Waiver Wire: We Came, We Shaw, We Conquered

Travis Shaw 2

I normally try not to headline the same player two weeks running, but what Travis Shaw is doing as a second year player is blowing me away every week. Shaw is the first player I check the box score for most mornings and I don’t even own him on a single fantasy team. Maybe it’s because being in England I see a ton of Red Sox games, thanks to their early start times, but Shaw is the player who has really caught my eye this year. Most of the names on this list are guys I was high in spring or have been high on in previous seasons so getting to write about them this week has been a lot of fun for me.

The end of week 4 is still not times for massive panic reactions in roto formats as there is still a ton of time for things to change. However, if you are in H2H leagues and you have lost all four games so far then you probably need to make some moves fast or you run the risk of slipping out of the playoff race before the middle of May. An 0-6 start is next to impossible to recover from. However, that still means you need to make smart considered moves and not just sell struggling guys for fast starters as when these players inevitably regress you will be kicking yourself.

For pitching streamers and two start options check out Ron and Damian’s articles this week and be sure to keep up to date with the latest news by listening to the 60 Feet 6 inches podcast.

I have tried to identify for each player here some guys who are owned in a greater percentage of leagues at their position that I would replace these guys with. If you have any specific questions be sure to get in touch with me @benrolfe15 or for our whole team send your question to @60ftpodcast

For more help winning your fantasy baseball league check out Fake Pigskin’s 60 Feet 6 Inches podcast on iTunes and Stitcher

Wellington Castillo, C, ARI

Castillo has been tearing it up so far this season with six home runs already. He has firmly established himself among the power hitting elite at the position, whilst hitting for a really nice average. There is legit 20-homer potential in the bat but the average may be the more intriguing thing right now. There is nothing in the numbers that screams regression. Okay, his BABIP is a bit higher than usual, but he is striking out as much as always and he hasn’t changed a huge amount in his selectivity. I think expecting even 0.270 is aggressive and there will be cold streaks, but a potential 20-25 homer catcher with 0.250 average potential is something I want to own.

Players I would drop for him: Anyone who isn’t Posey, Lucroy, McCann, Molina, Vogt, Cervelli or Perez

Travis Shaw, 1B/3B, BOS

You may have noticed but I am so incredibly excited about Travis Shaw because he showed us last year the power is there. And now he is showing us than he can get on base, score, drive in runs and steal a few bases, too. I think there is a real hot streak coming at some point where we see 10-plus home runs in a relatively short space of time. Until then I am happy to have a third baseman who can put up a great average and be on base plenty in a really good line-up. The trouble is there are guys I can’t give up on yet at first and a lot of the third baseman are really impressing me so far as well so trying to find a spot for him is hard.

Players I would drop for him: Byung Ho Park, Tyler White, Carlos Santana, Justin Turner

Chris Owings, 2B/SS/OF, ARI

Gadget man Owings is fast making himself a fantasy must. He now has five steals on the season and is playing pretty much every day in centre for the Diamondbacks. I would like a little more power but right now I am just happy to drop some of the bum shortstops on my squad and get a solid everyday guy who is putting up numbers. Oh and the flexibility is nice as well.

Players I would drop for him: Kolten Wong, Jonathan Schoop, Howie Kendrick, Alcides Escobar, Erick Aybar, Brad Miller, JJ Hardy

Javier Baez, 2B, ChC

We will have to see how he fairs covering for Kris Bryant the next couple of days but I think the Cubs are going to have to find ways to get this kids bat in the line-up. Baez has legit 20/20-plus potential and in deep enough leagues I want to have that on my squad when he finally does get every day playing time.

Players I would drop for him: Kolten Wong, Jonathan Schoop, Howie Kendrick,

Yasmany Tomas, 3B/OF, ARI

Tomas is showing us some of the power we were told he had when he came to the Diamondbacks last year. Tomas is another Diamonback relishing in being given the chance to prove himself every day and has 5 home runs already on the season. I think this guy has 25-30 home run upside with nice flexibility at third and outfield.

