Here are some waiver wire targets ahead of matchup number 11 that you should consider adding. The following recommendations are organized here as deep and shallow league targets. The players you choose to add and drop from your team should largely depend on your league size and roster construction.
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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Recommendations
Deep League Targets
C Ryan Jeffers – MIN
Ryan Jeffers and Christian Vazquez have split time as the backstop for the Twins, but Jeffers may be starting to take more control of the gig.
In 107 plate appearances, Jeffers has three home runs, 13 runs, nine RBI, and a .259 AVG. That is three more homers, two fewer runs, and two fewer RBI than Vazquez, plus a better AVG, all in fewer PAs.
While Jeffers has a higher K% than Vazquez and makes contact at a lower rate than Vazquez, his quality of contact is much better. Jeffers has the hard contact to send many more balls out of the park.
He has a 10.5% barrel rate and a 50.9% HardHit rate. If he qualified, he would have the highest HardHit rate and a top-5 barrel rate among qualified catchers. That hard contact comes with an excellent launch angle and a HR/FB a few percentage points lower than his career rate. More home runs could be on the way for Jeffers in the near future. At the very least, he should continue to knock in runs like this:
— Twins Talk (@LetsTalk_Twins) June 1, 2023
Jeffers has been in the lineup for six of his last seven games and should be considered as a waiver wire add for the week ahead.
1B Ryan Noda – OAK
Ryan Noda has been on a roll in his last 10 games. During that span, he has three home runs, seven runs, eight RBI, and a .342 AVG. That takes him up to 7/32/23/.255 on the season.
Noda has an incredible 19.8% BB rate which is second among qualified hitters, but that comes with a 33% K rate that is fifth worst in the league.
He has an odd mix of plate discipline data including the seventh-best chase rate in baseball, but the lowest contact on pitches outside of the zone. That seems to be driving his overall contact rate down to a paltry 63.6%.
Despite those discipline issues, when Noda does make contact, it is excellent contact. He barrels the ball 14.6% of the time to go along with a 45.8% HardHit rate. That has led to home runs like this rocket:
Ryan Noda sends a missile the opposite away for a home run pic.twitter.com/ZtjTAkvBOL
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 7, 2023
Noda also keeps the ball off the ground. He has just a 35.5% GB rate compared to a 40.9% FB rate and a 23.7% LD rate. With such strong flyball and line drive numbers, plus a 51% pull rate, he should continue to hit homers and should keep his AVG from cratering.
Noda is absolutely worth a look from the waiver wire in deep leagues.
SS/3B Maikel Garcia – KC
Maikel Garcia has earned continued playing time in the Kansas City lineup. He has a homer, 10 runs, 13 RBI, five steals, and a .253 AVG. Here is his first career home run:
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) June 4, 2023
He has a 26.5% K rate, but just a 21% chase rate and an 80% overall contact rate. This compares relatively closely to how he performed in AAA last season, so it is reasonable to expect more of the same to continue.
Surprisingly, for such a slight player (145 lbs), Garcia hits the ball very hard. In 113 PAs, he has a 55.6% HardHit rate. His 6.9% barrel rate is just below league average.
Garcia drives the ball well, and has a solid 41% GB rate, but does not put the ball in the air very much. This could keep him from reaching double-digit home runs, although he should easily reach double-digit steals with continued playing time. He reached double-digit steals in six of 10 minor league stops, two of which were 12 games or fewer.
If you are looking for cheap steals, Garcia could be added from the waiver wire for next to nothing.
OF Jesus Sanchez – MIA
Since his return from the IL on May 30, Jesus Sanchez has a .345 AVG with three home runs, four runs, and seven RBI. That takes Sanchez to 6/13/17/.306 on the season, along with three steals. Here is his most recent homer:
That was… just impressive…wow
Jesus Sanchez crushing it deep dead center to give Miami the 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third.
Exit Velo: 109.8 MPH
Distance: 445 FT
— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) June 7, 2023
Sanchez is a bit off the radar as a fantasy asset, perhaps because of his high strikeout rates. He had a 31% K rate in 2021, and a 26.8% K rate in 2022. It sits at 26.6% in limited time this season.
On a positive note, Sanchez has a career-best 33% chase rate and a 74% contact rate which is his best since a 10-game stint in 2020. The improved discipline is a great sign, especially with the quality of contact Sanchez makes.
He has an 11.6% barrel rate and a 46.4% HardHit rate, both the second-highest totals of his career. His line drive rate is up to 33%, with his flyball rate at just 20%. That likely will flip over the course of the season and reflect his career norms, which should lead to more home runs.
A .381 BABIP is likely unsustainable for Sanchez, whose career BABIP is .289. Even with his .306 AVG likely to decrease, Sanchez seems to be undervalued. This is a great time to get in on Sanchez. Add him from the waiver wire where available.
