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Waiver Wire Report: Week 13

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Justin Bour (Marlins)
Available in 56% of CBS, 77% of Y! and 73% of ESPN leagues

Bour is under-owned partly due to the fact he sits versus lefties, but he’s batting .276 against righties with 13 home runs over 174 at bats. For the season and the last 30 days he ranks just outside the top 20 first basemen, but over the past two weeks he has jumped into the top-10 batting .419 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

Last season Bour hit .262 with 23 home runs over 409 at bats, but nobody thought he could repeat. Well, he’s halfway there now. The walk rate increased since last season (7.6% to 10.1%) as did his hard hit rate (33.7% to 39.2%) while the strikeout rate has gone down (22.6% to 19.7%). His contact rate has remained the same, but it has improved inside the zone with fewer swings.

Bour is quietly exceeding expectations and is worthy of being used as a corner infielder or utility player in mixed leagues. And if you don’t need him, pick him up anyway and stash him on your bench so nobody else can have him – he could be used as trade bait later on.

Johnny Giavotella (Angels)
Available in 89% of CBS, 96% of Y! and 94% of ESPN leagues

Just like Bour, Giavotella ranks outside the top 20 for the season and the past 30 day for second basemen. Over the past two weeks though, Giavotella has been a top-five option batting .365 with four home runs, seven RBIs and nine runs scored. His six home runs already surpasses last year’s total of four, and with a close to 12 point jump in hard hit rate (up to 28% this year) it is probable he will finish in the double digits for home runs.

The .279 batting average for the season does not appear to be lucky, but it is driven somewhat by a 25.7% line drive rate. Normally I would say this would regress to the 20% range, but he did post a 23.7% line drive rate last season so maybe this is part of his game. Unfortunately Giavotella doesn’t have a set spot in the lineup so predicting run and RBI totals is impossible, but since he is not locked in to the bottom half, his numbers should end up being better than replacement level at the very least.

Second base is a deep position so I don’t expect many to roster Giavotella as their starting second basemen, but if you use a middle infield slot and need a quick boost I see no reason not to add him.

Max Kepler (Twins)
Available in 82% of CBS, 95% of Y! and 91% of ESPN leagues

Kepler hasn’t done much this season, batting just .247 with two home runs, two stolen bases, and 12 RBIs over 89 at bats. However, over the last two weeks Kepler is batting .275 with two home runs, two stolen bases, and 10 RBIs – those numbers got him a ranking of 12 on the ESPN player rater. While his season average may be low, Kepler is batting .293 against right-handed pitchers so if you play the platoon card he is somewhat productive.

Can he keep this production up? My magic 8-ball says “outlook not so good”, but it has been wrong before. Kepler has shown limited power in the minors, enough to maybe hit 10 home runs on a good year. The speed is average; he stole 19 bases last year so I would make that his ceiling. He won’t score many runs hitting towards the bottom of the lineup, and RBI opportunities will be limited as well.

I know none of this makes him seem worthy of a roster spot, but a strong batting average will eventually get you some decent counting stats – more often than not. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for from a fourth outfielder or bench player – at least until something better comes along.

Paulo Orlando (Royals)
Available in 93% of CBS, 96% of Y! and 97% of ESPN leagues

Orlando is a 30-year-old career minor league outfielder with limited pop and speed who is allergic to walks. His minor league batting average sat in the .275 range for the past four years, and when Kansas City gave him a shot last year is was for depth purposes only. This year Orlando is surprising everyone with his bat and making a push for more playing time.

After hitting .267 in April in limited at bats, he posted a .429 average in May over 63 at bats. Surprisingly the high average carried over into June as he is batting .333 this month over 69 at bats. He’s hitting .340 against lefties and .365 against righties. With just one home run and just five steals (three this month) his value is limited. He also only has six RBIs and five runs scored this month, mainly due to hitting towards the bottom portion of the lineup combined with the Royals offense not clicking on all cylinders.

