Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Targets in the Outfield
The Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire can be a fickle beast at times. Sometimes we’ll have a good mix of players here from a variety of positions to help your team out. Other weeks, like this week, it’s more clustered at one position. If outfield or pitching help is what you seek this week, then you came to the right place as we have several outfielders below for you to choose from, along with a trio of solid arms. For those of you seeking infield help, unfortunately, there wasn’t much of note this week.
If you want to roll the dice on Joshua Rojas, be my guest. However, I have a hard time recommending a utility player that I’m not confident plays enough to really make an impact in mixed leagues. The Triple-A numbers were phenomenal, but let’s not get too excited about those right now. He projects more as a utility infielder longterm than he does a full-time starter at any position. That could have some appeal in NL-Only formats, but he’s best lest on the waiver wire in mixed leagues. But enough about him, let’s get to the guys that I do recommend adding this week.
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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire – Hitters
Manuel Margot, OF, San Diego Padres
When the San Diego Padres dealt their all-star closer, Craig Kimbrel, to the Red Sox in the winter of 2015/16, the main piece in their return package was outfielder, Manuel Margot. At the time, Margot was one of the top prospects in a loaded Red Sox system (Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, etc) and was considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball for his plus hit tool, plus speed, and solid defense. Things haven’t gone quite according to plan for Margot in San Diego, but those tools that made him a top prospect are still there. And now that Franmil Reyes is patrolling the outfield in Cleveland, Margot has a chance of everyday playing time for the rest of the season.
The Padres needed a hero and Manuel Margot decided to be the guy. pic.twitter.com/xrxYPzCmUK
— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) August 11, 2019
With his contact skills (80+% contact rate in all four seasons) and power/speed, Margot has the ability to really provide some solid fantasy value down the stretch. He’s flashed that upside in his playing time this season with 10 home runs and 16 steals in 286 at-bats. Sure, the .248 average isn’t overly impressive at the moment, but with his contact skills, a .284 BABIP is quite low. Margot makes for a solid across the board play in all standard mixed leagues.
Trent Grisham, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
In this article two weeks ago, I recommended Trent Grisham as a speculative add in deeper leagues in case he got regular playing time. At the time, his playing time situation wasn’t quite clear despite mashing Triple-A pitching at a near Lux/Yordan level before his promotion to Milwaukee. Well, guess what? Grisham is playing regularly and still performing quite well. In his first 35 at-bats, Grisham is hitting .314 with two doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, and six runs scored. And not only is Grisham playing regularly, but he’s also leading off half the time as well. This has gone from a speculative add to someone that needs to be owned in standard mixed leagues moving forward.
Anthony Santander, OF, Baltimore Orioles
Let me hit you with some knowledge for a second. Over the last month, Anthony Santander has been a top-50 fantasy performer. Even with his strong performance, Santander still finds himself sitting on the waiver wire in over 2/3 of fantasy leagues. In 239 at-bats this season, Santander is hitting .297 with 11 home runs, 35 RBI, and 30 runs scored. He doesn’t run at all, but that’s solid four-category fantasy production right there just sitting on the waiver wire. Outside of a 20-homer season in 2016, Santander hasn’t really shown too much power throughout his minor league career, but currently sports a hard contact rate just below 40% and both his FB% and pull% are just over 40%. It’s another lost season in Baltimore, so I’d expect Santander to continue to hit in the middle of the order and provide quality production in four of five standard categories.
Randy Arozarena, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Here’s one for those of you in 14+ team leagues. The Cardinals desperately needed an outfielder to fill in for a couple of injuries and luckily they had one of their top prospects tearing up Triple-A and ready to step in. Here’s what I said about Arozarena in this week’s prospects report:
“A few weeks ago, it appeared that Randy Arozarena was blocked at the Major League level with the gluttony of outfielders the Cardinals already had. I mean, they couldn’t find playing time for the guys they already had, so why would we trust them to give playing time to Arozarena? Well, a few injuries later and here we are. Arozarena has been summoned to St. Louis as a reinforcement and could get some run in the outfield over the next few weeks with Jose Martinez and Tyler O’Neill on the shelf. In Double-A and Triple-A this season, Arozarena was slashing a combined .349/.435/.517/.982 with 10 homers and 16 steals (10 CS) across 298 at-bats. Arozarena is worth a look in deeper mixed leagues for his above-average hit tool/speed and double-digit pop.”
