Week 16 Waiver Wire Adds – 15% Rostered Or Fewer

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players rostered in less than 15% of fantasy leagues who you should consider picking up. Many of these players will have the most value in deeper leagues where waiver wire options aren’t as plentiful. Still, they could also occasionally be useful additions in other, more standard-sized leagues depending on your options at their position. This week it’s Zach Jackson, Brooks Raley, Jose Trevino, and Raimel Tapia who are worth your time as potential additions in deep leagues.

All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via Yahoo fantasy leagues as of Sunday afternoon.

 

Zach Jackson – 9%

 

Oakland’s most utilized reliever in high-leverage situations this season, Jackson has enjoyed a quality campaign with the A’s so far, pitching to a 2.82 ERA and a 2.57 FIP in 38.1 innings of work. He’s surrendering 6.57 walks per nine frames, which is certainly unideal, but the 27-year-old is in part counteracting those walks with plenty of strikeouts – 12.68 per nine innings to be exact. Crucially, he’s yet to allow a home run so far.

Perhaps most crucially for fantasy managers is that he’s a potential save option for later. Jackson, Dany Jiménez, Lou Trivino, and A.J. Puk are the only relievers in Mark Kotsay’s bullpen who have at least one save this season.

Oakland Relievers With a Save or Saves This Season

With Jiménez and Trivino standing out as speculative trade candidates in Oakland, Jackson could be in line to receive some save opportunities in the second half.

The fact that he’s been trusted in more high-leverage spots than Puk so far and has more saves than his fellow reliever – despite it being two saves compared to one – speaks to the save potential here.

Considering Oakland relievers have combined for over 20 saves so far, it’s possible the 27-year-old could finish the year with double-digit saves if he takes over the ninth inning role. Even if Jackson is in a ninth-inning timeshare with Puk down the stretch he’ll be fantasy relevant.

 

Brooks Raley – 13%

 

Speaking of relievers in the mix for saves, Raley has been one of Tampa Bay’s primary ninth-inning options since Andrew Kittredge’s injury. Four different Rays relief pitchers have logged a save since Kittredge has been sidelined. Raley, Jason Adam, and Colin Poche each have three while Jalen Beeks has one.

And while it’s very much a mix-and-match sort of situation, Adam and Raley look like the two most trusted options at this point.

Despite the duo having the same number of saves as Poche since the Kittredge injury, the two are first and second in high-leverage appearances among Rays relievers since June 8 (Kittredge’s last game took place on June 7).

Most High Leverage Appearances By Rays Relief Pitchers Since June 8

With Adam rostered in slightly more leagues – he’s presently on rosters in 30% of leagues as of Sunday –Raley stands out as the name to watch here.

Sporting a 2.70 ERA and a 1.98 FIP in 30 innings this season, Raley has six saves on the season to go with 41 strikeouts and just 10 walks allowed. Like Jackson, he’s yet to give up a home run. And while his fastball isn’t overpowering from a velocity standpoint, he’s just about elite across the board in most other metrics.

Brooks Raley’s Percentile Rankings

 

Jose Trevino – 15%

 

An offseason trade from Texas to New York has certainly done wonders for Trevino’s fantasy value and production.

The catcher hadn’t hit more than five home runs before joining the Yankees but has already connected on seven in 191 plate appearances for Aaron Boone’s club this season. And while he’s hitting .247 with just a .293 on-base percentage, the 29-year-old All-Star has plenty going for him that makes him a worthwhile fantasy addition.

First and foremost is the Yankees’ lineup. The home run numbers are certainly encouraging in a vacuum, but Trevino is driving in runs at a consistent rate as well. He has the eighth-most RBI among catchers league-wide despite significantly fewer plate appearances than the vast majority of the other catchers.

Catcher RBI Leaderboard

Elsewhere, the former Ranger is also one of just 12 catchers with multiple stolen bases this year. Given the scarcity of quality catching options in fantasy baseball, not to mention the oftentimes scarcity of stolen bases, Trevino makes plenty of sense as an addition – especially if you’re a fantasy manager trying to replace the injured Tyler Stephenson or perhaps have someone like Sean Murphy on your roster whose fantasy upside could be impacted by the trade deadline.

 

Raimel Tapia – 13%

 

You may have seen Raimel Tapia’s inside-the-park home run from a few days ago against the Red Sox. Part of a staggering 28-run effort by the Blue Jays, Tapia drove in six runs during the contest on three hits. He also logged a double and a pair of runs scored on the day as part of a performance that obviously made an impact for fantasy managers who had the former Rockies outfielder on their rosters.

But, as it happens, that effort against the Red Sox was the fifth straight contest that Tapia had appeared in which he drove in at least a run.

The outfielder won’t start much against left-handed pitchers, but anytime you can add a player in one of the league’s most potent lineups, it’s worth a look for fantasy managers – especially if said player is enjoying a particularly effective stretch at the plate.

The Blue Jays entered play on Sunday with the fourth-most runs scored in the league, just one run behind third-place Atlanta, and Tapia is batting .333 with a .350 on-base percentage, four home runs, and a pair of stolen bases in 119 plate appearances since May 29.

More of a contact hitter who didn’t make an overabundance of hard contact with the Rockies, Tapia never logged a hard-hit rate above 33% or a barrel rate north of 5.6% while wearing a Colorado jersey. Yet in his extended hot streak with the Blue Jays, the outfielder owns a 48% hard-hit rate and a 7.1% barrel. So while his .370 BABIP during that span might seem a tad unsustainable, his underlying metrics point to this not being a fluky stretch.

As long as he continues to make that type of contact as a member of Toronto’s lineup, he’s certainly someone fantasy managers will want to consider rostering, especially if he can start stealing bases like he did last season. In his final season with Colorado, Tapia swiped 20 bases. He’s currently at five at the beginning of play on Sunday.

 

Image adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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