The Wire Troll: Nate Orf Deserves a Second Chance
Nate Orf is trying to work his way back to the bigs. (sports.yahoo.com)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We have officially hit June, so there’s no more waffling allowed. You can still salvage your season, but you need to act immediately to start making gains. Use the wire!
This week, dropping MLB attendance was in the news with the Florida teams getting embarrassingly low numbers recently; Hyun-Jin Ryu continues to be untouchable, having a May to remember; and Albert Almora publicly broke down on the field after his line drive injured a young girl.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations and notes…
Nate Orf, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): A natural second baseman, Orf is kind of buried in the Brewer organization given the presence of Mike Moustakas and Keston Hiura, but he deserves another look in the Show. At 29, Orf is no longer a prospect, but that’s not to say he couldn’t be an asset in the majors. On Thursday, he was 2-for-4 with a double for Triple-A San Antonio, giving him a five-game hit streak and a .485 BA over the last 10 games. Orf earned himself a 15-game trial with the Brewers last year, but he hit poorly and showed minimal extra-base sock (however, his first career hit was a homer that garnered him a curtain call — see video below). This year in the minors, he’s hitting very well, cranking more homers, striking out less often and continuing to swipe bags. Orf may be blocked at second, but he’s shown he can fill a super utility role in the minors and this season has mostly played outfield, so it would be nice to see him get a look at some point as he strikes us as a player that could surprise if given enough PT.
- It’s time to acknowledge the historic season Dodger outfielder Cody Bellinger is having. With a current WAR of 5.3, he’s on pace to break Babe Ruth‘s MLB record of 14.1 set in 1923. Um, holy fuck.
- Charlie Morton continues to thrive since joining the Rays. He hurled a season-high seven innings on Thursday to improve to 6-0 with a 2.54 ERA. Morton’s ERA has improved each month, and his .205 BAA in May is actually his highest of the season as his WHIP stands at a career best 1.10. Impressive.
- Speaking of Moustakas, in case you hadn’t noticed, his power has returned in a big way this season. He spanked two more dingers as part of a four-hit game on Thursday, giving him eight jacks, 20 runs and 21 RBI in May. Moose is now on pace to top 40 homers for the first time in his career — and he’s eligible at both third and second base, a major boon to his Fantasy value.
- Since being optioned back to Triple-A last week, Delino DeShields has been mashing, hitting safely in all four games (three multi-hit efforts with four steals), to run his hitting streak at Triple-A to seven games. Talk about a Quad-A player. His OPS at Triple-A this season is 860, but just 605 in the bigs.
- Martin Perez has been a very pleasant surprise this season, but the cracks are starting to form in his game. Last week, he had control problems and got touched up a bit by the Angels, but on Thursday, he was simply mauled by the Rays. Perez couldn’t get out of the third inning, suffering the loss and watching his ERA soar from 2.95 to 3.71. It looks like he’ll shoot past his inning count from last year, but his great start is beginning to appear to be a mirage.
- Another pitcher that got off to a superb start but has gone downhill lately is Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove. After being a Wire Troll All-Star candidate last year, he was a popular preseason sleeper pick in 2019, and certainly started that way (1.54 ERA through four starts). However, over Musgrove’s last three starts, he’s been shelled for 25 hits and 15 runs (14 earned) as his ERA has shot over four and a half. He’s on pace to shatter his career high in innings, so it will be interesting to see how his body responds to that.
- After a really nice start to the season, Leonys Martin has managed just three extra-base hits this month. With Cleveland seemingly heading into a youth movement, his days on the Tribe look numbered.
- Keep an eye on KC starter Jakob Junis. He’s been firestarter virtually all season, but has suddenly hurled back-to-back quality outings, racking up 14 Ks in 12 IP in the process. Junis showed promise as a rookie in 2017, slipped a bit last year, and really regressed so far this season. Perhaps he’s turning a corner now; it’s worth tracking.
- Brandon Crawford is showing signs of life at the right time for the Giants. His two-run double in the eighth inning Thursday snapped a tie, allowing San Francisco to snap a seven-game skid. Crawford is 5-for-11 over the last three and is enjoying his best month of the season after looking lost in March and April. He had a bit of a bounceback in 2018, but has mostly been unproductive this year. Perhaps Crawford has a bit left in the tank, so keep an eye on him.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
How about another track from folkster Bruce Cockburn‘s 1993 album Christmas, released on True North Records? Here’s the African-American traditional classic “Go Tell It On the Mountain.”
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball pickup of the week is.