Today, we’ll go with a diptych of guys that should be available in your league. Their upside is limited, but there are reasons to like em.
Blake DeWitt | 2B, 3B | Dodgers (1% owned)
He’s got no power, hits for a middling average and doesn’t steal a base. So he’s got those things going for him. Why pick up DeWitt? Well, for one, he’s playing almost every day – 18 of the Dodger’s 22 games. Another nice thing about DeWitt is his patience. He’s finally showing the patience that got him a .349 OBP in Albuquerque last year, and the stick control that produced more walks than strikeouts that same year. Swing rates, because of their high number per AB, become significant earlier than most stats. DeWitt is swinging less (41.6% this year, 42.4% last year) and making more contact (88.6% last year and 93.9% this year). A 17% walk rate and .390 OBP probably won’t continue, but a double-digit walk rate and decent OBP plays well in the right league and are achievable thresholds. We now have 470 career ABs for DeWitt, though, and a 3.3 speed score and .117 ISO mean that the power and speed don’t look to be developing much. Ironically, someone like a young Ronnie Belliard seems to be his ceiling.
Edward Mujica | SP, RP | Padres (3% owned)
Here’s another guy with warts for you! (You’re welcome.) Mujica probably won’t start, and he probably won’t close. Since the Padres haven’t gone to him in high leverage situations yet (0.69 gmLI), he’s only even racked up two holds. But there are reasons to enjoy Mujica’s game (and name). Ever since he added his split finger pitch and moved to the bullpen, he’s been lights out (his name has always sounded great). His strikeout rate since he started using the splitty over 20% of the time has been close to eight per nine and his walk rate below two per nine. The pitch itself is nice – 3.89 runs per 100 pitches – and it adds to his overall mix in a great way. Batters are reaching more than ever (31.3%) and making less contact than ever (70.5%). Plus, it’s just one of those pitches that breaks MLB pitch f/x, like the Mike Pelfrey split-change. You have to root for a pitch like that.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.