6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 9
There be a whole lotta sweetness on this week's waiver wire, fam. This past week had call-ups, role changes, break outs and validations. That, my friends, is fantasy heaven.
Now, obviously these guys aren't going to be available in each of your leagues. That would make things just a wee bit more difficult. Generally, I try to stick with guys that are owned in one-third or less of ESPN leagues. This means I'll be missing the boat on Shawn Tolleson who's already over 50 percent. Sad face. If he's open in your league, though, change that. Without further ado, here are some players that could provide a boost to your bonnet.
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Boston Red Sox
Heading into Thursday's game, the Texas Rangers had been absolutely destroying left-handed pitching the entire season, ranking third in wOBA against lefties. Then along came Eduardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was dripping in filth as he allowed just three hits over 7.2 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Now, his Gucci-ness means he gets to stay in the rotation, and I think he'd look mighty fine on yours.
This is just an extension of what the 22-year-old lefty did prior to his promotion. He had a 2.98 ERA matched with a 2.38 FIP with 8.19 strikeouts per nine and only 1.30 walks. He's a nice little addition to an otherwise blurgh-ish rotation, so I don't see him going anywhere soon.
Trevor Plouffe, 3B, Minnesota Twins
Y'all. We have had this discussion before. Trevor Plouffe is outchea in these streets destroying baseballs errrywhere, and he's still available in 68.1 percent of ESPN leagues. Unleash his juiciness on your roster.
After hitting his eighth dong of the year yesterday, Plouffe now has a slugging percentage higher than Kris Bryant, who is universally owned. It's also higher than that of Michael Brantley, Jose Abreu, Andrew McCutchen and Jose Bautista. He's also hitting clean-up on a team that is in the top 10 in the league in runs scored. If that doesn't float your boat, you can make tons of great puns out of his last name, and he has great hair. Whatever your reasoning, add this man.
The big hold-up with Plouffe, if I had to guess, is people questioning whether his early-season success is sustainable. That is fair. His BABIP sits at .317 now, which is 18 points higher than his mark last year without any significant changes in his batted ball stats. He could see that regress a bit, but we're not talking about a 40-point differential here. Even after the fact, he'd be ownable in most leagues. Roll the dice, yo. Go get him.
Jesse Hahn, SP, Oakland Athletics
This probably seems like odd timing considering he just had a thoroughly meh start on Saturday, but Jesse Hahn is a decent little add. He doesn't walk a lot of guys, he induces ground balls, and his sample size of success is continuing to increase.
Through 133 Major League innings, Hahn finds himself with a 3.38 ERA, 3.35 FIP and a 3.60 xFIP. He has had the benefit of pitching in two parks that allow a below-average number of home runs, but that's a factor to take into account when it comes to fantasy.
The downside of 2015's version of Hahn is a significant decrease in strikeouts. He has gone from averaging 8.59 strikeouts per nine last year to 6.03 this year, which is semi-startling. This has been paired with a humongo decrease in walks which is sweet, but it's also kind of puzzling. His whiff rate has gone down, which makes the decrease in strikeouts seem like it's going to stick, but he's also putting the ball in the zone more often. This seems like the Hahn we should expect going forward, but that version could definitely be a valuable option for your fantasy team.
Tsuyoshi Wada, SP, Chicago Cubs
Blah blah blah small sample size blah blah. Tsuyoshi Wada has been pretty sweet this year in several difficult matchups.
Most recently, Wada held the Kansas City Royals in check, limiting them to two hits over 5.2 innings yesterday. The Royals entered that game ranked fourth in the league in wOBA off of lefties, striking out an absurdly low 13.4 percent of the time. He notched four strikeouts, which seems low, but it's actually a'ight in this scenario.
Yesterday's outing did drop his season-long strikeouts per nine down to a measly 10.91. Lame-o. Overall, his ERA sits at 2.30 with a 3.49 FIP and 3.00 xFIP. He's no spring chicken at 34 years old, but he's providing some snazziness right now and has positive upside for the time being.
Steven Souza, Jr., OF, Tampa Bay Rays
So, he strikes out a lot. A lot. But, brudduh, Steven Souza, Jr., has gone out of his diggity dog mind since returning from his wrist injury. How often is a guy with 10 bombs, 7 steals and a .475 slugging percentage on your waiver wire at the beginning of June? The answer is not often. Yet here we are.
If you're in a league that deducts a full point for strikeouts (Yes, those exist. Yes, I am in one), Souza might not be the right cat. But he'll net you everything except for batting average in a traditional Roto league, and he can accumulate a big ol' chunk of points in those leagues. Now, finally, he's back on track from his month-long slump.
When Souza first came back from his wrist injury, he had 13 extra-base hits on the year. In the three games since, he has five, with three of those leaving the park. Is he going to do that for the rest of eternity? Well, I'm no expert, but that would seem unlikely. However, he's providing enough and is well-rounded enough to warrant a roster spot for both his current production and his potential.
Justin Bour, 1B, Miami Marlins
Bour has been hitting clean-up as of late, which has led to his cleaning up the basepaths. Yesterday's dong gives him five in 70 plate appearances this season and pushes his slash up to .369/.414/.646. The illest of the ill. Let this puppy eat.
The problem with Bour is that he'll probably miss a lot of playing time when the team faces lefty starters. That's a serious issue when it comes to something like fantasy baseball, but his production thus far has helped quell that concern. Like I said, I don't know if it's sustainable, but the Marlins seem to be buying in. Maybe it doesn't last, but just maybe he can slide that pop into your roster, too.