Dynasty Baseball: 5 Impactful Waiver Wire Adds for 2022
Fantasy baseball is a grind. It is six consecutive months of checking your lineup every day and making sure you have the best team you can put out there. The luxury of a dynasty league is that you can stash players for next season, assuming you have a decent-sized bench. When you are out of it and there is nothing to compete for this year, there is always something you can do to improve your odds for the following season–this is where the waiver wire comes in. Staying active on the waiver wire will allow you to get those late bloomers or post-hype prospects that no one cares about anymore. Let’s go over five players that may be available on your waiver wire and could impact your team in 2022.
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5 Waiver Wire Adds for 2022
Aaron Ashby, Milwaukee Brewers (23% Owned)
Aaron Asby may be the next in line here. Ashby features a strange mix, 37-percent sliders, 37-percent sinkers, and 21-percent changeups; along with a curveball and four-seamer that he barely throws.
One thing that stands out about Ashby’s game is the vertical movement on all of his pitches. This allows him to generate whiffs and ground balls with his main offerings. The curveball, changeup, and slider all grade out well-above average in terms of vertical movement. While the sinker grades slightly above average, throwing it at 94-98 mph.
Ground Ball King
Combining his Triple-A and big-league outings, roughly 89 innings pitched. He has managed to induce a 67% ground ball rate. That isn’t just special, it is near league-leading good.
Just to give you an idea of how special it is. If you take the qualified innings down to a minimum of 100 innings pitches. The best ground ball rates in the entire league are Framber Valdez at 69.2% and Logan Webb at 61.1%, two obviously great pitchers.
His sinker is currently inducing a negative-eight-degree launch angle on average. It doesn’t matter how hard you get hit, if virtually every batted ball you allow is on the ground, you are going to have lots of success. So while the sinker is the ground ball pitch, the slider is the whiff pitch.
Ashby’s slider is currently whiffing hitters at a 46-percent clip while only allowing one single base hit in 133 pitches. Granted, he has only pitched 23 innings, impressive nonetheless.
The main concern here is command. This is where we go back to our first point, the Milwaukee Brewers. Do you remember when Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes had command issues? Even Woodruff had over four walks per nine in almost an entire season at Triple-A in 2018. Just to see that number cut in half his first season in the big leagues.
When an organization has shown over and over again an ability to turn talented arms into effective big league pitchers. You should keep betting on it because they clearly have a plan for talent and how to develop it at the next level.
Don’t let Ashby stay unstashed in your keeper or dynasty league, go out and add him immediately.
Connor Joe, Colorado Rockies (34% Owned)
Despite being on his sixth different team since being drafted in 2014, there is a lot to like about Connor Joe. He hits the ball hard, makes contact, and has a great eye at the plate. If he were say three or four years younger, there would probably be a lot more interest here.
While the outfield for the Rockies is relatively crowded. It’s not crowded with that much talent. Charlie Blackmon is approaching his age-36 season, Garrett Hampson and Raimel Tapia are two of the worst hitters in baseball, and Sam Hilliard probably doesn’t deserve to be in the big leagues.
You aren’t going to see a better dart throw in a dynasty or keeper league waiver wire than a potential everyday outfielder for Colorado.
We will start with the batted ball metrics. He has an elite max exit velocity at 113 MPH, 90th percentile in all of baseball. Max exit velocity is important because it’s a general idea of what your ceiling is as a power hitter. Given Joe rates so well in it while calling Coors Field his home, gives him roughly a 30-home run ceiling.
Another reason, his strikeout to walk rate is fantastic. During his first 211 plate appearances this season, he has managed a 19.4-percent strikeout rate and a 12.3-percent walk rate. Even digging deeper into the plate discipline metrics– a 17.4% chase rate and an 83.8% in-zone contact rate would dictate to us that what he is doing is absolutely sustainable. Those underlying metrics have led to a .285/.379/.469 slash line (115 wRC+). This includes 11 more away games than home games, giving his line the potential to be better in a larger sample.
Joe to me is just someone I want to round my team out with, regardless of where I am in the standings. A solid bench bat that provides a good offensive floor is always something you will need. Go make sure you add him off the waiver wire before he gets activated from the injured list prior to the season-ending. If not, you run the risk of a contending team scooping Joe up for the last couple of games.
Yonny Hernandez, Texas Rangers (13% Owned)
Considering the era we now play fantasy baseball in, stolen bases are hard to come by. That isn’t going to change anytime soon. Getting cheap steals from someone like Yonny Hernandez can make a huge impact on your team.
During his first 27 games as a big leaguer, he has 10 stolen base attempts, being successful on nine of them. Getting on-base at a .341 clip and playing on one of the worst teams in baseball allows him to have a green light quite often. Something you can rely on, even if he continues to hit eighth or ninth for the Rangers.
