Another week, another Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire report here on FantraxHQ. Regardless of what style league you play in and what point of the season it is, we should always be looking to improve our fantasy teams. Whether you’re looking to catch the next red hot breakout, find an injury replacement, or improve in a specific statistical category, the waiver wire can help you accomplish all of those. This week’s report features some former top prospects, surging veterans, and a pair of intriguing arms.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire
Nick Senzel (2B/OF – CIN)
Is this happening? Are we doing the whole Nick Senzel thing again? Guess so. This former #2 overall pick has had a tough go of it in the Majors after a solid rookie campaign back in 2019 that saw him rack up 12 homers and 14 steals in 104 games. Since then, Senzel has battled both performance and durability issues that have limited him immensely over the last 2+ seasons. But recently, the old Senzel has begun showing up and it’s time we look his way in fantasy leagues.
#Reds Nick Senzel moved down the order to the 6th and 7th spot. This started on 6/14 and since then:
– 17 G/ 60 PA
– 1 HR/ 3SB
– .358 wOBA
– 125 wRC+
– 93.2% Z-contact%
– Improved GB% (36.6%) and LD% (29.3%) over this span
Just steady production. pic.twitter.com/7mvhMsY6w2
— Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) July 6, 2022
His overall stat line doesn’t impress, but Senzel has turned up the heat over the last two weeks, slashing .395/.447/.558 with two home runs and a steal in 14 games. He’s running an insanely high BABIP, so obviously, this won’t last, but Senzel is still hitting .298 over the last month with two homers and three steals. There was always a modest power/speed blend in Senzel’s profile as a prospect so a 15/15 pace over the remainder of the season isn’t completely out of the question along with a decent AVG and OBP. Senzel is also eligible at both 2B and OF in most leagues which is an added bonus.
Alex Kirilloff (1B/OF – MIN)
I’m honestly not sure why Alex Kirilloff is still available in around 2/3 of fantasy leagues. Yes, his first stint with Minnesota didn’t go well earlier this season, but he tore up Triple-A after being demoted and has hit well since his return on June 17th.
Triple-A: 157 PA, .359/.465/.641, 7 2B, 10 HR
MLB Since 6/17: 74 PA, .290/.311/.507, 6 2B, 3 HR
He’s not walking much, but that’s never been a big part of Kirilloff’s game. What Kirilloff has always done well is hit for a high AVG with good power to go with it that could make him a .280+/25 bat longterm that hits near the middle of the order. Since his return, he’s hit mostly 6th with a decent 1-5 in front of him. As long as he can avoid the IL, Kiriloff is a bat that could provide solid production moving forward in four categories.
Ramon Laureano (OF – OAK)
Over the last two weeks, six players have 3+ homers and 3+ steals. Ramon Laureano is one of them. In addition to his four homers and three steals, Laureano has also scored 10 runs and driven in seven with a .279/.404/.581 slash line. He’s been seeing the ball well with an 18.5% barrel rate, although, Laureano’s strikeout rate remains a hair over 30% during this hot stretch, but sits at a much better 22% for the season. Laureano has proven to be a consistent power/speed source throughout his time in the Majors, averaging 24 homers and 19 steals per 162 games and he’s combined for 20 of each in 132 combined games over the last two seasons.
Josh Donaldson (3B – NYY)
While he hasn’t quite had the season many expected in his first with the Yankees, Josh Donaldson still has plenty of impressive metrics under the hood and has begun to heat up lately. Over the last week, Donaldson is 7/25 with 10 RBI, six runs, and a trio of home runs, all coming in his last three games. On the season, his 10.5% barrel rate, 46.2% hard-hit rate, and 91.7 mph AVG EV still look solid, and Donaldson has recorded a 10.6% walk rate as well. On the flip side, his strikeout, whiff, and chase rates are all up from last season, and paired with so-so contact rates, likely won’t lead to a high AVG. But you want Donaldson for his power, and this might be the start of a power binge in the 2nd half for the former American League MVP.
JOSH DONALDSON GRAND SLAM! pic.twitter.com/Sp066vbZKd
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) July 7, 2022
Darick Hall (UT – PHI)
Remember the “My name is Big Al and I hit dingers” kid from the LLWS a few years ago? Well, here’s the adult version. Darick Hall has spent the last six years in the Phillies organization hitting dingers and waiting for his chance. But outside of his big power, the rest of his offensive profile brought more questions than answers, which is why he’s just now making his Major League debut at the age of 26 as Philly needed a bat following Bryce Harper’s injury.
So far, Hall hasn’t disappointed with four home runs in nine games since his promotion. It’s an incredibly small sample size, but his 26.1% barrel rate is notable as well. But on the other end of the spectrum, Hall has 12 strikeouts and zero walks in 35 plate appearances. Let me stress that if you’re looking at Hall on the waiver wire, it should only be because you really need a power boost.
Josh Rojas (2B/3B/SS/OF – ARI)
Josh Rojas falls under the “not sexy but helpful” category for fantasy purposes. When you look at his profile or savant page, you won’t need to pick your jaw up off the floor. However, he does a little bit of everything without hurting you in any one category while being eligible at several positions. That multi-positional eligibility is always appreciated, especially as we get further into the season with player injuries starting to pile up due to the long grind of a 162-game MLB season. Rojas has quietly produced a well-rounded offensive profile this season as well, especially lately. For the season, Rojas has hit .275 with five homers and seven steals in 216 plate appearances and has hit .357 over the last two weeks with a homer, two steals, and 12 runs scored. He makes for a solid stop-gap until one of your starters returns from injury.
Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN)
After more than two months on the IL with a back strain, Nick Lodolo returned to the mound on Tuesday and pitched admirably with 4.2 shutout innings and eight strikeouts. He did walk three batters in this outing, but walks have never really been a major issue for Lodolo as a professional with a 4.2% walk rate in the minors and 7.3% in college. Lodolo has actually looked very good this season in his four starts, recording a 30.3% strikeout rate, 21.3% K-BB rate, 3.44 xERA, and 3.10 xFIP. He’s also one of the few pitchers in baseball this season with a whiff rate and chase rate both above 30%. A lot of that can be attributed to his harder curveball (sometimes called a slider) and its 48.6% whiff rate, but Lodolo’s changeup also has a whiff rate above 30%.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 6, 2022
David Peterson (SP – NYM)
David Peterson represents a highly-intriguing buy right now in redraft leagues and one that’s currently available in nearly 2/3 of fantasy leagues. Over the last 30 days, Peterson ranks 14th among qualified pitchers in K-BB rate and 10th in strikeout rate, right between Robbie Ray and Carlos Rodon. On top of that, his 2.65 xFIP and 2.81 SIERA show that he’s been pitching much better than his 4.08 ERA and 1.33 WHIP would indicate. Peterson has been victimized by a higher .354 BABIP which is sure to stabilize to some degree moving forward. I’m not sure we’ll see his K rate drop much either as Peterson has a 28% chase rate and 28.3% whiff rate thanks largely to his elite slider (.154 BAA, 48.4% whiff).
Media Credit: Talkin Yanks, MLB Pipeline, Mike Kurland, Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
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