Eric Young & Jacob Faria: Deep League Wire

It’s time to inspire with another edition of the deep league waiver wire. Yay for rhymes.

Eric Young | OF LAA | CBS 7% Owned

I had assumed that Young’s ownership would be significantly higher than the 10% maximum I use for recommendations here, so it’s a good thing I actually checked. I have to admit I’m rather shocked that it’s just 7%. As you know by now, Mike Trout hit the DL for the first time in his career, and he isn’t expected back anytime soon. It appears that the Angels loved Ben Revere so darn much that they decided they needed another one of him patrolling their outfield in the form of Eric Young. With Cameron Maybin also sidelined due to injury, the two speedsters will garner the majority of the playing time.

I had essentially forgotten that Young spent the majority of the 2016 season in the minors and it’s also surprising to learn that he’s only played in more than 100 Major League games once in his entire career! With just one season above a .296 wOBA, it makes sense. But at this point, you don’t really care about his historical wOBA. All you need to know is that he’s wiped nearly 52 bases over every 600 plate appearances during his career. And even at age 32, he’s stolen 17 bases already between Triple-A and his short time so far with the Angels. And now he should see lots of playing time over the next couple of weeks.

That kind of speed is rarely available on free agency during the season and can have a dramatic impact in the category standings. Unfortunately, he’s unlikely to contribute literally anywhere else, especially hitting at the bottom of the order. But in a deep league, the steals potential is more than enough.

Jacob Faria | SP TB | 7% Owned

When Blake Snell was demoted to Triple-A nearly a month ago, I did something in AL Tout Wars that has been my weakness in the past — scout the minors for potential replacements and be proactive about acquiring potential future value now. After doing the research, I settled on putting in a minimal bid on Faria (of course, Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon were already owned, so my decision on who to bid on was that much easier). I thought there was a real chance Faria would be recalled to replace Snell, but if not, he was dominating at Triple-A and would likely get called up at some point during the season. I was starving for starting pitching after a rash of injuries, so it appeared to be a good proactive move.

Instead, Erasmo Ramirez slid into the rotation, so I took a zero for the week in Faria’s slot (in Tout, whoever you pick up for the week must be made active for that week). But now several weeks later, it’s been reported that Faria will be recalled to start today against the White Sox. I can’t activate him for the game, but it’s a good sign that the Rays are still thinking of him with other top prospects around, and now we’ll get a chance to see him in action.

Heading into the season, he was ranked as just the 15th best Rays prospect, as the hope was he could become a “solid-average” starter, but more likely a number five guy, or perhaps a reliever. That’s not very exciting. But here he is in Triple-A, having struck out 34.7% of the batters he has faced and generating a 15.4% SwStk%. That performance may have raised his ceiling, depending on what adjustments he made, if any, to get there.

The Rays are flushing with pitching, as usual, but Faria is getting a shot now. If he impresses, he could spend a lot more time in the Majors this year than initially expected and may turn himself into even a shallow mixed league option.

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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Jonathan Sher

Good advice on Young (and I say that painfully as someone who owns Trout). Angels have been liberal running on the bases too and Maybin is so injury prone that Young might get some time even after Trout returns.

My team doesn’t need steal as it is ahead by a large margin in an AL-only league, and I also don’t need outfielders, as I had Zimmer and Bonifacio on my reserve to go along with Benintendi, Brantley, Joyce, and hopefully next week, a returning Haniger, but I still placed a bid on Young to insure that my closest rival in the overall standards, who is in a right pack for steals, didn’t get him, a block made easier by the fact that rival only had 10% of his free agent budget remaining — Young ended up going to a third team who isn’t close to me in the standings.

Also like the Faria pickup; he is under-the-radar because he lacks an elite arm but pitches in a good home park and it’s easy enough to stream him only in favorable match-ups.


I like the block maneuver. Do whatever it takes to win!