by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We are always looking to dig deep and find a gem that no one else is looking towards. Sometimes an opportunity comes from a player gaining a new role and sometimes it’s a struggling player who has always shown potential. Let’s take a look at two players likely sitting on the waiver wire who could appear to have value and determine if they are actually worth owning (all stats are through Tuesday):
Jose Pirela – San Diego Padres – Second Baseman/Outfielder
He’s gotten off to a tremendous start, hitting .484 with 2 HR and 7 RBI over 35 PA (8 games). While it’s been an impressive run, seeing him settle in atop the batting order, it’s fair to wonder if there’s any chance that he can maintain the production.
Just glancing at some of the metrics tell us his current pace is unsustainable:
- BABIP – .591
- HR/FB – 40.0%
He’s always been a groundball hitter in the Majors (54.5% over parts of four seasons, 54.2% in ’17), which isn’t much different to what he was doing at Triple-A prior to his recall (49.3%). That’s not conducive to hitting for power. While he had 13 HR at Triple-A, it’s the Pacific Coast League so we have to take it with a grain of salt.
There’s some speed, so maybe he’s a 10/10 player, though the average will obviously plummet. While he’s opened with a 25.0% line drive rate, he was at 14.2% at Triple-A. He does make good contact, but that’s only going to carry him so far. Think of him more as a .270ish hitter, with a touch of power and a touch of speed.
There’s value there, but he’s hardly an elite option and is no guarantee to keep his job once Manuel Margot returns to the lineup. Ride the hot streak, but be prepared to cut bait and move on.
Waiver Wire Guidelines:
- 10 Team Leagues – Pass
- 12 Team Leagues – Too Shallow
- 14+ Team Leagues – Worthy Add
- NL-Only Leagues – Worthy Add
- Keeper Leagues – League Size Dependent
Jacob Faria – Tampa Bay Rays – Pitcher
He’s certainly made an impression over his first two starts, posting a 1.42 ERA and 0.95 WHIP while showing all three skills we look for:
- Strikeouts – 9.24 K/9
- Walks – 2.13 BB/9
- Groundballs – 48.5%
It’s easy to get excited by the numbers, and the strikeouts were also there at Triple-A (12.89 K/9). That said we need to tap the brakes a little bit. Groundballs have never been his forte, posting marks of 39.0% and 41.5% at Triple-A over the past two seasons. He’s also never been known for elite control, including a 3.38 BB/9 at Triple-A this season and 2.9 over his minor league career.
Some control issues + Potential for home runs + Pitching in the AL East = Potential problems
There is plenty of upside, making him worth stashing thanks to the strikeout stuff (12.7% SwStr%), but don’t consider it a lock that he keeps on producing.
Waiver Wire Guidelines:
- 10 Team Leagues – Too Shallow
- 12 Team Leagues – Worthy Add (but not must add)
- 14+ Team Leagues – Must Add
- AL-Only Leagues – Must Add
- Keeper Leagues – Worthy Add
Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Reference
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||June 3|
|Second Base||June 5|