Big Kid Adds (6/7/22)

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Note: At the end of the article is a description of how to find these values.

Konnor Pilkington (9): The 24-year-old lefty is lined up for two starts this week against Texas and Oakland. He has made three starts and three appearances out of the bullpen. In his three starts, he has a 3.75 ERA, 3.94 xFIP, .441 BABIP, 13.5 K/9, and 6.8 BB/9. The walks and hits have his WHIP up at 2.00.

His pitch counts (83 to 87 to 93) should put him in line for a Win if he can get the walks down (2 BB in his last start).

He mainly throws a 92-mph four-seamer (66% usage) that has a 12% SwStr%. While he’s been able to miss bats so far, similar fastballs have not fared as well.

His change (25% SwStr%, 55% GB%) and slider (18% SwStr%, 50% GB%) are great secondary offerings but he’s having problems getting them over the plate (37% or lower Zone% on both). I think it’ll take a few more starts to find his true value.

Ross Stripling (9): Stripling was in demand for his two starts (at KC, at DET). I went aggressively after him (over Edward Cabrera in most places) because I like how he’s been pitching.

In 26 IP as a starter, he has a 3.46 ERA, 3.20 xFIP, 1.00 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, and a 19.2 K%-BB%. While he’s not a qualified starter, his K%-BB% is comparable to Pablo López, Joe Musgrove, Alek Manoah, and Shane Bieber. I’ll take those comps any day.

Now, the distance he goes in his first few starts might not be long. His starter pitch counts were 62 to 61 to 84 to 63 to 78. He only made it to 5 IP in the 84 pitch start. In his start yesterday, it was 56 pitches in 5 IP. Wins might be an issue to start with.

The major change behind the improvement is throwing his fastball less (51% to 42%, 8% SwStr%, 46% GB%) and changeup more (15% to 25%, 22% SwStr%, 56% GB%). Add when possible.

Luis Garcia (8): The Nationals 22-year-old middle infielder finally got called to the majors after dominating AAA (8 HR, .314/.368./.531). There has been some good and bad in his first week back in the majors.

On the positive, he’s hitting the ball hard (67% StatCast HardHit%, 95 mph AvgEV) leading to decent results (.368/.350/.474).

On the downside, pitchers aren’t throwing him fastballs (47% to 39%), and his strikeout rate is up from 17% to 25%. He’s struggling to hit sliders (47% SwStr%), changeups (27% SwStr%), and splitters (38% SwStr%). The struggle to make contact could get out of hand very quickly and force him back to the minors.

Bryson Stott (8): With Jean Segura on the IL for a couple of months, the 24-year-old Stott gets another chance to show what he can do in a full-time role. While he was horrible in April (.328 OPS) and May (.331 OPS), June has been a different story (1.145 OPS).

All the improvement can be linked to his plate discipline. His strikeout rate has gone from 32% to 31% to 12% with his walk rate going from 3% to 9% to 12%. He doesn’t even have average power, so he needs to find ways to get on base to be productive.

Ezequiel Duran (8): Duran got a promotion directly from AA when Josh Smith went on the IL. Duran is a top-100 prospect and was hitting .317/.365/.574 with 7 HR and 7 SB in AA.

His projections have the 23-year-old hitting 16 HR, a .230 AVG, and 12 SB over a full season. Those stats are similar to those posted by Mark Canha and Trent Grisham in 2021. Not great, but playable in most 12-team or deeper leagues.

Edward Cabrera (7): Besides just getting called up and dominating in his first start (6 IP, 9 K, 0 ER), he has an OK two-start week (vs WAS, at HOU) coming up. With a varied arsenal (change, four-seam, slider, sinker, curve) he’s always been able to generate strikeouts (9.6 K/9 in 2021 MLB, 12.2 K/9 in 2022 AAA), but walks have been an issue (6.5 BB/9 in 2021, 4.6 BB/9 in 2022 AAA). He’s like Pilkington in that he can throw his fastball for strikes (55% Zone%) and not his change (41% Zone%) or slider (35% Zone%).

Graham Ashcraft (7): Ashcroft is another two-start pitcher (vs ARI, at STL) who lives off generating groundballs (71% GB% in AAA, 63% in the majors).

