(Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire)
Every Tuesday from now until the end of the season, we will be taking a look at players with under 15% ownership that should be on your radar in deep leagues. The majority of fantasy baseball leagues are mixed leagues with 10-12 teams, however we know many of you play in 18-20 team leagues and/or AL/NL only formats. This column is for you all.
It’s the All-Star break and if you’re anything like me, you keep opening up your fantasy app and getting disappointed, remembering there is no fantasy baseball until Friday. However, using this time to make some savvy fantasy baseball moves can be the difference between a first and second place finish toward the end of the season. Here is your weekly dose of deep league players to keep an eye on:
Trevor Cahill, SP, OAK (14.0% owned)
Cahill’s first start back from the disabled list didn’t go well, but that’s to be expected in a DLH situation against the Astros. The veteran right-hander is still holding a solid 3.10 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. His 2.14 BB/9 is a career low, and his 3.14 FIP and 3.34 SIERA support his performance so far this season. Cahill is legit, and as long as he can stay healthy he should easily exceed his value as the No. 85 ranked pitcher on The List. Scoop him up in deeper leagues and keep him in mind as a streamer in shallower formats.
Jake Cave, OF, MIN (2.7% owned)
Since July 1, Twins outfielder Jake Cave has slashed a blistering .395/.422/.674 with eight extra base hits and 12 runs scored. He has taken over the everyday job in center field – and although he’s hitting near the bottom of the order he has still provided a fair amount of counting stats. I wouldn’t expect his .312/.346/.558 to last, as he’s boasting a .412 BABIP and an ugly 28.4% strikeout rate. Still, he’s worth a look in deeper formats, at least while he’s hot.
Mike Fiers, SP, DET (13.0% owned)
Mike Fiers has thrown four consecutive quality starts, lowering his ERA from 4.04 to 3.70. He has a stellar 18/3 K/BB ratio in that time. Of course, Fiers’ 3.70 ERA comes with a lowly 6.54 K/9 and a worrisome 4.48 SIERA. Still, his performance this season certainly merits being owned in more than just 13% of leagues. In any format beyond a 12-teamer, he’s worth owning.
Leury Garcia, OF, CWS (0.7% owned)
Leury Garcia did this last year, where he just has an absolutely torrid stretch. Since returning from the DL on June 22, Garcia is slashing .344/.355/.475 with a pair of home runs and seven RBI. He’s only stolen one base since then, but he does have ten on the year. If you need a cheap source of steals, he’s your guy. Of course, he only has a 3.1% walk rate and a 23.8% strikeout rate, and his .290 average is being propped up by a .368 BABIP. He won’t have 10 or 12-team value, but he’s available in 99% of leagues – so he’s worth a look in a lot of formats that he’s available in.
Adalberto Mondesi, 2B/SS, KC (2.7% owned)
The artist formerly known as Raul is still just 22 years old, even though it feels like he’s been a Royals prospect forever. He has yet to produce with the stick in the big leagues, but has put up a respectable .297/.316/.514 in his last ten games – with two home runs and two steals. If you need a cheap source of steals, Mondesi is a great name to keep on your radar in the second half.
Joey Wendle, 2B/OF, TB (3.1% owned)
I’ve been waiting for an excuse to add Joey Wendle to one of these lists, as I’ve owned him in my AL-only league since April. His six hits and six RBI over his last three games did the trick. Wendle is slashing a solid .283/.331/.394 on the year, with four home runs and seven steals. He’s basically an empty batting average who will get a handful of steals, but in deeper leagues he carries value. Wendle sits against left-handers, so for those of you in deep daily leagues – snap up Wendle and start him against right-handers.