Bobby Parnell & Franklin Gutierrez: Deep League WW

For the first time this season, I nabbed a waiver wire pick from the “most dropped” players in CBS leagues. Since fantasy owners are generally as bad as non-professional stock market investors, picking up the hot players and dropping the cold ones just to watch the trend reverse shortly thereafter, I will continue checking out that list.

Bobby Parnell, NYM RP | 3% Owned

It is never too early to start speculating on trade deadline activities. With current Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez apparently available for trade, Parnell is the likely replacement. The good news: Parnell’s strikeout rate has increased each season in the Majors, as has his average fastball velocity. His GB% remains above average and his skill set has yielded xFIPs below 3.00 last season and this year so far. The meh news: His control is just so-so and his SwStk%, although good at 9.9%, does not match up with a K/9 above 10.0. As a result, I expect the strikeout rate to drop back a bit. That said, he does appear good enough to be a solid closer if given the opportunity. Even if that chance does not arise, good middle relievers actually have value in deep leagues, so there is little downside here.

Franklin Gutierrez, SEA OF | 9% Owned

I was quite surprised to see an everyday outfielder, who went 12/25 and 18/16 over the last two seasons fall below the 10% ownership mark. Of course, it is no surprise given his current performance, which includes a .182/.217/.227 slash line and a gruesome .195 wOBA. Gutierrez got a late start to the season due to stomach issues, but it is hard to imagine that could be the reason for his poor results. Maybe a slow start was to be expected, but he is up to 132 at-bats, so some signs of life should have been expected. Amazingly, he is striking out less than ever. After having never posted a K% better than 20.6%, that mark is currently sitting at an excellent 12.9%. But with no power, a .202 BABIP, and line drives just 13.2% of the time, it is easy to see the cause of his struggles. We still are not exactly sure why this is though. Gutierrez is still just 28 and although admittedly the Mariners offense is pathetic, it is hard to ignore his decent power/speed skills of past years. He is obviously far from warranting attention in mixed leagues, but in deeper ones, his history suggests it is worth taking a shot on a rebound.

Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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Gutierrez is tiny (physically) compared to years past. The stomach issues that have plagued him for the past year and a half have really taken a toll his playing weight, which is hurting his overall output at the plate. I honestly don’t expect him to come back to ’09 form any time this season because of this. Here’s hoping he can spend the off-season bulking up and regaining form.