Deep League Waiver Worthy: Should We Consider Adding Jesse Winker Or Kaleb Cowart?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

For those who play in the deepest of formats, hitting the waiver wire is never easy.  Who is widely available and could potentially help your fantasy squad?  Let’s take a look at two players recently recalled and try to determine if they are worth adding or not:


Jesse Winker – Cincinnati Reds
Winker made a splash upon returning to the Majors, homering in each of his first two games.  Before anyone gets overly excited, keep in mind that he had managed just 2 HR over 299 AB at Triple-A this season (adding just 22 doubles, leading to a .408 SLG).  In 2016 at Triple-A he hit 3 HR (and 22 doubles) over 380 AB, meaning he hit a HR once every 135.8 AB over the past two seasons at the highest level of the minors.  Thinking that he’ll supply power in the Majors would be a significant mistake.

His strongest attribute is his eye at the plate, as he owned a 13.3% strikeout rate vs. 11.0% walk rate at Triple-A prior to being recalled.  He’s carried that into the Majors (5.6% SwStr%, 17.6% O-Swing%), but is that really enough?  Without power or speed, there just isn’t enough upside to consider utilizing him in anything but the deepest of formats (and even then, you may be able to find more upside).

Verdict – Pass


Kaleb Cowart – Los Angeles Angels
A switch hitter, Cowart produced impressive numbers at Triple-A prior to being recalled as he hit .311 with 12 HR and 19 SB.  The former first round pick has seen time in the Majors each of the past three seasons, though maybe now he’s finally ready to produce.  He’s lowered his strikeout rate at Triple-A each of the past three seasons:

  • 2015 (253 PA) – 25.3%
  • 2016 (458 PA) – 21.8%
  • 2017 (414 PA) – 17.6%

He has been playing in the Pacific Coast League, so it’s easy to dismiss the power, though last season he had 34 doubles, 5 triples and 9 HR (this season he had 25 doubles and 1 triple).  It’s also hard not to buy into a 12.5% HR/FB and it’s not like he’s swinging for the fences (32.7% fly ball rate).  Expect him to chip in 6-9 HR with some speed, something no one is questioning, so there’s definite appeal.  As long as the AB are there, he’s worth the gamble.

Verdict – Buy


Sources – Fangraphs,, CBS Sports

Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!


  1. Beans says:

    What’s up Professor? Do you see J Montgomey returning at all this yr? My playoffs start in week 23. I don’t want to drop him if there is a chance he returns for a start or 2 during the fantasy playoffs. Thanks for the time. He is not a keeper btw

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      There’s definitely a chance, as I could see a scenario where he replaces Jaime Garcia (or an injury forces their hand)

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