Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Red Sox prospect Rafael Devers the top priority
Rafael Devers has all the tools to take advantage of baseball's power surge. Heath Cummings says he's a must-add until we see if it translates immediately.
As we approach the trade deadline -- one week from today! -- this is supposed to be the time of year for analyzing trades. Instead it's been more about projecting prospects. First Yoan Moncada, and now 20-year-old phenom Rafael Devers.
Chris Towersand made an excellent point about the power increase prospects are seeing when they reach the major leagues. That's pretty exciting for a player who has already hit 20 home runs and 20 doubles this season:
Devers has developed into one of the best power hitters in the minors, swatting 20 homers and 20 doubles this season. The homers represent a career-high, and they suggest he could be an elite power hitter in the majors, too. We've seen a power spike in MLB over the last two seasons, and it has resulted in a strange phenomenon – young hitters are producing more power in the majors than they did in the minors.
Judge and Cody Bellinger are the most obvious examples, seeing their ISOs jump .113 and .107 points from their time in the minors in 2016 to their time in the majors this season, and it's not a coincidence. The ball is traveling further in the majors, and it's making the jump from Triple-A to MLB a bit easier to manage.
Devers' ownership has already spiked to 56 percent overnight, and it should keep climbing. Last week I talked about how Yoan Moncada was more desirable in Rotisserie formats because of his speed and strikeout issues. Devers doesn't really have either of those, but that doesn't necessarily mean he won't struggle like Moncada has.
I'd happily spend 20 percent of my FAAB in any format on Devers with the hope that his good contact skills and developing power translate immediately. You need difference makers down the stretch in Fantasy baseball, and Devers could be just that.
Here's the rest of Monday's waiver wire:
Seth Lugo N.Y. Mets RP
|Lugo has essentially had one bad start this season; the rest have ranged from solid to outstanding. There's not a ton of upside here because of his middling 6.4 K/9, but even that has improved recently, with 13 Ks in his last 16.1 IP. Lugo is a slightly above average pitcher who should help you in WHIP, while piling up innings. In today's pitching landscape it's nice to have someone reliable at the back end of the rotation, and he should be solid, if not spectacular.|
Hyun-Jin Ryu L.A. Dodgers SP
|Ryu comes off the disable list on Monday as a likely two-start pitcher. While there's plenty of reason to question how long he'll stay in the rotation, Clayton Kershaw's early exit on Sunday certainly helps. I don't necessarily believe in Ryu as a long term answer but he's worth adding as a two-start pitcher this week and then see what happens.|
Marcus Semien Oakland SS
|Semien struggled coming out of the gate but he's found his groove over the past week with eight hits, two steals and a home run in his last four games. An injury derailed his season, but with Semien back and hitting (along with the dearth of offensive talent at the position) he should be much higher owned than he currently is. He's just a year removed from a season with 27 home runs, and has double-digit steals in each of the past two seasons.|
Alex Meyer L.A. Angels SP
|We've written about Meyer here before as he's teased us with his talent, but last week's seven innings of one-hit ball are being overlooked. He's now given up two runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts. The walks are still a problem (4.4 BB/9 over his last eight starts), but Meyer is a high-upside pitcher who could turn into an ace if he ever harnesses his control. He's the complete opposite of Seth Lugo, but he's also owned in about half as many leagues.|
Brandon Moss Kansas City DH
|For the first half of the season Brandon Moss looked like the worst free agent signing of the offseason and one of the worst hitters in baseball. Moss says he finally just decided to relax and stop swinging so hard, and the results in July have been encouraging. He has a 1.023 OPS in July and has cut his strikeout rate back down to 25 percent. I don't buy that Moss can keep up this level of hitting but even if he normalizes as the player he was in 2016, he's far underowned.|
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