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 Dylan Moore, Carlos Santana, Triston Casas, and Kyle Bradish 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.
Dylan Moore – 3%
Moore probably has more fantasy value in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring. The 30-year-old is, after all, hitting just .218 this season in 224 plate appearances for the Mariners. However, in those leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring, he’s a potential game changer in the fantasy playoffs.
To say nothing of Moore’s versatility, he’s eligible at second base, shortstop, third base, and in the outfield in Yahoo leagues, he has the potential to make a significant impact in multiple weekly categories, specifically stolen bases and on-base percentage.
In addition to the aforementioned .218 average in 224 plate appearances, the veteran has contributed a .365 on-base percentage to go along with six home runs, a .179 ISO, a 127 wRC+, and 18 stolen bases.
Perhaps most crucially for fantasy managers, he’s started regularly for Seattle since being activated from the injured list. Those starts have included games at second base and in center field as well as a start each at third base and shortstop.
All told, entering play Sunday Moore was batting .357 with a .500 on-base percentage, two doubles, and three stolen bases in 18 plate appearances since September 18.
With center fielder Julio Rodríguez and third baseman Eugenio Suárez both currently on the injured list for the Mariners, Moore should continue to see consistent playing time as the season winds down.
Carlos Santana– 13%
Staying in Seattle with players who could help you win a weekly category, that’s exactly the case with Carlos Santana, who, despite logging a low average as of late, has been one of baseball’s best power hitters in the last few weeks.
Overall, the veteran is batting .196 with a .312 on-base percentage and 19 home runs in 468 plate appearances with 19 home runs this season. As of the beginning of play Sunday, he had connected on 15 home runs in 256 plate appearances in a Mariners uniform while also adding a .180 average, a .281 on-base percentage, an 11.6% barrel rate, and a 47.7% hard-hit rate.
If you’re desperate for home runs or have a roster that is constructed to thrive in other categories, Santana is likely the waiver wire pick-up for you. The low average has been a constant, but the home runs are flying with regularity as of late. Similar to his teammate Moore, he’s likely more fantasy relevant in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring thanks to a strong 14.1% walk rate.
And even though the slugger’s average is below .200 this late in the season, there’s reason to believe it could pick up a bit in the remaining games. The 36-year-old is making plenty of quality contact at the plate. He ranks in the 76th percentile league-wide in hard-hit rate, xwOBA, and xSLG. Though with all that being said, his BABIP for the entire season is still below the .200 mark. In fact, as of the beginning of play on Sunday, it was the exact same number, .196, as Santana’s batting average.
With the potential that his BABIP evens out a bit and some more base hits start falling in to go along with the home runs, Santana has plenty of fantasy upside in the season’s final games.
Triston Casas – 9%
With the Red Sox out of the playoff picture, the likes of Casas, Bobby Dalbec, and Connor Wong have been seeing more playing time down the stretch for Boston. Casas previously hit .273 with a .382 on-base percentage and 11 home runs in 317 plate appearances for the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate this season.
So far, his overall metrics are a bit similar to Santana’s, though in a significantly smaller sample size. Casas has four home runs in 58 plate appearances as of the beginning of play on Sunday with a minuscule .130 average and an even more microscopic .071 BABIP.
With just the 58 plate appearances, however, it’s probably too soon to take anything significant away from the rookie’s batted ball data just yet, but the 22-year-old already has turned in a few encouraging metrics in such a small sample size.
First and foremost, he already has collected 12 walks, good for a 20.7% walk rate – a walk rate that isn’t far off his 24.1% strikeout rate. Casas has also done damage against pitches other than fastballs, which can be crucial for rookies and young players. Two of his four home runs have come against breaking pitches.
One of the sport’s best hitting prospects, the infielder will obviously have more fantasy relevance next season with a potential everyday role in Boston. However, he’s worth a look for fantasy managers right now given his upside and already present ability to hit home runs at the Major League level.
That he can fill in at both first base and third base, the two positions he’s eligible at in Yahoo leagues, doesn’t hurt either.
Kyle Bradish – 14%
Bradish has flashed decidedly above-average bat-missing ability at times as a rookie this season for the Baltimore Orioles. In just his third career start he struck out 11 St. Louis Cardinals batters. Overall, in his first 11 starts, he struck out 9.29 batters per nine innings in 52 frames of work.
However, he had his best outing in his most recent start. The 26-year-old limited the Houston Astros to a pair of hits in 8.2 shutout innings. He struck out 10 Houston batters on 100 pitches, generating 11 swinging strikes with five each coming via his slider and curveball.
With the season winding down, many potential starting pitchers on the waiver wire have just a start or two left in the regular season. As of now, the rookie is slated to pitch in both Boston against the Red Sox and in New York against the Yankees in his last two outings.
And while neither venues are exactly ideal places to pitch, it is worth noting that the right-hander has been decidedly better away from Camden Yards this season. Not just in terms of run prevention, but also in terms of missing bats.
What’s more, Braddish’s next outing is against a Red Sox team that while productive – Alex Cora’s team had scored the sixth-most runs since August 25— is susceptible to strikeouts. During the same span, only seven teams struck out at a higher rate.
Image adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)