Fantasy Baseball: Weighing pros and cons for latest big bats off waiver wire, such as Aristides Aquino and Mike Tauchman
The waiver wire has seen a surge in activity over the past week because of some new bats grabbing all the headlines. Scott White looks at the pros and cons of counting on recent pickups like Gio Urshela, Aristides Aquino, J.D. Davis and Josh Rojas.
If you've been needing a hitter, chances are you don't anymore.
That or you're just not trying. Over the past week, the waiver wire has exploded with interesting choices that few, if any, saw coming. Just look at the ownership change (in terms of percentage) for these four during that time:
Aristides Aquino Cincinnati Reds RF
|Previous week: 5 ....... Current week: 85|
Mike Tauchman New York Yankees LF
|Previous week: 20 ....... Current week: 72|
J.D. Davis New York Mets LF
|Previous week: 18 ....... Current week: 57|
Gio Urshela New York Yankees 3B
|Previous week: 46 ....... Current week: 83|
Tip of the iceberg, my friend. They're only half of the hitters I want to talk about today.
Whenever there's a windfall of this magnitude, it's human nature to turn it into a problem. "Oh no, I just picked up too many exciting hitters. How can I be sure they'll all truly be worthwhile?"
First of all, they won't. Second of all, I've put together a list of the pros of cons of investing in each. It's presented sort of like a rank list, I guess. First up is the one I'm most excited about rostering.
The goal here is to sum up the many thoughts shared about these players in various places over the past week, making it easier to zero in on the most important details.
- Pros: Top-10 xBA suggests he's one of the most natural sources of batting average in all the majors, making as much contact as ever but at a much higher quality.
- Cons: It goes without saying that a 27-year-old with a poor power track record stands little chance of becoming an in-his-prime Miguel Cabrera overnight.
- Pros: The numbers seem too good to be true for someone who spent most of the season in a part-time role, but his xBA and xwOBA suggest he has actually underperformed his batted-ball profile.
- Cons: Are we sure the Mets are fully committed to him given the number of injuries it took to land him this opportunity as their everyday left fielder?
- Pros: This emerging power source has exploded with 36 combined home runs this year, becoming the first ever player to homer eight times in his first 12 big-league games thanks to a new wide-open stance and some incredibly hard contact.
- Cons: With a strikeout rate of around 30 percent, he'll need to sustain an outlier hard-hit rate to avoid becoming the next Austin Riley breakout fakeout.
- Pros: With plus on-base skills, an all-fields approach and power that we now know plays at the big-league level, this former Triple-A standout for the Rockies is making Yankees fans say "Giancarlo who?"
- Cons: The strikeout rate could be lower (but has shown improvement over the past month-plus, it's worth noting), and the xBA and xwOBA both suggest he has played over his head.
- Pros: Low strikeout rate for a guy who consistently displayed big power in his minor-league career, with the lone exception of last year
- Cons: Calhoun's everyday status depends on the Rangers limiting the at-bats of productive hitters Shin-Soo Choo and Hunter Pence, and it's already a tough sell because of his defensive shortcomings.
- Pros: Was basically Carlos Beltran in the minors this year, hitting .332 with 23 homers and 33 steals, not to mention plus-plus plate discipline, and went 18 for 35 in eight games for the Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate after coming over in the Zack Greinke deal. Oh, and he can play six positions.
- Cons: Why have prospect evaluators continually passed over the 25-year-old, is he just a product of a hitter-friendlier-than-ever PCL, and will the Diamondbacks make an honest effort to find playing time for him, unlike Kevin Cron?
- Pros: Former first-round pick seemed to put it all together at Triple-A this year, introducing big power to his already exceptional plate discipline for a 1.010 OPS
- Cons: A fairly quiet first week in the big leagues might make it difficult for manager Craig Counsell to run him out there every day once Christian Yelich is healthy again, seeing as it would mean benching Ryan Braun.
- Pros: Got the call after showing an improved contact rate in his final 20 games at Triple-A and was immediately inserted as the Cubs' starting second baseman, where he's once again showing the power stroke that made him a rookie success in 2017.
- Cons: The strikeout rate was terrible for his first 3 1/2 months in the minors this year, just as it was for the past two years in the big leagues, and it's mostly wishful thinking to assume it's all better after just a couple weeks' time.
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