Waiver Wire Guidelines: Should Fantasy Owners Rush To Add Corbin Martin or Cole Irvin?

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When a new young player is promoted to the Majors there are always a surge of questions.  Will they be able to produce immediately?  Are they worth running to the wire to add?  There are two intriguing promotions coming today, so let’s try to answer whether or not they are worth grabbing and if they can perform:

Corbin Martin – Houston Astros – Right-Handed Pitcher
Pitching at Triple-A Martin has posted an impressive 1.48 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over 24.1 IP., though the underlying skills aren’t quite as rosy:

  • Strikeouts – 10.36 K/9
  • Control – 4.07 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 47.1%

Groundballs had been his strongest skill, including a 1.33 GO/AO last season, but he hasn’t been getting the same results this year (0.90 GO/AO this year).  It is a relatively small sample size but it’s still a number worth watching.

He has shown the ability to generate swings and misses (SwStr% of 12.7% in ’18 and thus far in ’19) and his control is better than he’s shown this season (2.45 BB/9 in ’18).  That gives a sense of hope, especially if he can rediscover his ability to generate groundballs.

Here’s a scouting report, courtesy of Baseball America prior to the season:

Martin sits 93-95 mph and touches 97 mph. His plus fastball earns those grades for his above-average command and control as much as the pitch’s velocity. He locates well to all four corners of the zone. Martin mixes in a slider and curveball. Both earn above-average grades on his best days, with his slider being a little more consistent than his curve. His changeup improved this year from being a below-average to a potentially average pitch. 

There’s appeal and upside, but there also are questions considering the numbers this season.  While he’s a must own in keeper/dynasty leagues (as well as those in deeper formats), those in shallower formats will want to take a more cautious approach.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Monitor for now
  • 12 Team League – Addable (but not must add)
  • 14+ Team League – Must add
  • AL-Only League – Must add
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must add

Cole Irvin – Philadelphia Phillies – Left-Handed Pitcher
In six starts at Triple-A this season he owns a 2.25 ERA over 36.0 IP.  There has been solid control, but that’s the only “skill” that shows promise:

  • Strikeouts – 5.75 K/9
  • Control – 2.00 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 38.8%

Sure there were more strikeouts (7.31 K/9) and groundballs (46.2%) over 161.1 IP at Triple-A last season, but would even those numbers excite you?  A 9.6% SwStr% isn’t going to give you hope that he’s going to see a significant spike in strikeouts, and good control can only take you so far.

Pitching in a hitter friendly ballpark there’s a big risk of home runs, and that just further complicates the issue.  At this point he’s a pitcher that’s hardly worth the gamble for most.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Don’t Add
  • 12 Team League – Don’t Add
  • 14+ Team League – Addable (but not must add)
  • NL-Only League – Addable (but not must add)
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Addable (but not must add)

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball America

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