It’s official: this is the most boring deep league waiver wire to date. The combined age of the recommended players is an elderly 71. <cliché>But these guys still have some gas left in the tank!</cliché>
Bobby Abreu | LA OF | CBS 14% Owned
Abreu was freed from the Angels’ logjam in the outfield and designated hitter slot and caught on with the Dodgers at the beginning of May. He is not starting against lefties, but receiving full-time at-bats against right-handers. Unfortunately, his power disappeared last year and has yet to reemerge this season, so it is looking less and less likely that he will contribute positively in the home run category ever again. His speed still showed up last year, but he has just two steals in three tries this season, so he’s apparently no longer a speed threat either. What he does offer is a spot in the middle of the Dodgers batting order, which should provide enough runs and RBIs to generate some value.
Be wary of his batting average though, as his near-.300 mark is being boosted by a .391 BABIP. Of course, he is also hitting line drives like crazy, posting a 32% mark, so the BABIP is actually for real so far. But since the line drive rate is obviously unsustainable, then the BABIP will regress eventually, and then you’re left with a .250 hitter. This doesn’t inspire much confidence, I know, but any hitter in the middle of the order on the good side of a platoon is worth something in deep leagues.
Ryan Ludwick | CIN OF | 11% Owned
Ludwick is getting full-time at-bats while Drew Stubbs is on the DL, but even when Stubbs returns, he’s making a case to get more playing time at the expense of Chris Heisey. Heisey was solid last year in half a season, but has wOBA’d just .286 so far this year versus Ludwick’s .324 mark. Ludwick has also been flashing the power, with 9 homers and a .236 ISO and hasn’t been allergic to taking the free pass like Heisey has. We all know Dusty Baker‘s affinity for veterans, so Heisey could become the odd man out.
Ludwick is hitting just .224 on the year, but that comes with a .248 BABIP, which represents the lowest mark of his career. A huge fly ball rate and lower than league average line drive rate certainly have something to do with that, but he has always been an extreme fly ball hitter and sports an almost perfectly league average career BABIP. So he may not totally kill you in batting average after all and may manage to hit .250 or so the rest of the way.