Well, folks, this is just about it. I’ve only got like one more of these to write after this one. Ain’t that somethin’? What a year, man. In Yahoo standard leagues, the playoffs start tomorrow. Unlike real baseball, it’s a narrow field in the realm of Yahoo. Semifinals for Week 8, and the grand finale for Week 9. Then donezo!
This week’s waiver piece is going to be much more to the point with not-so-deep dives as in the past. I got a teething toddler who isn’t sleeping well (she goes like 10-11 hours straight normally!), and it’s also her birthday Monday. The big T-W-O. Doing this and that to celebrate all weekend since I have to work late on her actual birthday. Fun stuff. So the writing time is at a premium this time around.
There’s your JKJ life update that you didn’t ask for. Let’s get to why you’re actually here.
Note: Stats accurate as of 9/12/2020, before games began.
Ryan Mountcastle: How is this kid not 100% owned by now? He’s still in the 50s and 60s on Yahoo and ESPN!! What?! All the hype surrounding him, getting left of the roster forever, and finally coming up and doing ALL THIS and he’s STILL OUT THERE?! GO GET HIM!!!
DJ Stewart: I think it’s time to stop worrying this guy’s gonna cool down and just add him ASAP. So many homers lately. It’s crazy – he had no hits for a long time, then bangs out two homers in a game and hasn’t looked back since. Widely available and could carry your power from here on out.
Miguel Andujar: 2018’s woulda-been AL ROY if not for some guy named Ohtani got hurt in 2019 and looked awful much of this season. Batting .321 with an OPS approaching .950 in September, though. Getting XBH, driving in runs, and not striking out much. Stanton and Judge coming back could/would eat into his playing time, maybe, but also Urshela is on the shelf and Andujar can play 3B in addition to DHing like he has been.
Bobby Dalbec: Bobby Bombs is my new name for this kid. I’m totally the first to ever think of it, probably [not]. Dalbec can slot into 1B/3B on your roster, and has been smashing HR at a Stewart-like pace, except he’s also striking out A TONNNN. So I don’t feel quite as good about him ROS, but I would stash the hell outta this kid in a keeper/dynasty if someone hasn’t already.
Manuel Margot: When Margot came up with the Padres, I expected a good contact hitter with lots of steals. He’s been incredibly underwhelming to this point in his career, but things have picked up of late. He’s got 11 swipes on the year now and the metrics look promising. xBA almost perfectly matches actual BA, K-rate is down, and the walk rate is up. You know I love a drop in Ks and an uptick in BBs. Especially for a speedster. I’m watching this guy very closely for 2021.
Andres Gimenez: Gimenez got hot, then cooled off in a big way, and now he’s hot again just in time for your title run. Slashing .370/.419/.556 in his last seven. He has serious wheels (93rd percentile) but hasn’t really used ’em lately, but if you need SB, then he could pitch in. Has 7 on the year despite only 1 in his last 17 games. Less than 20% owned on ESPN and Yahoo.
Jared Walsh: This guy is out there in practically every league under the sun. Like Stewart, he started the year hitless, and remained so for a good while. In his last 8 appearances, something’s clicked – slashing .385/.379/1.000 in that time. Don’t often see an OBP lower than a BA lol. Anyway, he’s raking, evidenced by that cool 1.000 SLG. He’s impressed Joe Maddon so much lately he’s been rewarded with batting second and then leadoff.
Ty France: There was no room for this kid in Slam Diego, but now France has seceded from Southern Cal and relocated north to Seattle. The Mariners are playing this dude every day, all over the place. Just this past week he’s been at second, at third, and also at DH. He’s got a good lineup spot in a surprisingly somewhat-potent Mariners offense. It won’t be long til this offense is for-real for real, with the development of Kyle Lewis, Dylan Moore, Evan White, Jarred Kelenic, and Julio Rodriguez.
Sean Murphy: Need a slugging catcher? Need a catcher who does anything worth a damn, period? Murphy is your guy and is drastically under-owned. Popular sleeper pick heading into the season, but it’s been a pretty bad year overall. In a full year, I wouldn’t be worried at all. He’s getting hot now and is running out of time to make his season look serviceable, so he may drop down draft boards in 2021. Not on mine. Last five: .385/.579/1.077, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB. Love those walks, yo.
