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Fantasy Baseball Waivers: Deep League Adds for March 15

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Heath discusses the latest waiver wire run for Fake Teams and Friends.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Hunter Harvey was the hot add last week, and it will be interesting to see how COVID-19 impacts our fantasy baseball seasons. I’m probably in the minority when I say that we should just wait it out for a couple of weeks and see what happens. Sure, some guys may get healthy in time for the season’s start that would not have been otherwise. But the idea of redrafting tons of leagues seems like overkill to me. I’d rather us all be home for a few weeks and hopefully flatten out this curve enough to get back to some semblance of normalcy sooner. We shall see. Here’s a helpful article I read this morning, by the way:

You can’t argue with the CDC, people. I mean, I suppose you could if you were a virologist. But even though most of us are massive fantasy geeks, we aren’t virologists. Anyway, please be smart out there and help your neighbors, okay? Now back to some baseball chatter...

March 14th waiver run: The Money Adds

cut Luke Jackson (Atl - P), add Michael Pineda (Min - P) for $3 — Natty Wallach
cut Colin Moran (Pit - 2B, 3B), add Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pit - 3B) for $1 — Mark Abell

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Michael Pineda is still suspended for 39 games of the season, so an original projection for his return would have been about six weeks into the season. However, what if we get an abbreviated season? I think the value of guys like Michael Pineda and Domingo German (63-game suspension) is now lowered. If the very real possibility of a shortened MLB season comes to fruition, you’re looking at even less time when these guys can be available to you. For giggles, let’s say the season is 120 games...Pineda basically misses a third of the year. German misses over half, easily. Don’t go crazy for guys like this. Yes, I made up the 120-game season. I did not read that anywhere. Don’t wig out, okay?

MLB: MAR 02 Spring Training - Pirates at Blue Jays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ke’Bryan Hayes is a fine dart to take. The Pirates are considering extending Hayes before he takes an official MLB at-bat, as well as three other regulars (Joe Musgrove, Bryan Reynolds, and Kevin Newman). If true, Hayes would theoretically have a good shot at the Opening Day roster and everyday at-bats in Pittsburgh. The 23-year-old Hayes posted 10 homers and 12 swipes over 110 games at the Triple-A level last year, slashing .265/.336/.415 in the process. He stole 12 bags at Double-A the year prior (117 games) and 27 bags in A+ ball in 2017 (108 games). Apparently this man is a speed threat? Sneaky, sneaky. He’s also never had higher than a 18.8% strikeout rate in the minors, and he consistently posts double-digit walk rates. He’s also an excellent defender, which we all know can aid in keeping a bat in the lineup. I’m intrigued by Hayes, and a little jealous of Mark adding him for a buck. A little light reading tells me Hayes is a soft-spoken, hard-working sort of dude. I dig it. With only Colin Moran and Erik Gonzalez ahead of him on the depth chart, this is a hard ETA of 2020. Mark may have a steal in this one.

The $0 Adds

cut Ian Desmond (Col - OF), add Kevin Cron (Ari - 1B) — The Last of Us
cut Asdrubal Cabrera (Was - 2B, 3B), add Ji-Man Choi (TB - 1B) — The Last of Us
cut Nick Markakis (Atl - OF), add Jose Garcia (Cin - SS) — Whudey’s Team
cut Jesus Aguilar (Mia - 1B), add Jordan Montgomery (NYY - P) — Yants
cut Austin Allen (Oak - C), add Willians Astudillo (Min - C, 1B, 3B) — Joe’s All-Sleeper Team

St Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Kevin Cron is an upside play, as evidenced by last year’s INSANE 38 homers at the Triple-A level...in only 82 games. Cron slashed .331/.449/.777 at Triple-A, so it was quite the slugging feat. For reference, the highest career slugging mark in the MLB belongs to Babe Ruth, who holds a career .690 mark. Cron popped all those homers while walking 16.2% of the time and striking out only 20.4% of the time. He’ll need to prove he can adjust to the bigs after really struggling to make contact in 2019’s 39-game sample (78 PA). Cron’s 21.9% swinging strike rate at the MLB level was abysmal, as were the 61.4% contact rate and 46.3% chase rate.

