It is Week 6 of the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire, and as usual, there are a number of good options to give your team a jump start. Despite the fact that we are this far into the season, we are still finding out who the players we have are, and how to best fit them into our rosters. The choices you make will either help you get towards the top of the standings, or plummet you out of contention.
At this point if you have a player who you took towards the end of the draft and he isn’t performing near where you had hoped, I would say it is okay to let him go and search through the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire. Underperforming veterans who have a history of success I would still hold on to.Who might be the players who can assist you?
On the hitting side we have a shortstop who has historically hit for some power, but is still hitting for an incredible average. We also offer a Venezuelan outfielder who has had a decent amount of hype around him and who has hit a hot streak and could be ready to live up to the potential. Finally, we have a power hitting outfielder who was cast aside by Fantasy owners after a trade to a pitcher’s ballpark and a slow start.
The pitchers in the article are three guys that I am really excited for. The first is a second year pitcher who has been absolutely dreadful despite all of the talent in the world. We also have an American League pitcher who isn’t elite, but I think Fantasy owners have too high of expectations for. Finally, it is a fireballing young Rockie who has a lot of talent, but pitches in Colorado.
As we move closer to Memorial Day, it is always important to continue to work your roster to put the best players available on your team. One of these six players should be able to fill a gap on your roster. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire, Week 6
Luis Severino, SP, New York Yankees
Girardi rejected the suggestion that Severino might be headed to AAA. “I actually think this kid is really close,” he said.
— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) May 9, 2016
Before being called to the Majors last season, Luis Severino was one of the more heralded pitching prospects in baseball. He did not disappoint in 2015 as he pitched to a 2.89 ERA with 56 strikeouts over 62.1 innings in 11 starts. Fantasy players, myself definitely included, heralded Severino as having the possibility to be the best pitcher in the Yankees rotation as soon as 2016.
I don’t know if he could be off to a worse start than he has been through six starts. He is now 0-5 after his latest start on May 8, and his ERA is now sitting at 6.12. You might be asking yourself, why in the world I would recommend you pick him up? Severino hasn’t been walking many batters all season, and he had his best strikeout effort against the Red Sox as he rung up nine of them. He didn’t pitch poorly, but did give up three home runs.
I do not believe the Yankees will send him down, and I feel like he is turning the corner and will begin to pitch better starting the end of this week. His ownership is down to around 30-percent and I would absolutely jump on him if you have the opportunity.
Collin McHugh, SP, Houston Astros
A breakout candidate in 2014, Collin McHugh had a sub-3.00 ERA with more than a strikeout an inning. Last year his ERA was up while his strikeouts were down, but he still did very well and won 19 games. He didn’t come into the season with a lot of fanfare, but the lack of Fantasy support for him this season has really surprised me. McHugh allowed 14 earned runs in his first four starts, and began the season 1-3 with a horrific ERA and WHIP.
However, while he hasn’t been dominant, McHugh has won three straight starts. The Astros are a far better offensive team than they have shown so far. McHugh is picking up the strikeout rate lately as he has struck out 11 guys in the last 12.2 innings, while walking just three.
He has had success in the Majors in the last two seasons, so I can’t for the life of me figure out why McHugh is owned in only about 35-percent of leagues across the large sites. He isn’t going to be an elite starter, but when do you ever pick up an elite starter off of the waiver wire in May? Pick up McHugh while he is available.
Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies
It is always a scary proposition to trust Rockies’ pitchers in Fantasy Baseball, especially when they are pitching in Colorado. When their top pitching prospect in maybe a decade came up last season, Fantasy owners were still a little worried about Jon Gray. He has high 90s velocity on his fastball, and has impressive strikeout numbers in the Minor Leagues. He didn’t do much to instill any confidence in his nine starts in 2015, and he was largely ignored in Fantasy drafts this March.
After a rough first two outings to begin 2016, Gray has turned it around since the calendar turned to May. After an 11 strikeout effort against the Padres, he followed that up with seven shutout innings with five strikeouts against the Giants on Saturday. Both starts were not in Coors Field, but you have to like him flashing the potential that he came to the Majors with.
He might be more of a speculative watch, or a guy to add if you are in a 14-team or more league. This kid has Major League stuff, you just have to hope that his surroundings don’t stunt his growth.
Zack Cozart, SS, Cincinnati Reds
In the first couple full seasons of Cozart’s career, he showed some impressive pop for a shortstop, but his batting average left a lot to be desired. Fantasy owners were generally willing to live with the .245 average to get a shortstop that could hit them 15 home runs. 2014 was a disaster as his production from the previous two years completely abandoned him, and 2015 was marred by injury. And just like that, Cozart was a forgotten man in Fantasy Baseball.
I don’t know how many people expected this, but he has come out like gangbusters over the first six weeks of 2016. It isn’t such a shock that he has four home runs to this point, but the fact that he is hitting a robust.340 is just astounding! This is coming from a guy who never hit higher than .252 in a full season!
I was very skeptical at first, and obviously most were with his modest 40ish percent ownership, a number I expect to go up quickly. He has been hitting at the top of the order and has been a great source of runs scored, batting average, and has also driven in 12 runs. With the lack of depth at shortstop in Fantasy Baseball, he is at least worth a spot on your bench.
Avisail Garcia, OF/DH, Chicago White Sox
The Venezuelan hot shot has had quite the path in his baseball career. In 2012 he was named Tigers’ Minor League Player of the Year and hit .319 that season when called to the Majors. Traded to the White Sox the next season, Garcia hit seven home runs in 72 games. A torn labrum looked like it ended 2014 for him, but he came back in mid-August and hit seven home runs in just 46 games to end the season.
Last season he did disappoint some with just 13 homers, and he had a major problem with the strikeout, whiffing almost one in four plate appearances. While there is some holes in his game, he has flashed some major power potential.
Garcia got off to a really bad start as he had more hitless games (10), than hits (seven) in the first three weeks of the year. Despite a hamstring injury, which he is now over, Garcia has caught fire. He has a 10 game hitting streak, during which he has six multi-hit games and two home runs during this stretch.
The White Sox have a powerful lineup and The Cell is a great hitter’s park. Garcia has the potential to be a difference maker with the bat, the only thing I would like is to see him hit higher in the lineup. If he can cut down on the strikeouts some, Garcia could be a great second hitter for the Pale Hose.
Khris Davis, OF, Oakland Athletics
After hitting 22 home runs in 2014, Khris Davis followed that up with an impressive 27 jacks in 2015 in only 121 games. Fantasy owners from coast to coast fell in love, even with the less than stellar batting average in the mid-.240s the past two seasons. We were then dealt the news that had everyone waiting to pounce on Davis in 2016 screaming “noooooooooooooooooooooo”! That’s right, Davis was dealt to Oakland in the offseason. His home park was now a place where home runs go to die……….on the warning track as long outs.
The season started uglier than we could have imagined. Before Davis hit his first home run on April 21, he already had racked up 20 strikeouts and only eight hits. He was banished to waiver wires everywhere! All of a sudden he has turned things around. Davis has four home runs since May 1, and he has only struck out five times in those 10 games.
You have to know going in that he isn’t going to hit higher than .250, maybe .260 if he really gets locked in. However, he’s unowned in about 70 percent of Fantasy leagues, and he’s already shown you the power he is capable of in the past. If you are in need of power, Davis has the ability to make a difference for you.