There’s still plenty of talent on the waiver wire at the halfway point. But in order to find it, owners have to be willing to take some chances. A common strategy for acquiring talent a few months into the year is targeting talented players who have faltered early in the year. In the case of Wilson Ramos, two injuries limited his playing time, making him available in most leagues. For Lonnie Chisenhall, a terrible start snowballed into something bigger, leading to a trip to the minors. Both players have returned to the majors, and are showing some signs of life. There’s still hope for both players to have some value during the second half.
C Wilson Ramos 32% owned in CBSSports.com leagues.
Two hamstring injuries have kept Ramos out of the lineup for most of the season. He finally returned in early July, and has hit the cover off the ball. That’s a small sample, but Ramos has been regarded as a talented player in the past. Manager Davey Johnson had initially been careful with Ramos’ playing time, but is starting to get more comfortable using Ramos as the full-time guy. Just before the All-Star game, Ramos started three consecutive games for the first time this year.
Ramos hasn’t played enough to seriously judge his numbers, so you’re basically picking up Ramos based on the strength of his rookie season. While his .267/.334/.445 slash line doesn’t stand out, it’s fairly impressive considering he was 23-years-old. His .335 wOBA at age-23 puts him in the same company as Ivan Rodriguez, Matt Wieters and Brian McCann, so the talent is there. The bigger issue at this point is injuries. Ramos has starting to develop the dreaded injury-prone tag. On top of his issues this year, Ramos tore his ACL last season. If he can stay healthy, he can at least be an injury fill-in in mixed leagues, with the potential to be a little more than that.
3B Lonnie Chisenhall 24% owned in CBSSports.com leagues.
Chisenhall let some April struggles get to him, leading to a terrible start in May. He didn’t last through the month, and was sent to Triple-A to work things out. The move worked. Chisenhall hit .390 in 27 games in the minors, prompting the team to call him up about a month after his demotion. He’s performed well in the majors too, with a .280/.333/.493 slash line since he was recalled. Chisenhall is also showing some patience in the majors. In July, Chisenhall has an 11.4 walk rate. Chisenhall started showing an increased walk rate in Triple-A, and this could be a sign he’s trying to carry that over to the majors. At the same time, it’s too small a sample to suggest Chisenhall will start walking at a high rate. he’s never been that type of player in the past.
Chisenhall is in the same situation as Ramos. He can probably be a useful injury fill-in in mixed leagues, but has a chance to be more if he can keep this up. Chisenhall has always been regarded as a talented hitting prospect, so there’s at least some evidence that he’s capable of figuring things out.
Chris is a blogger for CBSSports.com. He has also contributed to Sports on Earth, the 2013 Hard Ball Times Baseball Annual, ESPN, FanGraphs and RotoGraphs. He tries to be funny on twitter @Chris_Cwik.