The Underperformers: Part 1
Tommy Edman is a tough player to pinpoint for this exercise. While he has upped his value by showing he can play center field handily, his offensive numbers have dipped across the board pretty heavily. For his career, he is slashing .265/.319/.408 for a league average 100 OPS+; however, on the season, he is slashing .237/.303/.391 for an OPS+ of only 89.
Most of his offensive struggles this year can be attributed to a career-high ground ball percentage (51.7% vs. league average of 44.7%). Also, Edman has a high chase rate of 36% and an even lower 15% barrel rate. He sprays the ball well since he is a switch-hitter, but he definitely hits better as a right-handed batter.
Despite his defensive versatility, Edman's value has probably dropped slightly this year to a drop-off in his offensive numbers. Edman is also getting near his career peak at 28 years old. As he ages, his defensive versatility will fall slightly.
Nolan Gorman was one of the best hitters in the league through the month of May. Since then, he has seen a marked difference in his offensive numbers. In March-May, Gorman batted .275/.361/.570(!!) for an OPS above .900. Gorman did a good job of laying off the high fastball and instead focusing on fastballs down and off-speed pitches that missed the catcher's target.
Since May, Gorman has been abysmal, to put it bluntly. He has a slash line of .150/.225/.275 for an OPS well below .550. He seems to have reverted back to swinging at the high fastball as his K% is in the 10th percentile, his whiff percentage is in the 11th percentile, and his line drive percentage is 25.3%, lower than his career average significantly. His ground ball percentage has increased, leading to more soft contact.
While Gorman is still very young, he must take steps to correct issues that have been present in his offensive game since he was a prospect.