Injuries are a deep leaguer’s best friend…as long as those injuries don’t occur to your own players of course. As has become par for the course here at the deep league waiver wire, these two recommendations are the latest pair of beneficiaries of the recently disabled.
Kevin Kiermaier | OF TB | CBS 4% Owned
Last week, I recommended picking up Jerry Sands, who was recalled after the Wil Myers injury. The assumption was that he would take Myers’ spot in the lineup, but he’s received just nine plate appearances in five games. Instead, Kiermaier has been the big playing time winner, as he’s pretty much taken over the every day right field job.
His strong performance has even pushed him up toward the top of the Rays lineup, as Joe Maddon loves to play the hot hand, even though studies upon studies have proven that there’s little to no predictive value in such streaks. But whether I agree with the strategy or not, it’s a boon to Kiermaier’s fantasy value. Though he has swung and missed a lot over this small sample of at-bats, he’s shown pretty good strikeout rates in the minors and has drawn walks at a respectable clip.
He has also typically posted strong BABIP marks, which is a good sign that he could sustain an above average mark in the Majors. His most attractive quality to fantasy leaguers though is his speed. He stole 21 bases last year and already had 11 in 12 tries in just 143 plate appearances at Triple-A this season. While he’s not a complete zero in power, he doesn’t possess a whole lot of it and it’s quite a surprise that he has already walloped three balls over the fence.
What could keep him in the lineup is that he is supposedly an elite defensive outfielder. So really all the Rays could ask for is league average offense and he’ll provide some real value to their team.
Brad Snyder | OF TEX | 0% Owned
You want deep? Try a player owned in 0% of leagues. Snyder debuted with the Rangers last night and it’s likely that his ownership will now reach at least the 1% mark. The 32-year-old is no prospect, but with the Rangers’ insane rash of injuries, they had no real alternatives to man first base for however long Mitch Moreland is out for.
Snyder has played all of two games at first base in his entire professional career. That tells you just how desperate the Rangers are to find a stopgap there. Snyder has appeared in the Majors before, but has accumulated just 37 plate appearances over two stints with the Cubs. He strikes out a lot, but has generally posted high BABIP marks that have kept his batting averages in respectable territory.
Snyder’s calling card of course is his power. He has often posted ISO marks above .200 and had slugged 18 homers in just 260 plate appearances (along with a .289 ISO) before his contract was purchased yesterday. Of course, he’s been playing in Triple-A since 2007 (!!!!), so you might as well flip a coin to determine how he’ll fare against Major League pitching.
Aside from the power, he has surprising speed. He has stolen double digits bases several times, which could give his potential fantasy value a small boost. While Snyder could easily flop and be demoted in two weeks, the Rangers don’t have a whole lot of options at this point. If he performs, he should stick at first until Moreland returns.
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