Seth Trachtman

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wired: Speed Maybin

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Huge home run showings from unlikely players are becoming contagious, apparently. Last week it was Scooter Gennett with four home runs in one game. This week it’s Eddie Rosario with three long balls.

 

The Twins outfielder batted ninth when he accomplished the feat on Tuesday, and had only 28 home runs to his name in more than 1,000 major league plate appearances prior to his big game.

 

Despite an especially aggressive approach, with 36/249 BB/K for his career and only 3.64 pitches seen per plate appearance, Rosario has been a relatively consistent option in his three-year career. His average stands between .260-.270 for the third consecutive season, and his counting stat paces are not far off what we’ve come to expect.

 

That level of expectation makes him a possible fill-in, but the struggle for counting stats hitting at the bottom of the order certainly hurts his value. Rosario’s meager 2 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues reflects that struggle for volume.

 

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Mixed Leagues

 

Mallex Smith, OF, Rays (Yahoo: 37 percent owned)

 

Smith was called up after Kevin Kiermaier’s hip injury last week and made his presence felt immediately. He has hit safely in all six of his games since returning from Triple-A Durham and already swiped four bases in his first two games back. Additionally, Smith is hitting leadoff for Tampa Bay against right-handed pitching. The former Braves prospect quietly hit .295 against right-handed pitching last season and has elite steals potential, swiping more than 50 bases three times in the minors. He needs to be owned in all 5x5 leagues.

 

Cameron Maybin, OF, Angels (Yahoo: 42 percent owned)

 

Speaking of stolen bases, Maybin leads the American League with 19 in 20 attempts, yet he’s still not owned in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues. Adding in his 36 runs in 48 games played, there’s no doubt Maybin should be owned now that he’s hitting atop the lineup. Maybin returned from the DL last Friday and promptly had six steals in his first two games back.

 

Lewis Brinson, OF, Brewers (Yahoo: 24 percent owned)

 

Speaking of speedy outfielders, Brinson was called up by the Brewers over the weekend. Considered to be Milwaukee’s center fielder of the future, Brinson was hitting .312-6-25 with seven steals at hitter-friendly Triple-A Colorado Springs prior to his call-up, and is now seeing regular playing time. While he doesn’t have elite offensive tools, Brinson has been a consistent minor league performer with double-digit home runs and stolen bases in four consecutive seasons. He should see regular playing time until Ryan Braun returns from the DL, which is an unclear timetable.

 

Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, Orioles (Yahoo: 11 percent owned)

 

Mancini has been one of the early-season’s best stories, and he’s now set to play first base regularly for the O’s with Chris Davis on the DL due to an oblique injury. An under the radar power prospect, Mancini beat out veteran Pedro Alvarez for a roster spot in spring training and has hit an impressive .288-10-33 through 177 plate appearances. As a career .306 minor league hitter with 20 or more homers in each of the last two seasons, we can hardly call this production a fluke.

 

Derek Fisher, OF, Astros (Yahoo: 17 percent owned)

 

Houston has been loaded with prospects during the Jeff Luhnow era, and Fisher is the next in line. He got the call on Wednesday after Josh Reddick’s concussion and was promptly inserted into the lineup, hitting his first career home run. Despite a crowded Astros outfield, Fisher could be up for good if he gets off to a quick start. The former first-round pick was hitting .335-16-45 with 13 steals at Triple-A, and he was a 20/20 man in each of the last two seasons. Fisher has made significant progress with his contact rate at Triple-A this season, which was clearly his weakness last year (154 strikeouts in 566 plate appearances).

 

Jacob Faria, SP, Rays (Yahoo: 35 percent owned)

 

With Matt Andriese out till August, Faria is starting to garner a following. He has an impressive 1.42 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 12.2 innings through two major league starts. An elite strikeout pitcher in the minors, Faria had a gaudy 12.9 K/9 at Triple-A Durham and has a 9.4 K/9 for his career. Major league hitters haven’t figured him out yet, so Faria seems worthy of consideration as long as he’s throwing strikes.

 

Brad Peacock, SP, Astros (Yahoo: 40 percent owned)

 

For all their success, Houston could hardly be having a worse time right now with rotation injuries. Peacock has moved from the bullpen to the rotation, as a result, but he continues to miss bats in that role. Peacock has a 3.00 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 39 innings this season, including 36 strikeouts in 22.2 innings as a starter. With injuries to Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, and Lance McCullers, Peacock should continue to get opportunities.

