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The Wire Troll: Korean Invasion

August 28, 2016 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Chih-Wei Hu has been dealing in the minors for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Chih-Wei Hu has established himself as a future member of the Rays’ rotation. (

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations. Now that August is just about over, there is literally no time to backslide. Keep your foot on the pedal and work that wire towards a championship.

This week, Texas RP Jeremy Jeffress wound up in slammer for drunken driving; San Francisco SP Matt Moore came oh so close to a no-hitter; and the Dodgers traded long-time catcher A.J. Ellis (after 13 years in the system) and a minor leaguer to the Philadelphia Phillies for Carlos Ruiz and some cash.

And now to this week’s waiver wire picks…

Chih-Wei Hu, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: NA; CBS: 1 per cent): Korean righty Hu made the Futures Game this year and really opened some eyes with his stuff and size. He hasn’t been quite as dominant at Double-A lately, but has racked up some decent strikeout numbers with a very solid BAA this year. Hu isn’t on the 40-man roster yet, so he may not get a September call-up, but this kid needs to be stashed in keeper leagues. You can get a sense of his mechanics from the video below.

Hyun Soo Kim, OF, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 3.3 per cent; CBS: 10 per cent): The Korean theme continues with Kim, who impressed many a week and a half ago with his four-hit showing against Houston. That’s earned him some extra PT of late, and with hits in three straight games, he’s now batting a robust .319 — a figure which we can no longer of good conscience ignore. This “rookie” (we still don’t follow that logic for international players that have played professionally elsewhere) simply knows how to hit. And last we checked, that has some value.

Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 1.5 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): Jimenez worked his way out of the rotation with his incredible suckitude, however a shoulder injury to Chris Tillman gave Jimenez another chance to start. And in that return to the rotation on Thursday, Jimenez reminded us that he’s capable of greatness, limiting the Nats to five hits, one run and zero walks in six innings. He’ll get the Blue Jays on Tuesday, so that’s a matchup you may want to avoid, but we all know that when this dude is on, he’s capable of racking up the Ks — even if his K/9 has been slowly declining since he came to B-More. Jimenez is no longer a workhorse, but when used strategically, he can be an asset.

Julio Borbon, OF, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): Still in Baltimore, Borbon has been recalled from Double-A with Adam Jones currently hurting. Borbon’s stock has fallen since he got farmed out last month, but now he’s got another chance. Don’t expect miracles from this minor league veteran, but he was fairly productive at Double-A and where there is opportunity, there is hope. At the very least, keep an eye on Borbon, especially if Jones’ hamstring woe worsens.

Nick Hundley, C, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 4.9 per cent; CBS: 27 per cent): San Diego’s second round pick in 2005 has often shown promise as a great offensive contributor, but seldom shown staying power. After enjoying likely his finest campaign last year, this season has been a disappointment, but Hundley is showing signs of life now. On Friday, he lashed three hits, including his second homer in four games, and after a slow start to August, has now driven in 10 runs this month. The modest speed Hundley flashed last year is gone now, but if he can finish strong, he’ll be a useful asset in NL-only and two-catcher formats.

Jeff Hoffman, SP, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 2.2 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): Hoffman was recently recalled from Triple-A and his MLB debut went about expected, considering it was at Coors Field against the powerful Cubs. Colorado’s top pitching prospect fared much better Friday in Washington, tossing a quality start, even if his command was suspect. Still, Hoffman ranked second in the PCL in both strikeouts and K/9 at the time of his promotion, so he deserves strong consideration and could prove very useful if used judiciously.

Others to Consider

Koda Glover, RP, Washington Nationals (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): Here’s a dude that hasn’t exactly popped up on the Fantasy radar yet, but has not looked overmatched in the least in his first taste of the bigs. In fact, Glover has not given up an earned run in seven of his eight appearances and in earning his first career hold on Friday, he’s clearly become a trusted member of the Washington bullpen.

Ivan Nova, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 16 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): Nova has found himself since landing in Steel City, going 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA to provide a nice boost to a rotation that needed it. Pitching coach Ray Searage sure knows how to fix scuffling hurlers, doesn’t he?

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, New York Mets (ESPN: 4.9 per cent; CBS: 32 per cent): Cabrera isn’t doing as well in runs and RBI this year, but if you need homers, he’s your man as he’s already matched his 2015 total. Shortstops with power definitely have value.

Trevor Williams, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: NA; CBS: unowned): With Gerrit Cole (elbow) being scratched from his scheduled start on Monday, Williams could be poised to make his MLB debut. Williams has enjoyed nice hit rates at Triple-A and has been particularly brilliant lately (5-2, 1.61 ERA over the last 10 starts).

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.

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