Right now Orlando is an empty batting average, but if he gets moved up in the order some and the Royals start to hit, we could see a big bump in counting stats. Orlando is a nice bench player to own and use on off days, but there is the potential for more if he keeps hitting the way he has.

Steven Moya (Tigers)
Available in 73% of CBS, 88% of Y! and 87% of ESPN leagues

Prior to this season it looked like Moya would be a .250 hitter with big power that would eventually collapse from the weight of all his strikeouts. From 2013 to 2015 Moya’s strikeout rate sat between 25 and 30 percent, but this season in Triple-A he was able to rein in the K’s and lower his strikeout rate to 21.4%. His average was also up this year in Triple-A to .298 (.310 vs lefties – .294 vs righties), and the .327 BABIP shows there wasn’t much luck behind it.

As for the power, Moya hit 33 doubles and 35 home runs in 2014 at Double-A, and 33 doubles and 23 home runs last season between two levels. He has only tasted the majors in the past, but with J.D. Martinez out for an extended period, Moya gets a chance to make his mark.

So far so good as Moya is hitting .322 with four doubles, two triples and three home runs over 59 at bats. The strikeouts have returned (28.6%), and the average is BABIP driven (.421 BABIP) so regression is in the cards, but until it shows up there is no reason not to give Moya a shot while he is hitting and receiving full-time at bats.



Marcus Semien (A’s)
Available in 47% of CBS, 62% of Y! and 78% of ESPN leagues

Semien ranks just outside the top-12 for the season and the past 30 days; that makes him a top middle infield player, or worthy of a bench spot at the very least. Like Justin Bour above, Semien has jumped into the top 10 over the past two weeks batting .313 with two home runs, nine RBIs and eight runs scored.

For the season he is only bating .244, but he does have 13 home runs over 246 at bats – he hit 15 last season over 556 at bats. The walk rate is up from last season (7% to 8.9%), and while the hard hit rate has dropped some (29.1% to 26.7%), the fly ball rate has increased (38.8% to 41.4%) and he added a few feet onto his average fly ball distance (283 feet) to help support the higher home run totals.

Semien will not finish in the top-10 for shortstops, but he will rank just outside – that’s a lot of value to be sitting out there on waivers. Let’s see if we can correct that over the next few weeks.

A.J. Reed (Astros)
Available in 42% of CBS, 70% of Y! and 84% of ESPN leagues

Reed may not be ready for the majors judging by his numbers this season at Triple-A, but the Astros are willing to roll the dice. Prior to his promotion Reed was hitting .266 with 19 doubles and 11 home runs over 222 at bats. Reed hit over .300 from college all the way through Double-A – except for Class-A; he hit .272 over 125 at bats there. Last season he hit 34 home runs between two levels so it’s understandable some may be disappointed to only see 11 this season.

There are two areas of concern with Reed. The first is his issues hitting lefties, with a .238 average in Double-A and a .222 this year in Triple-A. The second issue is strikeouts; Reed saw his strikeout rate increase again this year, up to 23.4%. These two things are tied together since he strikes out more against lefties than righties – the strikeout rate against lefties this year is close to 30%.

If the average does not improve and the strikeouts continue, Reed may become a platoon player. He’s on the right side of the platoon mind you, but sitting versus lefties puts him right there with Justin Bour – only with more potential. Reed is still young, has a lot of upside, and is worth gambling on if he is available. Just temper your expectations, and don’t expect him to save your team.

Seung-Hwan Oh (Cardinals)
Available in 75% of CBS, 69% of Y! and 83% of ESPN leagues

I discussed the similarities between Trevor Rosenthal’s career numbers and those of Fernando Rodney in last week’s closer report. Since then he has had two clean saves (clean for Rosenthal), but three appearances where he allowed a total of seven earned runs while only registering one out – that’s one out total over three appearances. While management hasn’t stated anything publicly, the writing is on the wall. It’s time for Seung-Hwan Oh.

