With the default trade deadline having passed on all of the major platforms, fantasy owners’ sole recourse to improve their rosters down the stretch is our old friend, the waiver wire.
It can be instructive to consult recent transaction trends, but sometimes it’s better not to follow the wisdom of the crowds. Today, we’ll discuss a few of the most popular pickups and whether or not you should be adding them to your roster. For even more options to improve your roster, be sure to check out RotoBaller’s waiver wire rankings assistant tool, which is updated daily.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
The Yankees prospect has gone from virtually unowned to being rostered in the majority of leagues in just a few days. It’s not hard to understand why. Judge went 5-for-10 in his first three games with two home runs, including one in his first Major League at-bat. At 6-for-7 and 255 pounds, Judge certainly cuts an imposing figure. Despite that, he hasn’t put up elite power numbers in the minors, and he ran high strikeout rates as well. He does appear to have simplified his swing, however, and Yankee Stadium is a great place for a right-handed slugger to ply his trade. Add.
Joe Musgrove, SP, Houston Astros
Pitchers who rely on plus command often endure rough adjustment periods when they first break into the majors. Nobody bothered to tell Musgrove, apparently. He’s taken on two of the best offenses in baseball in three appearances (two starts) and absolutely dominated, posting a 1.47 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 21 strikeouts and just two walks. With the Astros’ playoff hopes fading and Musgrove nearing his previous career high in innings, a September shutdown is a distinct possibility. For as long as he’s taking the mound, though, the rookie deserves a spot on your roster. Add.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves
The first overall pick in last year’s amateur draft, Swanson hit .261/.342/.402 at Double-AA this season. As you might expect from a player with his draft pedigree, Swanson is expected to develop into an excellent player. He’s a talented defensive shortstop with a compact, high-contact swing and enough pop to eventually hit 15 – 20 home runs. This seems like a rather aggressive promotion, though, given his modest performance in the minors. Swanson is probably not worth picking up in shallow redraft leagues. Avoid.
Tom Koehler, P, Miami Marlins
Unlike the other players on this list, Koehler isn’t a hot prospect; he’s a 30 year old veteran with middling career numbers. He has been excellent of late, however. In his last five starts, Koehler has produced a 1.36 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 28 strikeouts against seven walks over 33 innings. This run of success is unlikely to last, since it’s been fueled by an extremely low BABIP and high strand rate despite no tangible changes in skill or approach. Koehler is a good bet to regress to his established career norms going forward. Avoid.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.