Big Kid Adds (Week 10)

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 were originally named “High Stakes Leagues” and there are ten of them. With so much money on the line, these fantasy managers 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 leagues.

Batters

Pete Crow-Armstrong (10): The 22-year-old can’t seem to hit in the major leagues. Over the last two AAA seasons, he posted a .829 OPS and .808 OPS. In the majors, it’s been a combined .552 OPS.

The more I go over his profile, he doesn’t have league-average power. Of the 354 hitters with 50 batted balls, he ranks 277th in avgEV and 318 in HardHit%. It’s just not enough power to hit the ball over the fence (4% HR/FB%, 6% Barrel%).

Steady but not a great player.

Blake Perkins (9): These adds are all based on increased playing time. There was a stretch when he only started in six of 11 games and headed to the wire.

Since that stretch, he started in 14 of 15 games while hitting .319/.347/.426 with 1 HR and 3 SB.

Jake McCarthy (7): Not an everyday batter (seven starts in 10 games), but decent when he plays (.732 OPS, 2 HR, 8 SB). A speed-only option.

Masataka Yoshida (7): Close to going on a rehab assignment after hitting .275/.348/.388 with 2 HR and 0 SB to start the season. Managers are just trying to cheaply get ahead of the rush.

Gio Urshela (6): My first reaction to seeing Urshela here is that the corner infield position is a wasteland. With no solid waiver-wire replacements, he was the top choice.

On the season he’s hitting .270/.303/.365 with 2 HR and 0 SB. As for playing time, he started in eight of the last 10 games.

Donovan Solano (6): A head-scratching move. While Solano is hitting .339/.413/.446, he’s only starting against lefties. To top it off, only three southpaw starters were on this week’s schedule. Managers might have lucked into more playing time with Manny Machado dealing with a hip injury.

Horrible process, acceptable result.

Miguel Andujar (5): Since coming off the IL, he has nine straight starts batting between second and fourth. After hitting 27 HR in 2018, he’s struggled hitting for a combined .234/.265/.351 with 12 HR and 6 SB in 506 PA over the next five seasons.

The 29-year-old shows signs of life by hitting .341/.333/.537 with 2 HR and 1 SB.

Corey Julks (5): At this point, Julks has started 11 straight games while leading off over the last two. A .375 BABIP helps the 28-year-old hit .315/.393/.519 with 2 HR and 2 SB. Here are the guys with similar Steamer600 comps.

Not a horrible profile, if playing. Maybe he can do a bit better in the batting average department.

Elehuris Montero (5): This add is an example of the first base options being horrible and not Montero being good. This season, he is hitting .213/.279/.303 with 3 HR.

Rob Refsnyder (5): Refsnyder had a stretch of five straight starts with four against righties. For most of the season, he has been on the short side of an outfield platoon while hitting .337/.409/.510 with 2 and 1 SB. An add for a manager needing at-bats.

Starters

Spencer Schwellenbach (10): It has been an ugly start to the 24-year-old’s career with an 8.38 ERA (4.56 xFIP), 1.55 WHIP, and 8.4 K/9. He’s getting hit around (.333 BABIP, 1.9 HR) and unlucky with runners on base (53%).

He’s got an extreme ROOGY delivery where he’s on the third base side of the rubber, lands further on that side, and his arm is nearly parallel the ground thereby releasing the ball way outside the batter.

Teams have noticed that he releases the ball on the extreme third side of the mound so the ball comes right at right-handed hitters. In this situation, the same-handed hitters struggle. Of the 45 hitters he’s faced so far, 31 have been left-handed (69%) to offset the advantage.

With this extreme delivery, he needs a way to neutralize lefties, and throwing his changeup (31% SwStr% so far) only 8% of the time is not going to cut. With all the lefties he’s facing, he’ll need to quadruple the rate he throws it.

The pieces are there for a decent arm but he’s not put it all together yet.

David Peterson (8): In 11.2 major league innings (two starts), the 28-year-old has just 5 K and 3 BB. In his minor league rehab games, he threw 23 IP with a 1.14 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 13.3 K/9.

The one takeaway from his surface-level stats is that he seems to be making an effort to not walk anyone. His career Zone% sits at 47%. This season, it is at 53%.

As for his pitches, he ischanging his fastball usage and has been able to increase the velocity on each. His four-seamer is up 0.6 mph while its usage has dropped from 27% to 17%. His sinker is up 0.7 mph and the usage is up from 25% to 37%. Additionally, he’s not throwing his change as much (-6% points) and slider more (+7% points).

For now, I will value him as a 9.0 K/9 guy hoping he can keep his walks near 2.0 BB/9.

Joey Estes (7): Estes has made five major league starts with mixed results (4.67 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, ). Breaking it down to his core stats, I suspect the results will change as the season continues.

He doesn’t walk many batters (2.0 BB/9) and when paired with his strikeout rate, he has a 17.8% K%-BB%. Of the 173 starters with at least 20 IP, he ranks 40th around players such as Grayson Rodriguez, Yusei Kikuchi, Jordan Wicks, and Brady Singer. Not bad company.

Additionally, he only has a 17% GB%. Among the same starters, it’s the league’s lowest rate. With 83% of all batted balls in the air, he has maintained a 0.7 HR/9 leading to a 3.03 FIP while having a 4.31 xFIP.

For now, he is mainly fastball-slider (89% combined usage) while mixing in a change and cutter. Here is some information on those pitches.

Joey Estes Pitch Types
Pitch SwStr% GB% BotStuff Stuff+ Usage
Four-seam 11% 15% 43 94 57%
Slider 15% 21% 41 127 29%
Change 9% 20% 39 89 11%
Cutter 7% 0% 56 111 3%

The results so far on the four-seamer are beyond unique. Here on the comps to its shape.

The pitch will likely continue to generate flyballs, but will likely not miss as many bats.

One complaint about Estes is that he faced one good offense (HOU) and gave up 8 ER in 3.2 IP. In the other four games, he allowed 6 ER  against weak offenses (SEAx2, TBR, and COL at home).

I could see Estes as a decent streaming option.

Relievers

Yimi García (8): With Jordan Romano on the IL, Garcia has been anointed the closer.

Jalen Beeks (7): After a couple of blown Saves over back-to-back days in late May, Beeks got into the groove with two Saves in three appearances. In Beeks’s one appearance since being rostered, he rewards his new managers with a 5 ER in 0.2 IP.

Beeks is still the closer but his 4.45 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and just 7.3 K/9 say it all. A below-average reliever who just happens to still be the closer.





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 twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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David Klein
7 days ago

About time they got Peterson to throw his slider more.