Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 6, Vol. II

Waiver wire pals, there is something I need to confess. Okay? Yes? Good. Here I go.

When it comes to the Red Sox closers, whom I feature here (seemingly) every week, because the situation changes (seemingly) every minute, I haven’t got a clue. Zero clues to be had by this guy.

Last week as soon as I rejoiced that Andrew Bailey had been officially named the Red Sox closer, he missed a save opportunity with bicep soreness that ultimately landed him on the disabled list. Then replacement Joel Hanrahan, who himself had been replaced by Bailey but regained the closer role in Bailey’s absence, landed back on the disabled list for the second time this season. So now it’s … you know what? Nope. Not going to do it. I give up. White flag, being waved, by yours truly.

Feels good to get this off my chest.

A recap of other recent players we’ve featured, now with less frustration!

Scott Feldman spun another gem Tuesday night, this time against the Rangers. I’d recommend him more strongly if I had any clue (gee, that sounds familiar) what the Cubs were going to do upon the return of Matt Garza, who made his second rehab start for the club and according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers is as few as 10 days away from returning. The team has five spots for Jeff Samardzija (not going anywhere), Edwin Jackson (probably not going anywhere), Matt Garza (when he returns), Carlos Villanueva (he of the 2.85 ERA), Travis Wood (2.50 ERA, and the only lefty in the rotation), and Feldman (lights out lately). Scott Baker will also return at some point (maybe), so the Cubs are looking at two men out here. Anyone who says they know what the Cubs will do with the rotation when Garza returns is Theo Epstein. Beyond that, they are full of bologna. Tread carefully here.

(Did I say less frustration? I don’t recall saying that. That doesn’t sound like something I would say.)

Hey, at least Kevin Slowey, Eric Stults, and Roberto Hernandez remain solid additions for owners in need of starting pitching.

Justin Ruggiano, a player Karl targeted earlier this year, has been hot of late as well.

Today let’s look at a few other outfielders you may be thinking of adding.

Marcell Ozuna | Miami Marlins | OF | ESPN: 8.7 percent ownership; Yahoo!: 21 percent; CBS: 28 percent
YTD: .404/.448/.667 in 29 plate appearances
ZiPS Updated Projection: .255/.303/.434 in 453 plate appearances

In lieu of Mike Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins turned their lonely eyes to Marcell Ozuna, who made his debut last week at the tender age of 22, having played only 10 games at Double-A ball or higher. He’s made quite an impression since, as his .476 wOBA can attest. Fantasy league owners have noticed as well, as his ownership rate at CBS jumped from two percent to 28 in one week.

I trotted over to the prospects desk here at THT Global Enterprises (not our real name, and “ambled” would be a more appropriate verb) to get in-house prospect guru Jeff Moore‘s take on the callup. His full thoughts can be found on his site here, but this is what he told me fantasy owners can expect from Ozuna this season:

In general, he can contribute some power, but it will come at the cost of batting average, and if it’s a points league where strikeouts have a negative value, he won’t even be worth the home runs. He’s absolutely not ready, needed at least another full season in the minors. He’s extremely talented but needed a lot more time to figure out how to use it.

I imagine he’s only going to be there while Stanton is out, unless he plays well. The Marlins are desperate for power, so if he runs into a few home runs and keeps his batting average above .200, they could get greedy and try to pair him with Stanton. Either way, the league will figure him out and he’s going to strike out a ton—enough that it won’t let his power play in the majors, at least not yet.

Recommendation: Worth a flier in NL-only leagues, but Ozuna probably won’t keep up his Bondsian level of production, and will probably struggle more than he’s worth in mixed leagues. This is not the call-up of Wil Myers, who has seemingly been ready to give the majors a shot for two seasons now.

David DeJesus | Chicago Cubs | OF | ESPN: 7.1 percent ownership; Yahoo!: 5 percent; CBS: 18 percent
YTD: .286/.358/.561 in 109 plate appearances
ZiPS Updated Projection: .269/.347/.440 in 521 plate appearances

Quick, who leads major league outfielders in ISO? Justin Upton? Okay. Let’s make this a little tougher. Who is currently 13th?

Really, you guessed David DeJesus? Is it because his name appears in bold five lines above this? I need to get better at this stuff.

Anyway, yeah, David DeJesus is tearing the cover off the ball right now, and nobody seems to care. So, is it real? Should you rush out and add him? The answer is a little complicated.

First and foremost: no, the power is not real. The last time DeJesus had this kind of power was during a 12-game (small sample) stint in 2003, his first taste of major league baseball. Since then he’s played 1,173 games, and his careeer ISO is .140, with a high of .152 and a low of .112. He’s had consistently decent power, but he’s never been a big bopper.