Oh has a 1.66 ERA and 0.79 WHIP over 38 innings. He has issued eight walks (1.89 BB/9) and racked up 51 strikeouts (12.08 K/9). His 1.42 FIP is in line with his ERA, and the SIERA (2.13) and xFIP (2.52) only point to mild regression – if he even does regress. Oh did a great job as a closer in Korea and saved a total of 80 games during his two seasons in Japan – with similar ratios and strikeout numbers I might add. Even without the saves, his ratios and strikeout numbers can help any fantasy team. Don’t wait for St Louis to drop the hammer; make a preemptive strike.

Josh Bell (Pirates)
Available in 83% of CBS, 97% of Y!, and 98% of ESPN leagues

Bell was recommended as a stash a little while back, but given this is the time of the year where promotions are right around the corner, I thought he deserved another shout-out. To date, Bell is hitting .316 with 17 doubles, four triples and 11 home runs. The batting average is split equally between lefties (.311) and righties (.319) and well as home (.310) and away (.321). His walk rate is down some from last season (11.7%) and his strikeout rate is up (16.2%), but I don’t think anyone is complaining.

Bell hit .335 in High-A, .303 in Double-A, and has a .326 average in Triple-A. The power is still developing, but the bat is major league ready right now. John Jaso has done an adequate job holding down first base, but a .278 average with four home runs and 22 RBIs is hardly the type of numbers you want from your corner man. If you missed out on A.J. Reed and you want a nice consolation prize, roster Bell Now!

Hunter Renfroe (Padres)
Available in 90% of CBS, 99% of Y! and 98% of ESPN leagues

The main factor keeping Renfroe in the minors, other than the Padres wanting to ensure they get an extra year of control, is playing time. Kemp and Upton’s large contracts will keep them on the field, so that leaves Jon Jay who hasn’t been half bad this year. Last Sunday, Jay was hit on the wrist by a pitch and has not played since. The team has discussed a trip to the disabled list, and if that should happen we could see Renfroe very, very soon.

This year in Triple-A he is batting .318 (.364 vs lefties – .299 vs righties) with 23 doubles and 17 home runs over 299 at bats. Last season he had 27 doubles and 20 home runs over 510 at bats across two levels. He hit .333 in Triple-A, but only .259 in Double-A, and .232 in Double-A the previous season. Whether he improved or his average is a product of the PCL remains to be seen.

Renfroe did improve his strikeout rate which is down to 18.3%. Walks, however, are still alluding him. He had a 4.2 walk percentage last season in Triple-A, and this year it is down to 2.9 percent. The low walks are the biggest knock on him right now, otherwise he looks to be ready for that next step. Renfroe is worth a stash, and if he hits the ground running he could be a difference maker.



Previous Waiver Wire Recommendations

I like to hold myself accountable for past recommendations, so I will monitor my hits and misses from the previous weeks and monitor their progress until they either graduate (over 50% ownership on all three sites) or are listed as drops (sometimes you’ve just got to cut a man loose).

Graduated

This is the last week Mike Napoli, Michael Saunders, Trevor Bauer, Jake Lamb, Rajai Davis and Jonathan Schoop will appear here. Their ownership level has reached a point to where they should be owned in all competitive leagues.

Continue to add

  • Hitters:Wilson Contreras, Melky Cabrera, Mark Reynolds, Devon Travis, Didi Gregorius, Tyler Naquin
  • Pitchers: C.C. Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Kevin Gausman, Blake Snell, Daniel Mengden, Zach Eflin, Carlos Estevez and Matt Bush
  • Tim Anderson and Joe Mauer had an off week, but nothing to panic over.
  • Tim Lincecum looked good in his first start against Oakland, but those same A’s hammered him in his second start. His next two starts are against Houston (Tuesday) and at Tampa.
  • Jose Reyes is now with the Mets and should see full-time at bats once he’s done with his minor league stint.
  • Matt Adams has been slowed by back issues, but his numbers still warrant an addition unless it turns out to be something other than stiffness.
  • Jefry Marte stopped hitting the day he was recommended here. Coincidence, or just a small slump?