AJ Smith-Shawver – ATL
AJ Smith-Shawver landed a spot in the Braves rotation. He is getting a shot after Atlanta sent Mike Soroka to the minors. Smith-Shawver had pitched 2.1 innings in relief for the Braves prior to this switch into the rotation.
He mostly features a fastball and slider, tossing them nearly 90% of the time combined in his first few innings in the big leagues. He also throws a curveball but relies on it significantly less than his other two pitches.
Smith-Shawver has electric stuff, which is a major reason why he is on the big league club, after pitching just 19 innings across two levels of the minors this season. But both Atlanta and fantasy managers will likely have to watch his innings as he has thrown just 110 IP in the minors since 2021.
Fantasy managers should expect high strikeout totals from Smith-Shawver. He never left a stop with a K/9 lower than 9.75. That does come with some unsightly walk rates, though. His best BB/9 in the minors was 2.57 in 14 IP at High-A.
Smith-Shawver is a must-add at this point. He could be moved back and forth into the bullpen to limit his innings, but even still, he should put up solid ratios. Do not worry about that now, and make him a major waiver wire priority.
Shallow League Targets
C Gary Sanchez – SD
What is this, 2019? Gary Sanchez, J.D. Davis, and Eddie Rosario are hot names on the waiver wire this week. For Sanchez, he is on his second team this season with the Padres, but seems to have caught on with them.
Catcher has been a bit of a black hole for the Padres this season, so Sanchez should have a long leash as the team’s primary backstop. He likely will need a long leash with a 30% K rate this season and a career .226 AVG.
It has been just 12 games, but Sanchez has flashed the immense power that he showed with the Yankees years ago. He already has four homers, seven runs, and 10 RBI. His .286 AVG is propped up by a .300 BABIP. While his career BABIP sits at .250, his 29% LD rate and 66% pull rate suggest this high BABIP could be sustainable for a time, and so could the AVG. Expect them all to come down, though, as the season progresses.
He could also maintain a higher AVG than usual if he can sustain his current discipline at the plate. He has a 29.9% chase rate that is the second best of his career, and a career best 77.9% contact rate.
Fantasy managers should expect the power to continue for Sanchez. He has a 12.5% barrel rate and a 45.8% HardHit rate, and a 45.8% FB rate. While the pace of home runs should subside, he could very well match his 16 home runs from last season, even in fewer PAs. Just take a look at this:
Gary Sanchez has homered again! pic.twitter.com/fhDa0VZPuR
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 7, 2023
Ride the wave that is Gary Sanchez for now, and add him from the waiver wire.
3B J.D. Davis – SF
It is a crime that Davis is not more rostered in fantasy leagues. Among qualified third basemen, he is tied for seventh in home runs, is top-20 in runs, is 10th in RBI, and is fourth in AVG. Ha Seong Kim, Manny Machado, and DJ LeMahieu are all rostered in more ESPN leagues than Davis despite Davis outproducing them in four roto categories.
Some may look at his .362 BABIP and question if he can continue hitting .288. They should note that his career BABIP is .347 and he has a 25.7% line drive rate this season, which supports a higher BABIP.
His home run pace should continue at its current rate as well. His HR/FB rate is just 5% higher than his career rate, despite just a 25% FB rate. Davis has also flashed impressive hard contact as well, barreling the ball 10.9% of the time with a 52.6% HardHit rate.
Davis has also improved his discipline from last season, making him even more enticing as a fantasy asset. He improved his chase rate to 28.6%, its best since 2020. His contact rate is up to 71%, also his best rate since 2020.
Davis has third base locked down for the Giants and has performed very well in the first two months of the season. He should be added in all leagues where available on the waiver wire.
SS/3B Ezequiel Duran – TEX
Ezequiel Duran likely was dropped in many leagues after landing on the IL. Now that he is healthy again, he should be picked back up.
He has a .322 AVG to go along with seven homers, 23 runs, 24 RBI, and three steals on the season. He has a hit in all three games he appeared in since returning from injury on June 3. Plus, he plays in a deep lineup in Texas and should continue producing like he was prior to his IL stint. That should give him RBI opportunities like this one:
Welcome back, Ezequiel Duran!
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) June 6, 2023
Duran has a 10.2% barrel rate and a 49.1% HardHit rate on the season that should allow him to continue to knock balls out of the park.
He has improved all around as a hitter from last season and should be treated like a fantasy star in the making. He improved his line drive rate from last season, which has buoyed his BABIP and AVG. Along with his improved K% and chase rate, he could sustain an AVG higher than his projected rest-of-season range of .240-.260.
With his dual eligibility, fantasy managers need to find a way to get him into their lineups. Snag him off the waiver wire if he is available in your league.
