Waiver Wire: Luke Scott and Jose Altuve

Today’s Waiver Wire features one player trying to reestablish his fantasy worth and one hoping to take hold of some of his own.

Luke Scott: 7% Yahoo!, 3.2% ESPN

Before injuring his shoulder last season, Scott was one of the more consistent players in fantasy. After being traded to Baltimore in the Miguel Tejada deal he averaged 25 home runs and 71 runs batted in from 2008-2010. In fact, his home runs, average, and on base percentage increased in each of those years. Unfortunately he couldn’t do it for a fourth year as a torn labrum in his shoulder ended his season in late July. Always willing to bounce on a buy low candidate, the Rays signed Scott over this offseason. A minor hamstring issue has kept him out of a few games but that seems to be behind him now. In the seven games (out of 10) he’s played he’s hit quite well, with two home runs, two doubles and eight runs knocked in to go with a .368 average. Will he be able to maintain a .421 ISO? No. A .333 BABIP? Likely not. However, if his shoulder is healthy, and it’s certainly looked like it is, there’s no reason he shouldn’t come close to replicating his ’08-’10 numbers.

If there is a worry with Scott it’s the fact that his new home park, Tropicana Field, is not forgiving to left handed power. In fact, it actually suppresses left handed home runs by 11% and is has rated as one of the top pitcher’s parks over the past few seasons. With Baltimore Scott averaged a .958 OPS at Camden Yards as opposed to just .728 on the road. He never hit more than 10 homers away from Camden in his three years in Bawl’mer, though he already has two away from the Trop. If you’re searching for someone with cheap power potential then there’s currently no better option than Scott and his Wolverine-style beard.

Jose Altuve: 22% Yahoo!, 36.1% ESPN

Altuve wasn’t so impressive in his rookie campaign, playing in 56 games and picking up 234 plate appearances but only putting up a .654 OPS. Though he’s just 5’6, his minor league track record was impressive. He skipped Triple-A and only spent 34 games at Double-A where he hit .361/.388/.569. Currently he’s the 13th ranked second basemen, but that likely won’t last seeing as he’s above Robinson Cano, Ben Zobrist and Rickie Weeks. He still has his virtues, though. He’s always hit for average. Being that short he has to if he wants to maintain value as he’ll never have any real power and doesn’t walk often enough to justify a low average.

His base running is a plus, stealing more than 20 bases in each of the past three seasons. Our ZiPS projects love him, projecting a .297/.332/.410 line with nine (!) homers, 80 runs and 31 steals. A second basemen that hits close to .300 with 30+ steals would certainly be ownable in more than ~30 percent of leagues. The return of Jed Lowrie to the lineup has pushed Altuve down a bit so the run scoring projection may be a little optimistic in that amenic offense, but the steals and average are a legitimate threat.

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Erik writes for DraysBay and has also written for Bloomberg Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ehahmann.

8 Responses to “Waiver Wire: Luke Scott and Jose Altuve”

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  1. dscottncc says:

    Luke Scott and the word consistent in the same sentence makes me chuckle. If anything I suppose you can say that he’s consistently streaky. I did pick up Scott in a league, because he is one of the streakiest players in baseball, if he hits one homer he is bound to hit another that same week.

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  2. Dustin Pedroia says:

    What was that you said about a short guy never having any power?

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  3. jsp2014 says:

    the 8-hole in the NL is death.

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  4. HRB says:

    Kirby Puckett was short. Yogi Berra was short. Matt Stairs was short. These guys hit for plenty of power. I’m not saying Altuve is going to hit for power, he probably won’t…but it’s kind of ignorant saying because of his stature, Altuve can’t.

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    • Robert Odden says:

      He might only be 5’5 but he is around 170 and is quite thick for a little speedster. He may never hit 20 but I don’t think 10 is a reach at all.

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    • batpig says:

      right. He hit 15 HR in 2010 (age 20) and 12 HR last year at age 21. He’s no Dee Gordon slappy.

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    • DL80 says:

      It certainly isn’t impossible, but B-R lists Berra as 5’7”, Puckett as 5’8”, Stairs at 5’9”. Altuve is listed at 5’5″. The American average man’s height was 5’9” in 2002, the last year I could find it listed by a reputable source (The CDC). That means Stairs was average, Puckett and Berra slightly shorter than average (the average in 1960 was 5’8″). Altuve is listed as 4 inches shorter than average. That’s a big difference.

      Now, we have no way to know whether these listed heights are accurate (and FG’s heights are different), but it seems like Altuve is probably quite a bit shorter than average, while the other guys you mentioned were about average height.

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  5. Robert Odden says:

    How long do you think a guy like Altuve will stay at the 8 hole? Considering all that stands in his ways are the likes of Jordan Schafer and Brian Bogusevic, Altuve should be seen at the top of the order very soon. If you actually watched Altuve play you would see why ZIPS has him at 10 bombs as he actually has surprising pop. His contact is much harder than a guy like Dee Gordon.

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