It’s hard to believe that this is the last Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire report of the season. Where has the time gone? With the season winding down to its final week and a half, crunch time is upon us. For some of you, your fantasy season ends this week, for others, next week. If you do have a week to go, let’s finish out the season strong, shall we? As I’ve mentioned countless times before, this is the point of the season in re-draft leagues where the name-value goes out the window. Do what you need to do to win your league. Drop the big name, snag the hot hitter, and ride them to fantasy glory.
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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire
Oscar Mercado, OF, Cleveland Indians
For the first two months of his Major League career, Oscar Mercado was one of the hottest rookies around. Both May and June saw him end with an average and OPS above .300 and .800 respectively while providing a nice little power/speed blend with four homers and six steals at the end of June. July, while not as impressive in the batting average department, still ended with four home runs, three steals, 14 RBI, and 15 runs scored. There were even talks of him vaulting into the top-50 of 2020 fantasy drafts if he kept this pace up. The month of August deflated some of the air out of those tires, and in turn, sent Mercado back to the waiver wire in many fantasy leagues. Well, in case you didn’t notice, Mercado is back to his early-season ways with a pair of home runs and a steal over the last week while recording four multi-hit efforts. With his across the board category juice, Mercado should not be left on the waiver wire while he’s hot.
Cavan Biggio, 2B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Throughout his rookie season, Cavan Biggio has been an interesting player to own in our fantasy world. The counting stats have been solid, but that batting average has been a black hole. Luckily, those in OBP leagues have still received value due to his high 16.6% walk rate that has saved his OBP. That walk rate ranks 6th in the Majors for hitters with 300-plus plate appearances. But like I said, Biggio is more than just a pretty walk rate. He’s also currently on right around a 25/25 pace with 100 runs scored. Many dropped him (myself included) last month when the batting average cratered to the point where it wasn’t worth owning Biggio anymore. Now that the stick is hot again, it’s time to get Biggio back on your team and into your lineup. He’s currently sporting a 1.077 OPS this month with two home runs, four steals, and 12 runs in 12 games. Oh yeah, he hit for the cycle the other day too.
Sean Murphy, C, Oakland Athletics
Rookie catchers are always a mixed bag in fantasy. Many had Danny Jansen as a catcher sleeper entering 2019, myself included. But for the most part, he’s been a disappointment this season. Then we had Will Smith get jiggy with it for a while to start his career only to cool off drastically after that. Now, it’s Sean Murphy’s time to shine on the West coast. Since 9/10, Murphy has started in six of the Athletics nine games while hitting for both average and power. He’s cooled off a little with only one hit in his last two games, but you can’t argue with the results so far.
Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
It certainly took longer than we all wanted, but Kyle Tucker is finally getting a chance to flex his tantalizing offensive tools in Houston instead of Triple-A. Granted, him not being up meant we got to witness the great Yordan Alvarez dominate the American League instead. Though he played sparingly to start after his 9/2 promotion, Tucker performed well when called upon, causing the below quote from his manager.
“We told him he’d get more opportunities as he contributed,” Hinch said. “He’s doing his part and we’re doing our part.”
Tucker has now started four of the last five games while continuing to show off his enormous power/speed upside. This is a guy that has three straight 20/20 seasons and a 34/30 season this year in the minors before his promotion. But you don’t need me to tell you how special of a talent Tucker is. With Carlos Correa back (no pun intended), there’s another mouth to feed, but Tucker should still receive consistent playing time down the stretch in order to keep all the fragile regulars in this lineup fresh for the playoffs.
Shed Long, 2B, Seattle Mariners
Let’s just keep rolling right along with this youth movement we’ve been on in this week’s report. Shed Long might not have the prospect pedigree of the names above, but man is he swinging a hot stick right now. During his current seven-game hitting streak, Long has 14 hits in 33 at-bats, with six multi-hit games, two home runs, seven RBI, and four runs scored. Not only is he on fire right now, but Long has also settled into the leadoff spot in Seattle which should be a nice boon to his value down the stretch. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a hotter bat right now and Long is still available in over 90% of fantasy leagues.
Garrett Hampson, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies
Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for this? It feels like Christmas, Opening Day, and MLB Draft time all wrapped together right now. GARRETT HAMPSON IS BACK BABY! For how long? Great question. With how quickly the Rockies pull the plug on their young players, it will always be a mystery. However, we don’t need to think longterm right now. What we need to do is think about who can help us win right now. Who can help us bring home the bacon? That Hampson brand bacon is what is sizzling right now with 12 hits in his last 27 at-bats along with a home run, three steals, and nine runs scored. All while starting in six of Colorado’s last seven games. If you need a speed boost over this final week-plus, Hampson is your guy.
Randal Grichuk, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
It’s no secret that Randal Grichuk is one of the streakiest hitters in the game. I’m pretty sure Katy Perry was thinking about Grichuk when she wrote the song Hit N Cold. She had to have been, right? Just ignore the fact that the song came out the year before Grichuk was drafted and six years before his MLB debut. The 2019 season has been another roller-coaster affair for Mr. Grichuk, but right now he’s flexing those muscles as just the right time. Grichuk has six dingers in his last 10 games, and shockingly, has at least one hit in each of those ten games. If you need a power boost, it’s worth your while to add Grichuk and ride out this hot streak.
Photo/Video Credit: MLB, Sporting News MLB, Dustin Bradford/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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