His lack of strikeouts (4.6 K/9) might give some fantasy managers hesitation, but he has a 97-mph fastball and decent minor league strikeout rates (8.3 K/9 in AAA, 9.2 K/9 in AA). I could see him end up producing like Framber Valdez if everything went right.

Jarren Duran (7): Duran was called up last season and struggled with strikeouts (36% K%) but was doing better in AAA (24% K%). His AAA stats were impressive (.314/.393/.523, 4 HR, 11 SB) but he’s never been able to translate them to the majors. Since being called up, he has the same 36% K% but a .500 BABIP has his results looking better (.308/.357/.462).

His struggles come down to pitchers feeding him a ton of fastballs (57% seen). Last season, he had an 18% SwStr% against four-seamers and this season it’s a 22% SwStr%. He has to hit the fastball to be a major league hitter. Opposing pitchers so far aren’t scared of his power so they can just pound the zone with fastballs.

I can understand the desire to roster him for his speed, but the inability to make contact is the reason he’s not been in the majors.

Jose Trevino (7): In 15-team leagues, any catcher with a job and decent stats should be rostered and Trevino fits both of those requirements. Trevino has started six of the last 10 games while hitting .282/.330/.471 with 4 HR on the season.

The improvement from previous seasons is his drop in strikeout rate from a career 19% to 14%. He’s probably a must roster in all two-catcher leagues.

Jose Miranda (6): I debated on how to value Miranda this past FAAB period. The top-100 prospect got promoted in early May and struggled at the plate (.484 OPS, .192 BABIP). After a short demotion, the 24-year-old returned and has been on fire (.318/.348/.773, .364 BABIP, 3 HR).

An issue with the second callup is that it has been just eight games and Miranda has only started in six of them (sat against two righties). Also, he’s not showing much raw power (51% percentile MaxEV, 54% percentile StatCast HardHit%).

I’m not sure if Miranda will be a fantasy contributor, but someone in every league needs to find out.

Tanner Scott (6): With almost no Save options available, I understood why managers took a shot on Scott. Scott got the Save on Thursday and then came in during the top of the ninth in a tie game and got a Win on Saturday. He had struggled in the three appearances before that by allowing five runs in fewer than three innings.

Scott has always struggled with walks (5.5 career BB/9, 5.3 BB/9 in 2022) and closers rarely stick when they give up a free pass every other inning.

Jo Adell (6): With Taylor Ward heading to the IL, the Angels were forced to recall Adell. Adell has morphed into Joey Gallo, all power with a ton of swing-and-miss. In the majors this season, the 23-year-old is hitting .208/.219/.375 with 3 HR. This season’s AAA profile was the same (.222/.341/.597, 5 HR).

Like with Jarren Duran, Adell struggles with fastballs and it’s gotten worse this season. Last he, he had a 16% SwStr% against them and it’s up to 26% this year. The increase in strikeout rate could be from pitchers attacking him higher in the zone as seen by these fastball pitch location heat maps.

2021

2022

If Gallo is rosterable, so is Adell until Ward returns from the IL.

Jace Peterson (6): Peterson has been playing (started seven of the last 10 games) and been productive for roto leagues (.230/.309/.434 with 5 HR and 8 SB).  He has been playing third base because of injuries to Luis Urías and Willy Adames (expected off the IL today). Both should be healthy in the next few days so it’ll be interesting to see if Peterson continues to play.

One option could be for him to start in the outfield but Hunter Renfroe is expected to come off the IL today. Also, Tyrone Taylor has heated up since May 1st (.245/.302/.462, 6 HR, 1 SB) and his getting everyday at-bats.

Peterson’s usage this week will go a long way in determining his fantasy value going forward.

Players added in five leagues

Steps to find these players at the NFBC.

  • From there, the players added are listed.





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.

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CasonJolette
2 months ago

Are you stashing Pasquentino yet?

Paul Sporermember
2 months ago
Reply to  CasonJolette

Can’t in NFBC unless he was drafted & cut, but in 15+ tm mixers where it’s wide open, I’m not averse to it. The only issue is Nick Pratto is in the mix, too. Also a 1B, already on the 40, and the bigger prospect. The 40 is currently full, too, so Vinnie P would require a move while Pratto could just be pulled up