Put differently, Cron struck out 28 times (35.9% strikeout rate) and only walked four times (5.1% walk rate) over those 78 plate appearances. He did pop six homers, but the .211/.269/.521 slash was a major drag. We need to see improvement before going crazy, and maybe this spring’s numbers are a start? So far Cron is 7-for-24 and slashing .292/.452/.542 with a pair of homers. He’s up to his old tricks, with six strikeouts against zero walks, but for a $0 churn-and-burn type at the bottom-end of your roster? He’s worth it if you need a power play.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Ji-Man Choi slashed .261/.363/.459 with 19 homers last year. He has lowered his strikeout rate in three straight years (27.8%, 24.9%, 22.2%) and increased his healthy walk rate as well (11.1%, 11.8%, 13.1%). However, he’s an obvious platoon candidate given his struggles with lefty pitchers. A career slash of .185/.288/.296 against southpaws is all the proof I need to see. Against righties he’s fine (.258/.358/.486) but his upside is limited, especially in weekly formats where you can’t manipulate his starts as much. Hard pass for me (this is a weekly format). I didn’t even mention his natural platoon candidate, one Jose Martinez. Martinez can help in the outfield as well, but his better spot defensively is at first base. I see Choi taking a seat against every single lefty possible given Martinez’s career .331/.405/.570 slash line in that split.

Oakland Athletics v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Jose Garcia is the presumed shortstop of the future in Cincinnati, a 21-year-old having a great spring. Still, a wise ETA for him would be 2021, not 2020. Maybe I’m missing something. He’s not even seen Double-A action yet, and the Reds can probably stomach 30-year-old Freddy Galvis for this year. Galvis is a slick fielder who has shown decent pop in recent years (23 HR last year). He’s unexciting, but he seems good enough to me for the Reds not to rush Garcia.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

I’m pretty sure I’ve watched Yants draft Jordan Montgomery in eleventy billion leagues already. Side effect of being in too many leagues with Yants. Also potentially a side effect of ignoring Jordan Montgomery completely. Why exactly are people drafting this guy? The Yankees certainly have openings, what with Luis Severino (UCL) done for the year and James Paxton (back surgery) missing the start of the year. Let’s see...

Montgomery threw only four innings last season after hurling only 27 13 innings in 2018. Montgomery is 27 years old, but lacking in MLB experience given 2018’s Tommy John surgery. Who knew, but Montgomery was pretty flipping good in his rookie year of 2017, managing 9 wins, a 3.88 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, and 144 strikeouts over 155 13 innings. Here’s a great read from SB Nation’s own Pinstripe Alley about Montgomery’s prospects this year. The short version is that Montgomery has beefed his velocity up a couple of ticks this spring, which is promising news for a guy who has previously not relied on his heater and used his guile and multi-pitch arsenal. If he can sit in the 93ish range instead of 90-91, that’s obviously an upgrade. With a nonexistent ADP that is past the 350 range, he’s a solid back-end-of-your-rotation guy...someone the Yankees desperately need to perform in real life. There are worse plays, for sure.

Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

I couldn’t be less interested in Willians Astudillo, to be honest. Astudillo was a popular sleeper play last year, but he didn’t deliver. Over 204 PA (58 games) he managed a .268/.299/.379 slash line with four homers and zero steals. He’s fun because he never strikes out (career 3.7% strikeout rate) but he doesn’t hit for power and he doesn’t run. And because he puts the ball in play so much—and puts it on the ground—his OBP will be highly dependent on his BABIP. As you might imagine, that’s a dicey proposition to bank on. Plus, he’s a part-timer in a STACKED Twins lineup. He fits Joe’s All-Sleeper Team mold, but it seems like a lot would need to break right (or wrong, if you’re a Twins fan) for Astudillo to be relevant in 2020.

Over the last two weeks we’ve seen three different Yankee hurlers added via waivers. Apparently the people are desperate for pinstripe pitching. Who do you guys like as the best value of the bunch? Vote in the poll below!

Poll

Which Yankees hurler has the most amount of redraft value by 2020’s end?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Deivi Garcia
    (5 votes)
  • 25%
    Jonathan Loaisiga
    (11 votes)
  • 62%
    Jordan Montgomery
    (27 votes)
43 votes total Vote Now