It’s deep league waiver time. Please contain your excitement.
It’s deep league waiver time. Please contain your excitement.
Kendall Graveman (3% Yahoo, 1.6% ESPN, 11% CBS) – on its surface, Graveman’s 5.48 ERA is enough to scare off most casual fans. And his 5.91 FIP and 4.33 xFIP suggest there’s little to see here. Yawn. Move on, right? Well, maybe. But depending on your league size, Kendall Graveman could be a surprising source of productive innings moving forward.
First, the bad. I’ve already touched on his disappointing ERA and the indicators that support it. He’s also walking more batters than he did last year. In fact, his 3.59 BB/9 would be by far the worst of his career, including his time in the minor leagues. After his start on Thursday, his Zone% is sitting at 42%, a 4-point drop from his 2015 rate. And then there’s the home runs. His HR/FB% is a ghastly 25%. As you might suspect, this is where we start looking for upside.
Power at catcher is always in demand, and the position should be getting an influx soon as a the result of a former catcher once again donning the tools of ignorance after leaving the position last year. The former top prospect in all of baseball was Wally Pipped over the last couple of seasons, but he’ll get an opportunity to strut his stuff in the majors over the next couple of weeks. Also, a pitcher whose play and velocity has been up and down this year is coming off of a strong start in which he regained the velo bump he showcased in his first few starts. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to an all Astros edition of the deep league waiver wire! With a series of roster moves, opportunities abound.
I love young players. This week’s piece will allow me to indulge my love of young players. The first highlighted player is highly owned, but his ownership rate at one of the major fantasy baseball providers is insanely low. He’s joined by a pair of players in the Triple-A International League who should all reach the majors in the coming months. If recent performance is an indicator, they’ll be getting a look sooner rather than later. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome back to another edition of the deep league waiver wire, where there’s another opportunity to take advantage of an injury and a preemptive move for an imminent returnee.
Oswaldo Arcia (1% Yahoo, 1.6% EPSN, 8% CBS) – the dude seems like he’s been around forever but he actually just turned 25 yesterday. After a disappointing 2015 in both Minnesota and Rochester, Arcia is swinging a hot bat, producing at the level Twins fans envisioned given the promising start to his career. So far, he’s cracked 4 homers in just over 70 plate appearances on his way to a shiny 135 wRC+.
It’s easy to look at some obvious data points and scream regression. His .382 BABIP and 40% HR/FB rates will assuredly normalize. And his career-high GB/FB ratio is, on its surface, alarming. Dig a little deeper and we find his ground ball rate has remained stable while his fly balls have simply turned into line drives. As for the quality of Arcia’s contact, he ranks 57th out of 287 in average FB/LD exit velocity among those with at least 30 balls-in-play.
Is this new batted ball profile sustainable? Who knows? But if you buy into the crazy narrative that greater selectivity at the plate can often lead to better contact, then perhaps some of it is. Arcia is chasing pitches outside of the zone a career low 28.5% of the time, about one point above the league, but an eight and a half point drop below his career average. He’s also cut down on his whiff rate while spending more time in favorable counts. This helps to explain his career best walk-rate, making him suddenly very interesting in OBP leagues.
We’d obviously like to see him hit more fly balls as the sustainability of his current power output, given his batted ball profile, is slim. Nevertheless, the plate discipline gains and improved contact are a boon to fantasy owners looking for outfield help.
Aaron Hicks (1% Yahoo, 1.3% ESPN, 6% CBS) – I was actually planning to write about Dae-Ho Lee but then I just saw Hicks hit another home run. So I figured that Lee will probably be available to write about for at least another week and it’s more helpful to, you know, focus on the guy who actually has a starting job.
And that guy, for the time being, would be the aforementioned Mr. Hicks. I’ve been riding the Hicks train for a while now. I touted him in a previous piece, picked him as an UDFA sleeper in our annual RotoGraphs Staff Picks, and rostered him in a few leagues, and not just those of the deep variety. Obviously, I’ve been disappointed.
Prior to A-Rod landing on the DL, Hicks hit .067/.125/.067 with a -58 wRC+. I know, it’s bad. But that came over just a handful of starts and piecemeal playing time. Now with A-Rod on the DL, Jacoby Ellsbury dealing with what appears to be a minor hip injury, and Carlos Beltran showing his age all in the context of a 11-18 start, Hicks appears to have a nice window of opportunity.
Remember, this is the same guy who combined double digit homers and steals last year with a plate discipline profile that placed him in some pretty lofty company.
The biggest knock on Hicks is admittedly a big one. He can’t hit righties. Or rather, he hasn’t yet shown the ability to hit them. Coming off the bench, we were never going to find out if he could but the playing time we anticipated looks like it’s finally arrived. Snatch him up in deep leagues because if he picks up where he left off last season, this power-speed threat won’t be available for long.
I was beaten to the punch on Jesse Hahn by colleague Rylan Edwards earlier this week. I’ll second Edwards’ endorsement of Hahn, and he also highlights Henderson Alvarez as a viable deep league add. Like Hahn, Alvarez is a low punch-out pitcher, and I’ve opted to highlight a high-strikeout reliever who will help pick up the slack for the starting pitcher duo. Joining the reliever is a minor league first baseman whose path is looking clearer every day and a Swiss Army Knife whose ownership is criminally low. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re hurting for outfield help in your deep mixed or mono league, this week’s deep league waiver wire is to the rescue!
The A’s may not boast one of the more prolific rotations in baseball but entering the season they certainly featured one of the deepest. Now with Felix Doubront lost to Tommy John Surgery and one of my favorite sleepers, Chris Bassitt, likely facing a similar fate, the rotation suddenly looks a tad shallower. So this week we look at two pitchers available in a vast majority of leagues who’ve either made it back to the East Bay or who we can expect to arrive there shortly.