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Astros: Welcome to the Show Joey Loperfido!

Welcome to the show, Joey Loperfido! Can he live up to the hype in his Astros MLB debut? Get the inside scoop on his stats and projections now.


The Astros have officially announced that Joey Loperfido was going to be added to the Astros 26-man Roster.




















Let me say WELCOME to the Astros show Joey Loperfido!!

https://www.mlb.com/prospects/astros/joey-loperfido-694388

Disclaimer: This will be more opinion based on projections from minor league data. That is a very tough thing to do. Not all players make the jump we expect them to.


The Astros are desperate for 1B production.

1B Astros Production

Loperfido is a top prospect for the Astros. According to MLB Pipeline:

  • 2024 #6 Astros Prospect

  • 2023 #18 Astros Prospect


Loperfido has been MASHING and forced the Astros to call him up. He also has struck out more than 30% of the time in AAA.


This could go great. This could be a disaster. At least the Astros will learn something. It can't get worse than their current 1B production.


Let's get to know Joey Loperfido. Data from Mlb.com, Baseballreference.com, and fangraphs.com 


Age- 25.0- Born 5/11/1999

College: Duke University

Drafted/ Signed- 7th round of 2021 draft by Houston Astros


Was added to the 40-man roster 4/30/24- tomorrow (He would have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December 2024)

Options: Three

Service Time: 0.000


Prospect Ratings/ Profiles


Fangraphs

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/mario-loperfido/sa3017050/stats?position=OF

Loperfido has been GREAT this year in AAA in 120 PA. He still is a 40/45 projected prospect.


Is he better than what the scouts think? Maybe. Let's explore some real AAA data.


MiLB Stats/ Projected 2024 MLB Stats

Let's look at his xwOBA stats and K%. Here are stats from 2023 to 2024.

2023 2024 Stats

Loperfido has been working to get his K% down and it is now around 30%.


Loperfido has improved SIGNIFICANTLY on his 2023 AAA stats in 2024. The current Fangraphs projection algorithm models him to be a near MLB hitter at 98 wRC+. This was 87 YESTERDAY, so that models were updated. The 98 is also 85% of his combined 2023 - 2024 wRC+ average of 116.


This may be a shock to fans who speak about Loperfido as if he is the savior.


The reality is the Astros are getting a league worst 18 wRC+ from their current first basemen. Getting 98 wRC+ would be a revolution.


One of the major issues the Astros offense has is that several players (including Abreu (wOBA 0.108) and Singleton (wOBA 0.082)) have been horrible with RISP.


Loperfido RISP

My general rule is to factor AAA stats by about 80%. You saw above the FG model applied about an 85% factor. Even at 80%. Loperfido would be a 0.338 xwOBA hitter and a 0.333 xwOBA hitter with RISP. This would be a MASSIVE increase over Singleton and Abreu.


Here is the 2024 pitch data.

Loperfido Pitch data

Loperfido has been great vs. 4-seam fastballs, sliders (note that), changeups (note that too), and cutters. He is OK vs. Sinkers. He has struggled vs. curveballs.


As a team the Astros are weaker vs. breaking pitches and off-speed pitches. Maybe Loperfido can help with both.


Pitch data in a year this early is a little risky to draw conclusions. let's look at 2023-2024 combined data vs. LHP and RHP. This is the data the Premium and MoneyMaker members see for every series and for the matchups.

Loperfido 2023-24 Platoon

You can see Loperfido is better vs. RHP than LHP. I suspect the team will limit Loperfido vs. LHP that throw lots of breaking and off-speed pitches.


The data above validates the near average projections when I apply my 80% rule. I will put the data in the far-right column for Loperfido in the Premium and Money Maker tables.


Loperfido is a OF first that CAN play 1B.


By Position

The most interesting question may be why is Loperfido here- to take playing time from the 1B Abreu and Singleton or LF McCormick? I think the answer is both and here is why.

2024 Players wRC+

Three of Astros struggling the most are STILL being projected to be better than Loperfido is projected to be. However, Loperfido is projected to be better than how McCormick, Singleton, and Abreu have been so far.


So, what is real? By calling up Loperfido I believe the Astros are telling you they believe what we have scene after a month more than they believe what was projected to happen.

https://www.larrythegm.com/post/astros-loperfido-for-abreu-hot-seat-tracker

I thought Cabbage would be here for longer than just the two days in Mexico City. I wrote about that here.






We had a marathon talking this out last night on Twitter Space.



We searched for an answer for:


  1. Why Loperfido NOW? I think the team reached their breaking point with the 1B and desperately needs production.

  2. The team bypassed acquiring Garrett Cooper and now is making these moves.

  3. Why bring up Cabbage for two days? It was a free trip up. He was on the 40-man while Loperfido was not. They wanted to see what he looked like.

  4. What two players are the Astros are the Astros going to option? We had consensus that Kessinger would be optioned. The second moves we considered:

    1. Cabbage

    2. Singleton (He would have to be DFAed and might not pass through waivers.)

    3. Abreu (DFA/ IL)

The Astros announced move number two - Cabbage.












Conclusions


Get Ready! Joey Loperfido is here! Give him grace and patience. He will strike out a lot. He SHOULD be a significant upgrade over the current 1B performance and to some extent what McCormick has been doing in LF. He could platoon with Meyers and McCormick.


Here is what Fangraphs data suggests the playing time distribution will be for the whole Astros team.

FG PT Allocation

They project Loperfido to have 261 PA for the rest of the season.


Here are my projections for playing time.

LGM PT Distribution

My adjustments because I think Loperfido is here to stay:

  • I think Abreu plays less than FG thinks.

  • I think Dubon's time is CF is more reduced by Loperfido.

  • I think Singleton will get his PT reduced by Cabbage (assuming he returns.)

  • I think Kessinger will play less because Dubon will play more IF.

  • I think Loperfido plays a LOT. Assuming he succeeds, he plays the equivalent of the starters.

  • I think Cabbage plays more too. I think he will be back, and Singleton will be released at some point.


Joey Loperfido is here folks! Let's see how it goes.


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156 views1 comment

1 comentário


Thanks, Larry. Good stuff.

Curtir
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