Big Kid Adds (Week 3)

Nathan Ray Seebeck-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.

Jakob Junis (8): It’s not surprising at all that the Giants added a cast-off from another team and re-invented him. First, he’s throwing his slider 54% of the time, and here are the pitch’s comps.

The pitch’s results might improve as seen by the comps. One issue is that he’s not throwing it for strikes with just 27% Zone%.

He filled the strike zone with a changeup that he used 34% of the time. The pitch has some nice comps including the sinking action of some splitters:

The rest of the time he threw a sinker or four-seamer.

In all, it was 61 pitches and he made it five innings with four strikeouts and no walks for the Win. I see his appeal but I’m not sure if the all-sliders and changeups approach will work week in and week out. I think if I had a roster spot, I’d consider rostering him, but I’d need to see how he performs in his next couple of starts before feeling confident on starting him.

Dany Jiménez (7): With Lou Trivino on the IL, Jimenez has stepped in recorded three Saves. In his seven innings so far, he has an 11.6 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, and a 0.00 ERA. He’s a perfect fill-in until Trivino returns.

Glenn Otto (7): The 26-year-old righty was decent in his first big league start with 5 K, 1 BB, and 1 ER in 5 IP. These stats continue on from last season when he had a 10.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 23 IP. The reason he was receiving so little hype was his 9.26 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. A .423 BABIP was the cause.

Otto’s bread and butter pitch is his slider (18% SwStr% for his career). The pitch is good, but not great.

At least he has one decent pitch. It’ll be interesting to see how far it can take him.

Johan Camargo (6): With the demotion of Bryson Stott and Didi Gregorius hurt, Camargo takes over the shortstop job. He’s hitting .292/.320/.396 on the season and has started five straight while batting eighth. I’m not sure if he’s more than a one-week play.

Michael King (6): He’s been elite as a multi-inning reliever (15.2 K/9, 1.03 WHIP 0.84 ERA). He was a perfect reliever add with his last appearance on Friday. Hopefully, he’ll get two appearances this week.

Daniel Vogelbach (5): The big, beefy boy has been starting (seven of eight) and hitting (.311/.380/.556 with 3 HR). A decent option in deeper leagues at a corner infield spot or as a bench bat.

Bruce Zimmermann (5): The crafty lefty continues to get by with his 90-mph fastball. He continues to stay away from that fastball (38% usage) and attack hitters with his change (22 SwStr%), curve (80% GB%), and slider (26% SwStr%). Also, he has some crazy splits by dominating lefties (43% K%-BB%) compared to righties (15% K%-BB%). I see no problem riding the hot hand, but check in on teams who see him for the second time.

Hyun Jin Ryu 류현진 (5): Ryu was dropped last week because he went on the IL for forearm inflammation. He is expected to return from the IL in the next week or so. I had Ryu rostered in a few spots and in the shallower leagues, I dropped him.

Kendall Graveman (5): Graveman was rostered because Liam Hendriks is day-to-day with back spasms. Graveman is a fine addition for a one-week stream. Hopefully, no one paid up for just a week’s worth of games. Maybe the Hendriks manager for a handcuff.

Matt Bush (5): On Saturday, Bush got a Save and everyone seemed to be after the potential closer. It was the Rangers’ only Save so far this season. Bush has the talent to close with a K/9 over 11 the past two seasons to go with a walk rate near 2.5 BB/9.

Ryan Jeffers (5): Gary Sánchez is out with an abdomen injury so Jeffers (.626 OPS) has been getting extra time behind the plate. Jeffers’s profile is similar to Sanchez’s, power with a low batting average.

J.P. Crawford (4): Normally a steady contributor, but improved plate skills (8% BB% to 15%, 17% K% to 6%) have him hitting .352/.471/.574 with 2 HR and 1 SB. He should probably be universally rostered in 15-team leagues.

Nico Hoerner (4): For anyone needing some steals, Hoerner is looking to be a must-add. He is running (2 SB) and hitting (.327/.340/.469). One new aspect of the 26-year-old’s profile is some added power. He has a new high Max EV with career-highs in avg EV, Barrel%, and HardHit%. He’d be extremely valuable with the following stats 10 HR, 20 SB, and a .280 AVG.

Chas McCormick (4): He has led off the last two games and is hitting .286/.302/.357 (no HR or SB) on the season. Jose Siri (.222/.300/.370, 1 HR, 1 SB) and McCormick have been splitting time in center field. With almost identical OPS (.657 vs .670), I’m not sure why the demand for McCormick.

Odúbel Herrera (4): Herrera just came off the IL and with Matt Vierling struggling at the plate (.167/.244/.194), Herrera looked to take over the centerfield duties. After a few games, it seems like they are in a platoon with Herrera on the strong side. Keep checking in on this playing time situation.

Michael Chavis (4): There is a lot going on with him. First, he may have taken a major step forward by lowering his walk rate from the low 30%s to a flat 20%. The key to the improvement is his Contact% jumping from 66% to 82% and he has a .308/.341/.538 triple-slash line with 2 HR.

Earlier in the season, he was just facing lefties but over the last four games, he’s started against two righties. Additionally, during those games, he played first, second, and third base. In most leagues, he’s only qualified at second base but has five games at first and two at third so far this season.

If he can keep the strikeouts down and plays every day, he could be a nice sneaky value.

Yandy Díaz (4): He’s quietly having a nice season (.286/.412/.405 and 1 HR). He’s even putting the ball in the air more with what would be a career-low 46% GB%.

The one issue that has limited his upside is that Tampa doesn’t have many regulars and sets their lineup based on matchups. So far he’s started 12 of 16 games so he’s getting decent playing time. Every time he’s sat, it has been against a righty (career .840 OPS vs LHP, .723 vs RHP).

Diaz is not going to hit enough to win anyone a league but he’ll be a nice bench bat for an injured player or a mid-week replacement.

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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Another Old Guymember
7 months ago

I appreciate these updates, Jeff. I guess I am only a month and a half behind or so, but I had missed the signing of Junis by the Giants, so definitely thanks for the comment on him.