Monday, July 21, 2014

Waiver Wired: Around the Lineup 7/21

A quick look at some players that are trendy waiver wire acquisitions today and whether or not they are worth a look:

Catcher:

Stephen Vogt

Current Rank: 117
Current Score: 47.8

Vogt's strong season continues as he had 3 hits in Sunday's win over Baltimore. Vogt is currently raking at a .364 average. (fueled by a .386 BABIP). Even after regression, he's still a solid bet at batting average .283. He wasn't in this weeks rankings as he only has 126 plate appearances this year. Looking at the data, I think he would project out to the following over a full season.

.283 63R, 19 HR, 83 RBI, 4 SB

This projects out to a score of 47.8 which would rank him 117. While Vogt keeping his average at .364 is extremely unlikely, even after pulling the BABIP covers, there is a player with enough value at the Catcher position to justify picking up.

Verdict: Buy

First Base:

Brock Holt

Current Rank:  209
Current Score: 38.3

Also available/eligible at third base & outfield. The majority of his value so far has been at batting average (which is being help up by a .392 BABIP). While the BABIP is making his numbers look better (like Vogt), unlike Vogt i'm not sure there is enough value when this area holds off.

Assuming his skill set includes a BABIP of around .300, his actual future average would be divided by 1.3, which gives us an average of .250 with single digit home runs and maybe double figures in steals.

Verdict: Sell

Kolten Wong

Current Rank: 59
Current Score: 55.1

While the home run power has cooled off, his bat has not as he had a very strong weekend series against the Dodgers. Even though this hot streak has moved his average up (at .251 after this weekend), this number is still artificially being held back due to a still below average BABIP.

Going forward, I think he can provide a batting average around .287, possible double digit home runs power and possibly 35-40 steals. Yet, he's only owned in 38% of leagues in Yahoo, better get him while you can.

Verdict: Buy

Third Base:

Chris Coghlan

Current Rank: 169
Current Score: 42.1

Another player who thus far has followed up a strong end of the first-half with a solid showing in the second half of the season as he got a couple of hits in Sunday's lost to Arizona. If given the chance to play full time for a year, I could see him breaking into double digits for homers and steals but he projects closer to a .255 hitter (versus his current .278 average).

Verdict: Sell

Shortstop:

J.J Hardy

Current Rank: 253
Current Score: 34.2

If Baltimore is going to hold onto first place, they will need to get more power contributions from Hardy in the second half (like they got on Saturday against Oakland.

Even though his power was non-existent in the first-half, he was lucky in getting hits as his BABIP (.330) is significantly higher than his career total (.277). Even though I like Hardy as a player (I even have his bobble head doll) i'm not sold on the average staying up (i'm thinking this is closer to .236 going forward).

The question is whether he can return to the 25-30 homer/season form he has shown in the past. So far this year his HR/FB rate has been 3.6% (compared to his 10.9% career total).

While adjusting for this helps his home run projection a little bit (taking it from 13 to 19), he still ranks very lowly on the Zeplen Dean system. He could be of use if you really, really need the power but his 2014 BABIP compared to his career BABIP indicates that he could hurt owners in the batting average category.

Verdict: Sell

Outfield:

Carlos Beltran:

Current Rank: 84
Current Score: 51

Beltran's value is down due to injuries, age and a .228 BABIP which has dragged his average down to .222 and made this season's performance look worse than it actually is.

He did break into double figures for home runs the other day. Despite being a brand-name player and playing the Yankees, the issues in the aforementioned paragraph have his ownership rate at 62%. If he's still available ( and stays healthy) he could be a valuable upgrade for fantasy owners in the second half.

If his BABIP returns to normal levels for him, I could see the batting average come in at .288. Over the course of a full (healthy) season, I think he's still capable of hitting 25 homers per year.

Verdict: Buy

Austin Jackson:

Current Rank: 133
Current Score: 45.5

Jackson had a strong weekend, getting six hits in the Tigers series against the Indians. While his BABIP this year seems high (.328) this is actually well below his career total in this area (.356). Putting this into consideration, I think he is closer to a .286 hitter but with limited value in power (8 projected home runs) and modest speed (16 steals). While his performance is not off the charts bad, there's nothing to indicate that he's going to have any performance upside (like Carlos Beltran) has as we head into the second half.

Verdict: Sell

Torii Hunter:

Current Rank: 16
Current Score: 66.7

Currently owned in 69% of leagues but still the 7th most added outfielder in Yahoo today (as of 12:37 PST).
He ended up ranking much higher than I expected with the way I put the numbers together. This is probably a mixture of me needing to tweak the numbers and also BABIP fueled metrics. Coming into today, he has a .283 BABIP (.309 career) and comes in with a .275 batting average.

Factoring out for this, his batting average could come in closer to .318 while maintaining very solid pop in his bat (13 homers so far this year/23 over a full year projected by the Zeplen Dean System.

Verdict: Buy

All research for this posting done through Yahoo! Fantasy & Fangraphs.com