Working the Waiver Wire 8.16.16
August 16, 2016 | Justin Klein
Yulieski Gurriel was moved up to Triple-A Fresno Monday after he struggled to the tune of a 2-17 batting line at Double-A Corpus Christi. It was originally thought that Gurriel would jump straight to the big leagues from Double-A after destroying rookie ball and single-A across 21 at bats. Since his 2-17 Double-A stretch that include a 1:6 BB:K ratio, the Astros have effectively slowed their role. Moving Gurriel up to Triple-A gives them a chance to change his scenery and give him more at bats before they call him up to Houston. It turns out that not playing baseball for 6 months or so might actually cause a player to be a bit rusty. Despite his recent struggles, Gurriel brings a boatload of talent to the table in both the real and fake games. Unlike most prospects, Yulieski is 32 years and was an established professional in Cuba before defecting to the United States. While he’s played since he was 17 years old, the now 32 year old hasn’t played professionally for nearly an entire calendar year. Because of that, it’s not surprising at all that he needs some time and more at bats to adjust and prepare himself. In his 2015 Cuban season Yulieski had 15 HR and 3 SB while triple-slashing an insane .500/.589/.874 across 49 games and 224 plate appearances. Gurriel has 5 seasons with 20 or more HR with 30 being his high water mark. Keep in mind that all but one of those seasons consisted of 87 games or less; with the lone exception being a 111-game season where he played for multiple teams. While there will be an adjustment period when Gurriel first arrives in the big leagues, he has the ability to make an impact right away. The loaded Astros lineup around him will no doubt aid in that transition, and if Gurriel hits in the middle of that lineup fairly quickly after ascending the majors, he could be a huge factor down the stretch. Sure, there is the chance that he could struggle more and not quite find his footing, but it’s much more likely that Yulieski will have a solid impact. Being a player that can contribute across all 5 categories makes him even more valuable. While I wouldn’t expect him to steal much he could swipe a few bags and should be solid everywhere else. Currently available in 77% of Yahoo leagues and 85% of ESPN leagues, Gurriel should be added in most formats regardless of size. With 3B eligibility at both sites, he will be useful as a CI the day he plays his first major league game. If you need some help at the hot corner, CI or Utility and Gurriel is available, you should probably make the addition. He could be up next week or it could be a few weeks, so you might have to stash him on the bench. If you can afford to do so you should, because Gurriel could be a difference maker down the stretch. He’s definitely a risk worth taking in nearly every format.
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Enrique Burgos is not a very well known player as he is currently a middle reliever on the Diamondbacks. While he’s a decent speculation for saves in deep leagues, he’s realistically at least 1-2 if not 3+ players away from closing out games for Arizona. That means that multiple players would either have to succumb to injury or a string of poor performances and it doesn’t seem rather likely. What is likely is that Burgos will be used in mid-to-late-inning situations and collect some holds this week and over the course of the rest of the season. According to roster resources Diamondbacks page, Burgos was the 19th best RP in the MLB relief pitcher power rankings. Also of note is that Burgos hasn’t allowed a run in his last 10 outings while only allowing 7 hits and notching 2 holds with a 10:3 K:BB ratio across 9 and 1/3 innings pitched. Both of those holds came against the Mets, and low and behold they’re back in town for a 3 game set before the Diamondbacks head west to face the Padres in San Diego. Because of this, I believe that Burgos will net a couple of holds this week along with some solid ratios and a handful of K’s. Enrique is a strong add if you play in a holds league, and if you don’t he will still help your fake team this week and likely for the rest of the season. Available in 99% of ESPN leagues and 100% of Yahoo leagues (obviously not counting my hold or saves+holds leagues), Burgos is out there for almost all of you if you need him.
Keon Broxton has quietly been very good over the past two weeks as he’s posted a 7/1/5/6/.387 batting line, which is good enough to make him the 52nd most valuable player in the fake game over that time period. Frequently hitting at or near the top of the Brewers lineup has been a boon to his value, and the fact that he’s running early and often is huge. With 3 SB in his last 3 starts and 6 in his last 7 games started, Broxton now has the green light to steal. With a double header on Tuesday, I expect Broxton to run some more, and when he faces Jon Lester on Wednesday I expect him to add to that total. If you need some speed in your fake team’s OF, Keon is currently floating around in your league’s free agent pool in 92% of Yahoo leagues and 93% of ESPN leagues, so he’s out there for most of you. I recently added multiple shares myself and will also be using Broxton in DFS over the next few days, so come on in because the water is warm, my fellow fake gamers.
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