It was easy to accept Jay(Wrong)’s offer to add an additional column when I heard his idea. The concept was simple: take a look through the most added and dropped players and decide which ones are actually deserving of their big gains or declines in ownership percentage. Every fantasy baseball platform has some version of the ‘Most Added/Dropped’ sheet, but for the purposes of this column, I’ll use ESPN’s data. I don’t consider ownership percentages to be research. In fact, if you you are using ownership percentages as your only barometer for player evaluations, then you probably found Razzball by mistake. Welcome. We’re here to help.
What is interesting about these numbers is that they offer a window into the minds of all the other teams out there patrolling the waiver wire. We see a player on our roster or in free agency with the double digit red/green numbers next to his name and we tend to think, “What am I missing?” There are two feelings I hate in fantasy baseball- the feeling that I just dropped somebody I shouldn’t have, and the feeling I just picked up a guy who’s about to go as cold as ice. God forbid we tick both boxes in the same move (I’ve done this).
Each week, we’ll look at one of the biggest adds or drops, then I’ll suggest one player from the most added column that I feel is actually trash, and one player from the most dropped list that is actually a treasure.
Take one of this week’s biggest adds, Dallas Keuchel (+64%). He’s now up to 83% ownership overall. Is this mob mentality or is Keuchel for real? That’s the question we hope to answer in this column so you don’t have to waste a waiver claim. As for Keuchel, he’s the real deal. His 68% ground ball percentage leads all major league pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched. His walk rate is under two per nine innings and he’s striking out more than eight batters per nine. Those three stats, along with an FIP that closely resembles his actual ERA, lead me to believe that Keuchel is deserving of the rush to pick him up and could be a valuable starter from this point forward. Here are some of the other big adds and drops I noticed for fantasy baseball…
David Murphy - 48% owned (+30)
Part of the appeal with Murphy is his 31 runs batted in, which is good for top 20 in MLB. He’s cashed in with runners in scoring position this year, but in most leagues he’s going to be frustrating to own. Murphy has really struggled this season against left-handed pitching (46 wRC+) and will be out of the lineup occasionally. He hasn’t hit well away from Progressive Field either, sporting a meh wRC+ of 83 on the road compared to 158 at home. If you can afford the luxury of shifting him in and out of your lineup, he has value. He’s not somebody I’m running to add as an everyday outfielder. His career high in homers is 17 and he’s never driven in more than 74 runs. TRASH.
Ben Revere – 46% owned (-15)
I mentioned Revere in yesterday’s SAGNOF column, because his ownership numbers have declined since the beginning of the year. I’ll mention him again here because he was listed as one of the most dropped players. Revere told reporters that he is still learning how to play with the ups and downs of his ankle injury. This leads me to believe that he could actually improve as the year progresses, making him a smart add and definitely not a drop. Unless you are running away and hiding with the stolen bases category in your league, Revere is a valuable piece. He’s hitting .291 on the season with 12 stolen bases. He’s only been caught twice, and his 68.7% ground ball percentage is the highest of his young career. If he can continue to keep the ball on the ground, the steals will mount. I’d still project him to steal 40 bases this year and finish the season with a line very similar to that of 2012: .290+ average, 70 runs scored, 40 steals. TREASURE.
Mike’s on Twitter @643ball