Waiver Worthy: With Hoskins Injured, Which Philadelphia Outfielder Is Worth Targeting?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Rhys Hoskins likely headed to the DL, the Phillies will get the opportunity to play both Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams on a fairly regular basis.  Which of the two has the most upside?  Are either must own options if they are available?  Before we look at that, let’s touch on Dylan Cozens (who is expected to replace Hoskins on the active roster).

There’s no questioning Cozens’ power potential (10 HR in 50 games at Triple-A), but he’s been exposed in the strikeout department (last year he owned a 35.8% strikeout rate and entered yesterday with a 38.3% mark).  His 17.0% SwStr% (sixth highest in the International League) almost assures he’ll have further issues and it’s hard to expect him to make much of an impact.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the two potential beneficiaries (all stats are prior to yesterday’s game):

 

Nick Williams
If you just look at his overall numbers, most notably a .229 average, you are going to write him off and say he’s unusable.  That said, when you look at some of the underlying metrics things have been looking up in May:

Month
Average
Home Runs
Strikeout Rate
SwStr%
O-Swing%
Hard%
April.185130.5%17.0%40.4%19.4%
May.275422.4%12.9%34.8%34.2%

Obviously we’d all take him being able to replicate those May numbers, though it’s hardly a guarantee that he can.  Remember he posted a 19.0% SwStr% and 44.6% O-Swing% in ’17, which would indicate that the April marks are closer to the truth.  They key turnaround has been against breaking balls, where he’s posted a 4.35% Whiff% for the month.  It’s nearly impossible to expect him to come reasonably close to that number, and the strikeouts will likely at least stay consistent, though that’s not necessarily crippling.

He’s proven that he can hit the ball hard consistently when he makes contact (23.2% line drive rate in ’17) and there is no doubting his power (21.0% over his career).  Even with a 27ish% strikeout rate, he should continue to improve upon his .275 BABIP and produce at least a usable AVG/OBP.  When coupled with his power, that’s more than enough.

The signs he’s shown in May are promising, and with the opportunity to play he could entrench himself in the lineup moving forward.  Consider him a must own to see what’s possible.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Potentially ownable, but not Must Add
  • 12 Team League – Must Add
  • 14+ Team League – Must Add
  • NL-Only League – Must Add
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must Add

 

Aaron Altherr
He’s been even worse than Williams, hitting .194 over his first 157 PA.  Interestingly he doesn’t chase outside the strike zone as often (25.8% O-Swing%) and while he swings and misses a good amount, it’s not egregious (12.2% SwStr%).  The problem has been a .250 BABIP, and with a career .301 mark there’s reason to believe in an improvement.

He may not have quite as much power as Williams, though he does own a 16.4% HR/FB for his career (including 19 HR in 372 AB last season).  He also has a little bit of speed, routinely stealing 20+ bases in the minor leagues.

Altherr has had better luck in May (.290 BABIP), though he’s a career .237 hitter who consistently has struggled with strikeouts.  Does that make him a poor addition?  Nope, because he could hit .250 with some power and speed, though we’d prioritize Williams if we had our choice.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Potential streamer
  • 12 Team League – Decent Add (but not must add)
  • 14+ Team League – Must Add
  • NL-Only League – Must Add
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must Add

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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

8 comments

  1. Adam says:

    Hey RP, not really power desperate, but who makes for a better pickup/bench stash: Nick Williams or Franmil Reyes?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I like the upside of Williams overall, who should get a nice extended look. It’s close though, but the home ballpark and better supporting cast also has to be factored in

  2. Kyle says:

    Hey RP, Dynasty keep everyone league trade question.

    Alex Reyes and Travis Shaw for Rhys Hoskins

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      That’s not a bad offer, and Hoskins should be the best player. Of course, with both Hoskins and Reyes on the DL now it depends a bit on where you are and what your strategy is for today

  3. Daze says:

    RP
    who do you like better
    Williams, Mac Williamson or Guzman for RBI’s

  4. Keith says:

    I’m wondering if Hoskins is droppable in a 10 team mixed Roto but I’m leaning yes, if he’s out a month.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It would take him being out for well more than a month for me to drop him. Even if he missed a month we saw what he could do last year when he gets scorching hot

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