As I sat down to put this piece together, I happened to glance down at the date/time in the corner of my laptop screen and immediately thought to myself, “When the heck did it become September?” Feels like we were just starting the season and whining/complaining about when Vladimir Guerrero Jr was going to be promoted to the Blue Jays. Well, 45 majestic Pete Alonso dingers later and here we are, flying into the last month of the MLB regular season. It’s been one heck of a ride so far, but we still have plenty of baseball left to play. And as I realize I’ve said “heck” twice now in this intro, let’s just get right into this week’s Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire report.
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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire – Hitters
Before I get into this week’s waiver wire targets, a quick reminder. Ramon Laureano will be activated today and Lourdes Gurriel Jr is on track to return this weekend. By the looks of their ownership rates, there’s a chance one of them might’ve been dropped in your league by an owner that didn’t have any IL spots left or the luxury of stashing them on his/her bench. Doublecheck to make sure they’re not sitting on your league’s waiver wire.
Gavin Lux, 2B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
When Gavin Lux was called up earlier in the week, the general reaction from the masses was mass hysteria coupled with cautious optimism. There was no doubting the immense offensive upside that Lux possesses, but without a clear picture surrounding his playing time, his 2019 value was a tad cloudy. Well, we’re now three games into the Lux era and he’s started all three of them. The injury to Max Muncy certainly helped the situation, opening up a hole at second base for Mr. Lux.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 3, 2019
As long as Lux is getting 4-5+ starts a week, he needs to be owned in all formats. At the time of his call-up, Lux was slashing .347/.421/.607/1.028 with 59 extra-base hits, 26 home runs, and 10 steals in 113 combined games between Double-A and Triple-A. With his plus hit tool, plus raw power, and at least average speed, Lux has the chance to be an across the board fantasy stud and a big asset down the stretch. If he’s still available in your league, I’d suggest changing that immediately.
Adam Frazier, 2B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
It seems like there’s a small stretch of every season when Adam Frazier is playing at an elite level. It never lasts long enough to make him a viable season-long target, but he’ll at least help owners for a few weeks with a nice little hot streak. In case you couldn’t figure it out by his inclusion in this article, that time is right now. Over the last month, Frazier is hitting .326 with four home runs, 14 RBI, and 15 runs scored. Those numbers are rock solid but nothing compared to the .420/12/3/10/1 line Frazier has over the last two weeks which has made Frazier a top-20 fantasy commodity over that timeframe. Yes, this hot streak is bound to come to an end soon enough. It always does. But with so many on the IL, I’m sure plenty of you could use some Frazier in your life right about now.
Starlin Castro, 2B/3B, Miami Marlins
A few days ago, I posted a tweet highlighting the hitters with the most combined runs scored an RBI over the last 30 days. You had a lot of your usual suspects on the list, but there was one name that stood out that most, myself included, probably didn’t expect to be on here. Right next to Rafael Devers, one of the top hitters in the majors this season, was Mr. Starlin Castro.
Most #MLB R+RBI last 30 days.
53: JD Mart, Aquino
49: Harper, Arenado
48: Y. Gurriel
47: Acuña Jr
45: Yordan, K. Seager, Abreu, C. Santana
42: T. Turner, Altuve, Castellanos
41: Devers, S. Castro
40: Alonso, two more.#FantasyBaseball
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) September 3, 2019
We’re lightyears removed from his younger days in the Cubs system when he was one of the brightest young middle infielders in the game, but Castro can still provide some sneaky-good fantasy value, as evident above. Remember when Castro his .307 and led the NL in hits? That was 2011. Yeah, feel a little old now don’t you? The 2019 season has been one of Castro’s best. He’s already slugged the 2nd most home runs of his career with 17, is on pace for a career-high in RBI, and has continue to keep his average respectable at .272. Literally nothing about his game will jump out and smack you in the face, but Castro can provide a nice boost in runs and RBI right now while hitting 2nd, 3rd, or cleanup in Miami’s lineup. Like with Frazier, Castro makes for a decent injury fill in down the stretch.
Hanser Alberto, 2B/3B, Baltimore Orioles
My word, middle infielders are coming out of the woodwork quicker than 3rd cousins after you win the lottery. Actually, that statement isn’t 100% true in the case of Hanser Alberto. Alberto has been lineup fixture in Baltimore for most of the 2019 season and currently sports a .323 average in 440 at-bats to go along with 11 home runs, 53 RBI, and 47 runs scored. He’s been able to maintain that average in spite of an incredibly low 2.8% walk rate due to his high contact rate (86.3%, 11th in MLB), low strikeout rate (9.1%), and low SwStr% (8.0%). Sticking with this theme of infield fill-ins, Alberto is one of the top replacements you can find on the waiver wire right now and one that can really provide a boost in the batting average department.
Anthony Santander, OF, Baltimore Orioles
Alright, let’s shift our focus to the outfield. But at the same time, we’re staying right in Bird Land with another underappreciated hitter in that lineup. What if I told you that Anthony Santander was on a .292/74/33/91 pace over 600 at-bats? Surely you’d be interested in having that bat on your fantasy squad. Yet, Santander was sitting on the waiver wire in over 3/4 of fantasy leagues 24 hours ago and still is available in over 60% of leagues. Santander is really cooking of late too with a .382 average, five dingers, and 12 RBI over the last two weeks. He’s not one to provide any speed, but this is a solid four-category producer that needs to be own in many more leagues than he is right now.
Photo/Video Credit: MLB Pipeline, Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire
Eric Cross is the lead MLB/Fantasy Baseball writer and MiLB prospect analyst for FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March 2017. In the past, he wrote for FantasyPros and FanSided. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and a contributor in the best-selling Fantasy Baseball Black Book. For more from Eric, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04.
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