Big Kid Adds (8/16/22)

Jim Rassol-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:

Vaughn Grissom (9): After laying waste to the minors (.312/.404/.487 in AA, .363/.408/.516 in AAA), the 21-year-old has nine hits including two homers so far in the majors (24 PA). He looks to be a decent power-speed threat. I do have a few issues though.

First, in a small sample, his strikeout rate is up to 21%  (~15% K% in the minors) with the league only throwing him fastballs 41% of the time (49% is league average). They’ve thrown him sliders than fastballs. There seems to be a book on him since he seems to have some issues with moving pitches. Of the 56 combined sliders, curves, and changeups he’s seen, he has a 21.5% SwStr% on these pitches. Not being able to handle non-fastballs tanked Jarred Kelenic’s start to his career, so it’s something to watch with Grissom.

The other issue is what position and how often does he play once Ozzie Albies comes off the IL.

Ed. note: I think if Grissom is cookin’ when Albies comes back, then Ozuna/Rosario becomes a platoon to facilitate Albies & Grissom. They can put Contreras in LF, Albies at DH on occasion to ease back in, and Grissom at 2B. I also wonder if maybe they’d throw Grissom in LF. He’s never played their, but if you can play high minors SS/2B, you can probably hang in a corner OF slot. That said, it’s wise to be aware of a potential PT decline if Grissom isn’t playing really well once Albies returns.  –Sporer

Finally, his power is not game-changing (sub-.200 minor league ISO’s) and he gets his home runs by pulling everything so far.

He might start to get shifted to limit his hits.

I believe he must be rostered in all formats, but the preceding reasons might be reasons he starts to struggle.

Joey Meneses (9): The 30-year-old slugger (20 HR in 414 AAA PA) is getting a chance to play every day (six straight starts) and has already hit five home runs. I was initially turned off by his first base qualification, but he currently has seven games in the outfield. With there being more outfield platoons than ever, he could be a nice late-season power addition.

His power has been legit with a 44% StatCast Hard Hit% and a 16% Barrel%. The one adjustment he’s made over the past couple of seasons to get to the power was to raise his launch angle. For years, his groundball rate was well over 50%. Now it is nearing 40%.

Additionally, he has a nice batting eye with an 8% BB% and a 20% K% going through the minors.

I believe in what he’s doing but I’m just not sure how long it’ll last.

Brian Serven (7): Serven has secured half of the Rockies catcher job while hitting .238/.306/.402 with 5 HR on the season. In 15-team, two-catcher leagues, he’s a decent add.

Greg Allen (7): Allen has three stolen bases over the past week to put him on people’s radar. He has started in six straight games while hitting just .183/.246/.283 on the season. A desperate stolen base play.

Ed. note: I took the Allen plunge because his schedule is very SB-friendly this week, too, with BOS & CIN being two of the easiest teams to run on. CIN leads (is it leads when it’s bad?) the league with 83 SBs allowed (Michael Papierski has just a 13% CS rate v. a 24% NL avg.) while BOS is 4th with 72 SBs allowed (Kevin Plawecki has just an 11% CS rate v. a 25% AL avg.)  –Sporer

Enrique Hernández (7): Hernandez is expected to join the Red Sox today after a few rehab games (.727 OPS) He was struggling (.209/.273/.340 with 4 in 51 PA) before going on the IL (hip). He’s only played center field in his rehab starts so I expect Jarren Duran (.661 OPS) to head to the bench.

One factor to keep an eye on is what spot in the order he bats in. To start the season, he was leading off so maybe he’ll head back there.

Rougned Odor (7): It was a little weird to see Odor’s name on the list. He’s been himself (.205/.266/.376 with 11 HR and 3 SB) and not been on fire (.237/.310/.342 in Aug). I guess managers are hoping on the six games against righties (TOR, BOS) since Odor’s on the strong side of a platoon (career .727 OPS vs RHP, .686 OPS vs LHP). Possibly a volume play.

Emmanuel Rivera (6): Since the trade from the Royals, Rivera has been on fire (.355/.429/.839). Even his season-long numbers are decent (.253/.305/.459) and he is on a 600 PA pace for 23 HR. His triple slash line is comparable to Bobby Witt Jr., Ryan McMahon, and Alex Bregman.

So far the power looks to be legit since he’s average or better in all of Baseball Savant’s power metrics.

He’s not going to steal any bases but most third basemen don’t. His plate discipline has been fine (6% BB%, 22% K%). Solid third base power option for the rest of the season.

Scott Effross (6): With Clay Holmes struggling (8.22 ERA since the All-Star break), recently acquired Effross (2.88 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 1.08 WHIP) got a Save on Saturday. With the Yankees, Effross has been used in high-leverage situations (2 Holds in addition to the Save). For those gambling on Saves, he’s a reasonable addition.

Franmil Reyes (5): Reyes (.213/.254/.350, 9 HR) had struggled with the Guardians to the point that they just released him. The Cubs picked him up and are now playing him every day. So far Reyes is hitting (.333/.333/.619) but is being helped by a .462 BABIP since he’s still striking out (33% K%). If a team needs only power, a reasonable add.

Tommy Henry (5): I’ve written up Tommy Henry for two straight weeks for the Waiver Wire Report and can’t figure out why he keeps getting added. I guess I’ll have to dive in again. On the surface, he doesn’t seem rosterable with a 4.7 K/9, 1.21 WHIP, and 4.15 ERA (5.69 xFIP). He was a little better in AAA with an 8.3 K/9, 1.34 WHIP, and 3.83 ERA. Before a deeper dive into his talent, it’s not the schedule since he’s supposed to face the Cardinals (Mikolas) this week. He is only scheduled for one-start the week after that. No individual start stood out as he limit the Pirates to one run while struggling against Cleveland (4 ER in 5 IP) and Colorado (3 ER and 3 BB in 5 IP). A couple of times, Eno Sarris’s Stuff+ model has driven demand, but Henry graded well below average on it. He can just stay on the wire.

Josh Harrison (5): In draft-and-holds, I added too many shares of Harrison just hoping for a repeat of 2021 (.741 OPS, 8 HR, 9 B) while being qualified at three positions (2B, 3B, and OF). He has hit fine (.690 OPS with 6 HR) but isn’t stealing (1 SB) and for a while, playing half the time. With Tim Anderson on the IL, Harrison has started six straight games and is hitting .318/.375/.386 in August. With the White Sox having seven games this week, Harrison makes a decent bench option.

LaMonte Wade Jr. (5): It was a decent week to add Wade. He only plays against righties. The Giants are scheduled to face three Arizona righties and then go to Colorado where they are supposed to face two more. It’s hard to pass up on five starts with two being in Colorado.

Harold Ramírez (5): I like trying to grab guys before they come off the IL, but I backed off from Ramirez. While he was hitting (.329/.379/.446, 4 HR, 3 SB) before going on the IL, he was starting about two-thirds of the time. The key this time around is that the team is healthier and I’m not sure how he’ll fit in. He’s not going to play center field. Randy Arozarena will take one outfield spot. David Peralta will take the other outfield spot against righties. The DH spot has been a revolving door including Ji-Man Choi and Yandy Díaz. Ramirez might be rosterable but there is no way to know just yet.

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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1 month ago

RE: Odor – 3B is a wasteland if you’re shopping the wire, and if you sort by counting stats he drifts near the top🤮