Fantasy Fallout: Are We Buying Taijuan Walker And/Or Brett Phillips After Their Trades

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The MLB Trade Deadline is fast approaching and yesterday brought a pair of “smaller”, yet interesting trades for fantasy owners. Let’s take a look at the two trades and determine the fantasy fallout:

The Blue Jays Acquire Taijuan Walker

Toronto gave up a player to be named later, so this deal is all about Walker. Over his first 5 starts (27.0 IP) he’s shown some interesting skills, though you have to wonder if it’s enough:

  • Strikeouts – 8.33 K/9
  • Control – 2.67 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 36.8%

While the strikeouts have been solid, his 7.4% SwStr% and 21.1% O-Swing% doesn’t offer much hope for continued success. He appears to have changed his approach, using his fastball just 32.87% of the time, but regardless of what he’s thrown he simply hasn’t gotten many swings and misses (a 10.53% Whiff% represents his best mark).

With a 43.4% Hard%, the risk of home run problems and now having to try to navigate the AL East, the risks would appear to far outweigh the potential rewards. He’s a player that can easily be ignored for now.

The Rays Acquire Brett Phillips

Phillips failed to find regular playing time in Kansas City, as the left-handed hitter was hitting .226 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 8 R and 3 SB over 34 PA. He’s always shown upside in terms of power and speed, but the question has been whether or not he can make enough contact to tap into it.

It was a limited sample, but he was showing an improved approach this season with a 10.7% SwStr%. Is that enough to believe? Probably not, especially since it’s hard to envision the Rays handing him a regular job. The Rays are a team that routinely play matchups and already have a crowded mix:

  • Austin Meadows
  • Kevin Kiermaier
  • Hunter Renfroe
  • Maniel Margot
  • Yoshi Tsutsugo

The team has also used Brandon Lowe and others. Maybe the move shows that Kiermaier’s back issue is more severe than originally thought, but even then it’s impossible to envision Phillips making much of an impact.

Source – Fangraphs

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