The fantasy pickup game can get pretty thin in those 15-team mixed leagues. One of my current radar adds is a shortstop with no home runs and no stolen bases. It’s no surprise that he’s rostered in just four percent of Yahoo leagues.
And still — Jose Iglesias, come on down. Let’s see if we can time the market.
Should deep-leaguers add Jose Iglesias?
Iglesias always offers batting average, that’s what you hang your hat on here. He’s batting .319 this year — a major asset in the current MLB offensive environment — and he’s a .278 stick for his career. He makes contact. He’ll help you there.
And maybe some category juice will eventually show. He did hit eight homers and steal five bases in 114 games last year — not Jazz Chisholm numbers, but they’re not zeroes, either. And the Rockies have moved Iglesias to the No. 2 slot for the last two games; perhaps that will stick. Coors Field remains our best friend, and Colorado opens a glorious nine-game homestand Friday.
Iglesias hasn’t received a Coors Field boost yet this year, but generally, April isn’t the time to get your ya-yas out in the thin air. When the weather warms, this place gets ridiculous at times. And with all the acreage in the outfield, you see plenty of cheap hits as well.
If you want to play the opponent side of the Colorado homestand, note the Royals, Giants and Mets are coming in for those nine games. So maybe we can do some streaming and tire-kicking on both sides of the field.
Juan Yepez looks the part
If you’re in a shallower league and need some help, it’s last call on St. Louis prospect, Juan Yepez. The 24-year-old slugger has a seven-game hitting streak since his recall, picking up 12 hits and a couple of homers. I don’t care how small the sample is, those .444/.483/.778 slashes sure look pretty.
Yepez got his game in gear last year, especially during 92 games at Triple-A (.290/.382/.589, 22 homers). Perhaps that run last year is enough to overlook the pedigree at play; Yepez was never a rated prospect. That doesn’t mean he can’t be good, of course. The world is filled with stars and useful starters who never cracked a Top 100 list. Paul Goldschmidt is one of those guys.
The Cardinals slot him fourth or fifth on a daily bases, giving him DH time and corner-outfield time (and he already has the 1B and 3B tags for Yahoo). I’m surprised Yepez is still unclaimed in about 60 percent of Yahoo leagues, but formats vary. Double-check the wire, just to be sure.
Brooks Raley earning his keep in Tampa bullpen
When you think about save striation, the Rays quickly come to mind. This team isn’t happy unless a committee-driven bullpen sprinkles saves around like fertilizer.
And we still have to take them seriously, because Tampa’s one of the safest bets for 90-plus wins every season.
Five weeks into the fresh season, we’re getting what we expected. The Rays are 19-13, squarely in playoff contention. And three different relievers have multiple saves — Andrew Kittredge (four), Brooks Raley (three) and Ryan Thompson (two).
That’s straight (Kevin) Cash, homey.
Kittredge is long-gone in competitive pools, but Raley could be the underappreciated pitcher here. He’s rolled up 13 whiffs against just two walks over 10 innings, and he’s posting wipeout ratios (1.42 ERA, 0.70 WHIP). Being one of the team’s left-handers, perhaps Raley is unlikely to be the full bullpen chairman for Tampa. But he’s earned the right to work in high leverage, and he’s free to grab in eight percent of Yahoo leagues.
I understand that one size will never fit all with these pickup pitches. Some of you surely eye-rolled over Iglesias (no interest), or perhaps over Yepez (long gone in your pool). That’s why we try to mix it up. You know your league better than we do; season to taste.