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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Something’s Brewin’ in Milwaukee

The first month of Major League action is in the books. By this point you should have a good idea of where your team stands and what areas statistically and positionally you need to improve in. And the longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to make up ground in the standings, regardless of whether you’re in a roto, points, or H2H league. This week’s fantasy baseball waiver wire report is a bit offensive heavy, so if your offense needs a spark, this is the report for you.

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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire

Rowdy Tellez (1B – MIL)

If you need a first baseman this week, go add Rowdy Tellez immediately, even before you finish reading this article. Tellez has been terrorizing National League pitchers over the five games, racking up nine hits, four homers, and 13 RBI to push his season totals to seven homers and 21 RBI. Both of those rank in the top-5 in baseball right now as well. He’s always been an intriguing player for fantasy purposes and we’re finally seeing him put it all together. Tellez currently sports a stellar 21.7% barrel rate, 92.1 mph AVG EV, and 50% hard-hit rate to go along with a .625 SLG, and .350 ISO.  He’s seemingly bashed his way out of the platoon and has been locked into Milwaukee’s lineup, usually hitting 5th behind Adames, Yelich, and McCutchen. So, once again, go add Tellez.

Luis Urias (2B/3B/SS – MIL)

As a rule of thumb, I usually limit my recommendations to players that are below 50% rostered. But I had to make an exception this week for Luis Urias who is currently rostered in 51% of leagues as I’m typing this. Did everyone forget about him or something? Why is he only rostered in half of leagues? This number should be at least 30% higher, maybe more. In his three games since returning from a strained left quad, Urias has racked up ADD STATS. He even bumped up to the leadoff spot in yesterday’s game, something that could stick whenever Kolten Wong is on the bench.

From a statistical standpoint, Urias made solid strides last season, posting a 9.3% barrel rate and 40.5% hard-hit rate with better than league average whiff and chase rates. Urias also improved his walk and strikeout rates, posting the best K-BB% of his young career. We’re talking about a top-200 draft pick before the season that has eligibility at two or three positions in your league depending on your thresholds. He needs to be rostered in all 12-team leagues or deeper and even some 10-team leagues as well.

Kyle Lewis (OF – SEA)

Last week, Ramon Laureano was the recommended stash. This week, we have another American League West outfielder to add ahead of their return with Kyle Lewis. After missing most of 2021 with a torn ACL, Lewis is finally nearing a return to MLB action and began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday. Although Lewis has only accrued 464 plate appearances over three seasons due to injury and the shortened 2020 season, he’s flashed his intriguing fantasy upside with 22 homers and seven steals overall and a barrel rate well above 10% in each season. Lewis has also trimmed his strikeout and whiff rates each season, although, the whiff rate remains high. Lewis probably won’t hit more than .260 or so, but that could come with a 25-homer pace once he’s back. If you have the bench space, now is the time to stash him.

Andres Gimenez (2B/SS – NYM)

One of the bright spots for the Cleveland Guardians this season, especially lately, has been Andrés Giménez. The former top prospect is hitting .344 on the season and has 12 hits in his last seven games with five runs, eight RBI, and a home run in that span. He’s still not walking much at all this season, but Gimenez has trimmed his strikeout, whiff, and chase rates and has seen his quality of contact metrics improve slightly as well. You’ll likely never see Gimenez hit more than 10-15 home runs over a full season, but the potential for 20 steals is there with a solid enough AVG and multi-position eligibility.

Jose Miranda (3B – MIN)

After a dominant 2021 showing where he hit .344 in 127 games with 30 home runs, Miranda almost made the Twins opening day roster before their flurry of moves brought in Gio Urshela and Carlos Correa, sending Miranda back to Triple-A. He wasn’t performing at the same level this season as he did in 2021, but Miranda’s bat is legit with an above-average or better hit tool and above-average power as well. Longterm, he projects as a .270+/20+ bat that should have multi-positional eligibility with some combination of 1st base, 2nd base, and 3rd base. He’s only recorded one hit in his first three games, but he should get some run in Minnesota moving forward and is worth a look in 12+ team leagues due to his upside offensively.

MJ Melendez (C – KCR)

After hitting a 41 homers last season, Melendez was struggling this season before Kansas City called him up following Cam Gallagher landing on the IL. Melendez has picked up a hit in each of his first two games thus far, but I’m questioning if he’s more than a 15-team league target. If you’ve been struggling to find a consistent catcher all season and have been streaming the position, Melendez is worth a shot, but I’m not expecting a major impact this season.

Juan Yepez (1B/OF – STL)

I’m sure everyone was hoping that Nolan Gorman would get the first crack when St. Louis needed a bat, but the need for another outfielder gives us 2021 breakout, Juan Yepez. Between Double-A and Triple-A last season, Yepez posted a .286/.383/.586 slash line and 27 home runs in 431 plate appearances while demonstrating a solid plate approach as well. Yepez has continued to ride that momentum into a great AFL showing and into 2022 where he had nine home runs in 93 plate appearances. His Major League career is off to a great start as well with a pair of multi-hit games and two doubles.

Initially, I was skeptical that he would play every day, but him starting both games so far, one at DH and one in right field, is definitely promising and it looks like Dylan Carlson is going to lose playing time moving forward. If you’re in a 14-team league or deeper, Yepez is definitely recommended, and he’s not a bad pickup in 12-teamers for teams that need 1B/OF help and have someone to drop.

Jarren Duran (OF – BOS)

A late addition to this week’s waiver wire report, Jarren Duran has been called up by the Red Sox and has a chance to play regularly moving forward. AN uninspiring Major League stint last season likely left a bad taste in the mouths of those that rostered him, but Duran was red-hot to start the season in Triple-A Worcester. In 63 plate appearances, Duran was slashing.370/.460/.574 with seven extra-base hits, one homer, and seven steals. After selling out a bit for power in 2020 and 2021, Duran is getting back to what made him a top-100 prospect not too long ago, hitting for average and stealing bags. Boston desperately needs a spark in their scuffling lineup right now, so Duran should get solid run in the starting lineup and is worth rostering for his speed alone.

Jameson Taillon (SP – NYY)

It’s honestly pretty peculiar that Jameson Taillon is available in 2/3 of fantasy leagues. Yes, he’s coming off a lackluster 2021, missed 2020, and short 2019 season, but he’s back to full health this season and is pitching well for the first-place New York Yankees. Through his first five starts, Taillon has recorded a 2.84 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and an 18.1% K-BB rate. Granted, that rate is mostly due to his 1.9% walk rate and not his mediocre 20% strikeout rate. Taillon might not have the same zip on the heater, but he’s still mixing six pitches well and limiting hard contact and barrels like he always has. Don’t expect a big strikeout rate, but Taillon can provide solid ratios and maybe a bit more strikeouts than he’s currently showing.

Joe Barlow (RP – TEX)

Back in the middle of April, there was plenty of speculation about Joe Barlow not being the Rangers’ primary closer this season. That speculation has been silenced recently though with Barlow picking up three straight saves and pitching well overall this season. In 8.1 innings, Barlow has posted a 2.16 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 37.5% strikeout rate, and a 3.1% walk rate to go along with that trio of saves. Allowing five barrels already is a tad concerning, but Barlow is missing bats at a high clip, with both his slider and curveball having whiff rates above 45% at the moment. It appears that he’s secure in the role for now, so Barlow needs to be added in all 12-team leagues or deeper.

Media Credit: Mariners Minors, Fox Sports: MLB, ST. Louis Cardinals

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