OF Eddie Rosario – ATL
After struggling through 2022 with the Braves, Rosario finally has his feet under him. He has eight home runs, 23 runs, 25 RBI, a steal, and a .250 AVG. Compared to last season, he already has more RBI and homers in fewer plate appearances, plus a much better AVG despite a nearly identical 25.5% K rate.
The improvement in his AVG is not necessarily due to his BABIP ticking back up nearly to his career rate, though that, and a 21% LD rate certainly have helped. What has turned things around for Rosario is being much more aggressive at the plate than in recent seasons. He has a 61% swing rate, which would be the highest in baseball if he qualified.
With that incredibly high swing rate comes a nearly 50% chase rate, which would be historically bad. But Rosario also has a 72% contact rate – a 2% improvement from last season.
His quality of contact has also improved from last season. He has career bests in his 10.3% barrel rate and 39.7% HardHit rate. Rosario drives the ball well, and pulls it 48.5% of the time, while hitting grounders just 39% of the time.
He should continue to get RBI opportunities, batting primarily fifth in a stacked lineup. He hit a grand slam just the other day:
Eddie Rosario go-ahead GRAND SLAM in the 9th! pic.twitter.com/gUPx8GLDqV
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 4, 2023
Trust the production and add him from the waiver wire if you can.
SP Andrew Abbott – CIN
Andrew Abbott made his MLB debut for the Reds against the Brewers, giving up just one run in Great American Ballpark. He had some shaky command, walking four batters, but that is to be expected in a debut.
Abbott earned his debut after moving through AA to AAA this season. In AA, he had a 20.6 K/9 rate, a 1.72 BB/9 rate, and a 1.15 ERA in 15.2 IP. In 38.1 IP at AAA, he had a 12 K/9 rate, a 3.2 BB/9 rate, and a 3.05 ERA.
The Reds have shown that they are willing to give their young guys a chance, and this appears to be the case with Abbott.
He features a fastball, curveball, changeup, and sweeper. He leaned mostly on his fastball and curveball in his debut, but his changeup earned a 66% whiff rate. His curveball was his best putaway pitch, with a 33% putaway rate. Here is how it went for the rookie:
That's one way to start your Major League career.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 6, 2023
If you need some help at the back end of your rotation, Abbott is worth consideration from the waiver wire.
Other Players to Add from Waivers
Here are a few other players available in a range of league sizes that you should consider adding if they are on your waiver wire.
- C: Francisco Alvarez, Patrick Bailey, Nick Fortes, Matt Thaiss, William Contreras, Connor Wong
- CI: Ryan McMahon, Brandon Drury (2B), Corey Julks (OF), J.D. Davis, Zach McKinstry (2B/OF), Jake Burger, Owen Miller (2B), Gio Urshela
- MI: Ha-Seong Kim (3B), Kevin Newman (3B), Matt McLain, Luis Garcia
- OF: Willi Castro (3B), Luke Raley (1B), LaMonte Wade Jr. (1B), Chris Taylor (2B/3B), Ji Hwan Bae (2B), Bryan De La Cruz, Marcell Ozuna, Nolan Jones, Charlie Blackmon, Lane Thomas
- SP: Miles Mikolas, Michael Lorenzen, MacKenzie Gore, Logan Allen, Ben Lively, Bailey Ober, Kyle Gibson, J.P. France, Domingo German, Brayan Bello
- RP: Jason Adam, Michael King, Will Smith
Prospect Waiver Wire Watch
A number of prospects are worthy of consideration for waiver wire claims due to being called up or potentially being called up. Here are a few to consider adding.
- CIN SS Elly De La Cruz – homered in his second game; strikeout risk, but looks like the real deal
- STL 3B/OF Jordan Walker – called back up; hopefully, he figured things out and gets some playing time
- NYM SS Ronny Mauricio – may get called up with 2B being somewhat of a black hole for the Mets
- LAD SP Bobby Miller – 16:4 K:BB ratio in 17 IP
- STL SP Matthew Liberatore – STL is going to move either him or Matz to the bullpen; both are struggling
- CIN SP Brandon Williamson – Reds could send him down if he continues to struggle
- CIN 1B/3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand – .349 AVG and 15 homers in 39 games at AAA
- BAL OF Colton Cowser – another BAL minor leaguer that should get the call soon; 8/45/31/5/.347 at AAA
- NYM 3B Brett Baty – still on the heavy side of a platoon, but producing
- ChC 1B Matt Mervis – sputtering lately; AVG below .200
- ARI 3B Emmanuel Rivera – playing mostly against LHP, but getting into the lineup more often lately
- PIT SP Luis Ortiz – going to continue to get run with PIT while Vasquez is out