Travis Demeritte, OF, Detroit Tigers
When Travis Demeritte came to Detroit in the Shane Greene deal, it became his third different organization at the age of 24. But no matter what system he’s in, the M.O. on Demeritte has been the same: Power and strikeouts. Throughout his seven-year minor league career, Demeritte has a paltry 30.6% strikeout rate, getting as high as 36.7% one season. That rate has vastly improved this season, but still sat at a 26.6% clip at the time of his Major League debut. It is improved though which is the important thing here. A 36.7% strikeout rate is a good way to get your rear end benched in the Major Leagues, unless you’re Chris Davis.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 2, 2019
With the power Demeritte possesses, along with the little bit of speed mixed in, he makes for a solid addition in deeper mixed leagues for the stretch run. Demeritte was hitting .286 with 28 doubles and 20 home runs in 339 Triple-A at-bats this season and already has a homer and three steals 49 at- bats with Detroit.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire – Pitchers
Cal Quantrill, SP, San Diego Padres
While I’ve been mostly pessimistic about Cal Quantrill’s long-term upside, he’s certainly off to a strong start to his Major League career. Through his first 12 starts and five relief appearances, Quantrill has a 3.23 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, and 7.3 K/9. He’s never shown the stuff needed to be a big strikeout guy at the Major League level, but it’s hard to argue with the ratios Quantrill is currently putting up. The key for Quantrill has been mixing his pitches and keeping hitters off-balance. He’s thrown all four of his pitches (4S fastball, sinker, slider, changeup) between 19.1% and 34.5% of the time, while also mixing in the occasional curveball. Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts, but if you need a ratios stabilizer in the back end of your rotation, give Quantrill a look.
Logan Webb, SP, San Francisco Giants
There’s strong rumors coming out of the Bay Area that Logan Webb will be called up this weekend to make his Major League debut. Webb has developed into one of the Giants best pitching prospects over the last couple of years and has pitched very well this season with an 80-game suspension sandwiched right in the middle of his 12 starts. On the season, Webb has recorded a tidy 1.85 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, and 9.8 K/9 in 63.1 innings of work. Mixed into that was one of the strangest stat lines you’ll ever see. On 8/2 against Double-A Harrisburg, Webb allowed 10 runs, none of which were earned.
This has been the third straight season that Webb has recorded an ERA under three after a 2.89 ERA in 2018 (A-Short) and a 2.41 ERA last season (A+/AA). Webb has taken a big step forward with his control this season, cutting his walk rate from 4.0 BB/9 down to 2.1 this season. With a plus fastball/slider combination and serviceable changeup, Webb projects as a future mid-rotation starter with the potential for over a strikeout per inning. He’s worth a look in 12+ team mixed leagues.
Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland Indians
Aaron Civale is the pitching equivalent to Randy Arozarena this week to the sense that if all went according to plan at the Major League level, Civale wouldn’t be up right now. But with Danny Salazar, Corey Kluber, and Carlos Carrasco all on the IL right now, spots have opened up for guys like Civale, Plesac, and Adam Plutko. Plesac is one we’ve discussed here in the past and now it’s Civale’s turn for the spotlight.
Very quietly, Civale has put together a strong 2019 campaign. In 13 starts split between Double-A and Triple-A, Civale pitched to a 2.35 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, and 8.7 K/9. That success has transferred up to Cleveland where he’s only allowed two earned runs through his first three starts (18.0 innings). Civale has never been a big strikeout guy, but with his plus command, he’s a safer option for quality ratios, low walks, and still able to get around 8.0 K/9.
Photo/Video Credit: Sporting News MLB, Detroit Tigers
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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