by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Yesterday the Texas Rangers were dealt a tough blow, with Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder both landing on the DL (the latter could be lost for the season). While this should finally clear regular AB for Jurickson Profar, he’s likely already owned in most formats. The more intriguing name could be Delino Deshields Jr., who was recalled to fill one of the two open spots on the roster.
With speed being so difficult to find off the waiver wire, he’s certainly a name that you are going to watch closely (and in deeper formats scoop up immediately). It’s easy to be discouraged, considering how bad he was earlier this year (.217 with 4 SB over 121 PA), but let’s not forget that it was in a fairly small sample size. That’s not to say that he’s going to be an All Star, but he’s better than that.
For one, he continued to show a strong command of the strike zone:
- SwStr% – 10.5%
- O-Swing% – 23.5%
Yes he was swinging and missing a little bit too much, but again it is a bit of a small sample size (8.2% last season). He wasn’t chasing pitches outside the strike zone, much like he did in his rookie year (19.7% O-Swing% in ’15) and should improve on his 26.4% strikeout rate.
Before you point towards his 24.1% mark at Triple-A after his demotion, he had clearly taken a step forward with his recent performance. In 47 AB in July he had struck out 8 times while drawing 16 BB. Clearly he’s locked in, so hopefully he can take that performance with him to the Majors.
There’s no questioning his speed, which should allow him to carry an elevated BABIP (.349 at Triple-A this season), and with an improved strikeout rate he should hit around .260 (he was at .261 in the minors this season). He also has a little bit more power than your typical speedster, having hit 11 HR at Double-A in ’14. He’s not a threat to hit 10-15 the rest of the way, but even if he can chip in 3-5 with his speed, that’s a potential difference maker.
Considering the issues Texas has had atop the batting order (.317 OBP is the eighth worst in the Majors), it’s possible Deshields gets returned to the spot immediately. It could be Profar as well, though it’s possible the team prefers to deploy him in the middle of the order. Time will tell, but hitting atop the order would only help add to the appeal.
Deshields is hardly a lock to produce, but it was just last season that he hit .261 with 25 SB in 425 AB. He had also been producing recently at Triple-A and, if given the opportunity, could make an immediate impact. With that in mind he’s well worth grabbing, especially in deeper formats, to see if you can catch lightning.
Waiver Wire Guidelines:
- 10 Team Leagues – May be slightly too shallow
- 12 Team Leagues – Worth stashing
- 14+ Team Leagues – Must own
- AL-Only Leagues – Must own
- Keeper Leagues – Worth stashing
Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com, MLB.com