Players I would drop for him: Kevin Pillar, Billy Hamilton, Angel Pagan

Jonathan Villar, SS, MIL

With Scooter Gennett going on the DL, Villar is going to have every opportunity to hit at the top of the order. Villars’ main calling card in his career has been steals and he demonstrated his speed in a three steal outing this week. Villar appears to have turned a corner in his plate discipline this season as he is walking 14% of the time, which means more opportunities on first and more chances to steal. The Brewers are going to need to manufacture runs this season and I think 20-plus steals are a real possibility for Villar in 2016.

Players I would drop for him: Alcides Escobar, Erick Aybar, Brad Miller, JJ Hardy

Michael Conforto, OF, NYM

Conforto is off to a really nice start and has made a solid case to be an everyday player having put up at least a 0.300 average against both righties and lefties. There may be a little regression coming for him as he a BABIP near 0.390, which is unsustainable. He has actually shown less power on his HR/FB rate than he did last year, but for a guy playing in just his second year it is hard to say which of these is more likely to be real.

Players I would drop for him: Angel Pagan, Brett Gardner

Odubel Herrera, OF, PHI

The big stand out this year with Herrera is how much he is walking. This has made him a must use in OBP leagues but his selectivity is also seeing him hit for a 0.290 average. The average will come down thanks to an unsustainable BABIP, but having seen him this year the walks look legit. In the Phillies offense I see him being given plenty of opportunities to run and if he keeps walking he will put himself in position a ton. I think we could have a 20-25 steal guy on our hands here

Players I would drop for him: Kevin Pillar, Billy Hamilton, Angel Pagan, Delino DeShields

(Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports)

Rich Hill, SP, OAK

After a tough spring I had a lot of fear of how things would go for Hill this year but he has been pretty impressive so far. He has had two short outings, but in the other three he has been lights out giving up just two runs in 19 innings with 28 strikeouts! OK so I do have concerns about the injury history but none of the guys you likely need to drop right now are far above streaming level and I can assure you none have this strikeout upside.

Players I would drop for him: JA Happ, Shelby Miller, Anibal Sanchez, Mike Fiers, Mat Latos, Adam Wainwright, Luis Severino

Matt Moore, SP, TB

Moore is a post-hype sleeper in every sense. His home park is superb for pitchers and even though he has to face some tough offenses, he is a really good pitcher who will have his share of success against them. His 1-2 record is not a fair reflection of the way he has pitched this year as he has a 3.66 ERA with 35 strikeouts across 32 innings. The guys you are dropping here are streaming level for me and I would rather gamble on the upside of Moore.

Players I would drop for him: Anibal Sanchez, Mike Fiers, Mat Latos, Scott Kazmir, Adam Wainwright

Aaron Nola, SP, PHI

Nola had a great outing against Washington this week throwing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He had a couple of tough outings against San Diego and Washington early in the season, but he has given up just one run in his last two starts whilst striking out a batter an innings. There were strikeout concerns entering the season but so far they have not materialized with 37 strikeouts in 33 innings. Nola is an exciting player going for forward and has a ton of potential but there will be rough patches at times this year.

Players I would drop for him: Players I would drop for him: Anibal Sanchez, Mike Fiers, Mat Latos, Scott Kazmir, Adam Wainwright

Drew Pomeranz, SP/RP, SD

Pomeranz is off to a really nice start and even though it was a tough outing against San Fran he still has an ERA of just 2.86 this year. The only thing preventing him from being higher on this list is the 12 strikeouts so far in four starts this season, because his K-rate is elite with 31 strikeouts in 22 innings. However, unless he cuts down the strikeouts he won’t be able to go deep in games and he will struggle to get the really strong outings that will allow him to win games. The strikeouts are really exciting but the walks make me fear there is a big blow up coming soon! Even so this is still a guy I am willing to gamble on in replacement of the meh options listed below.

Players I would drop for him: Shelby Miller, Anibal Sanchez, Mike Fiers, Mat Latos, Adam Wainwright, Luis Severino

 

Once again be sure to check out Ron and Damian’s pitching articles over the weekend and subscribe, download and listen to the 60 Feet 6 Inches podcast for all the latest news and advice regarding pick-ups and streaming options for week two.

 

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