Week 9 Deep League Waiver Wire Adds – 5/27

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players who fantasy managers in deeper leagues should consider picking up. Many of these players will have the most value in larger 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 Luke Raley, Jose Caballero, Brent Suter, and Jared Shuster 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 Friday afternoon.


Luke Raley – 8%


If Luke Raley was playing consistently against left-handed pitching, he’d probably be rostered in more leagues. Like significantly more leagues, especially those where on-base percentage is part of the scoring.

The Tampa Bay Rays first baseman and corner outfielder has seen just 12 of his 117 plate appearances this season against left-handers. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from being incredibly productive when he has been in the lineup.

Entering play on Friday, the slugger was batting .248 with a .333 on-base percentage, 10 home runs, and six stolen bases in 129 plate appearances. Raley is also sporting a .381 wOBA and a nearly identical .380 xwOBA.

He’s striking out 33.3% of the time, which isn’t optimal, but the 28-year-old is making all sorts of loud contact. Nowhere is that more evident than when you look at his xwOBAcon. Of course, the strikeouts have a bit to do with it all, but Raley has the fourth-highest xwOBAcon in the league among players with at least 100 plate appearances, behind only Aaron Judge, Jake Burger, and J.D. Martinez.

The former Dodgers prospect is also sporting a 54.9% hard-hit rate, a 22.5% barrel rate, a .559 xSLG, and the aforementioned .380 xwOBA.

Luke Raley’s Percentile Rankings

However, the most fantasy-relevant stat or percentile ranking to be specific, isn’t any of those. It’s Raley’s percentile ranking in Statcast’s sprint speed metric. The 28-year-old sits in the 78th percentile league-wide in that metric. His power production and ability to obliterate baseballs make him a potential impact addition, especially in deeper leagues. However, with the stolen base upside – Raley does already have six stolen bases so far, the same as Randy Arozarena and Trea Turner and more than Jose Ramirez – makes the outfielder and first baseman a potential league-winning option in fantasy leagues with 14 or more teams.


Jose Caballero – 3%


Capable of playing all three spots not titled “first base” across the infield, Cabellaro’s strong play as of late has helped him step into a regular role

The 26-year-old infielder is batting .279 with a .403 on-base percentage, a pair of home runs, and six stolen bases in 77 plate appearances so far.

He’s sporting a 4.3% barrel rate so far and has never hit for more than nine home runs in a full season in his minor league career, so the power production might not be a constant moving forward, but Cabellero is well worth a look in fantasy leagues thanks to his on-base skills and stolen base upside.

The infielder may have more fantasy value and upside in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring, with a 20.8% walk rate so far. Cabellero routinely logged double-digit walk rates in the minors, including in 134 Double-A plate appearances last season when his walk rate was 26.1% compared to just a 16.4% strikeout rate. In short, this is nothing new for the rookie.

And while he’s logged just a 29.8 hard-hit rate and a .397 xwOBAcon so far, Caballero is sporting a .368 wOBA and a .371 xwOBA.

The xwOBA is an encouraging sign when coupled with the walk rate and is certainly something to keep an eye on moving forward, even without the power production. If both continue at above-average rates, Caballero should see his rostered rate rise considerably, especially with his stolen base potential.

So far, the 26-year-old has the aforementioned six stolen bases in 26 Major League games. He ranks in the 92nd percentile in Statcast’s sprint speed metric and stole five bases in 10 Triple-A games prior to being promoted. He also finished with 15 stolen bases in 31 Double-A games last year. Just as with the walks, this is nothing new for Cabellero.

And with Kolten Wong struggling at the plate with a 35 wRC+ in 112 plate appearances, it’s possible Caballero could start seeing the lion’s share of the starts at the keystone moving forward for the Mariners. If that happens, he’ll certainly be someone to have on your roster, especially if he can move up in the lineup from the bottom third of Seattle’s order and start hitting near the likes of Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, and Teoscar Hernández.


Brent Suter – 2%


A waiver wire claim in the offseason, Brent Suter has been excellent in his first season in Colorado Rockies, pitching to a 0.87 ERA and a 2.63 FIP in 31 innings, striking out 28 batters while walking just 11 batters.

All told, entering play Friday, just two pitchers – Yennier Cano and Alexis Díaz – had a better fWAR metric.

Relief Pitcher fWAR Rankings

However, despite that metric and the overall effectiveness, Suter hasn’t been utilized in the ninth inning for the Rockies, with Pierce Johnson registering all 10 of the team’s saves. Nor has the former Brewer been used a ton, all things considered, in high-leverage spots.

Suter ranks third in the Rockies bullpen in terms of high-leverage appearances with six such appearances. The left-hander has also registered just two holds.

However, if Suter is traded this summer, speculatively speaking, he could potentially step into a significant bullpen role. Perhaps not ninth-inning work, but enough to make an impact in saves+holds leagues.

Of course, this is all entirely speculative regarding Suter and a trade. But, per Spotrac he’s a free agent after the season and Colorado entered Friday with a 0.1% chance to make the playoffs, per FanGraphs’ playoff odds.

Of course, things could obviously change playoff odds-wise, but Suter’s fantasy value would rise considerably if he was traded to a more fantasy-friendly situation.

While the left-hander has been plenty effective at Coors Field, with a 1.15 ERA and a .255 wOBA allowed at home so far, a better home park certainly wouldn’t hurt. As of now, he’s a quality option right now to help fantasy managers with weekly ERA and WHIP numbers. He could, however, be an impact fantasy reliever in saves+holds leagues in the future if he’s traded. Or if he’s simply able to get more holds for Colorado.


Jared Shuster – 16%


With Max Fried and Kyle Wright currently, on the injured list, Shuster looks set to continue in the major league rotation for the time being.

The former first-round pick has pitched to a 5.49 ERA and a 5.06 FIP in 19.2 innings so far this season, with 15 strikeouts and 12 walks. Though he’s been much more effective in his last two outings, holding the Seattle Mariners to a home run and a walk in six innings while striking out seven. He scattered just three hits, three earned runs, two walks, and a home run in five innings against another American League West team, the Texas Rangers.

Shuster is more of a short-term streaming option for fantasy managers considering Atlanta’s upcoming schedule and Mike Soroka on hand in Triple-A, but he could be a useful multi-start streaming option in the coming weeks.

After a scheduled start against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, and assuming Atlanta’s rotation continues as is on schedule with no interruptions, Schuster would be lined up to take on the A’s in Oakland followed by a home start against the New York Mets and a road outing in Detroit against the Tigers.

The A’s have scored the third-fewest runs in the league this season and spacious Oakland Collesium is the dictionary definition of pitcher-friendly as ballparks go. It has the fourth-lowest overall park factor so far this season per Statcast. Also per Statcast, it has the third-lowest overall park factor in the last three seasons.

The Tigers, meanwhile have scored the second-fewest runs in the league this season, though they have been a bit better in May, scoring more runs than nine teams.

Meanwhile, the Mets are a slightly more challenging matchup, at least comparatively, sandwiched between the two scheduled outings against the American League clubs. That being said, New York has been decidedly middle of the pack in runs scored in May and isn’t necessarily the daunting matchup on paper many thought they would be entering the season, especially with Francisco Lindor (84), Jeff McNeil (81) and Starling Marte (71) all sporting below average wRC+ metrics in May.


Graphic adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)

Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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