Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 13
The acquisition of Shelby Miller by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the fall was panned by a large majority of baseball insiders.
Yes, Miller was a solid number-two starter for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves over the last few seasons, putting up a 3.02 ERA and a 3.45 FIP in 33 starts for Atlanta last year. At just 25 years old, he emerged as a solid rotation arm, and it made sense for the Diamondbacks to target him last offseason.
Of course, Arizona drastically overpaid for his services, giving up the previous year's top overall pick in Dansby Swanson, as well as the excellent defensive outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitching prospect Aaron Blair. It would have been a steep price for an ace, and Miller's ceiling was not that.
Making matters worse, Miller got off to a horrific start this season. In 12 starts (58 1/3 innings), he has an ERA 6.79 ERA and a 6.08 FIP, walking 4.78 batters per nine innings (BB/9). Last year, it was 3.20 BB/9, and his career walk rate is 3.38 BB/9. His K/9, 6.17, is also down compared to last year (7.50), and his career number is (7.43).
However, there may be signs he's turning things around. After going on the disabled list with a bad finger at the beginning of May, Miller came back strong against the Phillies last week, going 6 2/3 innings and giving up just one earned run, easily his best start of the season. Unfortunately, he followed that up with a six-inning, seven-run outing against Colorado on Saturday.
But as you'll notice this week, the waiver wire is thin, and if there is a chance Miller has been "fixed," and you are desperate for starting pitching, perhaps a stash on the bench might be a half decent roll of the dice. Miller is owned in just 27.8% of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Steven Moya - Detroit Tigers (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 14.3%
Moya is off to a hot start in 63 plate appearances, batting .322/.365/.610 with 3 home runs and an fWAR of 0.5 already, with two of those blasts coming in the same game last week.
Nice work tonight, Steven Moya. Relive his 2 homers. #Tigershttps://t.co/LOgAEGiGSc
— #VoteTigers (@tigers) June 23, 2016
Moya's power potential is for real. He hit 35 homers in AA two years ago and, last year, socked 23 at AAA. He added another 13 in 215 plate appearances this year at AAA before being called up. If you need some cheap dinger potential, Moya wouldn't be a bad add.
Cameron Rupp - Philadelphia Phillies (C)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 4.5%
Finding decent fantasy catching options at this stage of the season is not easy, and recommending anyone from the Phils' offense is a bit risky. But Cameron Rupp's power game could be something worth having as your back-up catcher.
Rupp is splitting time with Carlos Ruiz, who has struggled offensively but calls a better game than Rupp. But for a team starved with offense, it's been hard for manager Pete Mackanin to keep Rupp on the bench for long. This year, Rupp is batting .270/.306/.483 with 7 homers and a wRC+ of 109.
Among MLB catchers with at least 150 plate appearances, Rupp's OPS of .789 is sixth-best, and in June, Rupp has gotten particularly hot, slugging .633 with an OPS of .972. He even went yard off Madison Bumgarner over the weekend.
— Phillies (@Phillies) June 26, 2016
Rupp is good for some cheap power off the bench from the catcher position. Just make sure you check the Phils' starting lineup every night before plugging him in.
Brandon Nimmo - New York Mets (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 4.0%
It's amazing how young players can fall on hard times so quickly. After helping to lead the New York Mets offense to the playoffs last season, Michael Conforto has been sent down to the minors, thanks to a .222/.296/.431 slash line. In May, he hit .169/.242/.349, and in June, it got even worse: .119/.182/.237.
In his place, the Mets have called up Brandon Nimmo to take over center field, moving Yoenis Cespedes back to a much better spot for him: left field. And Nimmo, a former Top 100 prospect, is expected to add a little with his bat, too.
In 287 AAA plate appearances this year, Nimmo hit .328/.409/.508 with 5 homers, 37 RBI, and 41 runs scored. He's young, just 23, and there will be an adjustment to Major League pitching. But Nimmo is going to play almost every day and is worth a stash on your bench until he proves himself.