Waiver Worthy: Could Two Recently Recalled Hitters Make An Impact This Time Around?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to get excited when a player who was supposed to have value returns from a stint in the minors.  Have they figured something out?  Can they produce this time around?  There were a pair of players recalled yesterday who fit the bill, so let’s take a look and try to decide what type of value they may have moving forward:

 

Devon Travis – Second Baseman – Toronto Blue Jays
After struggling to start the year Travis was demoted to Triple-A.  While he’s getting another opportunity in the Majors, should we really care?  Maybe if he had been producing while at Triple-A, but that was hardly the case:

.210 (13-62), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R, 1 SB

He was showing a better contact rate, with a 10.9% strikeout rate compared to a 29.0% mark in the Majors (69 PA), but is that enough?  He continued to struggle drawing walks (3.1%), but he was hitting the ball hard (25.5% line drive rate), wasn’t swinging for the fences (36.4% fly ball rate) and wasn’t swinging and missing (3.6% SwStr%).  A .222 BABIP was obviously the issue, so maybe there’s a glimmer of hope that he can catch fire and deliver.Of course he hasn’t been showing much extra base upside, with 2 doubles, 1 triple and 2 HR total on the season.  He also hasn’t been running (1 SB, which came at Triple-A), and since he will likely hitting near the bottom of an unimpressive lineup exactly what is there to like?

Travis continues to have a least a little bit of upside, but if we are going to bank on a strong average there’s little reason to have much hope.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Pass
  • 12 Team League – Pass
  • 14+ Team League – Flier if you are desperate for 2B
  • AL-Only League – Worth gamble
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Same as above (meaning no additional value based on keeper potential)

 

Daniel Vogelbach – First Baseman – Seattle Mariners
The injuries are mounting for the Mariners, which could provide an opportunity for Vogelbach to play regularly (at least in the short-term).  He was raking while at Triple-A, hitting .301 with 9 HR over 83 AB.  More importantly he was showing an elite approach, with 10 K vs. 22 BB while posting an elite 2.8% SwStr%.  Even in the Majors he has been solid in that regard (9.7% SwStr%, 20.2% O-Swing%), and no one is going to question the power.  So what’s not to like?

There’s no question that his 32.8% strikeout rate in the Majors will improve, and while there is the risk of him trying to go home run happy (49.3% fly ball rate at Triple-A) if he’s going to do that while not striking out a significant amount it’s not as big of a problem.  He has the power to hit the ball out of any ballpark, and to do that you need to put the ball in the air.

The key here is going to be regular playing time, because if he gets it he has the potential to make an impact immediately across the board (outside of stolen bases).   He can hit for power and the profile is there to at least post a solid average (think .270+).  If you have a need, that’s going to make him a gamble worth taking.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Too shallow
  • 12 Team League – Worth gamble
  • 14+ Team League – Must add
  • AL-Only League – Must add
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must add

Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com

Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings?  Make sure to check it out by clicking here.  

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