by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
According to CBS Sports, there are six players who have been added in at least 30% of their leagues recently (as of Monday). Let’s take a quick look at each of them to try and determine if they are worth adding or not:
Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros – Starting Pitcher
Add Percentage – 47%
We talked about Keuchel about a week ago (click here for the article), declaring that he was a must own option. Clearly the masses have adopted a similar stance at this point (and rightfully so). There’s no reason to go into significant details again here, because if you didn’t add him last week you are already too late. That said, nothing has changed from my stance a week ago and he continues to thrive on the mound. If Keuchel happens to still be available, don’t hesitate because he’s not going to last much longer.
Verdict – Must own in all formats
Drew Pomeranz – Oakland A’s – Starting Pitcher
Add Percentage – 40%
Once considered a top prospect, Pomeranz has had success since being moved from the bullpen to the rotation this season (0.00 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 11.70 K/9 in two starts). He also has a good lineup and a favorable home ballpark, so things definitely appear to be stacking in his favor.
He does have strikeout stuff and getting out of Colorado will also certainly help. If he can continue to generate groundballs (50.8% in 2013) and throw strikes (3.04 BB/9 in ’14, something he always struggled with in the Majors), he is going to be an extremely good option.
Verdict – Must own in all formats
Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles – Relief Pitcher
Add Percentage – 38%
Like Keuchel, we got on the Britton bandwagon early and it was definitely nice to see him get a save opportunity recently. Does that necessarily mean that he’s “the closer” in Baltimore? Of course not. Even if he is, does it mean he’s going to thrive in the role? Again, of course not.
While the numbers have been great thus far, he hasn’t generated strikeouts (6.04 K/9) and has benefited from a lot of luck (.180 BABIP, 86.0% strand rate). That’s not to say that he doesn’t have the makeup to thrive, like his whopping 83.9% groundball rate (57.5% for his Major League career), it just means that it’s not a given.
Verdict – Worth owning, but don’t confuse him with a lock to produce
A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks – Outfielder
Add Percentage – 36%
This is the point in these rankings where things start to get a little bit questionable. Pollock has been hitting the ball well recently and is currently hitting .315 with 5 HR and 6 SB. Of course, he’s also benefited from a .371 BABIP, a completely unrealistic mark given his 12.7% line drive rate.
You could argue that his line drive rate is destined to improve, but at the same time the luck will soon run out. Yes, there is a little bit of power and a little bit of speed, making him worth owning while he’s hot, but don’t get too attached to him. Considering he’s no lock to stick atop the order, the counting stats simply may not be there.
Verdict – Ride him while he’s hot, but be prepared to move on
Rafael Montero – New York Mets – Starting Pitcher
Add Percentage – 31%
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Montero has been a hot add, nor should it be a surprise that he’s been more night sought after than teammate Jacob deGrom. Montero is viewed as the higher upside prospect, while there has been speculation that deGrom could thrive coming out of the bullpen.
Montero had little left to prove in the minors, including an 8.47 K/9 and 1.97 BB/9 over 388.0 innings since 2011. While he is a tick below names like Keuchel and Pomeranz, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t ultimately be the better option.
Verdict – Worth owning in all 12+ team formats, but not a must start
Sean Doolittle – Oakland A’s – Relief Pitcher
Add Percentage – 30%
A pitcher gets a save and the bullpen needy owners flock to him. That’s what happens, and I know many feel that the contract he signed could indicate that he’s the favorite for the job. Personally, I don’t see it.
Oakland has a slew of other options, whether it’s Jim Johnson or Luke Gregerson or Ryan Cook or somebody else. This situation just screams of fantasy frustration for the remainder of the season, so it’s one I’d prefer to avoid unless I was truly desperate for whatever saves I could muster.
Verdict – Only an option for the truly desperate for saves at the moment
Sources – CBS Sports, Fangraphs, Minor League Central