Howdy Razzballero, and welcome to the second half of the MLB (and fantasy) season. Hopefully, you were all able to recharge the batteries a bit over the All Star break and prepare yourselves for the fantasy baseball stretch run. I enjoyed a random viewing of the movie Minority Report last week during the down time and, when looking at the reboot-happy nature of Hollywood these days with projects like the new Ghostbusters movie, it got me thinking about a fantasy themed reboot of the 2002 Stephen Spielberg film. It can be called Majority Report starring Grey in the Tom Cruise protagonist role where he can be credited as Ice Tumors or Crime Oust (because a Tom Cruise anagram as an alias to protect his alias somehow makes sense to me) and I could have a cameo role as one of the lesser precogs who is occasionally (but not usually) able to predict the future of the fantasy landscape. I haven’t figured out the plot yet, though it would probably involve Grey stalking Giancarlo for one reason or another. Ok, so it’s more of just an extremely lazy re-imagining than anything else, but last week would’ve been one of those rare scenes that my character was able to predict the transaction future of the fantasy baseball landscape. As of yesterday, the five most added players in ESPN leagues over the past seven days (Koji Uehara, Randal Grichuk, Brandon McCarthy, Hector Santiago, and Yangervis Solarte) as well as two out of the next four most added players (Anthony DeSclafani and Max Kepler) are ones that I discussed in my second half difference maker articles last week (the hitters can be found here while the pitchers can be found here). In short, if these players are still available in your league, add them!
Anyway, let’s move on to a few players who are more likely to still be sitting on the waiver wire, shall we? Here are a few other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:
Kennys Vargas: 7.8% owned; +5.6%
Do you remember this guy? The fantasy sleeper from last season who never woke up? After appearing in 58 disappointing games (5 homers, 29.3% K%, .240/.277/.349 triple slash) for the Twins in 2015, Vargas was banished to the minors for most of the first half of this season. In 82 games at Triple A this season, Vargas’ solid power and plate discipline (14 homers, 53 RBI, 15.5% BB%, 21.9% K%) prompted the Twins to give him another shot. In 9 MLB games (35 plate appearances), Vargas hasn’t disappointed, slashing .379/.486/.897 with 9 runs, 3 homers, and 4 RBI. His walk (17.1%) and strikeout (22.9%) numbers, as well as much improved O-Swing (22.2%) and SwStr (6.9%) numbers suggest that he’s adjusted his approach after an inconsistent start to his career. It’s a very small sample size to be sure, but the early results have been encouraging. If you’re in need of some cheap power, give Vargas a look. TREASURE.
Dylan Bundy: 12.1% owned; +9.1%
When thinking of Bundy, it’s difficult not to conjure up images of the 18-year-old flamethrower with the nasty fourseam/cutter/curve combo that was drafted with the 4th overall pick by the Orioles in the 2011 draft. However, Tommy John surgery in 2013 derailed the top prospect, and he hasn’t quite been the same ever since. Health issues have limited him to just 106 total innings since 2014, and neither his velocity (94.0 FBv in 2016) or control (3.27 BB/9 in 2016) have been quite the same ever since the surgery. Being a flyball pitcher (46.5% FB%) in Camden Yards while facing the formidable lineups of the AL East isn’t an ideal scenario either. Keep an eye on Bundy for 2017 and beyond, but he can probably be safely avoided in 2016. TRASH.
Danny Valencia: 67.2% owned; -3.7%
It might seem like a cop out to include a player as highly owned as Valencia in this article, but owners seem to be legitimately worried about his playing time going forward following the promotion of third base prospect Ryon Healy to the A’s roster. However, the A’s are likely to be sellers prior to this year’s trading deadline, and Valencia is undoubtedly one of their best assets. Expect him to find a new home within the next few weeks, or find his way into the everyday lineup at the 1B/3B/LF/DH positions if he stays put. TREASURE.