Stash Minor league players to stash prior to their promotion

  • Hunter Renfroe, Josh Bell, Alex Bregman, Tyler Glasnow, Alex Reyes

HoldDo not add them, but do not drop them yet if possible

  • Kolten Wong is hitting the like the player we saw prior to his demotion as opposed to the one that tore up Triple-A. He should qualify for the outfield in Yahoo leagues by the end of the weekend for what it’s worth.
  • Corey Dickerson continues to tease with his power. Drop or hold depending on your waiver wire outfield depth. The same goes for Peter O’Brien who is doing a pretty good Corey Dickerson impersonation.
  • It looks like the party is over for Robbie Grossman, but give him another week just in case it is a cold spell.
  • Trayce Thompson is mired in a two week slump. You may want to start looking for an alternative.
  • Brandon Guyer should only be stashed if you have room on your DL.
  • Dae-ho Lee has zero home runs over the past two weeks. I would hold, but feel free to drop him if there are better options available.
  • Mitch Moreland‘s streak could be over, and if it truly is then keep your eye on Ryan Rua.
  • Cody Reed was hit hard this past week which should curb buying from future owners, but he is much too talented to just dismiss.

Drop ’em

  • Ryan Zimmerman is back to being replacement level. Keep him on your watch list for the next hot streak.
  • Wilmer Flores is not going to be given a full-time role, and he’s not hitting well enough in a part-time role to warrant a hold. His versatility makes him deserving of a spot on your watch list in case things change.
  • Tommy Joseph hit .158 with a home run last week and .125 with two home runs the week before. Ryan Howard 2.0 is in full effect.

 

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Jim Finch
The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball. You can also find me at FanRagSports.com
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19 comments on “Waiver Wire Report: Week 13

  1. Hey Jim!

    Got Reyes for $1 😎 off waivers in my keeper league. Was also looking for some input on a big move I made.

    Moved betts since I couldn’t keep him again to a tanking team and got miggy and degrom, both not at keepable prices. Took miggy even though I have rizzo and Ortiz as a preventative move to block other contenders.

    Now need to move one of those 3 and leaning miggy since he’s $43 and rizzo is only $20 plus o figure no one will pay proper value for Ortiz since he’s old and DH stigma.

    Need a 3b and a replacement OF for betts. Unfortunately all the top 3b owners are not willing to deal (machado, Donaldson, arenado, carpenter, and even Murphy). Not worth trading to upgrade Franco/kang/Reyes as/3b platoon just to get to longoria or beltre. I rather hope that platoon works out.

    Have offer of Cruz who is close to keepable at $25 … Would you do miggy straight for Cruz given that context or am I selling short? Should I ask for more/ask around obv?

    Rotation is now: sale, stras, Lester, degrom, carrasco, waino, sonny gray, kazmir, mchugh, and Paxton so I’m feeling awesome.

    And lineup when everyone healthy if I did Cruz deal: posey, rizzo, pedroia/zobrist, Reyes/kang, franco/ss guys, Cruz, Cain, Brantley, Jose Bautista, and Ortiz.

    So Cruz for miggy given team construction or wait out another offer?

    Thanks as always for the help!

    Best,
    Mike

  2. Since you really have no room for Miggy and given his price, flipping him for Cruz just for one year isn’t a bad option. Plus Miggy is 33 so you’re not going to get a young option without packaging him with someone else, and that would just weaken your team for this year. deGrom was the long-term add in the Betts deal so flipping the second part for something you can use as opposed to something you can get long-term is perfectly acceptable – I’d do that. And you’re right; nobody would give you proper value for Ortiz and Rizzo should not be moved.

  3. Appreciate the advice as always. Unfortunately can’t keep degrom prob bc he went for $40 lol but I still like it for giving me better shot at title this year. Prob do the Cruz thing like we said if I don’t get better offer.

    Oh I didn’t see Cody reed on here too… Would you nab him over kazmir or Chen? Worth the upside to try over one of them you think? They’re $1 and $4 if that matters to you too and can def get reed back for $1 as well.

    And always, you’re the man Jim!

