2015 Fantasy Baseball: Deep League Digging, Week 18
As the weather heats up around the country, so is the fantasy baseball competition, and there are many players currently residing on waiver wires that need to be added in all deeper leagues.
Since this is a deep league column, all suggested players are under 10 percent owned in ESPN fantasy baseball leagues. Enough lollygagging, time to get moving.
(All stats and ownership percentages are through Monday’s games)
Rajai Davis, OF, Tigers (9.9% owned)
Davis barely squeezes into this column with just 0.1 percent to spare, but he needs to be talked about.
The Tigers shipped Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets at the trade deadline opening up a spot for Davis in their outfield. The 34-year-old has proven he’s still got some juice in his bat — and legs — by going 6-for-16 (.375) with two RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base since last Thursday. Davis had been working in a platoon with Anthony Gose for most of the year, but with Cespedes gone, it looks like he’s become an everyday player.
Davis has 15 SB this year and has averaged 42 swipes over his past six seasons, making him close to a must-add in nearly all leagues, not just deeper ones. He could be a real factor down the stretch, especially for owners in need of runs and stolen bases.
Caleb Joseph, C, Orioles (5.5% owned)
The O’s backup catcher is the perfect player to own in a two-catcher league. It’s tough to roster him in a standard league because he just doesn’t play enough, but when you can rely on another catcher’s stats to combat his lack of P.T. — like you can in two-catcher leagues — he’s the ideal backstop to have on your team.
Joseph is called upon when Matt Wieters needs rest — which is every other game — and he’s made the most of it. He’s hit a homer in three of his last five contests (with 9 RBI), giving him nine big flies on the season. The power isn’t a fluke either, as he launched nine long balls in 246 plate appearances last year. He’s on pace for 14 HR and 57 RBI, and I’m sure plenty of owners would be happy getting five homers and 20 RBI from their second catcher the rest of the way.
Didi Gregorius, SS, Yankees (5.6% owned)
When the Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius in the off-season, it was to bolster their defense on the left side of the infield. The 25-year-old former Reds farmhand has always been a defense-first player, but his bat can’t be overlooked at this point.
The Yankees are hotter than any team in the league, and Gregorius is no exception. Over his last 11 games, the shortstop has hit an astounding .472/.488/.611 with a homer, 13 RBI and nine runs scored. Even more impressive is that he’s put up those numbers hitting out of the eighth and ninth spot in the lineup in nine of those 11 contests.
He’s playing way above his head right now, but the Yankees have averaged 7.9 runs in those aforementioned 11 games, and as long as Gregorius is contributing to that output, he should be owned in fantasy leagues of 14 teams or more.