Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 11
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson isn't even the most famous athlete in his immediate family.
That honor belongs to his brother Klay, a Splash Brother of Steph Curry and the defending world champion Golden State Warriors, but brother Trayce has begun to make a name for himself in L.A. as one of the more promising rookies in baseball this season.
In 163 plate appearances he's batting .269/.350/.531 with 10 home runs, 23 RBI, 25 runs scored and a weighted runs created of 141. He's fourth among rookies with an fWAR of 1.0, and has provided more than a few clutch performances so far this year as well.
Trayce Thompson likes walk-off homers.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 8, 2016
Thompson's ascension appears to be for real. He performed well in 135 plate appearances with the Chicago White Sox last season, slashing .295/.363/.533 and his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .290 this year is a bit below league average, indicating he hasn't been accumulating his knocks by luck. His 21.5% strikeout rate isn't bad, and he's improved his walk rate over last year, from 9.6% to 11.0%.
No one had Thompson on their fantasy radar coming into the season, given L.A.'s crowded outfield situation. But Yasiel Puig's struggles and subsequent DL stint and the release of Carl Crawford means Thompson has locked in a place in the Dodger outfield. He's owned in 40.2% of ESPN leagues and should be on your roster if he's available in your league.
Here are this week's other waiver wire additions.
Trevor Bauer - Cleveland Indians (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 28.7%
Indians starter Trevor Bauer has always had terrific, swing-and-miss stuff, as his career 8.38 K/9 numbers indicate. But far too often, Bauer didn't know where the ball was going, as evidenced by his career 3.99 BB/9. Still, he's had flashes of greatness, as seen here in a start against the Astros last season.
Perhaps his inconsistency is about to change.
Since the beginning of May, Bauer has notched a 3.23 ERA with a 3.53 FIP while striking out 7.13 batters per nine and walking 2.72 per nine innings. He's also inducing a ground ball rate of 48.1%, helping him last longer into ballgames.
Javier Baez - Chicago Cubs (2B/3B/OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 18.5%
With Jorge Soler on the disabled list and the Cubs moving a few pieces around to compensate, Javier Baez has seen a lot more playing time of late. He's batting .272 with a .305 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .440, with five dingers in 131 plate appearances so far this year.
Yes, he still doesn't ever walk, with just a 2.3% walk rate, but his strikeouts are way down. He struck out 30% of the time in 80 plate appearances last season and a staggering 41.5% of the time in 229 plate appearances in 2014. This year, that number is down to 19.1%.
Baez also has positional flexibility going for him and provides good power at a number of positions without much to spare.
Leonys Martin - Seattle Mariners (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 23.6%
Back off the disabled list, Leonys Martin is ready to continue his career season once again. In 179 plate appearances he's batting .248/.322/.471 with 10 homers, 21 RBI and 23 runs scored, and hit a huge homer for Seattle after coming off the DL.
His 118 wRC+ is already the highest of his career, and his new-found power at the plate has been a huge boon for Seattle. The 28-year-old may finally be fulfilling on his promise.
Tim Anderson - Chicago White Sox (SS)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 13.7%
With Jimmy Rollins DFA'd by the White Sox last week, rookie Tim Anderson becomes the everyday shortstop for Chicago. The suddenly struggling White Sox need all the help they can get, and the consensus top-50 prospect should be able to lend a hand.
In 256 plate appearances in Triple-A this year, Anderson slashed .304/.325/.409 with 39 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. He's a speed guy and, by playing everyday, should be able to pile up some stolen bases.
The problem with Anderson is that he simply doesn't walk enough to be a top-of-the-order hitter right now. He only walked in 3.1% of his plate appearances this season, and only 4.4% in a full season at Double-A in 2015.
But he's proven to be a decent hitter and above average run producer during his minor league career, and he'll certainly get an opportunity to play everyday for a White Sox lineup that has some punch in it.