Working the Waiver Wire 6.12.16
June 12, 2016 | Zach Jacobson
Position eligibility and ownership percentages are for Yahoo leagues.
Trayce Thompson, OF (40%): With a line of 25/10/23/.277/4 in 159 plate appearances, Trayce Thompson is currently the 37th ranked outfielder on ESPN’s Player Rater. The steals were expected; the home runs and batting average were not. It’s likely the power will regress to a 20-25 home run per 650 plate appearance pace (as opposed to the 41 per 650 he’s on now), but surprising plate discipline and a profusion of grounders indicate that the .277 average could be legit. There were concerns surrounding Thompson’s future playing time, but Dave Roberts dispelled them on Saturday. An optimistic rest-of-season projection for Trayce would be 350 plate appearances with 45/12/45/.265/7. That projection gives him definite value in most leagues.
…everything indicates that Bauer is finally developing as a pitcher. He’s drastically improved his ground ball to fly ball ratio, and he’s generating the most swinging strikes of his career by a wide margin…He still isn’t a high-end fantasy starter, but 2016 Trevor Bauer is assuredly a better player than 2012-2015 Trevor Bauer.
Since May 16th, Bauer has pitched 33.2 innings in five starts with a 3.48 ERA. The ground balls have still been there for him, but a lackluster 7.9% swinging strike percentage and 16% strikeout percentage have lowered his season whiff rates significantly. You’re probably not going to get elite strikeout numbers, but the batted ball and command improvements denote a potential breakout season for Bauer.
Leonys Martin, OF (34%): Martin has become valuable this season by way of the home run. He’s already set a career high with nine homers while still maintaining his trademark speed. A quick glance at his statistics would indicate that the home runs are a fluke; a more thorough look belies that assumption. For starters, his batted ball profile has drastically shifted this season. From 2011-2015, Martin had a 50.7% ground ball percentage and 29% fly ball percentage, or a 1.75 ground ball to fly ball ratio. This season, Martin has a 39.2% GB% and 46.1% FB%, which equates to a .85 GB/FB. This change in batted balls is fueled by a drastic shift in Martin’s launch angle on his swing. He went from an average angle of 6.2° last season to a 17.2° average launch angle in 2016. This extreme differential is almost certainly the product of a deliberate change to Martin’s swing, and it means that the the once slap-hitting Martin is no longer a slap hitter. He’s now a potential 20/30 guy.
Carlos Estevez, RP (23%): I’m sure almost all of you know by now, but Rockies closer Jake McGee was placed on the disabled list Saturday with left knee inflammation. Manager Walt Weiss initially said that the 9th inning would be shared between Estevez and Jason Motte, and Motte was called upon to start the 9th in yesterday’s game against the Padres. He was pulled from the game after giving up a double and hitting a batter, which led to Estevez closing out the inning and earning the save. Weiss stated after the game that Estevez will be the primary 9th-inning guy until McGee returns later this season. While not necessarily a better pitcher than Motte, Estevez has the slider usage and high-velocity fastball that managers often favor in the closer role. His home ballpark severely limits his value, but he’s still a decent option if you need saves.
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