It’s the best day of the week as we once again take a dip into the free agent pool. My goal by the end of the season is to incorporate as many puns as I can into my introduction, so feel free to offer suggestions in the comments. Today is a look at two hitters who may actually earn some mixed league value, which doesn’t happen very often when looking at the 15% owned and below.
Jarrod Dyson | KC OF | 1% Owned
This is an exciting day as I don’t believe I have ever covered a player owned in just 1% of leagues. You want deep, you got deeeeeeeeeep! The funny thing is, I actually picked him up and activated him in my relatively shallow 12-team mixed league. I’m one of the few that make up that 1%. Dyson is all about speed. Starting in center field for the injured Lorenzo Cain. Kind of like the outfield version of Dee Gordon, Dyson isn’t the most patient of hitters and strikes out a little more often than you would like to see from someone with literally no power.
Though he has only accumulated 118 at-bats in the Majors, he sports just a 9.9% line drive rate, so one must wonder whether he even has the ability to contribute in batting average. He has typically posted good BABIP marks in the minors, which you’d expect from a blazing ground ball machine. He may flip flop between hitting lead off and 9th in the order (a practice managers employ that still boggles my mind), depending on whether Chris Getz is starting, but if he gets on a hot streak, he could become the every day lead off guy for the time being. For a guy who could steal 50 bases over a full season, he is absolutely worth an add in deep leagues and should be considered even in shallower ones.
Matt LaPorta | CLE 1B | 2% Owned
I can now proudly bow for bringing to you loyal readers the lowest total ownership between the two recommended players. LaPorta is the type of preemptive pickup that sometimes you need to make in deep leagues. With Casey Kotchman struggling, the Indians may find themselves once again in a position to hand over first base to LaPorta. Already 27, he has been quite the disappointment over 1,008 big league plate appearances, as he has wOBA’d just .308 and failed to show the type of power he has displayed in the minors.
However, he is off to a fantastic start at Triple-A this year, knocking 8 homers in 79 at-bats and wOBA’ing an eye popping .535. Of course, this could just be another data point of support for the argument that he’s just a Quad-A guy, but it’s not like previous prospect busts cannot suddenly see the light in their late 20’s. It is definitely worth give LaPorta another look, maybe as an official last chance. With his power potential, he may also eventually become a mixed league option as well.