    Best,
    Mike

    • Reed is definitely worth a buck – assuming you’re talking Cincinnati Reed and not Arizona Reed (He’s worth it too, but a few years away). I like Reed over both those pitchers, and odds are both pitchers will still be there if he sucks over his next few starts (or someone similar).

      Yea, forgot you couldn’t keep deGrom either, but still, Cruz to replace Betts (Cabrera) for a year and you got a major upgrade to your pitching staff. That sets you up nicely for the playoff run. Don’t wait too long to accept the Cruz deal. If you shop too long it may not be there when you’re done.

  4. Yup cincy one. I’ll grab him tomorrow. Thanks again.

  5. I know you said to hurry on the Cruz deal but having trouble bc of the sexy Miggy name and bc I’m not a bug Cruz guy. Trying to also have him upgrade a closer. Tried to do Ziegler for familia with it but likely be osuna … That’s still a decent upgrade I fell Iike, right?

    Also… Would you drop someone to speculate on oh in STL? I’ll have to many closers after that but maybe I can package extra one for something. I just feel like oh could be elite if he runs with job … I may not bid be able to bid enough too bc I’m so active on wire.

    • Ozuna/Familia for Miggy would be an upgrade, yes. Zigler isn’t going to last the year as closer so dumping him would be wise so it’s basically a 2-1.

      I grabbed Oh in one league even though I have no possible way to play him and have owned him in another league just for his ratios and strikeouts. If you have a dead weight player I would pick him up, and once he gets the job you can flip one of your name brand closers for an upgrade somewhere else. He was warming up to close Sunday before the Cards opened it up so he is going to be the man. If you’re gonna bid, do it before he is officially named or saves a game.

  6. One more thing … Heyward is on waivers and has been for a month or so… Would u rather just snag him and trade Miggy for anither need like dozier/JD?

    • Leave Heyward where he is until he show something – anything – that resembles a sign of life.

      And an addition to the last comment: if you can snag Oh then there is no real need for Familia so maybe consider Cruz, unless Closer can be traded at a premium in your league in which case make the Ozuna/Familia trade and then flip the closer (straight up or packaged) later for another upgrade.

  7. I meant Roberto osuna to familia in closer for closer sitch… Neither team actually has ozuna. I was making sure familia upgrade over Roberto osuna as well bc he prob won’t go for Ziegler. Still would be Cruz. Would be Cruz familia for Miggy osuna. Familia I think is $4 too if you think he’s truly elite might be worth keeping next year and Cruz also has some keeper value at $25 but he is reasonably old so not that excited over it lol.

    • I prefer Osuna and think he’s a better pitcher and closer long-term, but Familia is still solid and is getting more saves. If you need the saves this year it’s a good swap. Long-term it could bite you in the ass, but closers are so volatile that you could end up with another Osuna type out of nowhere so I would not fret this.

  8. Hey Jim,

    Finally was a big boy and pulled the trigger on that deal and going well so far. 2 big days from Cruz. There’s a few pretty interesting names on my wire currently especially since it’s a keeper league. I guess in the shallow 10 teasers that’s not too unusual.

    1- Houston street … You’d didn’t seem to believe in Ziegler – would you drop Ziegler for street as bad as he’s been?

    2- a-gon… Has been terrible but potential $1 keeper and bench bat if I pick him up and he returns to form. You think he’s done or worth the bench slot for a potential ’17 value?

    3- Gattis $1 posey backup plan?

    Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Early happy 4th!

    Mike

    • Sorry for the slow reply; you got lost in the shuffle.

      I enter one 10 team league each year just to see what goes on, and yea, there are usually some interesting names on waivers. In fact, my entire outfield is waiver wire pickups right now (Justin Upton, Carlos Gomez, Odubel Herrera, Marcell Ozuna).

      1. Street has a long leash, but not sure he is an upgrade over Ziegler, at least not with the numbers he’s putting up now. I’d stick with Zig until he is replaced, which may not come given the number one competitor, Daniel Hudson has slipped up. Tyler Clippard is the guy to keep on your watch list right now if Zig goes down or has a few rough outings.

