Today’s edition of the deep league wire features an injury related opportunity and more fallout from the flurry of trade deadline activity.
Scott Schebler | OF CIN | CBS 1% Owned
The Jay Bruce trade opened up a spot in the Cincinnati outfield, and despite his speed, it doesn’t appear that the team is willing to give Jose Peraza the every day job in a corner spot (and as I’m typing this, the Reds just demoted Peraza). So the Reds called up Schebler yesterday to seemingly serve on a strong side of a platoon with Peraza. You may remember him as the guy who opened the season in a platoon with Adam Duvall. But Schebler wOBA’d just .249, while Duvall was exactly 100 points higher at .349, when the team demoted Schebler to Triple-A.
Now he’s back after a strong performance in the minors, as he posted a .411 wOBA and .253 ISO, to go along with a better than average strikeout rate. He possesses above average power, a touch of speed, and doesn’t strike out too much. Or at least he hasn’t in the minors. So far that contact ability has not yet translated to the Majors, but the sample has been tiny (109 career plate appearances).
Obviously, he’s going to have to cut down on his swings and misses and hit more line drives (his career MLB LD% is a pathetic 6%). He’s already 25 yers old, so he’s a bit old to still be considered a prospect, but young enough to believe that he could quickly adjust and show significant improvement. He’s in an excellent park for left-handed home run power, as Great American Ballpark ranked fifth best in LHH HR park factor last year.
For a guy with power in a good park, expected to serve on the strong side of a platoon, a minuscule 1% ownership rate provides quite the opportunity.
Matt Reynolds | SS NYM | 0% Owned
Incumbent Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera suffered a knee injury on Sunday and was officially placed on the DL yesterday. With the Mets left side of the infield banged up, Reynolds temporarily finds himself atop the shortstop depth chart in Flushing. Reynolds is certainly no savior. As Dan Farnsworth put it:
Reynolds has a little of everything, but no one tool to really carry him
He possesses limited power and just decent speed. He also strikes out a bit too much for someone with such minimal power. But he’s going to play, and that sometimes is the most important thing. His speed potential is the most interesting part of his fantasy appeal, as he stole 13 bases last year at Triple-A and 23 across three levels in 2014. But Farnsworth noted that he actually owns below average speed, so perhaps he’ll attempt fewer steals at the big league level.
His strikeout rate jumped during his second tour of Triple-A this year, which is a bad sign, obviously. He’ll really need to get that strikeout rate back down below 20% for any chance of contributing positive fantasy value. Otherwise, he’ll be in danger of actually hitting the .220 that Steamer projects for the rest of the season.
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.