It’s hard to believe that the baseball season is already half over with the all-star break just around the corner. To put it in perspective, if this was 2020, the season regular season would’ve ended around three weeks ago. As the temperatures continue to rise here in the summer months, production has been on the rise as well. Maybe it’s the warmer weather, the sticky substance crackdown, or a combination of the two, but offense has seen an uptick and that’s great for fantasy purposes. Well, at least if you need a boost offensively. This week’s fantasy baseball waiver wire report has plenty of offensive targets along with a returning potentential top-50 SP and potential new closing option in the Big Apple.
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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire
Vidal Brujan (2B/OF – TBR)
In this article two weeks ago, I recommended stashing Vidal Brujan if possible. Hopefully some of you did. I’m sure some were hesitant due to the less-than-stellar track record for high-profile rookies this season, but the speedy and highly-talented Brujan needs to be rostered in all fantasy leagues for the offensive skillset that he brings to the table. Brujan possesses elite speed with a plus hit tool, advanced approach, and has been tapping into his raw power more consistently this season. His June slump really suppressed his slash line on the season, but Brujan still sits at .259/.344/.471 with nine home runs and 15 steals through 49 Triple-A games this season with an 11.6% walk rate and 15.4% strikeout rate. Give him a shot if he’s available.
Eloy Jimenez (OF – CHW)
This one is easy, straightforward, and doesn’t require much thought. If Eloy Jimenez is currently sitting on your league’s waiver wire, go add him immediately. As I began writing this article, this was the case in well over half of Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS leagues, but your chance to add him might even vanish before you finish reading this paragraph as the White Sox announced yesterday that Jimenez is beginning a rehab assignment. Eloy himself also stated, “I feel like 110%. Let’s say 200%.” After a couple of weeks of rehab games, Eloy will be returning to a very good White Sox lineup and there’s no reason why he can’t be a top-50 player or better for the rest of the season. That’s a bigger impact than any prospect stash can provide right now.
Eric Haase (C/OF – DET)
What if I told you that there was potentially a player available in your league with a 51% hard hit rate, 92.1 average exit velocity, .476 xwOBACON, .508 xSLG, and 15.3% barrel rate? I’d have your attention, right? Now, what if I also mentioned that this player also has catcher eligibility without actually having to endure the riggors of playing catcher regularly? Yeah, now this is becoming really intriguing.
That player is Eric Haase of the Detroit Tigers, a man with the 5th most HR by a catcher-eligible player this season (13) despite only accruing 162 plate appearances so far. Haase has really struggled against breaking balls this season but is hitting above .280 with a sluggling about .600 against fastballs and offspeed pitches. He’s still going to strike out too often which will keep the AVG in check, but Haase’s power and regular playing time should make him a top-10 catcher the rest of the way.
Joey Votto (1B – CIN)
If you looked at Joey Votto’s Baseball Savant page, you’d likely think you went back in time to Votto’s prime. The 37-year-old first baseman is having one of his best seasons under the hood in 2021. Votto currently ranks in the 80th percentile or better in average exit velocity, max exit velocity, hard-hit rate, xBA, xSLG, xwOBA, and barrel rate. He’s really turned it on over the last month, hitting .303 with six home runs, 21 RBI, and 17 runs scored. All of his underlying metrics support Votto’s success this season and he gets to hit cleanup in a good Reds lineup, right behind Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos. There’s no reason why Votto can’t remain a very good four-category contributor moving forward.
Luis Urias (2B/3B/SS – MIL) & Jace Peterson (1B/2B/3B/OF – MIL)
I’m going to combine these two together. Luis Urias and Jace Peterson aren’t the flashiest duo around, but their current production and multi-positional eligibility can provide fantasy managers much needed roster flexibility in a season where we desparately need it. Over the last month, both Urias and Peterson has stepped up as everyday players and have been the best hitters in Milwaukee’s lineup outside of Willy Adames.
- Luis Urias: .259, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 21 R, 2 SB
- Jace Peterson: .299, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 17 R, 3 SB
Urias has taken over the leadoff spot in the lineup, playing mostly third base while Peterson has been playing a lot of second base. Milwaukee did recently acquire Rowdy Tellez via trade from Toronto, but if anything, he’ll eat into the struggling Keston Hiura’s at-bats and not these two.
Garrett Cooper (1B/OF – MIA)
Very quietly, Garrett Cooper is putting together a rock-solid season offensively down in Miami. Through his first 228 plate appearances, Cooper has posted a 91st percentile hard-hit rate and is 66th percentile or higher in barrel rate, avg exit velocity, xBA, xSLG, xwOBA, and walk rate. He’s been especially potent at the plate over the last two weeks, hitting .417 with three home runs, all of which have come in the last six games. Cooper has shown this type of offensive firepower before and has hit above .280 in each of his last three seasons. With regular at-bats the rest of the way, Cooper’s ability to pace at .280/25 gives him plenty of fantasy intrigue, especially when you can plug him in at first base or the outfield.
Logan Webb (SP – SFG)
One of the many bright spots earlier this season for the San Francisco Giants was 24-year-old right hander, Logan Webb. Webb was establishing himself as a viable fantasy option until a shoulder sprain landed him on the IL for around six weeks. And with how many injuries we’ve had to navigate this season, many had to drop Webb to free up the roster spot. Now that he’s back, I’d absolutely be looking to add Webb back in any 12+ team league, especially if you need a pitching boost.
Logan Webb, Wicked 84mph Slider. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/ZkALmItrSy
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 5, 2021
After tossing three scoreless innings in his return last night, Webb’s season line sits at a 3.63 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 26.6% strikeout rate. Webb has been tinkering with his pitch usage this season with one bright spot being his nasty slider. That slider currently has a 24.3% usage, .104 BAA, and a 54.3% whiff rate. Webb is consistently missing bats, limiting walks (7.8%), and posting solid ratios this season. On top of that, his 58.7% groundball rate is the 4th best mark in the Majors for SP with 50+ innings and he has an 87th percentile chase rate. What else can you want from a guy you can likely pick up for free in daily leagues or get for cheap in weekly FAAB leagues?
Chad Green (RP – NYY)
Over the last month, Aroldis Chapman has been absolutely terrible. It’d be one thing if he had a 3.90 ERA over the last month, but he has a 3.90 WHIP. News flash, allowing around four base runners per inning isn’t going to get the job done in any role, especially the role of closer for the New York Yankees. Wherever he is, Mariano Rivera must be dusting off the ol’ cutter in preperation for a return from retirement. But seriously, while Chapman has posted an 18.90 ERA, 3.90 WHIP, and more walks (11) than strikeouts (9) in 6.2 innings over the last month, Chad Green has continued to pitch effectively and appears to at least be in the saves mix moving forward.
In 36 appearances this season spanning 46.1 innings, Green has a stellar 2.14 ERA and 0.72 WHIP to go along with a 30.2% strikeout rate and a 5.0% walk rate. Both his mid-90’s four-seamer and mid-80’s curveball have been working for him this season with both pitches recording a BAA under .170 and a whiff rate above 30%. He might not get every save opportunity, but Green should definitely be getting the ball more regularly in the 9th with Chapman’s immense struggles lately.
Media Credit: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire, Rob Friedman, Baseball Savant
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