The Wire Troll: Jose Bautista Finds New Life in Big Apple
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re now just over a week from the All-Star break, and past the official halfway point of the season. Keep on truckin’, peeps.
This week, Gleyber Torres (hip) has landed on the DL, temporarily stalling his terrorizing of the majors; Carlos Gomez apparently isn’t a Gatorade fan, as he went ballistic on a few defenseless water coolers; and the Nats, who have fallen under .500, had a players-only meeting to try to figure out how to salvage their floundering season.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations…
Jose Bautista, OF, New York Mets (ESPN: 8.4 per cent; CBS: 10 per cent): Don’t look now, but the old guy may not be done yet. With at least one hit and one run in seven of his last eight games (and a walk-off grand salami on Friday, his first ever game-ending dinger), Bautista is providing some value to the Mets and since he arrived in New York, his extra-base sock has returned. With the Mets’ season spiraling downward, he could be dealt to a contender as we know he’s not part of the team’s future. Over the years, Bautista has been a steady source of extra-base pop and home runs, so perhaps he can help someone down the stretch in the twilight of his career. He still takes good care of his athletic frame, so who knows? Maybe Joey Bats has something left in the tank.
Drew Gagnon, SP, New York Mets (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): This is a real deep sleeper that could be thrust into the Mets’ rotation should Jacob deGrom get traded. Gagnon, a third round pick by Milwaukee in 2011, has been bouncing between Double-A and Triple-A since 2015, but is finally showing some progress at the higher level and could be ready for his MLB debut. His hit rates have improved, but of greater importance has been his recent performance: Over his last six starts, he’s gone 1-1 with 2.37 ERA, striking out 39 against 14 walks over 38 IP with just 23 hits allowed. Minor league veteran Gagnon, signed by the Mets as a free agent in 2017, could be a surprise if given a chance.
Tyler Anderson, SP, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 17 per cent; CBS: 39 per cent): Anderson has put together back-to-back outings of eight shutout innings, winning both and lowering his ERA almost three-quarters of a run in the process. His run is supported by stellar command (17 Ks, three walks) and unhittable stuff (just six hits against in the two starts combined). Anderson is doing a better job of limiting long balls this season and that’s helped him rebound after suffering a sophomore slump last year. Colorado’s 2011 first rounder has arrived as a Fantasy factor.
Dakota Hudson, SP, St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN: 0.9 per cent; CBS: 7 per cent): The Cards have yet another pitching prospect deserving of your Fantasy attention in Hudson. St. Louis’ No. 3 prospect, this righty is headed to the Futures Game next weekend, and small wonder given how brilliant he’s looked at Triple-A. A first round pick in 2016, Hudson’s record is off the charts thanks to an improved hit rate and better control. He has the build to be a serious workhorse and that’s already showing, as he’s gone at least five innings in all 16 of his starts this year. Hudson was the PCL’s top vote earner for the upcoming All-Star Game (July 11), and he’ll get the starting assignment for that one. Soon, he’ll be starting in St. Louis.
Johan Camargo, 3B, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 18 per cent; CBS: 26 per cent): This utility infielder is proving invaluable for the Braves, delivering hits in 10 of his last 11 games to raise his BA over 20 points. Camargo is getting nearly full-time at-bats, and although he doesn’t offer the speed utility guys tend to, he’s doing enough to be useful in NL-only leagues, especially when factoring in the multi-position eligibility. He’s been getting more of a chance lately to bat in an RBI slot in the lineup, making him more appealing an asset.
Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN: 2.2 per cent; CBS: 12 per cent): Slowly, but surely, Bader is taking PT away from Dexter Fowler, who is suffering from an extreme case of suckitude. We’re expecting Bader to see more PT in the second half… either through performance, or if some PT is cleared up through a trade. He’s upped his walk rate, but will need to also improve his contact rate before becoming an everyday player. Still, given Bader’s power-speed potential, he’s an extremely intriguing Fantasy option.
Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 14.3 per cent; CBS: 19 per cent): Since returning to action three weeks ago, Zimmermann has looked better and better, and over his last three starts, he’s 2-0 with just 13 hits and two earned runs allowed over 20 IP. He’s fanned 20 (including a season-best 11 on Friday — his first double-digit K game since 2014) and walked one over that stretch. Pick Zimmermann up now!
Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 7.4 per cent; CBS: 24 per cent): Polanco has now returned from his 80-game suspension to begin the season and has wasted little time shaking the rust off. He’s hit safely in four straight games, including two multi-hit efforts, and is getting on base at a 40 per cent clip through six games. Bear in mind that in the second half last year, Polanco swatted 10 homers with an 870 OPS. He’ll spend plenty of time in RBI slots in the Twins’ lineup, so pick him up pronto.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Back with more Cancon, how about a track from Bruce Cockburn’s tremendous live album, Circles in the Stream, recorded at Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall? Here’s “Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse All Night Long.”
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.