Waiver Worthy: Should Fantasy Owners Be Targeting Or Ignoring The Recent Hot Additions?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With just under two weeks left in the season fantasy owners are looking for help anywhere they can find it.  You can see it by the names towards the top of the most added lists, many of which are two-start pitchers (as owners reach for any shred of value as they try to maximize wins and strikeouts).  However free agent grabs go beyond that so let’s take a look at two of the most added hitters in both CBS Sports and ESPN and try to determine their value:

 

Adalberto Mondesi – Second Baseman – Kansas City Royals
CBS Sports – +12%, ESPN – +29.8%

He’s assumed the #2 spot in the Royals’ lineup, forming a potentially dynamic 1-2 punch with Whit Merrifield.  The switch hitting middle infielder is hitting .284 with 8 HR and 24 SB over 226 PA in the Majors (through Sunday), after hitting .250 with 5 HR and 10 SB over 133 PA at Triple-A.  There’s never been a question about his speed and while he’s not going to be a 30 HR slugger he’s always shown enough upside in that department to profile as a potential 15/25 type player.  The problem has always been his average, and whether or not he’s going to make enough contact to tap into the other skills.

While the numbers are impressive the underlying concerns remain.  He entered Sunday continuing to show a terrible approach overall:

  • SwStr% – 18.4%
  • O-Swing% – 37.2%

That had continued in September, despite the production, with an 18.7% SwStr% and 35.6% O-Swing%.  Couple that with a bloated Pull% (42.1%), especially for a player who doesn’t have extreme power, and there’s significant risk.  He does have the speed to maintain an inflated BABIP, but a .356?  It’s not likely, and with the risk of the strikeouts bloating Mondesi quickly becomes a tough sell.

It’s not to say that he doesn’t bring some appeal, but things could go south in a hurry and unless you are desperate for stolen bases he’s not a player we’d invest in.

 

Ji-Man Choi – First Baseman – Tampa Bay Rays
CBS Sports – +10%, ESPN – +9.9%

It’s interesting that he’s been among the most added hitters of late, though he has caught fire in September hitting .293 with 4 HR and 12 RBI over 41 AB.  He’s shown a strong approach, staying inside the strike zone (24.6% O-Swing% in September) and that has helped him to hit the ball extremely hard (51.6% Hard%).

Maybe we don’t buy the 30.8% HR/FB that he’s utilized to translate to the power, but over two weeks is anything impossible?  When you have this type of approach and are crushing the ball the way he currently is it’s possible to stay white hot for an extended period.

With your season hanging in the balance you want to capitalize on any hot streak that you can.  Of course he’s shown signs of slowing down over the past three games, going 0-11, and he’s also been a better player at home than on the road:

  • Home – .282/.376/.541
  • Road – .253/.326/.494

It all depends on who you would be replacing him for, but at this point Choi isn’t a player we’d be looking to try and capitalize on.

Sources – Fangraphs, ESPN, CBS Sports

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