Big Kid Adds (6/28/22)

While the NFBC Main Event garners most of the attention, there are a handful of leagues with even a larger entry fee ($2.5K to $15K). They get originally named “High Stakes Leagues” and this year there are nine of them. With so much money on the line, these fantasy managers are going to try to gain any advantage. Most of the time, these managers will be a week or two ahead of everyone else on their adds. Here are the players and some information on the ones added in five or more of these leagues.

Isaac Paredes (9): Paredes got attention this past week by hitting five homers over five games. For the season, he’s hitting .255/.315/.612 with 10 HR but 0 SB. Besides the power display, he played first (4 games), second (14), and third (16) base. The versatility has allowed him to start in nine of the last 12 games. The Rays are always going to mix and match, so he is not good enough to get a full-time job … at least yet.

Obviously, he’s not going to continue to hit five homers a week, but what kind of production should be expected of him going forward? In 193 PA coming into this season, the 23-year-old had a .593 OPS and just 2 HR. Part of the power improvement comes from pulling the ball more (45% Pull% to 48% to 54%). Here is a comparison of his batted balls from 2020 and this year.

Second, he’s likely getting stronger and hitting for more power (26% StatCast HardHit% to 25% to 39%). He is also posting career-highs with a 110 maxEV, 8% Barrel%, and 87 mph avgEV.

Finally, he’s getting to the power without sacrificing his good plate discipline (7% BB%, 14% K%). Solid add … if playing.

Josh H. Smith (9): With Ezequiel Duran being demoted, it looks like Smith will get a run at third base (also qualified at short). He’s not got much power (4 HR in 208 AAA PA, 101 maxEV, 0% Barrel%), but could be a great source of steals (8 in AAA, 2 in the majors) since the Rangers love to run.

He has shown great plate discipline coming through the minors and has more walks (6) than strikeouts (4) in the majors. It’s an on-base with speed profile similar to Myles Straw.

Mitch White (8): White was likely the best starter on Sunday’s waiver wire. While he doesn’t yet have a set role, he’s been effective as a starter (8.4 K/9, 1.13 WHIP, 4.10 xFIP, 3.98 ERA). His slider grades out great (18% SwStr%, 32% GB%), but his fastball (4% SwStr%) and curve (10% SwStr%) are below average.

The profile and the fact he’ll likely get a Win if he makes it five innings for the Dodgers makes him a nice add.

Jake Meyers (8): As the weekend went on, Meyers’s value just kept going up. First, the Astros demoted Jose Siri. Then, they demoted Chas McCormick. Finally, Michael Brantley got hurt. He’s started three straight games with a couple of hits so far.

Meyer has a well-rounded profile. Across all levels last year, the 26-year-old hit 22 HR and stole 13 bases. His batting average could be an issue since he has a 32% K% in 173 MLB PA but the losses could be offset with his line drive approach.

Cavan Biggio (8): To me, Biggio is someone to settle on, not target. This week he was obviously targeted. The Jays are scheduled for eight games (3 vs BOS, 5 vs TB) so he should get decent volume. He has started in the seven of the last 10 games while usually batting ninth.

Biggio’s profile hasn’t changed this season. He walks a ton (15% career BB%) with middling power results and a horrible batting average. His bat path (17.5 avgLA) is one of a slugger (comps are Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, David Peralta) but with middling umph (37% SC HardHit%) behind it (comps are Kyle Farmer, Tommy Edman, and Brandon Belt). He’ll hit some home runs with this approach, but many flyballs will have almost warning track power and be easy outs. His current talent and approach mean that his hitting production won’t change. Maybe.

He’s been better in June with a .948 OPS (.351 BABIP). While still walking the same amount, he’s cut his strikeout rate to 23%. His Pull% and Hard Hit% are trending up but not to previous levels.

It’s not a new breakout but more regression to his previous talent level. His high walk rate means that he’ll have value in on-base leagues, but the batting average is going to be drain considering his middling power (15 HR per season).

Taylor Trammell (7): The 24-year-old Trammell was a disappointment last season hitting .160/.256/.359 with a 42% K% in 178 PA. He came into the season with a new approach by swinging less (48% Swing% to 45%) and making more contact (69% Contact% to 82%). The changes have his strikeout rate down to 26% K% and his OPS jumped from .615 to .798. The gains come mainly against four-seamers (19% SwStr% to 7%) and sinkers (16% SwStr% to 6%). He still struggles against non-fastballs.

The team has noticed the changes and has moved him up from the bottom of the lineup to batting fifth. The issue is that he sits against most lefties (.850 OPS vs RHP, .517 OPS vs LHP) but Seattle is scheduled to face seven righties this week.

His current batted ball profile is like Biggio’s, with a little too much air (19 avgLA) for his league-average power (32% StatCast HardHit%) so a possibly low batting average with some but not an elite number of home runs.

Lou Trivino (6): With Dany Jiménez on the IL, Trevino has recorded the team’s last two Saves. On the surface, Trevino’s results have been horrible with a 7.17 ERA and 1.97 WHIP but they are being fueled by a .500 BABIP. His ERA estimators are all under 3.00.

He started the season struggling with walks but has lowered the rate each month so far (7.4 BB/9 to 4.2 BB/9 to 3.0 BB/9).

