from sleeping to close to the summer.

Park Factors

Entering the Week 22 Hitting Planner, Nationals Park in Washing D.C. sports a 1.287 HR PF leading the MLB with Citizens Bank Park (1.180 HR PF) and Great American Ballpark (1.279 HR PF) falling right behind it. Unfortunately, the Nationals will spend most of the week away from home. Coors field 7th with a 1.140 HR PF, but the Rockies will host both their series in the Week 22 Hitting Planner.

Coors Field traditionally skews towards a hitters park, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Rockies home on the top of almost every Park Factor leaderboard. The Dodgers and Giants come to visit in the Week 22 Hitting Planner, so expected some Rocky Mountain fireworks.

Stolen Base Report

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The Week 22 Hitting Planner should be a big week for the Cleveland Indians in terms of stolen bases. The host the White Sox and then head to Minnesota to play the Twins. The Indians as a team lead the MLB in terms of wSB with 7.3 runs. Led by the infield duo of Jose Ramirez (28 SB) and Francisco Lindor (19 SB), the Indians opponents rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of rSB.

The White Sox sports the second-worst rSB as a team with -3, but the Twins aren’t far off with an rSB of -2. Combined the two teams have allowed 176 stolen bases on 230 attempts. The addition of Greg Allen (13 SB) to the Indians starting outfield should give them a third threat.  Raja Davis (16 SB) is third on the team but on the DL.

Under-The-Radar- Players

Ian Desmond, COL (vs. SFG, vs. LAD)

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Entering the Week 22 Hitting Planner, Ian Desmond has an 82 wRC+ on the season. He’s hitting 62.5% of his batted balls on the ground and only making contact with 72% of his swings. Culminating in a slash line of .234/.301/.440. Still, Desmond serves as an intriguing fantasy option in the Week 22 Hitting Planner.

His absurd 29.9% HR/FB ratio, 15 stolen bases, and 97 mph average exit velocity on fly balls all signal good things to come in the Week 22 Hitting Planner. The Dodgers pitching staff sports the 9th worst HR/FB ration with 13.4% of fly balls leaving the yard. With both the Giants and Dodgers pitching staff generates a lot of ground balls, Desmond could be in trouble. If he cannot lift the ball, he could easily be a non-factor. However, Desmond lessened this concern by increasing average launch angle shift from -.1 degrees to 3 degrees over the last three weeks.

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