 

Eric Sogard, 2B/SS, Brewers (Yahoo: 6 percent owned)

 

Sogard just can’t seem to stop hitting. The slight middle infield has shown almost no power or speed before this season, and he never hit better than .266 in the majors. However, Sogard has seen regular playing time recently with Travis Shaw’s time away from the team and Jonathan Villar’s injury, hitting an incredible .347-3-12 with 16/10 BB/K in 92 plate appearances through Tuesday. The strong plate discipline is nothing new for Sogard, but his bat has certainly taken a step forward. While there’s limited upside, fantasy owners with a middle infield need could ride him for a while.

 

Steve Pearce, OF/2B/1B, Blue Jays (Yahoo: 3 percent owned)

 

Pearce got off to a rough start this season, but he’s now on the comeback trail from a calf injury and set to see regular playing time when he returns after Ezequiel Carrera’s injury. The beneficiary of a two-year, $12.5 million contract in the offseason, Pearce was a valuable fantasy commodity as recently as last season when he hit .288-13-35 in only 302 plate appearances between Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Given his second base eligibility in many leagues after making 15 appearances last season, Pearce could be a viable addition.

 

Sean Newcomb, SP, Braves (Yahoo: 16 percent owned)

 

Newcomb is worth a look after his great major league debut, though his inability to throw strikes should create some caution. He has a career 4.8 BB/9 in the minors that was at 5.2 with Triple-A Gwinnett prior to his promotion. Acquired from the Angels last offseason for Andrelton Simmons, Newcomb has shown Grade A stuff with a career 10.7 K/9 due to his above average fastball and curveball. He can be useful in the right matchup, and could be here to stay if Bartolo Colon’s comeback attempt doesn’t go as planned.

 

Homer Bailey, SP, Reds (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)

 

Like Pearce, Bailey also finds himself on the comeback trail. Recovering from offseason elbow surgery, Bailey has made a total of eight major league starts over the last two seasons while fighting through arm issues. His upside is still worth a look in the deepest of mixed leagues after posting a sub-4.00 ERA in three consecutive seasons from 2012-14.

 

Franchy Cordero, OF, Padres (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)

 

Cordero has done an admirable job for the Padres since being called up last month, hitting .327-3-8 in 16 games. Manuel Margot isn’t far away from a minor league rehab assignment, but Cordero has played well enough to stick around when Margot returns. The 22-year-old was a legitimate prospect prior to his promotion, hitting .289-7-23 with eight steals at Triple-A El Paso, though his approach remains extremely raw. Moved to the top of the batting order recently, Cordero can still be a short-term fill-in.

 

AL ONLY

 

Matt Chapman, 3B, Athletics (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)

 

The powerful Chapman is getting called up for Thursday’s game, though it remains to be seen how much he will play in his first time around the league. It is clear that his power is plentiful, hitting 16 homers at Triple-A Nashville this season and 36 between Double- and Triple-A last year. His especially poor contact rate is a major concern in his first time around the league – not to mention future opportunities – with 173 strikeouts last season and 63 strikeouts already this year in only 203 plate appearances. That risk should keep him reserved to AL-only leagues for now.

 

Chad Green, SP, Yankees (Yahoo: 2 percent owned)

 

CC Sabathia’s hamstring injury could present an opportunity for Green. Over 64.1 major league innings, Green has an impressive 4.06 ERA and 10.5 K/9. His breakout season came last year when he had a 1.52 ERA and 4.76 K/BB ratio in 16 starts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It’s not set in stone that he will get the rotation spot ahead of Domingo German, though Green’s experience could give him the edge.

 

NL ONLY

 

Brian Goodwin, OF, Nationals (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)

 

Goodwin has seen regular playing time in the Washington outfield with Jayson Werth sidelined. He now has a home run in three consecutive starts, and his hot bat could be enough to wrestle playing time away from Michael A. Taylor and Werth later in the year. A legitimate prospect, Goodwin hit .280-14-68 with 15 steals at Triple-A Syracuse last season and has double-digit home runs and steals in three consecutive minor league seasons.

 

Rio Ruiz, 3B, Braves (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)

 

In NL-only leagues, opportunity is everything. That will be the case for Ruiz over the next two months with Adonis Garcia injured. Ruiz has yet to really hit this season, but the 23-year-old was a career .269-14-78 hitter in 606 at-bats for Triple-A Gwinnett since the start of last season. The at-bats have the potential to be useful in NL-only leagues, if nothing else.



You can find Seth Trachtman on Twitter @sethroto.
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