Though he isn’t a special player, there is potential there. On a Rangers team bereft of talent, there is an argument to be made that he should be playing every day.
Hernandez has two strong arguments in his favor, outside of the stolen bases. One, he makes a lot of contact. Even during his stints in the minor leagues, he has never had a strikeout rate above 17.5-percent, while posting one as low as 12.1-percent. You can even see those skills translating to the major leagues. Hernandez has a 4.5-percent swinging-strike rate and a 92.1-percent in-zone contact rate. Both elite rates, without even factoring in that this is his rookie season, at age-23.
The second argument for playing every day is that he is a plus defender. The issue becomes, where does he fit on this Rangers roster. Hernandez is mostly a third baseman while ranging around to second and short as well. One of the few Rangers prospects close to the big leagues is Josh Jung, who projects to be an everyday player. Nick Solak has the potential to block Hernandez at second base, though he’s had his fair share of struggles. At least next season, those positions may be taken up.
The position that makes the most sense for Hernandez in the future is shortstop. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is not a long-term option, as he projects to be similar to Hernandez except three years older and two years away from being a free agent. It’s easy to see a trade scenario that sends Kiner-Falefa to a team in need of a competent backup infielder, such as the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees.
There is no guarantee that Hernandez is in the Rangers starting lineup on Opening Day in 2022. But, it’s a great risk to take given his stolen base upside and floor as a fantasy player in general. Not killing you in batting average or on-base percentage while providing a category that is hard to come by. If you have any empty bench spot, it makes sense to stash him, and hope he can give you 30 plus stolen bases next season.
Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels (42% Owned)
Reid Detmers was taken 10th overall in the 2020 draft. Only to pitch 60 innings in the minor leagues before making his big league debut at the beginning of August. If you were to look at his surface stats, it would appear there is nothing to get excited about with Detmers. But taking a deeper look, we can find a lot to like with the Angels left-hander.
Looking beyond the numbers
Despite having an ERA north of seven, Detmers’ stuff has shown to be good enough to get swings and misses at the highest level. He possesses two plus pitches in his curveball and slider. Both pitches grade well-above average in terms of vertical movement, with the results to back it up. Each pitch has over a 30% whiff rate to go along with a batting average below .200.
Clearly, something is wrong mechanically. Just by looking at his pitch locations per pitch, on Baseball Savant. It will be apparent to anyone that he has no command of any pitch, so far. The weird thing is that Detmers is supposed to be known for his command. Most scouting sites have him at a 55-future command, which is more than good enough to compete in the big leagues. Even in the minor leagues, he walked eight percent of batters and gave up 1.67 home runs per nine. Way too high a number for someone that graduated to the big leagues.
Considering Detmers just turned 22 years old literally last week. We should see some progression next season as he matures in the big leagues. So while it may not look pretty now, the idea is that you can stash him for free off the waiver wire and reap the rewards as he develops in the near future.
Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers (40% Owned)
You never want to make assumptions in the world of Major League Baseball. Though, it is safe to assume that the National League will implement a DH next season. This means a handful of players will gain a lot of value next season. One of those players includes a left-handed slugger for the Milwaukee Brewers, Rowdy Tellez.
Tellez brings a unique set of skills to the table that most 6’4” first basemen do not have in common. An elite-batted ball profile that pairs an elite max exit velocity, 117, with a great barrel rate, 11-percent for his career.
What separates him from the pack of first basemen in his tier is the ability to make contact. Even though we haven’t seen this set of skills turn into results yet, Tellez has put together a 445 plate appearance sample, 2020 and 2021 combined, of an 18.9-percent strikeout rate. Not only is that impressive for a batter with so much power, but it ranks 12th best of 39 qualified first baseman in that span.
Why it has not worked so far
Trying to dig deeper into why his profile hasn’t produced results yet. Sometimes it just takes time to adjust to the big league level. We are talking about someone who has only played in 273 big league games spanning over four seasons– roughly 68 games a season to get an idea of how little that is.
He hits the ball in the air enough, so launch angle isn’t the issue. There are some struggles against the shift but not so much so that it tanks his entire batting line, .290 wOBA with the shift, .320 wOBA without it. While chasing at balls outside the zone is an issue, he has seen that number go down since his first full season, which is encouraging. Nothing really stands out as to why he isn’t performing better than expected. It’s probably safe to say, it’s a little bit of a shifting problem, he is quite slow, and probably chases at pitches outside the zone a little too much.
If we get a full season of Rowdy at Miller Park, in what should be an improved Brewers lineup next season with a DH. It’s possible we see Rowdy crank out 30 home runs and hit close to .250 with a middling on-base percentage. Again, nothing crazy but to pick that up on the waiver wire for free? You have to jump on it if you’re a rebuilding team that plans on making a push next season.
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