Most of the players in this week’s Deep League Report are worth single-digit FAAB bids, and some of them are barely worth that. One guy, though, is worth most if not all of your remaining budget. Can’t stand the suspense? Start reading.
AL-ONLY POSITION PLAYERS
The injury to Andrew Benintendi means that Chris Young will be the starting left fielder for the Red Sox for at least the next two weeks. His numbers in limited time this year aren’t great (.268/.348/.493 in 155 PA with six HR and two SB), but he should hit enough to make himself playable in deep AL-only leagues, especially since he has guaranteed playing time in the short term. Spend a couple of FAAB dollars on him but don’t go too far past that since he could be back on the bench as early as two weeks from now.
He’s not a prospect, but Nick Buss is the starting left fielder for the Angels for the time being. That makes him worth a bid in deep AL-only leagues. The 29-year-old performed well in Triple-A this year, hitting .290/.345/.462 in 372 plate appearances with six home runs and eight stolen bases. He hasn’t done much yet in Anaheim, but he doesn’t have much competition for playing time, so he should be as good a bet to accumulate counting stats as anyone available in the free agent pool in deep leagues. Bid a buck or two and hope for a few homers and a few steals the rest of the way.
With the Yankees youth movement underway, veterans like Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley have been sitting in favor of rookies and youngsters. Ronald Torreyes isn’t as heralded a prospect as Yankee rookies Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, or Tyler Austin, he will probably get a fair amount of playing time over the course of the rest of the season, mostly at third base at the expense of Chase Headley. The 23-year-old is a small guy with virtually no home run power and he doesn’t steal many bases, but as long as he’s in the lineup, he should be able to provide some runs and RBI for roto owners in deep AL-only leagues. He’s worth a $1 bid but not much more since his playing time isn’t entirely secure.
His matchup against the powerful Red Sox lineup this week isn’t ideal, but the game is in Oakland, which could mitigate the damage that Boston’s big bats can do. Andrew Triggs has been great in his last two starts, allowing only one run and one walk while racking up eight strikeouts over 11 2/3 innings. The A’s have their eyes on next year, so they want to see what they have when it comes to their younger players. This means that the 27-year-old should be taking the mound every fifth game for Oakland for the rest of the season. If you need pitching help in deep AL-only leagues, Triggs is worth a $5-7 bid.
The Mariners have another guy in their bullpen who can hit triple digits. Dan Altavilla made his major league debut last week, throwing a perfect inning against the White Sox with one strikeout. He won’t unseat Edwin Diaz as the closer in Seattle any time soon, but he should continue striking out batters at a rate close to the 10.3 K/9 he posted at Double-A this year. Bid a buck or two, especially if you need strikeouts.
The bad news is that Chad Green was roughed up to the tune of three home runs in 4.7 innings in his last start against the Orioles. The worse news is that his next start is also against the Orioles, this time in Baltimore. The good news is that he’s still sporting a 10.0 K/9 and a 2.7 BB/9, which bodes well for his performance going forward. I’d feel comfortable with a $2-4 bid on the 25-year-old in deep AL-only leagues, and a little more in keeper leagues.
NL-ONLY POSITION PLAYERS
Oswaldo Arcia is a longtime favorite here at the Deep League Report. His low batting average has gotten him benched multiple times, demoted multiple times, and traded multiple times. That low average and the impact it has on his playing time have kept him mostly available in deep AL-only and NL-only leagues over the last few years, too. He still has real home run power, though. If he can start off hot enough to secure regular plate appearances in San Diego, he could hit several home runs for your roto team in September. Bid a buck or two and hope that he doesn’t go 1-for-17 and end up on the Padres’ bench through the end of the season.
He mashed his way from High-A all the way to the big leagues this season and he hasn’t stopped hitting yet. Andrew Toles has posted a .358/.417/.566 line with the Dodgers so far over his first 60 plate appearances with two home runs and one stolen base. He doesn’t have a clear path to an everyday job, but if he keeps hitting, Howie Kendrick will start getting nervous. Don’t bid more than a buck, but if you’re looking to gamble on upside in a deep NL-only league, Toles is a good gamble. Make that bid two or three if it’s a keeper league and you’ll be able to stash him cheaply for 2017.
He’s a much better player than the guys who usually inhabit this column, but depending on your league’s rules and your competitor’s thoughts in April about whether or not he’d play at all this year, A.J. Pollock could be available and eligible for FAAB bidding. After hitting twenty home runs and stealing 39 bases while hitting .315 last year, you should go big if he’s an option, and by that I mean that you should spend most if not all of your remaining FAAB on him. But I probably didn’t have to tell you to bid on Pollock if he’s available in your league. Just get him if you can.
He doesn’t offer much more than league-average innings on his best days. Sometimes in deep leagues, though, that’s what you need. Tim Adleman doesn’t get enough strikeouts and issues too many walks, but he’ll be starting every fifth game for the Reds for the foreseeable future. If you need innings and aren’t too picky about the quality of those innings, throw a dollar on the 28-year old and cross your fingers.
Like Adleman, Jose Urena doesn’t get enough strikeouts and issues too many walks. Like Adleman, the 24-year-old should provide innings for owners in deep leagues who need innings and don’t particularly care about how good those innings are. And recently, the Dominican righty has been good, allowing only three earned runs while striking out nine and walking three in his last 11 2/3 innings across two starts. Maybe he’ll continue this little hot streak and the innings he’ll throw for your team will be better than adequate. Don’t bid more than a buck or two.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon loves players who can play multiple roles and Mike Montgomery fits the bill. Acquired earlier this year from the Mariners as a reliever, the tall lefty has filled in as a starter in his last two appearances. He provides value as a starter or a reliever thanks to his rate stats and strikeouts, but he provides a little more value as a starter. If John Lackey is unable to return to the Cubs’ rotation this week, Montgomery is likely to get another turn. Otherwise, Montgomery will go back to the bullpen, although there’s a decent chance that even in that scenario, he’ll make another start or two before the end of the regular season as the Cubs try to set their rotation for the playoffs and give their starters some much needed rest. Bid $1-2 and see what happens.