Waiver Wire Assessment: Contact, ISO and BABIP

There is still a smorgasbord of outfield and middle-infield waiver wire options. Let’s sort using 20% ownership in Yahoo leagues as our qualifier.

Using a combination of contact percentage and isolated slugging, here is the 2015 zCt+zISO leader board:

There are also a number of solid power options well down this list under 20% ownership: Travis Snider (11%), Justin Smoak (1%) if something happens to Edwin Encarnacion or Dioner Navarro finally gets traded; and  Kennys Vargas (16%).

Instead, I focused on highlighting a number of guys that combine for an above average contact + ISO score. I then extracted their BABIPwHR and xBABIPwHR from Jeff’s Hitter Analytics post yesterday so that we can verify their performance to date.

Guarantee Fairy:

  • Let’s start with the best platoon in all the land: Scott Van Slyke versus lefties and Ike Davis versus righties. Attend to lineup tools and you can you approach 75-25-85-.265 with team Ike Slyke.
  • Logan Forsythe, Luis Valbuena, David Peralta should continue to be assets.
  • Josh Reddick was solid last year when healthy, and he has elite contact (91.5%) and swinging-strike (3.1%) rates to date. A bit more luck in the BABIP department and he would be over .300 right now. His current ISO is also 40+ points under his career rate. With positive regression there, he becomes a great option when facing righties.
  • I’ve written about Wilmer Flores too many times now. Despite the regressed K-rate, he still winds up on this list as above average thanks to a solid ISO rate. Not only should his K-rate drop, but his BABIP should jump 20 points. It looks as though he is already heating up with two homers and five RBI’s in his last three games.
  • Andrelton Simmons is a 87+% contact machine. With all that contact and a somewhat messy lineup, a lucky BABIP could move him up the order and provide us with middle infield value. For now, I’d rather Flores, Forsythe, Valbuena or even the following regressions.

BABIP regressions:

  • Yangervis Solarte will regress. His xBABIPwHR is 42 points under his actual BABIP with homers. Still, a .358 xBABIP is solid. Solarte interested me coming into the season with a 89% contact rate last year and his minor league numbers suggested 20 more points in ISO. He’s outdone himself to date and has Jedd Gyorko and Will Middlebrooks blocking his way, but if he winds up consuming 2B or 3B for the Pads, plug him into your MI slot.
  • Danny Espinosa still has power, but the .238 BA might and should only get worse.
  • If you were excited about Dustin Ackley, let this ground your expectations.
  • Caleb Joseph will obviously regress, but his .383 xBABIPwHR is still excellent.  It sounds like Matt Wieters will return in May. Blake Swihart is rocking at Triple-A and Kevin Plawecki will be the Mets’ primary catcher until Travis d’Arnaud is back. If you can’t hold onto the extra catcher, I am going to suggest Swihart over Joseph sooner than later so that you don’t miss out. Keep an eye on Plawecki and the Mets’ magic though. They must have signed a deal with the devil for their current win streak.

We hoped you liked reading Waiver Wire Assessment: Contact, ISO and BABIP by Daniel Schwartz!

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Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter

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BonusCantos
Guest
BonusCantos

Isn’t it almost always better to use a fantasy platoon with two lefties instead of a lefty and a righty? This guarantees more plate appearances since right-handed pitchers are more common than left-handed pitchers. So maybe it makes more sense to pair Ike Davis with another lefty who can hit righties.

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/the-right-way-to-platoon-a-spot-on-your-fantasy-roster/

thephantomblot
Member
Member
thephantomblot

Exactly what I was going to say. Why would you platoon a lefty and a righty in fantasy unless they were in a real-life platoon on the same major league team? Otherwise, get two lefties in there, and hope at least one of them is in the lineup on any given day.

Cool WHIP
Member
Cool WHIP

Carrying a lefty masher still makes quite a bit of sense if your bench is deep enough. Van Slyke rakes enough where I wouldn’t mind burning a bench spot in a deeper league.

One of my favorite lefty-righty-same-team platoons to deploy is Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe. If you have any sort of positional flexibility in a deep league, this one could pay some real dividends.

grassyjones
Guest
grassyjones

Clearly he was just very proud of the Ike Slyke name.