Today’s deep league waiver wire features a Triple-A breakout stud and a closer speculation.
INSANE…ly good, that is. That’s the only way you can describe the performance of baseball’s newest offensive sensation, Yordan Alvarez. You might not realize how good he actually has been. If I filter our leaderboard for all rookie seasons since 2000 with at least 220 plate appearances, Alvarez sits atop the list after sorting by wOBA. Of course, it’s easier to do that over 228 plate appearances than the 678 that Aaron Judge did it over two seasons ago when he posted a .430 wOBA. But still, while you can kinda fake an inflated BABIP (Alvarez has a .376 mark), it’s far more difficult to fake a .365 ISO. But how real has his performance been so far?
Heading into the season, Cavan Biggio was a good, not great, prospect for the Blue Jays. He was perhaps more known for his bloodline, being the son of hall of famer Craig Biggio, than his future potential, as he was ranked as just the 12th best prospect in the Jays system before the year began and slapped with basically average skill grades across the board. After a call-up in late May, he has now amassed nearly 300 plate appearance, representing about a half a season worth of stats to evaluate. A quick look at his underwhelming .314 wOBA suggests he hasn’t enjoyed a very strong start to his career. A deeper look, however, reveals a very different story.
With a month and a half left in the season, you must keep focus on your placement in the various categories. Forget about overall fantasy value and worry about how each player on your roster will help you gain (or prevent you from losing) points in each category. If you find yourself in need of speed, here are six names that are likely available in many leagues that have been running over the past month.
Welcome to another exciting edition of the deep league waiver wire! Today, I discuss two youngsters getting their first tastes of big league action.
Yesterday, I identified and discussed the hitters who have seen their fly ball rates surge most over the last 30 days. Fly ball rate spikes are great news for power hitters who post above league average HR/FB rates, though it won’t necessarily result in better overall performance by wOBA, as it will likely hamper BABIP. Today, let’s look at hitters on the opposite end of the spectrum, those whose FB% marks have declined most. For speedy, non-power threats, a decline is probably a good thing, but for a hitter who relies on his power, not so much.
I often talk about a hitter’s batted ball type distribution, which simply refers to his rates of grounders, fly balls, line drives, and pop-ups. While these rates do fluctuate like any other metric, they generally remain stable and don’t vary significantly from year to year. A fly ball hitter is typically always one, as is a ground ball hitter. So when we do observe dramatic swings in batted ball type rates, we should take notice, as it’s more likely a conscious change in approach then randomness, assuming the sample size is reasonable. So let’s take a look at the hitters whose fly ball rates have spiked most over the last 30 days compared to the rest of the season. An increased fly ball rate will result in more homers, assuming all else remains equal.
As we often say, pitchers seemingly change much more quickly than hitters, so you need to be paying attention to any trends in velocity, pitch mix, spin rate, movement, etc. It’s therefore always a good idea to take a look at changes in the last month versus the rest of the season to potentially spot pitchers rising (or falling) to new levels of performance. With that in mind, let’s identify and discuss the starting pitchers whose four-seam fastball velocity has increased most over the last 31 days versus the rest of the season prior.
I love this time of the baseball season, as seemingly every day, another hitter is given an opportunity for full-time at-bats. It makes life in mono leagues more interesting as the free agent pool is typically so sadly thin that any injection of new talent is quite welcome. This week we have two new regulars to discuss.
This is an updated version of an article originally posted in 2013 and then reposted in 2015, 2017, and 2018. It’s a vitally important exercise to perform, so I think it’s worthwhile to continue to resurface it each season around this time.
Heading into the final two months of the season, the effect any individual player will have on our place in the standings has continued to diminish, which means that this time of year represents one of the final chances to dramatically improve our teams. It probably doesn’t need to be stated, but it’s important to reiterate for those still clinging to preseason values (I usually cling to them far longer than most, but even I know to give them up at this point!) — right now, you need to essentially throw player values out the window and trade for needs based on your position in the various statistical categories. Don’t worry about overpaying if you still expect the trade to net you positive points. Obviously, you want to make a trade that brings back the greatest value in return and gain you the most standings points. However, if the best return offered to you is a player our auction calculator projects to earn $7 the rest of the way for your projected $13 player, it’s still absolutely worth accepting if you determine that accepting the trade would gain you total points.