Randy Arozarena: How many Cardinals players are gonna go and kill it elsewhere? Add Arozarena to the list. The Rays don’t have a spot for him everyday when everyone is healthy, but boy oh boy is he making the most of the time he gets. Walk rate is up into double digits this year and his K rate is still very respectable at 19.2%. He didn’t see any 2020 action until August 30, but his slash line is video-game worthy, and he has 4 HR and 5 RBI in nine games (five starts). Only has 1 SB so far but he has elite speed, so he could help out in that department as well.
Dean Kremer: Tough to judge a rookie off his debut, I guess, but Kremer looked very strong in his. Went 6 innings, allowing just a single hit and a single run while striking out seven. It was against a depleted-but-still-solid Yankees lineup at hitter-friendly Camden Yards.
Joe Musgrove: Another underwhelming year for Mr. Musgrove, but his last two outings have shown signs of progress. They were brief, but they weren’t bad. The walks have been under control and the Ks have picked up. Fastball velocity is a little better than it was earlier this season, making guys chase more, and generating more swinging strikes. Musgrove could help your ratios, but don’t go expecting wins or even quality starts. But – and this gets said every year with this guy – keep an eye on him for next season. Maybe hindsight will be 2021.
Justin Dunn: Three straight quality starts, and he allowed zero runs in each of the first two (and only two last time). Bad news is he walked four in each of the last two, good news is it never really hurt him. Not a big strikeout guy but at least he’s doing better than he was. Metrics don’t really support sustainability, but you don’t need to worry too much about that at this point in the season. Worth a look in QS leagues.
Justus Sheffield: Those ding dang (have you noticed that’s my SportsCenter signature catchphrase by now?) Mariners keep shipping in fantasy relevant peeps in this whack-a-mole 2020 season. France up top, Dunn just above this paragraph, so many others in previous posts. Sheffield has four QS in his last five. Strikeouts are pretty pedestrian but he’s gotten he’s walks under control lately for the most part. That’s been his biggest issue since like forever – his BB/9 has always been a stanky turd, but in all four of those quality starts recently he only walked three total, and those were sprinkled across three separate outings (so for mathematically challenged, he walked just one batter in each of those three separate outings).
Daulton Jefferies: Here’s an intriguing one. Jefferies doesn’t have the most hype out there and is Oakland’s ninth-best prospect on MLB Pipeline. What could translate to success in the majors is his control. It’s almost inhuman. He has walked only 12 batters in his entire professional career. That’s across 99.1 innings. Cool, JKJ, what about the strikeouts? One hundred twenty one. Yep, that’s a 121:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. For the K/BB folk out there, that’s 10.08. Sign me alllll the way up for that kinda stuff.
Tejay Antone: As if the Reds need another great pitcher, but it looks like they’ve got one. Ohio teams sure can develop pitchers. Antone has a Statcast profile that would make a bull charge straight into your computer screen. Like, it doesn’t just have a lot of shades of red – it’s got almost 100% deep, dark red. The kind of red where the numbers font has to be white so you can read it. I’d recommend adding him just for the ratios, but he’s getting starts these days and could pick up some dubs for you down the stretch if he keeps a spot.
Other Quick Notes
Dylan Moore: Like Mountcastle, I don’t get this one. Should be owned everywhere. Dingers and steals all day with this guy, and he’s so versatile in your lineup.
Jeimer Candelario: Wrote about him last week. Still crushin’ it. He’s had a fantastic season all-around.
Adam Duvall: Two 3-HR games recently and has 13 HR with 29 RBI on the year. Could your offense use that?
Isiah Kiner-Falefa: Way back when, I sang IKF’s praises, and really he’s only gotten better since. Not even 65% owned in either Yahoo or ESPN, but he’s a C-eligible player who has stolen EIGHT BASES. And he’s hitting .310!! Are all of you INSANE?!
JKJ is just an Arkansas guy who loves to play, watch, and sometimes write about sports. Loves his Hogs, St. Louis teams, US National teams, and Liverpool FC (since way before it was cool). He also teaches high school English. He greatly enjoys bourbon, bourbon cocktails, craft beer, and coffee at all times of the day. Married to a foxy nurse. Is a #girldad. Plays too many video games. Doesn’t care about sentence fragments despite his profession.
Follow him on Twitter (@jkj0787), where his DMs are always open for average to above-average advice. Complaints are welcome, too.