Daniel Descalso
Daniel Descalso
32-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Chicago Cubs
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$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.
Not starting Wednesday
2BChicago Cubs
May 22, 2019
Descalso is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Phillies.
The playing-time battle between Descalso and Addison Russell was muddled in the last two days by the absence of Javier Baez (heel) opening up spots for both to start. Baez is back Wednesday, pushing Russell to second base and Descalso to the bench.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .694 181 20 6 22 0 .214 .311 .383
Since 2017vs Right .744 770 97 19 100 5 .235 .339 .405
2019vs Left .402 17 2 0 1 0 .143 .188 .214
2019vs Right .620 114 14 2 13 1 .214 .289 .330
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
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .763 480 61 12 61 5 .250 .351 .413
Since 2017Away .706 471 56 13 61 0 .211 .316 .389
2019Home .427 62 8 0 4 1 .143 .213 .214
2019Away .743 69 8 2 10 0 .262 .333 .410
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
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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 this season's data (min 100 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.
    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 Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
89.5 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Daniel Descalso
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
13 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
27 days ago
Can Milwaukee's lefty-laden lineup take advantage of a struggling Noah Syndergaard?
The Z Files: Early Playing Time Beneficiaries
28 days ago
Todd Zola looks at players who are well ahead of their preseason playing time projections and doesn't think Luke Voit is coming out of the Yankees' lineup any time soon.
DraftKings MLB: Tuesday Picks
31 days ago
Adam Zdroik takes stock of Tuesday's ace-free slate, suggesting that the public will be heavy on Rockies bats at Coors Field.
Spring Training Job Battles: Final Update
58 days ago
On the eve of Opening Day, Erik Halterman runs down the list of winners and losers in his final Job Battles update.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Not in lineup
2BChicago Cubs
May 18, 2019
Descalso is not starting Saturday against the Nationals.
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Heads to bench
2BChicago Cubs
May 15, 2019
Descalso is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Reds.
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Returns to action Sunday
2BChicago Cubs
May 12, 2019
Descalso (ankle) is starting at second base and batting seventh Sunday night against the Brewers.
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Remains out
2BChicago Cubs
May 11, 2019
Descalso (ankle) is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Brewers.
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Sits again Friday
2BChicago Cubs
May 10, 2019
Descalso (ankle) is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Brewers.
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