We would all love to win our league on Draft Day, but that’s simply not possible. The fantasy baseball waiver wire is a necessary tool for fortifying your roster. How much FAAB should you be willing to spend on some of the hot adds? Here’s a look at some of the players, generally owned in 50% or less of leagues, who may be worth considering.
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Fantasy Baseball FAAB Recommendations
Catchers – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Ivan Herrera – St. Louis Cardinals (FAAB – 2.5-5%) – While Willson Contreras was given a big free agent contract, with St. Louis struggling they should be able to find ample AB for Herrera as well. In 227 PA at Triple-A he was hitting .308 with 8 HR and 7 SB. He added 20 doubles and 1 triple, so while he may not tap into it yet there’s more power to tap into. Throw in a strong approach (9.2% SwStr%, 16.7% walk rate at Triple-A) and there’s a lot to like. As long as he’s getting AB there is going to be value in all formats. In two-catcher leagues, we’d push the FAAB bid even higher, but he’s worth grabbing off the waiver wire in all formats.
Infielders – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Zack Gelof – Oakland A’s (FAAB – 3-4%) – In 308 PA at Triple-A Gelof showed power and speed (12 HR and 20 SB). Don’t put too much stock in his .304 AVG, considering his .410 BABIP and 14.7% SwStr% (27.9% strikeout rate). While the average could be a concern, his ability to draw a walk (13.3%) helps offset that. In OBP formats that’s going to give him more value and make him worth a few additional FAAB dollars (think in the 5-7.5%).
- Nick Gonzales – Pittsburgh Pirates (FAAB – 1%) – It’s nice to see a young player getting an opportunity, but that doesn’t make him a must grab. At Triple-A Gonzales was hitting .257 with 6 HR and 1 SB over 262 PA. Nothing there shows much upside, does it? Throw in a 17.4% SwStr% and what are we buying? He may get hot and become worth streaming, but he’s not worth any more than that.
- Tyler Soderstrom – Oakland A’s (FAAB – 2-3%) – Soderstrom was one of two prospects recalled by the A’s during the All Star Break. The former first round pick had 20 HR over 304 PA at Triple-A, though strikeouts are going to be a concern. Prior to his recall he owned a 12.8% SwStr% while failing to draw walks (6.6% walk rate). Major League pitchers will likely take advantage of that aggressiveness, so don’t be surprised if he struggles initially. In keeper formats we’d be spending significantly more, but in redraft leagues it’s fair to be conservative.
Outfielders – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Corey Julks – Houston Astros (FAAB – 0%) – Julks has not yet shown the power that he put on display at Triple-A in ’22 (31 HR in 590 PA), and maybe that wasn’t real (on 21 doubles and 4 triples). He’s still proven valuable, hitting .282 with 15 SB over 260 PA. His .356 BABIP and 87.7 mph Exit Velocity, as well as 6.9% walk rate, give cause for concern. He’s a player to use while he’s hot, but move on quickly.
- Joey Meneses – Washington Nationals (FAAB – 0-1%) – His name was hot heading into the preseason. Only 2 HR over the first three months seemed to silence that. With 4 HR over 9 games in July, suddenly his name is thrust back into the spotlight. His 89.0 mph Exit Velocity for the month doesn’t instill much confidence. Neither does his average home run distance of 395 feet. It’s easy to jump back on the bandwagon, but we aren’t ready quite yet.
- Dane Myers – Miami Marlins (FAAB – 0-1%) – Injuries have led to opportunity for Myers, who has made the most of it thus far. Over 7 games (25 PA) he’s hit .360 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, and 0 SB. He had 13 HR and 16 SB between Double and Triple-A prior to his recall, though he added just 8 doubles and 2 triples. There’s likely an expiration date on his opportunities, once Jazz Chisholm is ready to return. He’s a play to use while he’s hot, but that type isn’t worth spending significant FAAB on.
Pitchers – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Adbert Alzolay – Chicago Cubs (FAAB – 10-15%) – He appears to have claimed the closer’s role for the Cubs. He has saves in his past three appearances. He also has shown all three skills we look for from a pitcher (9.84 K/9, 1.37 BB/9, 47.9% groundball rate). Sure Mark Leiter Jr. has emerged as a viable bullpen option, but he’s no threat currently to the job. If you are looking for saves, grab Alzolay off the waiver wire.
- Quinn Priester – Pittsburgh Pirates (FAAB – 5%) – Welcome to the Majors Mr. Priester. He had made 18 starts at Triple-A prior to his recall, showing strikeouts (8.62 K/9), control (3.59 BB/9), and groundballs (53.8%). The strikeouts were down slightly, though his 12.3% SwStr% shows a bit more upside. As MLB.com noted, “he’s shown that his legitimate four-pitch mix can get hitters out in a number of ways.” Rookies always carry risk, but there’s enough upside to target him off the waiver wire.
- Christopher Sanchez – Philadelphia Phillies (FAAB – 0%) – Sanchez doesn’t have the upside of a Priester, but he’s shown a strong skillset at the highest level. Over six starts he has an 8.01 K/9, 1.48 BB/9, and 54.1% groundball rate. He may not generate big strikeout numbers (7.97 K/9 at Triple-A), but the other skills should provide value. Use him while he’s going well, but don’t spend big and become infatuated.
Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Savant, MLB.com, CBS Sports
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