David Phelps & Jared Hoying: Deep League Wire

Feeling the injury or underperformance blues? It’s your lucky day!

David Phelps | P MIA | CBS 7% Owned

The epitome of a swing man, Phelps shuffled back and forth between rotation and bullpen with the Yankees and then the Marlins. His underlying skills, though, had remained mediocre at best…until last year. That’s when he literally doubled his strikeout rate, pushing his SIERA down by more than a run. To be fair, he also started the fewest number of games, and we all know pitchers get a stuff and strikeout boost as a reliever. But he was still awesome in his five starts, punching out a third of the hitters he faced.

He has yet to start a game this season, but his skills remain strong. The strikeout rate is down a tick, but he has sustained last year’s velocity surge, and offset the lower strikeout rate with a rebound in control. That said, if he’s just a reliever, he wouldn’t appear here as there are always surprise relievers that could be picked up along the way. Instead, he might get a chance in the rotation soon, after his return from the bereavement list. The Marlins starting staff is in shambles, and it appears that Phelps will get a shot. If that happens, he’ll be worth using in deep mixed leagues, and perhaps an option in shallower ones as well.

Jared Hoying | OF TEX | 1% Owned

Hoying is already 28 and has recorded just 49 MLB plate appearances before this season. So he’s no prospect. But with Carlos Gomez expected to be out for a month, the Rangers recalled Hoying to replace him in center field. As a left-handed hitter, he’ll probably sit against southpaws, but as long as he doesn’t embarrass himself against right-handers, should get the lion’s share of the platoon at-bats.

Amazingly, he has played at Triple-A since 2013, though he hasn’t seen much performance improvement. This year, he has boosted his walk rate to a career high, but everything else remains in line with his history. But the whole package ain’t too bad. He has power, having posted ISO marks above .200 in each of his Triple-A stints, driven by double digit HR/FB rates, and he’s shown a real propensity for fly balls. He also possessed solid speed, posting Spd scores above 7.0 every season at Triple-A until this year, when it plummeted to just 3.9. He has swiped as many as 20 bases in a season, though had just three before his call up this year.

With power and some speed and the opportunity for a couple of week’s worth of playing time, he’s a perfect deep league pickup.

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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Hoying’s BB/SO seems very Gomez-ish. So he’s basically a less expensive version…