Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Mike Minor and Jorge Soler remain underowned
We've written a lot about Mike Minor and Jorge Soler, but Heath Cummings says they're still underowned.
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I know it's difficult when we write about a player who is 20 or 30 percent owned and you're not quite sure if your league is deep enough to go grab them. I try to offer some context, but on a couple of players there has been a communication breakdown. Let me attempt to clear things up.
Mike Minor made his sixth start of the season on Thursday and gave up three runs over six innings to the Boston Red Sox. Minor struck out four and picked up his third win of the year. He has a 4.36 ERA and owns a 7.6 K/9, so it's not like he's lighting the world on fire. Minor's ownership suggests he's owned in most points leagues, and he absolutely should be, because of his SPARP eligibility. But that's not the full story.
Minor's six starts have come against the Red Sox, Blue Jays (twice), Mariners and Astros (twice). Those four teams all rank in the top 12 offenses in baseball as ranked by wOBA and wRC. It's hard to imagine that a starting pitcher has faced a more difficult schedule than Minor. So where should he be owned?
Minor should be 100 percent owned in points leagues and any AL-Only format. He should also be owned in any categories league that is deeper than 12 teams. As for standard 12-team Roto leagues I could see him as a pitcher who is streamed depending on the matchup, and next week's matchup is the Detroit Tigers. You should be starting him almost everywhere next week.
Jorge Soler's ascension is complete. He's made improvements in walk rate (16.5 percent) and strikeout rate (24.3 percent). He's hitting the ball hard (42.4 percent hard contact rate) and he's finally getting results. Soler smacked his fourth home run on Thursday and now has a nine-game hitting streak. In the past four games he's been locked into the No. 2 spot in the Royals order, and he's responded by going 6-for-19 with two home runs and three doubles. We've moved past five-outfielder territory.
Soler should be owned in all categories leagues, no matter how many outfielders you start. I'd also consider him in any points league 12 teams or deeper. He only ranks 41st in that format right now but that's at least partially due to the fact that he didn't play every day the first three weeks of the season. Besides, he's only 10 points behind Khris Davis, who is still top 30.
Now that we've got through those guys, let's take a look at a couple of deep league adds:
Miguel Cabrera is dinged up again. Cabrera returned from a short absence (bicep injury) and promptly pulled a hamstring. We don't have any idea of the severity, but John Hicks is worth an add in deep leagues just in case. Hicks' career line of .239/.298/.407 is far from impressive, but it's weighed down by a 2 for 32 he took in 2015. Since that season Hicks has a .783 OPS with eight home runs in 232 plate appearances. Still not great for a first base replacement? Well, he's catcher eligible. I'm adding Hicks in all AL-Only formats and two-catcher leagues just in case.
Jaime Barria is a 21 year-old righty for the Angels who just baffled the Orioles and picked up his second big league win in three starts. Barria doesn't have swing-and-miss stuff, which limits his upside in standard leagues, but he does have elite control, owning a BB/9 of 1.8 across 417 minor league innings. With the Angels commitment to a six-man rotation, Barria could stick around for a while and be an asset in AL-Only or deep points leagues.
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