Waiver Wire Guidelines: Which Of The Recent Hot Additions Are Worthy (Mancini, Senzatella & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s early in the season so a few big games (or even a few hot AB/IP) have a habit of skewing our outlook.  Does that mean that the impressive numbers should send us scurrying to the waiver wire, though?  Let’s take a look at some of the hotter recent waiver wire additions and try to determine if they are worth the investment or not:

 

Aaron Hicks – New York Yankees – Outfielder
CBS Sports – 7%, ESPN – 6.0%, Yahoo! – 5%

He’s had a big week and is garnering a lot of attention thanks to it (including 3 HR over a three game stretch).  It was a good showing, but is anyone willing to bet on him receiving regular playing time right now?  The Yankees still have a trio of alternative outfielders (Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner & Aaron Judge) and multiple options at DH.

Playing time aside, the power has come courtesy of a 30.0% HR/FB, he’s popping the ball up a lot (30.0% IFFB) and isn’t hitting the ball particularly hard (29.2%).  Yes it’s a small sample size, but does that sound like a profile you want to invest in?  If an injury or trade opens up regular playing time than perhaps, but for now not in anything but the deepest of formats.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Don’t Add
  • 12 Team Leagues – Don’t Add
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Streaming Option
  • AL-Only Leagues – Streaming Option
  • Keeper Leagues – Don’t Add

 

Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles – First Baseman
CBS Sports – 33%, ESPN – 20.4%, Yahoo! – 20%

Mancini has erupted for a pair of 2 HR games over the past week, causing him to be one of the most popular additions in fantasy leagues.  We graded him as a “B-“ prospect prior to the season, when we said:

“He arrived in September of ’16 and gave a glimpse of what could be possible moving forward by launching 3 HR over 14 AB.  Between Double and Triple-A he hit .282 with 20 HR (as well as 26 doubles and 5 triples), though he did see his strikeout rate rise (22.9%) while at Triple-A.  That’s going to be something that needs to be monitored, because while there is some power it’s unlikely he develops into a 30+ HR threat.  Instead he’ll likely be a consistent 20-25 type home run hitter, so he needs to keep his strikeouts in check in order to be able to post a viable average.  It’s possible he operates more as a platoon player (which is how he was deployed late in the year), though he deserves an opportunity to be more than that.”

Those statements still hold true, especially the part about being utilized in a platoon (in fact he’s only started games against started by LHP recently).  While the upside does make him an intriguing stash in deeper leagues, in shallower formats there should be better options that are receiving more consistent playing time.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Don’t Add
  • 12 Team Leagues – Consider Add
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Worth Add
  • AL-Only Leagues – Worth Add
  • Keeper Leagues – Worth Add

 

Antonio Senzatela – Colorado Rockies – Starting Pitcher
CBS Sports – 46%, ESPN – 27.7%, Yahoo! – 22%

The Rockies have suddenly built up some solid young pitching, with Senzatela being one of the many unheralded prospects to hit the ground running.  Over his first three starts he’s posted a 2.37 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, but can he continue to produce at this level?

While he’s shown elite control (1.89 BB/9), neither his strikeout rate (6.63 K/9) nor his groundball rate (45.5%) have been impressive.  More concerning is the complete lack of swings and misses (6.8% SwStr%), and given his 6.6 K/9 in the minors there doesn’t seem to be significant upside.  Throw in the potential to start to be burned by the long ball, especially at home, and the risk may simply outweigh the reward.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Don’t Add
  • 12 Team Leagues – Steaming Add
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Steaming Add
  • NL-Only Leagues – Worth Add
  • Keeper Leagues – Steaming Add

 

Chase Anderson – Milwaukee Brewers – Starting Pitcher
CBS Sports – 39%, ESPN – 20.1%, Yahoo! – 31%

There was a time that Anderson was viewed as a promising option, though after posting ERA of 4.30 and 4.39 in his first two seasons in the Majors the luster had disappeared.  That’s changed once again over his first three starts of ’17, as he’s posted a 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.  Obviously he’s not that good, the question is if he can at least continue to be a strong performer.

There is concern about home runs (42.2% HR/FB), especially when he pitches at home, but the real key is his growth in his strikeout rate (8.00 K/9).  It’s not much data but his fastball velocity is up (92.4 mph) and he’s getting more swinging strikes (10.2% SwStr%).  He’s been incorporating a cut-fastball into his repertoire (16.95%), which he hasn’t given up a hit on yet.  That’s a big development, and with both his changeup (17.65% Whiff%) and curveball (19.23% Whiff%) getting swings and misses the upside is there.

Obviously there are going to be bumps along the road, but he’s an intriguing option in all formats right now.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Steaming Add
  • 12 Team Leagues – Worth Add
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Must Add
  • NL-Only Leagues – Must Add
  • Keeper Leagues – Worth Add

 

Sources – CBS Sports, ESPN, Yahoo!, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Reference

Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings:

Top 50 Prospects1-50
Catcher1-10
First Base1-10
Second Base1-10
Shortstop1-10
Third Base1-10
Outfielders:1-1011-20
Right Handed Pitchers:1-1011-20
Left Handed Pitchers:1-10

10 comments

  1. Gern says:

    Hey Prof,
    I’m thinking about going after Carlos Martinez in my leagues as a potential but-low bounce back candidate. What do you think would be fair value for him after last night’s meltdown. In one league I have a glut of 1b (c Davis, Myers, Morales, Abreu, Belt) and the team I’d trade for has Zimmerman starting at 1b. Is Belt too low? Suggestions?

  2. Gern says:

    Buy low…

    I’m trying to gauge the level of player that might work.

    Also, what do you think it might take to get Bomgardener after his accident?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Tough to gauge Bumgarner until we know how long he’s going to miss.

      As for Martinez Belt may be a little too low, but worth a shot. If an owner is really frustrated you never know

      • Gern says:

        Thanks Prof!

        One more, Moncada. When might you pick him up in a 12-team league. One rotisserie and two head to head with daily roster moves. Thanks!

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          Saladino’s struggles are helping his cause, but the strikeouts are an issue and he could have problems upon arriving. I could see stashing him in a few weeks, just in case, but I’m not as excited as many

          • Gern says:

            That’s my sense as well, particulary as eager as he’s looked at the plate and the subsequent strike outs. Thanks!

  3. DRS says:

    I am in a dynasty league and in total rebuild mode. I have some good core pieces like Arenado, Story, A. Diaz, Urias and tons of great prospects. I am targeting a top 10 player with some of my remaining older pieces. Do you do the following deal knowing you wont contend for at least 2 years and have a roster full of good young players and prospects:

    Cano, McCutchen, S. Perez, Salazar

    For

    Machado, D’Arnaud, M. Fried, Forsyth

    Or does this feel like an overpay?

    Thanks!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Seems like an overpay, because 2 years down the road not sure anyone but Machado is an asset for you. While dealing McCutchen/Perez works, Cano/Salazar should still be good pieces and all have significant value now. Maybe try to improve the backend?

  4. Steve says:

    Along a similar line of the guys above, I really love Robbie Grossman. His plate discipline is outstanding and hit bat to ball ability is really coming to fruition, (these aren’t stabilized yet but) 47% hard hit rate with 4.7% Swinging strikes, yes please!

    Oh and he’s the full time DH and a switch hitter.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Agreed that he’s been impressive, but his improved discipline hasn’t led to power (nor the upside of any) and he doesn’t have big SB potential. Without one of those, I wouldn’t get overly excited

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