Waiver Worthy: Is It Worth Jumping On The Recent Hot Adds?

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

10 comments

  1. Nick says:

    Very helpful.

  2. TommyL says:

    Surely Doolittle is a must-own in any rotisserie league with saves as a category? He’s been officially anointed the closer going forward, has a 30:1 K:B ratio and 0.82 WHIP in 22 innings this season. If that’s not must-own material I’m not sure what is, and I’d certainly own him over Britton, and perhaps anyone else on this list (depending on needs of course). But agree with the rest, keep up the good work!

    • bbboston says:

      Totally agree on Doolittle and people have clearly underestimated the import of the A’s effort to sign him to an extended deal when Johnson’s wheels started to come off. Doolittle’s performance last night was particularly impressive. Running beyond ten pitches and still having a 2-2 count on Myers was incredibly impressive; getting the K after that marathon at bat was the kind of thing that makes coaches believe.

      Both Britton and Doolittle are in a place where their profiles are clearly superior to their competition, regardless of whether they “seem” like closers. Most importantly, both have been equally impressively affective against right handed batters as left handed bats, making the fact that both are lefties immaterial.

  3. Evan says:

    I imagine that this was written before Doolittle was anointed the closer, so indeed, if edits are too be made post-announcement then that is certainly one to update.

    I will echo about the good work. I haven’t been able to find the combination of vast quantity and great quality of work anywhere else. Thanks Rotoprofessor writers.

  4. Evan says:

    Note: I am referring to articles when I mentioned quality/quantity. Daily player updates are another type of site.

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    First of all yes, this was written prior to the news and I wasn’t at the comp. this morning to amend the Doolittle bit. Obviously, he is a must own option for as long as he’s closing (though it’s no guarantee that he holds the job).

    Evan – Thanks for the kind words. We do what we can and are glad to help you out!

    And thanks to everyone for their support!

  6. bbboston says:

    Rotoprofessor:
    Haven’t seen whether Danny Duffy has become a “hot add”, but I imagine that would be the case. I would be particularly interested to see your comparative analysis, if possible, although I know in general you like him.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I will actually have my take on him going up tomorrow afternoon, so make sure to check back for that!

  7. bbboston says:

    Another question: What do you think about Nick Martinez?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He could be solid. That said, he needs to do a better job of generating swings and misses in the Majors (5.0%) and rediscover his control. Plus, he’s not a major groundball pitcher and that could spell trouble in Texas.

      Right now, he has upside but is more of a streamer for me.

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