      1a. If you’re speculating for saves you might want to grab Buchter from SD. If Rodney can get 17 saves there then I like his chances – plus he’ll get you K’s. If he was officially named closer I would like him over Zig, but I’d rather have both to hedge my bets and then grab Clippard when the time was right.

      2. Gonzalez is definitely worth a speculative grab if he’s still there, as either a utility guy or back up bench guy. I don’t think he’s done and can see a nice second half.

      3. In a 10 team league there is no need to carry a back up catcher – especially if you have Posey. If something happens to Buster there are plenty of weekly hot hands you can play. Looking at my league I have slumping d’Arnaud and Yan Gomes, veterans turning it around like Russell Martin and Derek Norris, and flavor of the months like James McCann, Kurt Suzuki and Chirs Iannetta. Gattis had a hot two weeks, but only hit .216 in June (flavor of the month). That spot can be used for better things.

  9. Hey Jim,

    All good. Hope you had a good 4th. I can’t seem to find space to pick anyone up. Especially now that wade Davis just hit the DL. Davis, Cain, Brantley, and Bautista comprise my all star DL team now.

    I’m feeling really stuck with all the injuries. I guess couple of follow ups based on new developments.

    -any way u can drop wade Davis for street? Having 4 closers in my league is pretty important but obviously Davis was expected to be the best or 2nd best closer. Herrera already picked up as is oh. Boxberger (also on DL but rehabbing) amd street best closer options on the wire. Do I just suck it up for a week or so while my tea, gets whole? Seems like at least 2/4 hoping to be back after break.

    – I want to make room for a gon but would have to drop kang or Reyes. Kang I love but the part time status is killing me. Franco finally heated up too! If Agon returns to Agon form or close he could be a pretty great $1 keeper for next year. That’s the enticing part of him.

    Thanks as always and I’ll put future stuff on newer article but figured still related and seeing what u already wrote might help. Liked the new article also. Very helpful especially in my deep leagues.

    Best,

    Mike

    • I wouldn’t drop Davis for Street. I take it from your comment you’ve got 3 other closers so I’d hang tight for now. Street may give you a few saves, but he blowups recently have me worried. Plus, someone without injuries will swoop in and steal Davis and screw you in the final two months.

      If this is an OBP or OPS league Reyes could do more harm than good. That said, it’s a tough call with Kang. The part-time thing sucks (I know first hand), plus he’s in a slump, and now the sexual assault allegations.
      It’s a coin flip between him and AGon. He’s hitting .277 for the season but .316 over the past two weeks. Granted zero power but the average is coming around.

      If Kang is your best and only drop for AGon I might do it, since you have Franco for 3B and (fingers crossed) Reyes for short. If there are adequate SS fill-ins on the wire it might make the decision a little easier – in case Reyes flops. Once your OF is back at full-strength you won’t miss the power lost by Kang.

  10. Yeah it’s points league so k-bb matters a lot and so does ops. But like zobrist is a borderline stud for example bc of ridic k-bb ratio to give you an idea.

    Cozart, Crawford, Russell and semien available on waivers. So is villar but he stinks in points. Cozart at 3.0 ppg surprisingly which is approaching star status in my league. Still only 9th best SS bc position has been so good. Russell could be great $1 keeper too but he’s just so freakin streaky.

  11. I’d say points is combo of counting stats, k-bb, and OPS*

    • In that case I think Kang can be dropped, and if Reyes doesn’t work out at least you have a few bottom end top-12 guys to choose from. And if AGon comes around and when your OF is healthy you won’t miss him much.

      Russell is streaky, but he is much younger than the soon to be 30-year-0ld Kang and his price tag is better.

  12. Yeah agon is more a long term move/He can step in when Ortiz hits against lefties or gets days off. But I figure if he comes around a $1 agon is a pretty valuable keeper. Might even be a good selling commodity although we have an early trade deadline of July 22 :-/ so he’d need to heat up soon.

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