One of the downsides, if you will, of the deep league format, is that it can be difficult to impossible to improve your team. Things can feel especially frustrating at this time of year, especially if you have holes in your lineup and nowhere to turn to fill them. Instead of completing ignoring my more disappointing teams, though, I like to pay a little extra attention to them in August and September. If nothing else, you might come across a recent call-up or a now-under-the-radar post hype prospect that – even if it’s too late for your team in 2019 – might be a player that is worth knowing more about as your re-group for fantasy baseball in 2020 and beyond. No, there aren’t a ton of exciting free agents out there to add to an NL or AL-only team, but let’s take a look at a handful of names that could be of some potential deep league interest, both for the rest of the season and in some cases, possibly even for the future.
Jon Berti. I was going to write about Berti even before Miguel Rojas went on the IL, but now he is an even stronger lock to continue having his name penciled into the Marlins’ starting lineup. He’s 29 and was never exactly a big name on the prospect radar, but he has looked like a completely competent if not flashy big-league hitter in 2019. He’s now hitting .290, is regularly leading off, and even in one of the most statistically-challenged offensive teams in the majors, could score you some runs and swipe a few bags for you.
Lewis Brinson. Yup, we’re keeping it in the (305) as we move on to another Marlin. I feel like I talk about Brinson every few months from a deep-league perspective… I mean, how can someone who was the centerpiece of a trade for arguably the best current NL hitter just fizzle out and go away? Brinson supposedly spent most of the minor league season working on mechanics and tweaking lots of things, so who knows what’ll happen this time around. I will say this – I’ve only watched one game’s worth of Brinson’s at bats, but he does seem to be focused on going the other way and one does get the vibe that he has a whole new approach at the plate. Will it translate to either MLB or fantasy success? Maybe, maybe not, but why not take a low-risk deep-league flyer and find out?
Roman Quinn. Jay Bruce has been activated from the IL, but while Adam Hasely has been given a ticket to triple A, Quinn remains with the Phillies’ big club. It’s hard not to root for him after watching him in the surreal game where he pitched two innings while Vince Velazquez was making web gems in left field – Quinn had a huge game offensively and pitched a scoreless inning in a tie game. Yet he still ended up taking the elevator from the penthouse to the basement, to paraphrase the legendary Vin Scully, as he ended up not only taking the loss in the game, but striking out looking to end it as well. At any rate, he’ll fill in for the regular members of the Phillies’ outfield from time to time, and he’s capable of swiping a bag or popping the occasional extra-base hit, which is enough to put him on the deep-league radar for the moment.
Jacob Waguespack. I’m pretty desperate for starting pitching in my AL-only league, so am I putting a bid in on Waguespack this weekend when our waivers go through? (He currently holds a 4.00 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and hast struck out 28 batters in 36 innings). Well, I haven’t decided, but I am at least strongly considering it! He is scheduled to face the Yankees on Saturday, so if that goes predictably poorly he may not get another chance, but he’s actually held his own lately: in his last two starts for the Blue Jays, he’s pitched 6 scoreless innings against the Rays, and allowed just one earned run (also 6 innings) against the Royals.
Derek Fisher. I already gave up on Fisher last year in my AL-only league, and now the Astros have given up on him as well. He’s now a Blue Jay, so we’ll see if being under the radar in the world of tossed-aside post-hype prospects helps him finally get some traction as a big league hitter. He hasn’t exactly been tearing up things at the plate lately (though he did have a homer earlier this week), but if nothing else should certainly have a better chance at regular playing time with his new team.
Travis Demeritte. Demeritte was the minor league headliner in Detroit’s Shane Greene trade with the Braves, and, like Fisher, has now found an easier path to the majors. His minor league numbers have been thoroughly meh since a 28 homer/17 steal season in 2016, but one gets the vibe that the Tigers want to take a good look at him over the last couple months of the season. As any good deep-leaguer knows, anyone regularly in a major league lineup is worth something in our world.