Digging further into his 2013 numbers, DeJesus’ current HR/FB rate of 14.3 percent is more than double his career average of 6.8 percent. He’s unlikely to sustain that level all season, and accordingly his power will drop as well.

But is he worth owning otherwise? If your league rewards walks (or on-base) and you could use a boost in runs, then DeJesus can help.

Recommendation: He can help, but not in the ways it might seem by taking a quick glance down the list of NL OPS leaders.

Matt Joyce | Tampa Bay Rays | OF | ESPN: 24.7 percent ownership; Yahoo!: 8 percent; CBS: 31 percent
YTD: .212/.237/.435 in 94 plate appearances
ZiPS Updated Projection: .237/.329/.436 in 493 plate appearances

It’s easy to forget about Matt Joyce, what with all of the hubbub around Wil Myers and all. His .212 batting average doesn’t help him stand out in a positive way, either.

Aside from that, though, there’s a capable player buried in here, and one who is currently undervalued by fantasy leagues, especially those with Yahoo! and CBS. It’s interesting that his ownership rates in ESPN leagues are relatively high, especially considering ESPN leagues are generally the shallowest, and by a wide margin.

Assuming Joyce can bring his line drive rate up from his absurdly low 9.5 percent, his BABIP of .203 should also rise, and with it his batting average. This will make his triple slash line look much more attractive. He’ll never challenge for the Triple Crown, but he can provide power and plenty of walks.

Recommendation:Worth adding for outfield help in mixed leagues.

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  1. Jim G. said...

    RE: Red Sox closer – just go with Bob Stanley and stick with it.

    Question: it seems that it’s always assumed that peripheral stats like BABIP or swing/miss rates will affect batting averages and ERA’s, but has the vice versa ever been studied? Maybe a bad batting average is indicative of a future decrease in a healthy BABIP. I know it goes a little against logic, but I wonder if anyone has done any research on that?

  2. Jack Weiland said...

    @Jim G – Bob Stanley it is!

    Interesting question. I can’t say that I’ve seen that, but it’s definitely worthy of more study.

  3. Tony said...

    Should I pick up Kevin Gregg now that he has been named closer? I don’t have great closers and I could use the help. I could drop Cishek, he’s been a dissapointment, but Gregg historically hasn’t been any better. I could also give up on Salvador Perez, who is my backup catcher who has also been a dissapointment.

  4. Jack Weiland said...

    @Tony – Gregg: yes, add him. His numbers are superb and he’s looked great as well. He’s not operating on smoke and mirrors, which kind of shocks me. I still think Fujikawa regains that job when he’s healthy, but for now Gregg can fill your need, for sure.

    I’m guessing there are some decent catching options already on the wire? In that case I would probably dump Perez and hold on to Cishek, given your need at RP. Cishek won’t get many chances, but it sounds like you need all the help you can get.

  5. Tony said...

    I have Jim Johnson and Glen Perkins. I got burned on Motte. There are decent catchers out there Martin, Lucroy, Salty. Maybe I shouldn’t drop him and hold with what I have.

  6. Jack Weiland said...

    @Tony – I’d probably cut Perez loose then, and add Gregg until he loses that gig. Worst case scenario if you find yourself needing another catcher it seems like you’ll have some solid, free options on the wire.

  7. Jack Weiland said...

    @Tony – That said, Fujikawa is pretty close to returning so it’s very possible I’m going to get Andrew Bailey’d here.

  8. Fabio said...

    Hi Jack, thanks for the tips you guys give.
    With the way the Indians are crushing the ball these days, i am a little concerned for the next start of scherzer. Is he a lock anyway in your opinion?

  9. Jack Weiland said...

    @Fabio – Well thanks for reading, Fabio. Glad you stopped by.

    Good question re: Scherzer. This comes down to philosophy more than anything, but it’s worth noting that Scherzer has been absurdly good this year, and his ERA is pretty unlucky at the moment. A little over a month into the season, he’s an absolute stud.

    I understand the fear factor of strong lineups, or unfavorable conditions, but I take a “dance with the one who brung ya” mindset with guys like him. If he were a middling pitcher I would say yeah, maybe shelter him on this one. But Scherzer has been as good as anyone this year, and at the end of the day there are lots of strong lineups and unfriendly hitters parks in MLB. You can only safeguard guys so much.

    So I say toss him out there, and if he gets hit around at least you went down with your best cards on the table.

  10. Jack Weiland said...

    @cluke – It depends what you need, really. The highest upside, and best short term results, will probably be from Fernandez. But he seems like a virtual lock to get shut down at some point later in the year. If you need a better long-term play I would probably go with Pettitte. Solid numbers, plays for a good team, pretty secure rotation spot.

    Another idea: stream starters based on matchups. If all of these guys are on your waiver wire, you can probably play it on a week-by-week basis. Ya dig?

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