Deep Waiver Wire: Raisel Iglesias


Over the last few years, baseball has seen one of the best migrations of Cuban talent to the big leagues. We all are aware of the more high profile imports such as Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, and Aroldis Chapman, but there have been some unsung Cuban players that are quietly making there mark in the big leagues.

The one guy that I have in mind is one of the hottest, yet unknown, Cuban pitchers in baseball right now. Raisel Iglesias has been absolutely on a tear over his last five starts in August and he could be fantasy playoff gem going forward.

Iglesias came over to the Reds last season on the heels of his success in the Cuban National Series where he was key contributor out of the bullpen. This success prompted the Reds to sign him and talent evaluators immediately rated him as one the best pitching prospects in baseball.

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His role was a little murky to begin the year as it seemed as though he could possibly be more of a swing man out of the bullpen as opposed to a regular starter for the Reds.

He did have some spot starts for the Reds during the year, but he was pretty ineffective and looked as though that he may not be ready to start in the majors. His progression was also stunted by a DL stint in June, so his fantasy outlook on the season did not seem to promising.

Iglesias had a so-so July, showing the same inconsistency that the Reds saw early on in his career, but for whatever reason though, Iglesias has turned the switch and has been an almost whole new pitcher in August.

Iglesias has five starts in August so far, his starts have come against the likes of the Pirates, D’Backs(x2), Padres, and the Royals. These are some of the marquee lineups in baseball and he has been great against all of them.

In the month of August he has averaged per game a pitching line of, 6IP/1.4 ER/7 K’s. These numbers are what we expect form out SP2 or 3, not from a widely un-owned free agent on the waiver wire.

Iglesias’s last start, which happened to be today, was his best outing of his career as he was able to strike out 13 batters, over 7 innings, while only giving up 1 ER. He did however still get the loss, but that is more of a testament to the ineptitude of the Reds lineup than his pitching performance.

Iglesias’s new-found success can be attributed to the fact that he has been able to limit extra base hits against him, which plagued him early on in the year. The key to this, has to be his sinker which has been his go to and out away pitch.

He not only is provoking more swings and misses with it, he is also limiting hard contact and this is allowing him to continue to last for 6+ innings in each of his starts. All signs seem to point up. His sinker has shown a sharper downward break than it did prior to August, so I believe that he has finally found the grip or feel that he needed to so he can now showcase its effectiveness on a consistent basis.

For fantasy owners, picking up Iglesias seems like a no-brainer, as he is just too hot right now to leave on the wire. Add the fact that he struck out 13 today, and he will undoubtedly earn more attention from the fantasy community.

He gets the Brewers, in Milwaukee, for his next start and they do still have a pretty decent lineup. I would not feel hesitant about starting him though as he has shown this month, that he can shut down the best lineups in the league, so act now and make the move.