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May 7, 2014

Deep Impact

Week Five

by Ben Carsley

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Introductions are for strangers. Let’s get right to it.

Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians
In last week’s Deep Impact, I was all like, “guys, you should totally pick up Marcus Stroman because he’s going to get the call soon.” Then he did. This week, I implore you to totally go pick up Bauer, because it’s going to be his turn in very short order. Yes, the Indians have turned to Josh Tomlin over Bauer in the interim, but the odds of Tomlin pitching well enough to stay in the rotation long-term aren’t great. Add in that the Tribe could look to replace Danny Salazar soon, and there should be plenty of opportunity for Bauer in the majors moving forward.

Through 32 2/3 innings in Triple-A this season, Bauer owns a 1.10 ERA, 24.8 percent strikeout rate, and 7.2 percent walk rate, and he’s had one successful start in the majors this year as well. His true talent level may lie a bit below what we’re seeing from him right now, but it’s certainly higher than anything he demonstrated in 2013. Yes, Bauer has had some developmental issues, but the natural talent has always been there and it certainly looks like it’s all coming together. If you want to add him, you’ll likely have to do it while he’s still in the minors, so pull the trigger soon.

Chris Coghlan, OF, Cubs
Hey, remember Coghlan? He’s tied with Angel Berroa for “most random ROY winner of the past 15 years,” and after floundering in Miami for the past three seasons he now finds himself on the North Side of Chicago, because that’s pretty much how life works for players like Coghlan. Nonetheless, with Ryan Sweeney (sad trombone) on the disabled list, Coghlan should get a chance at semi-regular playing time against right-handed pitching. Is he usable in deep leagues?

The short answer is: it depends what you’re looking for. If you need speed, can afford a potential hit in average and play in a daily lineup league, I think Coghlan is worth a look. He has a .278/.343/.409 line against right-handed pitching for his career, though his numbers from the past two years are less inspiring. And Coghlan’s hitting just .243 in Triple-A this season, though he is reaching base at a .379 clip. Add in Coghlan’s six steals, and it’s possible he reaches base enough to run a bit if you can start him against right-handed opposition only. He’s not a real difference maker, but you could do worse than to have Coghlan on your bench. I should know—I have Logan Schafer on a team.

Scott Hairston, OF, Nationals
You know how you know you’re reading a deep league column? Hairston is not the worst outfielder profiled in this space. The right-hander has recently returned from the disabled list and, thanks to the absence of Bryce Harper, figures to serve as a short-side platoon partner with Nate McLouth for the next several weeks. Terribly exciting? No. But potentially useful? Yes indeed.

Hairston has hit .269/.317/.498 against left-handers in his career, and while his 2013 numbers aren’t what you would call “good” he was quite effective as recently as 2012. Hairston doesn’t run much anymore and isn’t going to hit a terrific average but he does have some pop, and if you can set your rosters on a daily basis he’s a fine play as a final outfielder or utility option against southpaws. The ride will likely come to an end when Harper returns in a month-or-so, but there’s the potential for Hairston to hit five-or-so homers with decent R and RBI totals between now and then.

Robbie Ray, SP, Tigers
I don’t know if anyone else on The Internet has pointed this out yet, but did you know that Robbie Ray is making his Tigers debut before Doug Fister makes his Nationals debut? That’s a little bit of original fact-finding I did for you guys, and it’s a fun tidbit that you should totally drop on Twitter. Now that Ray is indeed in the majors, let’s take a look at the type of FAAB he’s worth in deeper leagues

By most accounts, Ray projects as no. 4 starter. He was known to prospect diehards but unknown to more casual top-100 list readers before the season began. Ray has now entered the national consciousness to a greater degree since he was included in a major trade, but that doesn’t make him a better pitcher. Ray is often compared to Drew Smyly, and while that’s a bit lazy it’s also somewhat apt from a fantasy POV, though I don’t think Ray will miss as many bats. Given that Ray lacks big upside and will likely head back to the minors once Anibal Sanchez returns, I’m not advising a big FAAB push here. Were he entering the rotation on a more permanent basis I might change my tune, but you don’t want to get burned spending $20-plus for four starts.

Deep League Streamer of the Week: John Danks, LHP, White Sox
You might not think that Danks would qualify for inclusion here based on name value alone, but the left-hander is owned in just 0.8 percent of ESPN leagues right now. That’s understandable, but Danks has a nice matchup against the Cubs coming up on Wednesday, and he’s a decent streamer option if you’re looking for a few strikeouts and a good chance at a win. The Cubs have a few dangerous hitters but also a lot of “bleh,” and the White Sox have been scoring plenty of runs.

Twitter Question of the Week

We all know the answer to this question: it’s yes. But I’m calling it to your collective attention here because it speaks to how way too many owners are way too willing to give up on supreme talent way too early. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would offer Cano for Alex Cobb, but I’ll assume it has something to do with his one homer and .383 slugging percentage. Anyway, regardless of league size, don’t be the guy trading with Ben here. For real, don’t do that.

Player Namedrop of the Week: Rob Mackowiak
Random RP Who Will Earn a Win: Andrew Miller
Random Backup Who Will Homer: Robinson Chirinos
Xander Bogaerts Adjective: Undeterred

Ben Carsley is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ben's other articles. You can contact Ben by clicking here

12 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Neg... (05/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week Four (04/30)
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Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week Six (05/15)
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