As we continue to await more trade news of interest (still just sitting on Benintendi to the Yankees as I write this), it’s business as usual here in the deepest end of the immense, sparkling Razzball swimming pool. I’m a little taken aback at the dearth of options on the waiver wire in my mixed 15-team leagues, and even in RCLs right now — so needless to say, deep leaguers’ prospects for finding gold in the free agent stream remain cloudy. Let’s see what others are finding in the murky water, as we once again look at a handful of players whose ownership has recently risen, but are still owned only in deeper fantasy leagues.
Victor Robles. Robles’s ownership has gone from 6 to
8% 10% in CBS leagues this past week… is it in anticipation of the Nationals selling off outfielders including, perhaps, moving Soto? Or has he actually been playing well? On Monday, Robles batted first, and manager Dave Martinez implied that Robles is basically their new lead-off man. This after a four-game stretch where he went 4 for 10, including 2 homers. There’s nothing too exciting about a career .236 hitter (.300 OBP) on a really bad team, but maybe he’ll start stealing those bases that those of us who drafted him two years ago have been waiting for? He did have three more hits on Tuesday, though, plus there’s the fact that anyone getting regular at bats, let alone at the top of the lineup, merits at least a look-see for those in certain deep leagues.
Lewin Diaz. Called up by the Marlins to replace the injured Garrett Cooper on the roster, Diaz is now 25 and has another chance to make an impact in the majors. He’s shown nothing in his previous cups of coffee but was in quite a groove in triple A (he had 19 homers and 64 RBI at the time of his most recent promotion). If I was part of the Marlins’ brain trust, I’d give him an extended look with everyday playing time at this point. Turns out I’m not, so we’ll see how much of a chance Diaz gets this time, but I’m keeping my proverbial deep league eye on him.
Nelson Velazquez. If you’re not familiar with Velazquez, he’s a 23 year old, right-handed outfielder for the Cubs who’s been playing more than I realized lately. In 30 games (70 at bats), he now has 5 homers and 2 steals, with 13 runs scored and 13 RBI, so he’s contributing some counting stats across the board when he’s in the lineup. Granted, at least one of those homers was off a position player, but welcome to 2022. Velazquez was also showing a nice mix of power and speed this year in the minors (15 HRs and 12 SBs), but he was hitting .241, which isn’t too far off his minor league career mark of .256. So, there may be MLB growing pains ahead even if he stays on the roster and a trade or two opens up continued playing time.
Carson Kelly. Okay, not gonna lie; I assumed Kelly was only owned in a tiny handful of leagues but turns out he’s 28% owned in CBS. That shocked me a bit, but I already wrote this blurb so I’m leaving him in my post as someone to consider in slightly shallower leagues where he’s available and you’re having catcher difficulties. Kelly got off to one of the worst offensive starts possible for a major league hitter this year, with a .102 batting average/.154 OBP and a grand total of one RBI in the month of April. He’s finally been making some offensive contributions of late, though, so he may be playable for a while as he continues to attempt to make up for his miserable first half.
Janson Junk. He has a ridiculous name for a major league pitcher, he’s only 1% owned in CBS leagues, and he may be back in the minors by the time you read this. He’ll still get a shoutout though, after an impressive pitching performance (it was against the Royals, but still) on Wednesday. He pitched five scoreless, with 4 hits, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. At the rate the Angels are going, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they gave Junk a few more chances to see what they have here (he was being used as a starter in the minors, and had decent but nowhere near great numbers: 3.88 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 40 Ks in 48.2 innings).
Harold Castro. Yawn… did I mention that there may not be a ton available on the deep league waiver wire? Castro’s ownership has gone up a percent; he’s still only 3% owned in CBS leagues but has been just productive enough lately to put him on our RITD radar. He qualifies at 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS in some leagues, which is pretty handy in some circumstances, he has been playing quite a lot for the Tigers lately, and he’s been playing pretty well. “Well,” like hitting homers and stealing bases? Um, no, he hasn’t gone yard since May and doesn’t have a steal on the year. But his average is now at .286, and he’s continuing to provide a smattering of runs scored and RBIs, should you be in dire need of some.