Waiver Wire: June 12th

Jonathon Niese (owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues)

Niese, 23, cobbled together a quality minor league resume (8.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 51.8 GB%). The left-hander was on his way to establishing himself as a member of the Mets’ rotation last season when a torn right hamstring ended his season in August, requiring a surgical fix. He hit the DL this season with another, milder right hamstring injury. But when on the mound, Niese has impressed.

Tossing 57.1 innings, New York’s seventh round pick in the ’05 draft has 7.06 K/9, 2.98 BB/9 and a 3.94 xFIP. He’s showing strong a ground ball rate to boot, with a 52.2 GB%. Niese doesn’t blow batters away — his fastball hits 90 MPH on a good day. But he supplements the pitch with a mid-80’s cutter that tails in on the hands of righties, as well as the occasional mid-70’s curveball and low-80’s changeup. Niese’s four-seamer and cutter both have above-average strike and whiff percentages:

Four-Seamer: 66.2 Strike% (64.1% MLB Avg.), 8.1 Whiff% (6% MLB Avg.)
Cutter: 69.4 Strike% (68.3% MLB Avg.), 12 Whiff% (8.8% MLB Avg.)

For the rest of 2010, ZiPS projects 6.53 K/9, 3.36 BB/9 and a 3.93 FIP from Niese. He doesn’t possess one standout skill, but Niese makes batters chop the ball into the grass while amassing decent K and walk rates. He’s plenty useful in NL-only formats.

Troy Glaus, Braves (63%)

Signed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal over the winter, Glaus was picked up off the scrap heap as a Freddie Freeman stopgap. The former Angel, Diamondback, Blue Jay and Cardinal’s career looked to be on the ropes after a 2009 season ruined by a back problem and a right shoulder injury that required surgery. CHONE (.249/.359/.447, .356 wOBA) and ZiPS (.252/.358/.441, .355 wOBA) projected a reasonably productive season for Atlanta’s reclamation project, but that was under the assumption that the 33-year-old wouldn’t again fall to pieces physically.

So far, Glaus has stayed healthy and is surpassing those pre-season forecasts. In 253 plate appearances, he has a .279/.375/.474 line and a .373 wOBA. He’s drawing walks at a 13.4% clip, and while he’s not hitting for the mammoth power of years past, Glaus has a solid .195 ISO. Freeman (.249/.306/.422 in 185 AB in Triple-A) isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball for Gwinett, so Glaus’ job looks secure. ZiPS projects a .260/.363/.449 triple-slash from here on out, with a .361 wOBA.

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A recent graduate of Duquesne University, David Golebiewski is a contributing writer for Fangraphs, The Pittsburgh Sports Report and Baseball Analytics. His work for Inside Edge Scouting Services has appeared on ESPN.com and Yahoo.com, and he was a fantasy baseball columnist for Rotoworld from 2009-2010. He recently contributed an article on Mike Stanton's slugging to The Hardball Times Annual 2012. Contact David at david.golebiewski@gmail.com and check out his work at Journalist For Hire.

9 Responses to “Waiver Wire: June 12th”

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  1. Nik says:

    Would you pickup Niese for any of Kris Medlen, Wade Davis or Jeff Francis?(5×5, 30 roster, no IP cap)

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    • I would take Niese over Davis or Francis, but not Medlen.

      AL East does Davis no favors and Hellickson’s waiting in the wings. Francis is ok, but he won’t K many, plus pitching in Coors doesn’t help.

      In 12 team, I see Niese, Davis and Francis as match-up streamers at the moment. Niese has the most upside I think.

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  2. thebandogora says:

    Glaus has really surprised. He would actually have two extra homers if it weren’t for being robbed TWICE by Phillies outfielders. We should be looking at an ISO over .200 in a perfect world.

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  3. Jeff says:

    Toomany of these waiver wire guys are from the NL every week. Need to help out us AL guys.

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  4. cptspandex says:

    Okay, seriously…. maybe one of these days this column will have more than one player that is actually on the waiver wires in most leagues. Niese, sure. Glaus at 63% ownership at the time of this article, should not qualify.

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    • wily mo says:

      yeah, isn’t glaus practically leading the NL in RBI? if he’s on the wire in your league, you should already be winning.

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      • Here here. Leave Glaus for the Yahoo guys to write about for people in 8 team leagues with their goofy cousins. If you’re reading Fangraphs, odds are pretty good that Glaus is rostered in your league.

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  5. Stu says:

    Glaus currently is the NL leader in RBI’s, and we’re talking mid-June. I think most have noticed by now, but thanks anyway.

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  6. faker says:

    Why is a 63% owned player a waiver wire? also why is he not 100% at this point

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