Renato Nunez & Adam Frazier — Deep League Waiver Wire

This week’s deep league waiver wire is brought to you by the injury demon. This demon makes frequent visits. His presence creates opportunities for lesser owned players to make deep league contributions. Here are two of those candidates.

Renato Nunez | OF TEX | CBS 3% Owned

The Rangers have suffered ridiculous injury luck so far this season. First, it was Delino DeShields, who went down with a hand injury. Then, it was Rougned Odor who suffered a hamstring strain. Next, it was Elvis Andrus who fractured his elbow. Last, Jurickson Profar suffered a concussion. Phew! All this means that the Rangers have to mix and match and get by with a bunch of “who the heck is that?!” players until their vets are healthy. And even when they do return healthy, there will still be a hole in left field until Willie Calhoun is recalled.

Enter Renato Nunez. On Sunday, he was claimed off waivers from the Athletics and already started in left field on Monday (he didn’t start yesterday’s game though). Though the Rangers had called up Ronald Guzman to take over first base, moving Joey Gallo to left, it’s likely the team doesn’t want to jerk Gallo around, preferring to just keep him at first. If that’s the case, then Nunez should earn his fair share of starts in left for the time being.

Surprisingly, Nunez is actually a pretty decent prospect. He ranked as the 19th best in the A’s organization heading into the season, so you have to wonder why he was just waived by the team. His calling card is his power, as he posted a 21.8% HR/FB rate at Triple-A last year and that also came with a FB% above 40%. He has been consistently in the teens in HR/FB rate and also above 40% in fly ball rate. That’s a good combination. And in a hitter friendly home park, he looks like a real candidate for power contributions for as long as he’s getting at-bats.

Adam Frazier | 2B/OF PIT | 8% Owned

Incumbent Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison figures to miss around six weeks after being plunked in the hand with a pitch, and Frazier should garner the majority of the starts to replace him. Frazier doesn’t own a standout skill, managing just six homers and nine steals last year in part-time work. But he does make excellent contact and has displayed elite BABIP skills. So, he should be an asset in batting average.

Sometimes in a deep league, all you ask for is a player who won’t kill your average and might chip in with the occasional homer or steal. That’s literally Frazier. Right now, the rest of the season projections have him hitting or coming close to double digit steals and a handful of homers. This skill set is actually close to playable in 15-team mixed leagues, though that will be dependent on how many starts Sean Rodriguez steals, as Rodriguez got the start last night.

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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Nunez was on waivers because he can play corner outfield, 1B, & 3B, all at replacement level, and is out of options.

The A’s have Matt Chapman at 3B, Matt Olson at 1B, and plenty of people who can play corner outfield just as well.