Waiver Wire Guidelines: Is There Value In Either Pablo Lopez or Freddy Peralta?


With teams setting their rotations for the start of the season there are some potentially intriguing names piquing the interest of fantasy owners.  Today let’s take a look at a pair of young starting pitchers who are going to open the season in their team’s starting rotation and determine if they are worth grabbing or not:

Freddy Peralta – Milwaukee Brewers
Peralta has earned a spot in the Brewers rotation, after he showed plenty of strikeout stuff in the Majors over 78.1 IP last season.  Of course that doesn’t mean that there aren’t questions about his upside:

  • Strikeouts – 11.03 K/9
  • Control – 4.60 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 30.5%

Strikeouts are nice, but if you are walking the ballpark and at risk of giving up home runs how good are they?  There is at least a little bit of upside in his groundball rate, as he posted a 0.52 GO/AO in the Majors compared to a 1.10 over his minor league career (1.04 over 61.0 IP at Triple-A).  That doesn’t eliminate the risk of the long ball, especially pitching half his games in Milwaukee, and it’s something that’s going to drag down his appeal.

The control is also going to be an issue, having posted a 4.4 BB/9 at Double-A and 4.1 at Triple-A.  Throw in that the strikeout rate may be slightly inflated and are we really looking to buy into him?  For a team looking to battle for a World Series it’s hard to envision a very long leash.  That’s three significant risks hanging over him, making him a hard sell as an investment.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Too risky to add
  • 12 Team League – Too risky to add
  • 14+ Team League – Worth stashing
  • NL-Only League – Worth stashing
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Worth stashing in dynasty formats

Pablo Lopez – Miami Marlins
Lopez made 10 starts for the Marlins in ’18, posting a 4.14 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 58.2 IP.  Those numbers aren’t going to blow you away, though they came with some intriguing other skills:

  • Strikeouts – 7.06 K/9
  • Control – 2.76 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 50.0%

His ability to avoid walks has always been his best skill, with a minor league 1.3 BB/9.  It’s possible that the groundball rate regresses slightly, though he was using his sinker 26.13% of the time and he could at least stay in the 44-48% range.  Pitching in Miami that would be enough, so the real question is whether or not he’ll be able to improve his strikeout rate, even a little bit.

A 7.0 K/9 in the minor leagues doesn’t give much hope, though he did have a 10.4% SwStr% in the Majors and featured a pair of pitches that generated swings and misses (Whiff%):

  • Changeup – 18.58%
  • Curveball – 16.58%

He hasn’t spent much time at the upper levels of the minors (62.1 IP between Double and Triple-A), but just recently turning 23-years old is it a stretch to see growth?  It’s only 20.0 IP this spring, but he’s certainly shown the potential with a 0.90 ERA to go along with 16 K vs. 1 BB.  The upside is there for a significant step forward, making him an intriguing gamble immediately.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Too risky to add
  • 12 Team League – Worth stashing
  • 14+ Team League – Must add
  • NL-Only League – Must add
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must add

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Reference, MLB.com, MILB.com


      • Nice thx!! Grabbed Pablo last nt so glad to hear we were on the same page 👍 would it be jumping to conclusions to drop gausman for Corbin Burnes in a dyno format??

        • A little bit, though seeing Burnes have more upside isn’t crazy. Flat out dropping Gausman is extreme, I would at least try to quickly shop him and see if you could get something back


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