Kim and Parker: Deep League Waiver Wire

Hyun-Soo Kim (3% Yahoo, 2.4% ESPN, 8% CBS): Kim’s comic book plate discipline numbers in Korea made him a favorite of mine entering the season. I wrote about him here during the pre-season and in following my own advice, drafted him in multiple leagues. Even when writing about Joey Rickard’s hot start, I couldn’t help but lament that it came at the expense of Kim’s ABs and that my endorsement of Rickard was contingent upon his benching. Well, there’s a lesson to be learned here: just hit .400 long enough and you’ll get your shot.

Kim has now started six straight for the Orioles, batting 2nd in each of the last 4. His walk rate on the year is a shiny 12% and his strikeout rate just marginally higher at 14%. Kim has certainly benefitted from his share of good fortune over the 58 plate appearances he’s amassed so far but that’s hardly the point here. Aside from the sample size, most of those 58 plate appearances came in piecemeal playing time so it’s quite difficult to take anything away from his stat line, especially batted balls.

What we do know is that Kim’s walking like we all knew he could and now appears to be playing as frequently as we all hoped he would. Orioles outfielders rank 12th in the AL in BB% and as a team, Baltimore is striking out 23% of the time. Kim’s discipline makes him a potentially elite source of runs at the top of a lineup that, while ranked 4th in baseball in isolated slugging, is also desperate for baserunners.

Now, Rickard has seemingly turned a corner, walking in 12% of his plate appearances since the start of May so it’s entirely possible that Kim’s regularity in the lineup may prove short-lived. But he certainly appears to have gained Showalter’s favor and is making the most of his opportunity. He’s still available in a ton of leagues so if you’re looking for OF help, particularly in OBP formats, look no further than the former Doosan Bear.


Jarrett Parker (1% Yahoo, 0.4% ESPN, 4% CBS): **Uber-Deep League Alert** Quite honestly, I’m surprised Angel Pagan made it this long before hitting the disabled list. Sure, he’s actually been hurt since the beginning of the month but apparently the Giants, given his long-fabled history of Fabergé fragility, thought Pagan capable of making a quick and miraculous return from a notoriously temperamental injury. Alas, they could wait no more and in his stead summoned Jarrett Parker from AAA.

You may remember Parker of .500 BABIP fame, from his fleeting yet wildly productive 2015 MLB stint. In just over 20 games with the club, Parker hit homers with Bondsian frequency, posted a .408 ISO, and walked in over 9% of his plate appearances. Of course, he also struck out nearly two-fifths of the time but if you, like me, were chasing down power late in the season, Parker was everything we could have asked for and more.

This season in AAA, Parker continues to do this thing: hitting bombs while walking just enough to make his strikeouts palatable. He’s also one year removed from a 20-20 season. That said, it’s improbable Parker will emerge as a stolen base threat in San Francisco and it’s a damn near certainty that his strikeouts will prove problematic. But the power is real and his MiLB line is downright impressive, even by PCL standards. Those searching for power in über-deep leagues should pick him up and wait for the bombs to drop.

Rylan writes for Fangraphs and The Hardball Times. Look for his weekly Deep League Waiver Wire and The Chacon Zone columns this season.

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