To add Addy, or not to add Addy, that is the question. Although it’s more than likely too late (in your league) to add the latest top prospect from the Cubs. The virtual “add” button has taken a pounding with the hype surrounding the shortstop turning second baseman, Addison Russell.
If it is too late, not to worry. He may be just taking up space on your opponents bench for now. I just get the feeling that it could take some time for this youngster to progress. Besides, by the time he begins to break through the Major League membrane he may once again be available due to the impatience of his owners. George Springer had a very slow start last year and impatient owners lost out by the time he started raking in May.
Here’s a rundown on other valuable players who just aren’t getting enough love:
Addison Russell (57% owned in Yahoo Leagues) The Cub’s new second baseman, who is yet another top prospect to come out of the organization, is no secret. He has the “Add” button worn out. Maybe for good reason. His career Minor League stats include a .377 OBP, a .520 SLG and 44 SB in 244 games. To this point the Russell has 2 hits in 18 AB. He’s 21 yrs. old and looks even younger, so there could be some growing pains to go through before we see a breakthrough.
Ender Inciarte (40% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Now leading off for the D-Backs… Ender… Ender. What a great name for a lead-off hitter. Inciarte is one of the reasons that Yasmany Tomas was sent to the Minors at the end of Spring Training. He doesn’t have much power, but he’s capable of 30-plus steals (he had 19 SB in 118 GP last year for the D-Backs) and he has been leading off for the D-Backs on a regular basis. If it’s speed you are looking for he could be your streamer given the right week.
Dexter Fowler (39% owned in Yahoo Leagues) You know exactly what you’re getting with Fowler and maybe that’s why he doesn’t have too many owners. There’s no upside left, but it is worth noting where he is hitting – in front of 3 of the best young hitters in the game, namely Soler, Rizzo and Bryant. He already has 11 runs in 15 games. This makes it very easy to project over 150 games. Even I can do that math. Keep in mind, Fowler has never managed to play 150 in a single season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play him while the gettin’s good. And Fowler’s no slouch on the base paths. He has 4 steals already.
DJ LeMahieu (36% owned in Yahoo Leagues) The Rockies made the right choice in keeping him over Josh Rutledge, who is currently in the Angel’s farm system. LeMahieu is currently the second best hitter in the N.L. He’s got 21 hits and he’s done most of it hitting from the 8th and 9th spot in the order. With Rutledge gone, he may have slipped into a positive comfort zone. Don’t hesitate to add him, even if it’s just for streaming purposes. I’m willing to bet it won’t be. We are looking at a much improved professional.
Alex Guerrero (9% owned in Yahoo Leagues) As I write this Guerrero has just hit his 4th long ball in his 17th at bat. It now seems impractical that the sentimental favorite, Juan Uribe, should steal any at bats from this Cuban. Unlike many of his mysterious countrymen, Guerrero has some Minor League sampling: he had 15 HR in just 65 Triple A games last year, with a .994 OPS. However, his numbers came with the Albuquerque Isotopes, a team (and home ballpark) famous for producing exaggerated stats. The second baseman will have fewer growing pains than your average rookie, as he’s already 28 yrs. old. I’d keep him around to see what he (and Maddeningly) might do, if you have the room on your bench.
Watch List Candidate
Jimmy Paredes (2% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Do the Orioles know something we don’t? Buck Showalter has been so impressed with Paredes that he’s slotting him in the 2-spot and as a DH at times. Paredes has some pop (2 homers already) and very good legs (187 steals in 699 Minor League games, which works out to 40 SB for every 150 GP) It will be interesting to see what the 26 yr. old can do with regular at bats. However, things will tighten up a little when Matt Wieters returns, as he may be used as a DH to ease him back into the game.
Edison Volquez (59% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Volquez is continuing where he left off last year when he allowed 166 hits over 192.2 innings. Up until last year his control (and therefore his WHIP, as well) has not been great. He seems to have addressed this issue as he finished with a 1.23 WHIP in 2014. His new home stadium (Kaufman) in K.C. is a pitcher’s ballpark, so everything points to a higher ownership as the season progresses.
Archie Bradley (52% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Bradley’s Minor League stats display somewhat of a conundrum for waiver wire shoppers. Throughout the Minors he averaged a .210 BAA and a 1.29 WHIP. Last year those numbers climbed to a mediocre .248 BAA and a putrid 1.51 WHIP. His control was not there. So, just be aware we could have another Matt Moore in the making, but so far so good.
Carlos Rodon (49% owned in Yahoo Leagues) All the rage in Week 3, Rodon got off to a rocky start on Tuesday in his debut appearance. The White Sox brought him in the 6th to “relieve” the guy he will probably end up replacing in the rotation, Hector Noesi. Rodon allowed 3 hits, 3 walks and 2 earned runs over 2.1 innings, hurting his chances of a quick move to the rotation. Let’s chalk this one up to nerves. Rodon has all the talent to be an elite pitcher. It may take some time to get there, but we can’t ignore the talent. The bigger question: when will he move from the bullpen to the rotation? This is another stash for patient owners.
Jesse Hahn (40% owned in Yahoo Leagues) I can’t figure out a lot of things regarding Jesse Hahn. I can’t figure out why the Padres were so willing to let him go. Last season he had a 7 and 4 record, and in 73.1 innings he allowed just 57 hits, with 70 K. But the number that really sticks out is his .214 BAA. This is nothing new for Hahn, and his 2015 BAA stands at .213 so far. As well, I can’t figure out why he is only owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues. Get to the wire.
Jimmy Nelson (38% owned in Yahoo Leagues) The Brewers are floundering in last place in the Majors right now and may be already looking toward the future. They don’t have (m)any established arms in the rotation. This will allow Nelson plenty of room to show what he can do, with much less pressure to perform, as they look for him to be a part of the solution. So far he’s been very tough to hit. Over his first 3 games Nelson has allowed just 10 hits and 3 runs. This includes a 2-hitter in 7 IP against the Pirates and a 3-hitter in 8 IP vs the Reds. If you’re willing to ignore his horrible debut last year, and look more at his stellar Minor League run, then you may have an ace on your team.
Chris Heston (31% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Speaking of Minor League conundrum initiators, this disparity has to be displayed in a table. Here are Heston’s stats from his two years in Triple A Fresno (PCL):
Watch List Candidates
Nick Martinez (24% owned in Yahoo Leagues) My gut says not to go with Martinez. You won’t even have the benefit of high strikeout totals if he does begin to falter. The bandbox at Arlington is enough to shy anyone away, as well, but he is probably worth keeping an eye on.
Brandon Morrow (18% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Morrow didn’t exactly survive Coors Field on Tuesday – he allowed 5 runs and 6 hits over 6 innings – but this is probably as bad as it’s going to get. Let’s see how he makes out against the Dodgers on Sunday and take it from there.
Odrisamer Despaigne (13% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Do not hesitate to pick up Despaigne if and when a spot opens up in the rotation. He did a masterful job of filling in for Ian Kennedy for 2 games against the D-Backs and the Rockies. He has allowed just 8 hits and 3 runs over 18.2 innings. And he made out a lot better than his teammate, Morrow, at Coors Field, where he allowed just 2 earned runs over 6 innings. What more could you ask for against the powerhouse Rockies that make their home games look like some kind of extended batting practice?