Ottoneu Hot Right Now: May 15, 2024

The 2024 version of Hot Right Now will typically include three sections:

  1. Current Auctions: A closer look at players being auctioned at a high rate.
  2. Roster Adds: Analysis of players with high add% changes.
  3. Hot Performers: Players with a high P/G or P/IP in recent weeks.

The FanGraphs Ottoneu team plans to run this feature weekly, updating fantasy managers on the biggest movers in Ottoneu leagues with an analysis of how these players could or could not help your roster.

As Chad Young has done in previous posts, I am also going to rate each player on the following scale:

  • Don’t Bother – This means that even as auctions are started, other teams are adding this player, or he is on a hot streak, I am just not interested in adding this player. I don’t see them being worth a roster spot.
  • Don’t Stress – I can see why you would add this player. I can totally understand placing a bid, but I am not super worried about winning this player. I would bid $1 for sure, maybe a bit more, as long as it doesn’t impact my roster at all.
  • Don’t Go Crazy – I would like to add this player, but I am not willing to hamper my team to do it. I’ll look for cuts, and if I can clear money to make a big bid without losing players I’ll regret cutting, I will do it.
  • Don’t Lose – These players rarely come up but they do, from time-to-time. These are guys that I am willing to make a difficult cut to add. Don’t expect to see this designation used often.

Current Auctions

Abraham Toro – 56 current auctions

Toro has playing time potential in Oakland thanks to his switch-hitting ability. RosterResource has him leading off as the DH, but he’s also spent plenty of time at third and second base. His bat is also heating up and his May slash line sits at .362/.413/.534 with two home runs and a stolen base. Still, players like J.D. Davis and Tyler Nevin are waiting to get their at-bats. Before the season began, I wrote about Toro as an Ottoneu player I liked for $1. I still wouldn’t go too much further than that.

Verdict: Don’t Stress.

Luke Weaver – 47 current auctions

Weaver is a reliever. Weaver is a reliever! What has changed for the man who currently holds a career-low 2.42 ERA and a near career-high 27.3% K%?

Luke Weaver as a Reliever
Season Team IP G BABIP K% BB% Stf+ FA SwStr% Stuff+
2022 2 Tms 32 25 0.404 21.7% 7.9% 100.5 9.9% 94.5
2023 SEA 9.2 4 0.310 19.5% 7.3% 88.6 14.0% 93.5
2024 NYY 26 15 0.159 27.3% 4.0% 127.5 13.2% 115.8

First, managers should take warning given Weaver’s impossibly low BABIP (.159) and a somewhat high LOB% of 74.1% compared to a 70.6% league average (as RP). However, Weaver has found something in his fastball and Stuff+ has taken notice. His overall Stuff+ numbers are up and he’s fallen into less trouble with walks. RosterResource has him one step away from closer Clay Holmes and in leagues that count holds, Weaver is a hot-hand add who should be continuously monitored.

Verdict: Don’t Go Crazy.

JJ Bleday – 42 current auctions

Like Toro, Bleday is an Oakland Athletic hitting at the top of the order. Bleday, unlike Toro, is much more likely to fall into a platoon, though it’s on the strong side. His Z-Contact% of 81.2% is still below the league average (85.7%), but his K% (20.4%) has come down from seasons past along with his O-Swing%. In fact, his Statcast chase rate is in the 84th percentile. In 2024, he’s reached his maxEV (110.2 MPH). Statcast points out that most of his damage is being done on fastballs:

Fastball xwOBA: .381

Offspeed xwOBA: .303

Breaking xwOBA: .160

But notice how he still struggles with breaking pitches. Once pitchers adjust it will be up to Bleday to counter. Be sure to monitor.

Verdict: Don’t Stress.

Roster Adds

Jonny DeLuca – Add% Change (7 Days) – 56.3%

The 25-year-old outfielder and former Dodger who came to Tampa Bay as part of the return for Tyler Glasnow is slugging .536 in 33 plate appearances. That high slugging is well over his expected slugging of .381, but he is walking 15.2% of the time, higher than the percentage of time he is striking out, 9.1%. In his short stint with the Rays he has had some unbalanced splits:

vL: .444/.500/1.111, PA: 10

vR: .211/.348/.263, PA: 23

This was the knock on Deluca in Eric Longenhagen’s January 2023 assessment:

…he does enough stuff well to have obvious big league roster utility, pinch-hitting here, pinch-running there, representing a defensive upgrade once in a while and getting the occasional start against a left-hander. That’s a modern fifth outfielder.

Considering the Rays have given Deluca more plate appearances versus right-handed pitching and RosterResource doesn’t consider him in a platoon situation, there’s reason to believe the Rays value him in the lineup. However, two men named Jose Siri and Amed Rosario are chomping at the bit to get back out there and Deluca will have to start hitting righties soon.

Verdict: Don’t Stress.

