For those of you who play in competitive leagues, where recommendations to add players 40-60% owned just doesn’t cut it; this weekly article highlights 10 players who are more likely to be available in your league. The parameters are simple: any player owned in less than 10% of Fantrax leagues whose stock trending up. I’ll try to get a mix of different positions and mix pitchers and hitters, but understand that we are digging a little deeper with this list and we’ll take the value where we can find it.
Brad Keller (KC-P) - 8% owned
My latest addition in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, Brad Keller has moved into the Royals starting rotation and is slowly getting stretched out to go deeper into games. In his three starts since joining the rotation, he’s only combined for 12.2 innings pitched but struck out 10 hitters in those innings against the Twins, A’s and the Angels. Keller maintains a 3.17 FIP in 29.2 innings this year as a starter and reliever, and could be a valuable piece this year once he is consistently throwing 5+ innings per start. Deeper league owners will have to buy-in now and roll the dice that he can stick and maintain this success in the rotation.
Pablo Sandoval (SF-1B/3B) - 6% owned
His ownership has doubled since last week’s article where Sandoval was also mentioned on this same list. Sandoval has continued to rake with a triple slash line of .400/.417/.629 in his last 11 games. Brandon Belt is slated for a June 15th return, so the cash in on his hot streak while he has nine days left of clear playing time.
Ehire Adrianza (MIN-SS) - 3% owned
Adrianza is in the middle of a nice little 10-game stretch, slashing .321/.387/.714 from a shortstop position that has been short on waiver wire options recently. The Statcast data backs up Adrianza’s strong performance with an xwOBA of .386 in the past 15 days, which is second on the Twins behind Eduardo Escobar. I have no idea if this lasts much longer, but Adrianza is my top pick in most formats if I’m looking for help in the middle infield.
Robbie Grossman (MIN-OF) - 6% owned
Hitting in the middle of the Minnesota lineup, Grossman is in a prime spot and playing well enough to be rostered in deeper formats. 6% seems too low for a guy getting everyday at-bats with a .321 xwOBA in the last 14 days.
Charlie Culberson (ATL-SS/OF) - 4% owned
The graph below shows the seven day rolling average and 30 day rolling average of xwOBA for Culberson. His best days might be behind him, but he’s been making steady improvements for the past month now. I’m willing to buy into Culberson as long as he’s getting consistent ABs for Atlanta.
Justin Wilson (CHC-P) - 8% owned
Wilson has had an incredible turnaround this year, and it could not have come at a better time for the Cubs with Carl Edwards, Jr. hitting the DL. Adding Wilson is a pure ratio play since there are a few other relievers in line for saves if anything were to happen to Brandon Morrow. Still, Wilson has been awesome and getting a ton of usage and is worth an add in the back of fantasy bullpens.
Jesse Chavez (TEX-P) - 3% owned
Chavez is another ratio play, with his 3.87 FIP this year and 5.0 K/BB ratio, he’s been a beast for fantasy bullpens. The added bonus with Chavez is his experience as a starter (he started 21 games last year for the Angels) so if there’s ever a need for spot starts, you can get some cheap wins from Chavez.
Erik Goeddel (LAD-P) - 1% owned
In 17.2 innings between Seattle and now the Los Angeles Dodgers, Goeddel has a 0.51 ERA and 10.2 K/9. His peripherals are equally encouraging and Statcast agrees - Goeddel has a .231 xwOBA in the past 30 days and is one of the league’s leaders in exit velocity with a median exit velocity of 78.1 mph.
David Freese (PIT-3B) - 6% owned
This is a bit of a stretch since Freese owns the weak side of the third base platoon with Colin Moran, but his production against lefties has been awesome recently and worthy of an add in leagues with flexible lineup settings. If you can move Freese in and out of the lineup daily, you can take advantage of his .355 xwOBA over the last two weeks.
Luis Guillorme (NYM-2B/3B) - 1% owned
This is a Hail Mary. Guillorme isn’t getting the playing time and his fantasy numbers look putrid, but in a deeper dive, Guillorme has been making great contact. His xwOBA of .360 is 170 points higher than his actual wOBA of .190 in the past 15 days, which means better days could be ahead. The playing time hasn’t been consistent, but he’s worth a flier in deep NL-only formats.
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