Over his last four appearances, he has a 0.00 ERA, 13.5 K/9, and 1.71 WHIP. I could see a scenario where he holds the closer’s role until the season’s end.

Kris Bubic (6): Bubic had looked acceptable in June with a 3.92 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and 1.50 but was a mess last night giving up seven runs (five earned) in four innings while striking out just two batters and walking three.

In roto leagues, WHIP is a category and a 1.89 is not going to cut it. While his .355 BABIP should regress, a 5.4 BB/9 leads to an unrosterable WHIP. I try to limit my pitchers to having a 3.5 BB/9.

Hopefully, his start against Detroit will go better.

Freddy Peralta (5): Some managers dropped Peralta and others have added him with the hope he’ll join the team when first eligible a month from now.

Bligh Madris (5): The 26-year-old Madris has started seven of eight games since being called up. He was hitting fine in AAA with a .304 AVG, 5 HR, and 2 SB. In 29 MLB PA, he’s hitting .345/.345/.586 with 1 HR and 1 SB.

His projections are a little tepid having him near 12-15 HR, 5 SB, and a .240 AVG over a full season. It’s not exactly game-changing.

A couple of notes on his major league production. He has a batted ball over 109 mph already putting his raw power at least league average. Also, pitchers are staying away from fastballs with him (44% seen, 49% is league average). So far he seems to struggle against sliders (28% SwStr%) and changeups (36% SwStr%).

Dylan Moore (5): Moore seemed to be a nice one to two-week add for a few steals with Ty France on the IL. Since the injury, Moore has started four straight, two at first base but since Moore was added, the Mariners have traded for Carlos Santana. Moore has been batting ninth (.632 OPS) so I could see why the Mariners want to replace him.

Fantasy managers were eyeing his 10 SB with the hope of getting a few cheap ones. The issue with Moore is that he’s bad at baseball. In 813 career PA, he has hit .199/.304/.375. Sure he’s fine as a bench bat, but not as a regular.

Dean Kremer (5): Kremer is lined up to face the Mariners tonight and then have a two-step next week against the Rangers and Angels. While he has a 1.71 ERA and 1.24 WHIP they’ve been aided by a 0.4 HR/9 and a 86% LOB% (73% is league average). I don’t believe at all in the sub-2.00 ERA but instead in his mid-4.00 ERA estimators especially since he has a 5.69 career ERA with matching estimators.

Simply, how many pitchers with a 6.0 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 are in high demand? Here they are.

Dean Kremer Comps
Name K/9 BB/9 ERA xERA FIP xFIP
Daulton Jefferies 6.4 1.8 5.72 3.74 3.79 4.34
Tyler Rogers 5.6 2.4 4.81 2.78 3.34 4.17
Erasmo Ramirez 6.4 2.1 4.28 3.76 5.48 4.47
Zach Plesac 6.1 2.1 4.17 6.11 4.62 4.51
Noah Syndergaard 6.5 2.2 3.86 4.37 3.76 4.18
Cole Irvin 6.2 2.2 3.29 5.28 4.30 4.37
Graham Ashcraft 5.9 1.5 3.27 3.22 3.73 3.58
Tyler Wells 5.6 2.1 3.23 3.63 4.35 4.82
Jaime Barria 6.5 1.8 2.86 5.48 5.09 4.25
Jason Foley 6.0 2.1 2.81 3.97 2.51 3.71
Average 3.83 4.23 4.10 4.24
Median 3.58 3.87 4.05 4.30

Some of them, like Graham Ashcraft (58% GB%), get by on weak contact but it’s an uninspiring list. Hard pass.

Hunter Strickland (5): The Reds have 15 Saves (11 Blown Saves) this season spread among six different pitchers with no single one having more than four. It seems like Strickland is the latest to get the opportunity.

Strickland became the top option for save situations after Alexis Díaz, Tony Santillan and Lucas Sims all went on the injured list. Díaz had a bullpen session Sunday in San Francisco and he’s scheduled to throw again Wednesday before he’s eligible to return Friday.

“Hunter is definitely somebody that likes it,” Reds Manager David Bell said. “He thrives on it. In some ways, I think the bigger the situation, the better pitcher he’s going to be. It may not always be the ninth, but I’m definitely aware of that and it works in his favor to keep getting those opportunities.”

On the surface, it should be a little scary that the Reds are considering using a reliever with a 5.11 ERA (with matching estimators) to close. Strickland’s 6.6 BB/9 could also be a deal breaker.

 

After his initial struggles, he has been better since the start of May (3.12 ERA, 4.11 xFIP, 9.9 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, and 1.33 WHIP). He’s attacking hitters with a 96-mph fastball (9% SwStr%) and slider (15% SwStr%). I sort of blew him off as the closer but this profile might just work and allow him to get a few Saves.

Austin Nola (5): He’s hitting .241/.315/.318 with 2 HR and 1 SB. He might have been the best available catcher. Nothing else.





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
E-Dub
1 month ago

Watch out. You’ll get jumped by the O-Swing police if you call what Paredes is doing plate discipline, Jeff.

Giant Slormember
1 month ago
Reply to  E-Dub

Slightly better than league average O-Swing (30 vs 32%), no?