Josh Rojas – Add% Change (7 Days) – 42.8%

In last week’s “Hot Right Now” I wrote about Rojas in detail and was impressed with his spray chart, line drive rate, and increased barrel rate. In the past week, as things go, he has cooled off, slashing .263/.300/.263 in 21 plate appearances. However, that’s still five hits and a stolen base. Rojas will likely go through ups and downs in his power output, but he has all the hit tools necessary to keep a consistently high and steady batting average.

Verdict: Don’t Stress.

Blake Treinen – Add% Change (7 Days) – 41.3%

On May 5th, Treinen was activated from 15-Day IL and immediately thrown into late-inning relief where he faced three Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning and struck out one while allowing no hits or walks. So far, in four innings pitched, he has two holds and a 30.8% K-BB% (MLB RP average: 13.4%). RosterResource lists him as a co-closer along with Daniel Hudson and Alex Vesia and Treinen’s value increases in leagues that count holds. Still, Treinen should be monitored closely for any manager rostering him. He did not throw at all in 2023 and accumulated only five innings pitched in 2022. Since he has always been a “stuff” guy, look no further than Stuff+:

Blake Treinen’s Stuff+ (2020-2024)
Season IP Stf+ FA Stf+ SI Stf+ FC Stf+ SL Stuff+ Location+ Pitching+
2020 25.2 74.9 105.8 142.3 133.0 113.4 105.0 112.0
2021 72.1 116.1 101.4 109.5 162.1 126.3 103.6 108.4
2022 5 135.3 77.5 76.8 151.2 104.3 109.2 109.3
2024 4 60.7 88.7 36.7 153.8 91.6 92.5 100.2

His 2024 slider is instantly good, but his other pitches will need more data points. Hopefully, his stuff, particularly that of one of his fastballs, starts to creep back up to 2021 levels. There’s a big injury risk here, but Trenien can be unhittable when he’s right.

Verdict: Don’t Go Crazy.

Simeon Woods Richardson – Add% Change (7 Days) – 32.2%

In 25 innings pitched Woods Richardson’s overall Stuff+ marks tell a story:

Stuff+: 86, Location+: 108, Pitching+: 104

bear with me as I overly simplify it. Woods Richardson lives in the zone which seems to score well with Location+. His 74.4% Z-Swing% is well above the league average of 68.5%. He also gives up more Z-Contact than average and puts the ball in the zone more often than average. Yes, it is unfair to compare Woods Richardson with George Kirby, but I’m going to do it anyway:

Kirby/Simeon Richardson Comp
Name IP G K% BB% Stuff+ Location+ Pitching+ O-Swing% Z-Contact% SwStr%
George Kirby 50.1 9 25.1% 2.5% 101.2 106.9 106.3 35.2% 83.5% 10.5%
Simeon Woods Richardson 25 5 22.1% 5.8% 85.9 108.1 104.2 27.6% 89.0% 7.9%

The 2024 league average BB% among starting pitchers is 7.9%, so we’re comparing two control artists. While Simeon Richardson beats Kirby in Location+, his Pitching+ falls slightly short. Remember:

Location+: “a count- and pitch type-adjusted judge of a pitcher’s ability to put pitches in the right place”

Pitching+: “uses the physical characteristics, location, and count of each pitch to try to judge the overall quality of the pitcher’s process”

Woods Richardson will need better secondaries that he can get swings out of the zone on to take the next step. One thing he has going for him is a called-strike rate of 36.1% on his curveball, a 96th percentile mark (PitcherList). He only throws the pitch 8% of the time and it’s hard to tell how long that will last. With a Stuff+ mark of 79 on the curveball it doesn’t measure out as a good pitch at all and perhaps hitters aren’t interested or are caught off guard and simply decide not to swing, knowing something else less loopy will be entering the zone soon.

Verdict: Don’t Go Crazy.

Hot Performers

Stats reflect the last 14 days for both hitters and pitchers.

Brent Rooker – (12.3 P/G)

Rooker is on an eight-game hit streak. In those eight games, he has 14 hits and is slashing .438/.514/.719. Keep him in the lineup to catch the rest of the hot streak but be wary of how long this will last. He has so much swing and miss with a 30.8% K% on the season.

Bryson Stott – (11.3 P/G)

Stott has started running in May. He’s collected five of his 10 stolen bases in the first half of the month. He is also on a six-game hit streak and his overall season marks look great (.281/.385/.455).

Bryan Hudson – (10 P/IP)

In his recent Waiver Wire report, Jeff Zimmerman wrote:

Good reliever who is the backup closer.

That sounds like a chance for holds and a few saves to me.

Jesús Luzardo – (7.9 P/IP)

Luzardo has put together two good starts on a crappy team. His GSv2 for both game was in the 60’s which is categorized as “good” but not “great”. He still struggles with control and has a 3.98 BB/9 on the year (MLB SP average: 2.99).

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13 days ago

Your Zimmerman quote is about the wrong Hudson.