Chase Headley has come out of the gates hot for the Yankees this season. But, can fantasy owners trust him as a waiver wire add?
The Yankees are a roll right now thanks to quality starting pitching, a lights-out bullpen and solid offensive production from their role players. Chase Headley is by no means a role player, he surely is not paid as so, but heading into the season he was not one of the presumed offensive stalwarts. Yet, he has been the Yankees most consistent hitter, but should fantasy owners trust him?
Chase Headley is entering his 11th year as a major leaguer and has a solid career to this point. Fantasy owners are well familiar with him as he had a monster 2012 season, bashing 31 HR/115 RBI. Even though he never replicated that production, he has had serviceable success as a CI or UTIL option.
Since coming to the Yankees in 2014, his time with the club has been up and down. Originally he struggled with his defense, and then last season, it took him 90 at-bats to get his first XBH. His numbers from a fantasy perspective were mediocre, .253/14 HR/21 RBI/.716 OPS, leaving him on the waiver wire for most of the 2016 campaign.
But, after two weeks into the 2017 season, Headley looks like a new man and has easily been the Yankees most consistent offensive performer. he currently holds a .410/2 HR/3 RBI/3 SB/11 R line. He has already totaled four XBH this season and his counting stats are being boosted by the production from Aaron Judge and company at the bottom of the order.
Even though his AVG will surely come down, his batted ball data is very encouraging. He has already shown the willingness to try and beat the shift this season, posting a 43% Oppo rate so far. HIs LD% is a healthy 41% and he has notched a staggering 57% Medium contact rate.
These numbers are of course inflated due to the season only being 12 games in. But, while Headley is going the other way more and is squaring the ball up with ease, he also made a mechanical adjustment in the offseason to include his base, or his legs, more in his swing.
Fantasy owners should feel comfortable adding Headley as he his red-hot at the plate, showing early signs of an effective change in plate approach and has altered the mechanics of his swing. He is not all of a sudden going to be the type of value he once was, but he makes for a quality CI or UTIL add at this point.
Make the move.