Cory Luebke $10.
Luebke came into the season as the Padres’ ninth-rated prospect (C+ from John Sickels). He breezed through AA and AAA with a 3.06 ERA and only 67 hits allowed in 88 innings. He did not dominate, however, as he only struck out 70 hitters, but the 70/22 K/BB is acceptable. At 25, it remains to be seen what ceiling Luebke has, but in the pitcher-friendly N.L. West, he is a good gamble both down the stretch and as a potential keeper next year, depending on your free agent salary structure.
Daniel Espinosa $10. Other bids: $9, $8.
Espinosa is the best Nationals prospect still in the minors not named Derek (look at my .221 average) Norris (alright, well, there is that Bryce Harper guy). While Espinosa is not a contact hitter per se, he carries a nice power and speed combination. He will be 24 at the start of next season; the Nationals need to make a decision on the infield. Non-contenders should not be making any decision on Espinosa – find your keeper price and bid accordingly.
Jeremy Jeffress $10.
A few pitchers put up 100+ MPH pitches last week (we’ll save the debate about radar guns for another time), and Jeffress presents that type of power potential. Unfortunately, he also presents the potential of a full season ban should he hit the wacky weed again. Color me unimpressed, but without some control, both on the mound and in his personal life, Jeffress is just going to be another hard-throwing flame-out.
Nelson Figueroa $6. Other bids: $5, $0.
“I’m not dead yet.” A classic quote which fits Figueroa well. I would normally throw him in my summary paragraph, but he has pitched well enough of late to warrant some discussion. Ultimately, the statistics tell me that Figueroa is in for a correction at this point in the season: his FB rate and HR rate do not mesh, and xFIP carries some weight for me here as a result. He is, however, a QOC guy (quality of contact); his line drive rates have always been very low. The Astros have a relatively favorable schedule, though I would not want Figueroa pitching for me in Cincinnati, so you might want to avoid that start.
Chris Narveson $4. Other bids: $2.
Narveson could lower his ERA significantly if he kept runners of base via the walk a bit more often. Of course, he has 10 wins thanks to some timely efforts and good run support. If you are desperate for wins, I would look here, so long as your interiors are relatively safe.
Jose Contreras $2. Brooks Conrad $1 (Other bids: $0). Brad Davis $1. Chris Carter $1 (Other bids: $0). Santiago Casilla $1. Lucas Duda $0.
I would not normally include players with “other bids” in the summary, but, at this time of year, teams are trying to fill up rosters and keep position eligibility intact. Contreras has looked unhittable. No, he will not be closing any time soon. Conrad carries decent pop, but just doesn’t play enough to matter. If you play in a strikeouts league, Brad Davis is an excellent pick-up…oh, wait, strikeouts are for pitchers? Oh well, skip that then.