Daniel Descalso
Daniel Descalso
33-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Chicago Cubs
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Descalso picked a good time to have a career year. If he'd had the kind of season he had in 2019 in 2018, he might not have even gotten a major-league contract in free agency, let alone a two-year, $5 million deal. In his first season with the Cubs, Descalso struck out nearly 30% of the time while slugging .250, the fourth-lowest SLG among 411 players with at least 150 PA. That was down from .436 in 2018, his final season with the Diamondbacks. Statcast says he was a bit unlucky, but it was a bad year no matter how you slice it. The one good thing: while his walk rate fell, it was still close to 12%, so well above average. That skill and the fact that he can provide a left-handed bat off the bench may be enough to keep him around to start the year, but if Descalso struggles out of the gates, the Cubs could label him a sunk cost and designate the 33-year-old for assignment. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Cubs in December of 2018. Contract includes a $3.5 million team option ($1 million buyout) for 2021.
Likely to fill bench role
2BChicago Cubs
March 24, 2020
Descalso is likely to serve as a reserve infielder for the Cubs this year rather than being in the mix to start at second base, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Nico Hoerner is probably the team's most talented option to play second, but the organization is weighing whether to give the 22-year-old more seasoning in the minors. Even if Hoerner does start the year at Triple-A, both David Bote and Jason Kipnis are likely ahead of Descalso, which highlights the hurdles facing the 33-year-old when it comes to finding playing time. Descalso's experience and contract should keep him around to begin the season, though he could certainly be designated for assignment at some point.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
11
1
1
3
15
5
2
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+3%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+15%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+30%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .693 186 20 6 22 0 .215 .314 .380
Since 2017vs Right .717 827 101 19 101 6 .225 .333 .384
2019vs Left .460 22 2 0 1 0 .167 .238 .222
2019vs Right .528 171 18 2 14 2 .173 .275 .253
2018vs Left .889 74 9 4 12 0 .286 .365 .524
2018vs Right .767 348 45 9 45 0 .227 .351 .416
2017vs Left .588 90 9 2 9 0 .169 .289 .299
2017vs Right .767 308 38 8 42 4 .251 .344 .423
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+7%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+59%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+4%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+33%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .737 513 63 12 62 5 .241 .344 .393
Since 2017Away .687 500 58 13 61 1 .204 .314 .373
2019Home .402 95 10 0 5 1 .131 .223 .179
2019Away .638 98 10 2 10 1 .214 .316 .321
2018Home .804 208 25 5 28 0 .263 .370 .434
2018Away .773 214 29 8 29 0 .213 .336 .437
2017Home .824 210 28 7 29 4 .271 .371 .453
2017Away .619 188 19 3 22 0 .190 .287 .331
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Daniel Descalso compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.40
 
