Big Kid Adds (Week 11)

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 four or more of these leagues.

Batters

Royce Lewis (9): Nothing to add, he’s been covered in detail by several sources.

Gary Sánchez (8): The Padres have been looking for a productive catcher all season and they may have found one with Sanchez. He got just 7 PA with the Mets, but so far with the Padres, he has started in seven of the last eight games (two at DH) while hitting .292/.370/.708 with 3 HR.

Sanchez might be getting a new lease on his career with the new shift rules for two reasons. Historically, teams were playing their third baseman back as far as possible, but this year they must remain on the grass. Also, he shifted on in 220 of his 471 PA last season and none this year. The worry with him has always been his batting average but he might get a small boost.

Josh Donaldson (8): Since coming off the IL (hamstring), Donaldson has three hits in 12 PA with all three being home runs. He only has 29 PA this season so hopefully his 38% K% drops.

I think the only value he would have is getting full-time at-bats with his middling power and being a batting-average drain.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa (7): With injuries to the outfield, Kiner-Falefa is playing every day while just hitting just .223/.268/.346 with 3 HR and 5 SB on the season. I know he was on a bit of a hot streak (.804 OPS over the last month), but he’s cooled down this past week (.308 OPS) and dropped from fifth to seventh in the batting order. Did anyone seriously think the 28-year-old with almost 2200 PA and a .660 OPS was going to break out.

Mark Canha (5): I’m not sure what was behind these adds. Possibly Canha was the best outfield option on the wire. He hasn’t played every day with just seven starts in the last 10 games. Additionally, he’s hitting just .244/.332/.396 with 5 HR and 3 SB. The schedule was mixed with three games against Atlanta and then three against the Pirates.

Tucupita Marcano (5): Marcano’s stats (.264/.319/.455 with 3 HR and 4 SB) and position eligibility (2B, SS OF) are nearly identical to Kiner-Falefa’s. The major issue with Marcano is that he sits against most lefties (eight of last nine) and the Pirates face two of them this week. Maybe like Canha, he was the wire’s best option.

Jake Bauers (5): Everyone is back chasing Bauers’s home runs. Jake Bauers hit three home runs over three days from May 13th to 15th. Then he went a combined 8 for 36 (.179 AVG) with just 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI over the next 13 games. He was dropped in most leagues but hit two homers on Sunday and then everyone jumped back on the bandwagon. And he has started in just seven of the last ten games.

Trent Grisham (5): I figured this add was based on him getting the Colorado games this weekend. But Grisham, a lefty, is scheduled to face two lefties and will likely sit. He has hit OK this season (.193/.318/.354, 5 HR, 3 SB) but nothing seems to point to a breakout.

Starters

Bryan Woo (9): I missed on my evaluation of Woo for this week’s waiver wire report. I should have been much higher on him. A blindspot for me this season are the guys coming straight from AA. I’ve been using the AAA StatCast values as a crutch too often. Woo was dominating AA with a 0.89 WHIP, 2.05 ERA, and 12.1 K/9.

Here are the comps I have on his three pitches

Four-seamer

Sinker

Slider

The four-seamer and slider look like they could give him a great foundation but the s(t)inker doesn’t help. I should have ignored the .778 BABIP from his first game when he allowed 6 ER in 2 IP. Projections have him as a 9 K/9 and 3 BB/9 starter which puts him in the company of Giolito and Berrios. He’s a must-add at this point if he’s still available.

Tommy Henry (8): Henry has been horrible (4.37 ERA, 5.65 1.30 WHIP, 5.4 K/9) but he had two weak matchups (@ WAS, @ DET). In the first start, Henry didn’t make it five innings while allowing 5 ER with 3 BB and just 2 K.

Mike Mayers (7): Like Henry, Mayers was scheduled for an interesting two-step at Miami and at Baltimore. Mayers has been transitioning from the bullpen to starting. Coming into the week, the 31-year-old had a 1.35 ERA (3.73 xFIP), 9.5 K/9, and 1.18 WHIP. And he proceeds to get lit up in his first start with 6 ER, 1 K, and 1 BB in 2 IP. His ERA jumped almost three points from 1.35 to 4.44.

Mayers is throwing six pitches (slider, four-seamer, sinker, cutter, change, and curve) between 6% and 33% of the time.

The only pitch coming close to posting average results is his slider (16% SwStr%, 66% GB%). The comps agree with the slider being his best offering but they also like his changeup.

Last season, his change had an 18% SwStr% so there is potential. Weirdly, I think some pitch mix would work, but he needs to figure it out soon.

Reese Olson (7): Olson is about to make his second start tonight. In my weekend waiver wire, I wrote the following on him.

Reese Olson: The 23-year-old righty, was striking out a ton of batters in AAA (11.5 K/9) but also walking a ton (5.4 BB/9). In his last two starts before being promoted, he walked just two batters while striking out 19. In his major league debut, he had 6 K, 1 BB, and just 2 ER over 5 IP (89 pitches). He threw five different pitches with his slider and change getting all the swings-and-misses while his two fastballs and curve didn’t get any. This is an aggressive rank but I want him on my roster to see if he has some control to go with all those strikeouts.

Nothing has changed since then with his control being the big red flag thereby limiting his chances of sticking in the bigs. One issue I missed on the weekend writeup was his wide repertoire (four-seam, sinker, slider, change, and curve). If he moved on from any of his pitches, it should probably be his curve (4% SwStr% in AAA).

Yonny Chirinos (5): He was in AAA at the time of these adds with some rumors he might get promoted. In my research on trying to find out if he would get promoted, I found this information.

If the Rays want to give the four starters an extra day of rest, they could then summon Yonny Chirinos to pitch Thursday with a chance to stay around. Chirinos spent a month with the Rays previously, but was sent down and replaced in the rotation by Bradley. Chirinos worked three innings Saturday for Durham, allowing one hit and striking out five.

When Chirinos was sent down May 17 to work on consistency, among other things, he was two days short of reaching five years of service time in the majors. That is relevant because once a player gets to five years, they have to consent to being optioned to the minors and can instead opt to get paid the rest of their contract ($1.275 million salary for Chirinos) and become a free agent. So if the Rays do recall Chirinos, he is likely to stay with them.

With this information expect Chirinos to stay down as long as the Rays have other options.

Relievers

Justin Lawrence (8): The 28-year-old got the last two saves for the Rockies, so any fantasy team needing Saves was targeting Lawrence. He has been respectable this season with a 3.06 ERA (3.46 xFIP), 1.08 WHIP, and 9.7 K/9. The Rockies job is far from ideal, but it’s a job and Lawernce was widely available.

Adbert Alzolay (5): On the season, the 28-year-old, has two Saves and a Win to go with his 2.25 ERA. He is being used in high-leverage spots but just has two Saves. I think Alzolay would be a nice bench arm to be used when there are no other decent starting pitcher matchups.





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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TheBabbomember
1 year ago

Canha is hitting .286 over the past month, .320 over the past two weeks and .357 over the past week (with two HR).