J.P. Arencibia & Sam Fuld: Deep League Waiver Wire

Our journey this week into the waters of the deep league waiver wire brings us to two familiar faces, AL-only players who have shown flashes of their talent in the past and quite possibly stand to benefit owners in the short term.

J.P. Arencibia / 1B/C / Texas Rangers
2 percent Yahoo / .2 percent ESPN / 7 percent CBS ownership

Yep, Arencibia is back in the fantasy picture after the Rangers recalled him from Triple-A last week to be the team’s regular first baseman. While we pause to lament the sorry state of affairs that’s led the Rangers to this point, owners in two-catcher leagues shouldn’t hesitate to take notice of a man who offers significant power potential at a discount. After all, a deep league waiver wire column is often nothing if not optimistic, so look past Arencibia’s horrifying .147/.200/.279 slash line entering Monday’s action and instead consider the .862 OPS and 14 home runs he bashed in 48 games in the Pacific Coast League over the past few months.

Of course, Arencibia was still striking out at a 26.1 percent pace despite those numbers, and “only” produced a .279 average over that span. But fantasy owners by now know that Arencibia’s purpose in fantasy life isn’t to help you in the average department but to produce longballs, and Rangers Ballpark, as we all know, is just the place for a home run hitter to get comfortable. (Arencibia, it should be said, has seven career homers in Texas, his second-most in any ballpark outside of the Rogers Centre.)

As for his numbers being misleadingly high in the hitter’s spa known as the PCL, there’s not a lot of argument here, but the optimistic view is that the success helped him regain some confidence, and that the three-run homer he jacked in his first game back on Friday is the harbinger of things to come. There’s no shortage of blemishes in the Arencibia package, but then again, there’s something to be said for a guy who offers as-advertised production, especially when it’s a catcher with power prowess.

Sam Fuld / OF / Minnesota Twins
2 percent Yahoo / 3 percent ESPN / 6 percent CBS ownership

Don’t look now, but Fuld has been on fire in July, slashing .432/.536/.523 this month. Of course, the slugging percentage is nothing more than a mirage for a 32-year-old journeyman whose career ISO sits at an exact .100, and the 30 percent line drive rate certainly will come back down to earth as well. Still, at the risk of reading too deeply into plate discipline data for a three-week hot streak, Fuld has dramatically cut down on his O-Swing%, and it will be interesting to see how long he can maintain his improved eye at the plate. We may also be talking about a matter of Fuld simply getting healthy again; he missed most of May with concussion-like symptoms, and perhaps was still feeling the effects after returning from the disabled list in early June.

Point is, Fuld has produced a 109 wRC+ so far this season, which is good enough not to offset his real value in fantasy, which is his ability to steal bases. He’s swiped five this month and is currently on pace for 20 (at a solid 85 percent success rate), which would be his most since 2011. And although he bats at the bottom of the Twins’ lineup, pay that no mind: he’s produced a .915 OPS hitting in the ninth spot so far this year.

True, we might be a bit late to this hot streak party — and the recent return of Danny Santana after a three-week stint on the disabled list might eat into Fuld’s playing time — but Fuld might offer enough help in the speed department to be an asset to owners in deep AL-only leagues.

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Karl, a journalist living in Washington, D.C., learned about life's disappointments by following the Mets beginning at a young age. His work has appeared in numerous publications, and he has contributed to the 2014 and 2015 editions of The Hardball Times Annual. Follow/harass him on Twitter @Karl_de_Vries.

One Response to “J.P. Arencibia & Sam Fuld: Deep League Waiver Wire”

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  1. Nelson says:

    JPA might be an option for those of you in AL West only leagues.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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