BB Rate
11.9%
 
K Rate
29.5%
 
BABIP
.245
 
ISO
.077
 
AVG
.173
 
OBP
.271
 
SLG
.250
 
OPS
.521
 
wOBA
.243
 
Exit Velocity
88.8 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
31.9%
 
Barrels/PA
1.5%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Daniel Descalso
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
24 days ago
Jesse Siegel highlights minor leaguers to keep an eye on, including Texas' Nick Solak, who has the bat to join the Rangers but just needs a position.
The Z Files: Is Average Exit Velocity on Groundballs Useful?
78 days ago
Todd Zola dives into the weeds on how the average exit velocity on groundballs impacts BABIP while also looking at other factors, such as the elite sprint speed of players like Trea Turner.
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
177 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
335 days ago
Jan Levine analyzes the top waiver-wire targets in the NL this week, including Colorado's Ian Desmond, who is finally heating up after a slow start to the season.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Saturday Picks
349 days ago
Can Milwaukee's lefty-laden lineup take advantage of a struggling Noah Syndergaard?
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Descalso surpassed 400 plate appearances for the second time in his career and for the first time since 2012. He was thrust into regular duty at third base after Jake Lamb went down with an injury in the fifth game of the season, and Descalso built up enough good will during that stretch to maintain semi-regular at-bats after the Diamondbacks acquired Eduardo Escobar. With more sporadic playing time, Descalso's offense cooled, but with 13 homers and a .353 OBP for the season (boosted by a 15.1% walk rate), he graded out as roughly 11% better than league average at the plate. He sacrificed contact for his uptick in power and 2018 figures to go down as the best year of Descalso's career, but he landed a two-year deal with the Cubs in the offseason and should fill a semi-regular role, keeping him very much in the deep-league discussion.
During his first season in Arizona, Descalso was thrust into a sizable role due to the team's injury woes, and he proved useful, posting career highs in home runs (10), RBI (51), runs (47), walk rate (12.1 percent), flyballs (43.2 percent) and hard contact (37.0 percent, per Fangraphs). He leaned heavily on hitter-friendly Chase Field (.357 wOBA, .274 elsewhere) and matchups with righties (.332, .267 lefties), especially since he tilted toward more power with a career-high 22.4 strikeout rate. The useful .264 average he notched in 2016 dipped 31 points with his new approach. Descalso must have done just enough, however, as Arizona picked up his 2018 option, seemingly confident they could use him if similar circumstances arise. Most of his value figures to come from his versatility and his presence as a veteran in the clubhouse.
Descalso's role didn't change much from the 2015 season, but he managed to produce more in the final year of his contract with Colorado than he had for quite some time. The 29-year-old began the year as a reserve utility infielder (and even got seven starts in left field), but somehow was sporting a batting average above .300 into mid-August. This helped him garner the starting shortstop job once Trevor Story went down with a thumb injury, although his production did taper off a bit toward the end of the season. He did post his best walk rate ever (11.8 percent) and decreased his strikeout rate to bring it below 20 percent. Descalso will likely remain in a reserve utility role after signing with the Diamondbacks on a one-year pact over the offseason despite the uptick in production last year.
Descalso continued his role as a bench utility infielder with the Rockies in 2015, doing little more than giving starters the day off and filling in for injured players. He didn't help his cause by batting a mere .205 in 185 plate appearances. There was a small bright spot for Descalso at the plate, as he did show good patience, producing a solid 9.6% walk rate. The 29-year-old has some real life value due to his ability to play all over the infield, but his playing time will still be underwhelming, especially now that the Rockies have viable starting options across the infield, and prospect Trevor Story forcing the issue at Triple-A.
Descalso saw his playing time drop for the third consecutive season, serving another year as the Cardinals' utility man, logging innings at all four infield positions while hitting .242 in 161 at-bats. With a .243/.313/.341 career line across 1,223 at bats, there is little get excited about beyond Descalso's versatility. He may have a clearer path to playing time after signing with the Rockies in December, especially with the organization's revolving door at second base. Even if that materializes, Descalso is unlikely to become more than a player to stream when he gets a prolonged stretch of playing time at Coors Field.
Descalso took on a larger role in 2013 after Pete Kozma struggled mightily, and he delivered 43 RBI and 43 runs across 358 plate appearances. The 27-year-old was also able to lower his strikeout rate (15.6%) last season, but he'll be blocked at shortstop by the Cardinals' addition of Jhonny Peralta. Descalso figures to see a significant drop in playing time serving mostly as organizational depth. If Kolten Wong struggles at second base, Descalso may get enough playing time to match his 2013 production.
Descalso is one of those guys that managers love: he can play all over the infield, can play almost every day and he'll come off the bench if he has to. Managers love guys like him, but fantasy owners don't have to. If a fantasy owner paid a few bucks for the guy sharing the second-base job with Tyler Greene, he got 374 at-bats. Congratulations. We hope he enjoyed the six stolen bases, 26 RBI and .227 batting average, because those were the highlights. He qualifies at three positions in 2013, so that could give him a little value, but we've probably already seen his upside and it's not pretty.
Descalso spent all year on the St. Louis roster, playing the role that Nick Punto was often too injured to play. He started 61 games at the hot corner and started several other games at second and short. He only qualifies at third base, however, but barring another injury to David Freese he'll instead spend more time at second base this year, where the Cardinals have said he'll get first shot over Skip Schumaker.
Descalso isn't going to hit .300. He's not going to hit 20 home runs. He's not going to steal 20 bases. What he *can* do is carve out a nice role as a utilityman for the Cardinals. The 24-year-old will probably back up Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot in 2011, and he could see some time at the hot corner as well.
More Fantasy News
Faces competition for playing time
2BChicago Cubs
February 17, 2020
Descalso will battle the likes of David Bote, Nico Hoerner and the newly signed Jason Kipnis for playing time at second base to begin the year, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Returns from injured list
2BChicago Cubs
September 1, 2019
Descalso (ankle) was activated off the 10-day injured list Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Struggling on rehab assignment
2BChicago Cubs
Ankle
August 27, 2019
Descalso (ankle) is 2-for-17 with two home runs through seven rehab games with Triple-A Iowa.
ANALYSIS
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Set to begin rehab stint
2BChicago Cubs
Ankle
August 16, 2019
Descalso (ankle) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Saturday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Heads to IL
2BChicago Cubs
Ankle
July 27, 2019
Descalso was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left ankle sprain, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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