26 Jul Fantasy Baseball: Week 17 Waiver Wire Targets
By: Mike Stromme – @stromme_93
The dog days of summer are upon us, don’t let them bite you. Here are some players to target off the waiver wire this week. You can hear a full break down on the MLB Diamond Dash Podcast which can be found right here.
Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox:
In an attempt to plug a seemingly bottomless pit at third base, the Boston Red Sox called up top prospect Rafael Devers from AAA Pawtucket late last week.
Devers, a consensus top-five prospect in the eyes of many experts, spent the vast majority of the season at AA Portland; where he hit a whopping .300-18-48. He was then promoted to AAA for nine games, hit .400 (14/38) with a couple of home runs. Since turning pro in 2014, the 20-year-old hasn’t hit below .280 at any level of baseball.
With the non-waiver trade deadline a mere days away, the Red Sox need to see what they have in their last remaining top prospect in a short amount of time. With the team’s glaring need for production at the hot corner, the Red Sox need to see what this kid can do at the Major League level in a hurry. In an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle, he could set the league (and your fantasy team), on fire.
He clearly has the tools, but as we all assume, hitting Big League pitching has its challenges. If he struggles right away, the Red Sox could panic and make a deal for an established Major League third basemen.
There’s no questioning Devers’ talent, but I’d tread lightly on the FAAB in shallower formats. That being said, if you want to take a flyer on the kid, you better make your move. He’s currently owned in 29.6% of ESPN.com leagues with an ownership increase of 24.1% over the last seven days.
Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds:
No, not THAT Luis Castillo.
Since his promotion in late June, Castillo has been a strikeout machine! In his first 7 starts (40IP), he’s struck out 45. Up until last night’s start in The Bronx, he hadn’t struck out fewer than 5 in any start.
Just before the All-Star Break, there was a stretch where he pitched at Coors and at Chase Field (Coors Light). In those two starts, he allowed just four runs on 12 hits, walked two and struck out 16 over 12.1 IP. Not bad for a rookie!
He has an xFIP of just 3.66, compared to his 3.86 ERA. The peripheral numbers suggest that Castillo is legit, and I’m buying-in. He’s got a high-90s fastball paired with an above-average slider, that’s typically a recipe for success.
He’s 21.1% owned on ESPN.com, and I firmly believe that he’s viable in 12-team mixed leagues.
Amed Rosario, New York Mets:
No, he hasn’t been called-up just yet. But, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Baseball America’s number four prospect could be on his way to Queens in “the next week or so.
Rosario has been CRUSHING IT in the uber-hitter friendly PCL for AAA Las Vegas; hitting .329-7-55 with 17 stolen bases. He hasn’t shown this much power in any other level of the minors before (career-high 5 in 2016 in 527 PA between High-A and AA), so that might be a product of hitting in the PCL. But, the hit tool and speed are definitely legitimate.
He’ll have a Devers-like spike in ownership percentage the second word gets out that the Mets have dealt Asdrubal Cabrera. So, I recommend a preemptive strike. If you’re in desperate need of steals, or some help up the middle, in 12-team formats or deeper; now might be the time to stash Rosario.