The trade deadline opens up a host of playing time opportunities for dumping teams and that is a great thing for deep league owners. Instead of combing through an assortment of 5th outfielders and 3rd string catchers, you now have a chance of adding a young hitter who may surprise. Here are a pair for your consideration.
Trayvon Robinson | SEA OF | CBS 2% Owned
The Mariners have made a bunch of transactions over the last week and Robinson is one who should benefit. Called up about a week ago, he should see significant time in the outfield, even after the acquisition of Eric Thames. The 24-year old switch hitter posted just a .331 wOBA at Triple-A this year, but wOBA’d a much better .396 at the level last season while in the Dodgers organization. He has his share of flaws, most notably a weak contact rate. However, he has been able to post high BABIP marks throughout his minor league career, ensuring he isn’t a complete drain in batting average.
He does provide some intriguing fantasy possibilities though. Though his ISO was just .144 in the minors this season, he ISO’d .269 last year and socked 26 homers in just 368 at-bats. While that was easily a career high and seemed a bit flukey given his power production every other year, he has shown some decent pop. He also has good speed, as he stole 19 bases this year and as many as 43 in a season previously. Because of the high strikeout rate, he is not going to contribute in batting average. But he has shown a willingness to take a walk, so he does have a shot to remain in the lineup even if he’s hitting .240. With his power/speed combo, he’s worth a gamble in deep leagues.
Welington Castillo | CHC C | 1% Owned
The Cubs shipped off the disappointing Geovany Soto and will now be relying on a time share between Castillo and Steve Clevenger. The 25-year old Castillo is the real prospect of the two and should have the chance to receive the majority of the at-bats. He doesn’t make great contact, but given his power, it’s acceptable. Speaking of power, he possesses a good amount for a catcher. Though his ISO was a bit disappointing at Triple-A this year at .164, it was around .240 at the level in 2010 and 2011. Over the three seasons, he has swatted 34 home runs in 612 at-bats. That’s power worth speculating on and the Cubs would be wise to see what they have. Of course, given his mediocre contact rate and his unspectacular BABIP marks in the minors, he has struggled to hit for a good batting average in the past. In fact, he doesn’t look all that different than the man he is replacing in Soto. In deep leagues, it could be a nightmare filling your second catcher slot, so anyone with a pulse with the promise of some playing time and power potential like Castillo deserves your attention.
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.