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
Must Target Options:
- Ronny Mauricio – New York Mets (FAAB – 12.5-15%) – After a long wait Mauricio finally arrived, and he instantly made an impact going 2-3. He has gained experience playing multiple positions, which should allow the team to deploy him in a super utility role the rest of the way. At Triple-A he had shown power (56 extra base hits, including 23 HR) and speed (24 SB). Strikeouts could be an issue initially (11.4% SwStr% at Triple-A, 14.9% at Double-A in ’22), but his combination of power and speed is hard to find. With ample opportunity, don’t skimp on your FAAB bid.
- Parker Meadows – Detroit Tigers (12.5-15%) – He had 19 HR and 19 SB over 44 PA at Triple-A, but with a 23.8% strikeout rate. Before we raise the red flag, his strikeout rate was more due to patience. His 10.2% SwStr% is hardly a concern, especially since we’ve seen it maintained in the Majors (10.7%). He’s not chasing pitches (26.3% O-Swing%). With the ability to draw walks (11.0% at Triple-A) and hit the ball hard (90.8 mph Exit Velocity), there’s an awful lot to like. Long-term his value may be massive, but even short-term he could be a difference maker.
- Jordan Wicks – Chicago Cubs (FAAB – 2.5-5%) – The big question facing Wicks is how many innings he’ll be allowed to go. He threw 94.2 innings in ’22 and has already thrown 101.1 innings this season. He may only have another 20 innings left this season. That alone is a question, but Chicago has also limited how deep he could go in games. In his 20 minor league starts he pitches 91.1 innings, averaging less than 5.0 innings per start. Long-term he’s a definite must-add, but short-term the value is capped.
Potential Source Of Saves:
- Alex Lange – Detroit Tigers (FAAB – 5-7.5%) – Technically his ownership is over 50%, but a blown save on Thursday could’ve caused some to get discouraged. Lange bounced back on Friday, earning the save. While the Tigers could give Jason Foley another look, his last save came on August 19. In other words, it appears it is Lange’s job, and as long as he’s throwing strikes he has the stuff to thrive. Of course, a 6.88 BB/9 could ultimately cost him, and that risk is going to limit how much you want to spend on him.
- Tanner Scott – Miami Marlins (FAAB – 15-20%) – This was supposed to be David Robertson’s job. He has been abysmal since being acquired from the Mets, opening the door. Scott has burst through and may have the stuff to claim the job not only for ’23 but far beyond. In 63.2 IP he owns a 2.40 ERA courtesy of a 12.02 K/9, 3.25 BB/9, and 48.9% groundball rate. Control has always been a question (5.26 career BB/9), but at 29 years old he may have finally figured it out. He wouldn’t be the first reliever to put things together after a few years, and the pure stuff is there to thrive. If you need saves, he’s a must-target off the waiver wire. Bid big and don’t regret it.
Young Players Who May Struggle:
- Hunter Goodman – Colorado Rockies (FAAB – 2%) – Goodman has power, but the question was if he could make enough contact to tap into it. He hit 34 HR between Double and Triple-A before his recall, but that came with SwStr% of 12.3% and 14.1%, respectively. It is no surprise that it has ballooned even further against MLB pitching, with a 21.9% SwStr% over 20 PA. His “best” Whiff% thus far is 14.29% against hard pitches. Don’t be surprised to see upper-level pitching continue to expose him. Even playing half his games in Coors doesn’t change the outlook. Long-term there’s value, but in ’23 he may struggle.
- Darius Vines – Atlanta Braves (FAAB – 1%) – Vines caught some attention in his first start, allowing 2 ER over 6.0 IP. He also doesn’t face an innings cap, as he hasn’t pitched much this season (43.1 IP in the minors). The question is if he can keep the ball in the ballpark, having been plagued by a 1.35 HR/9 over 107.0 IP at Double-A last season. Atlanta also has ample options in the rotation, so Vines may not have a long leash. If you are looking at ’23, don’t spend too much in FAAB.
Use Them While They’re Hot (But Don’t Grow Attached):
- Mitch Garver – Texas Rangers (FAAB – 0-1%) – In two-catcher formats, he is an easy add. In one-catcher formats, he’s also usable, while he’s red hot. In August he hit .302 with 8 HR over 24 games. He’s not the player who hit 31 HR long-term, but right now he’s doing his best impression. Grab him off the waiver wire and take advantage while you can.
- D.J. LeMahieu – New York Yankees (FAAB – 2-3%) – It looked like LeMahieu had gotten old quickly. Since the All-Star break, he has regained his form. Over 153 PA he’s hitting .292 with 7 HR (after hitting .220 in the first half). He’s also drawing walks (13.7%) adding appeal for those in OBP formats. He may never again be the player he was back in ’19. This version does have value that can’t be ignored. He has the potential to hold value the rest of the way, especially in OBP, so grab him off the waiver wire while others have written him off.
- D.J. Stewart – New York Mets (FAAB – 0-1%) – Picked up off the scrap heap, Stewart was red-hot in August (.303 with 8 HR over 66 AB). Does anyone believe he can maintain a 42.1% HR/FB, though? How about learning that his average home run has gone just 391 feet? Throw in his history of struggles against southpaws, and it’s clear he’s nothing more than a short-term play. Don’t waste much of your FAAB.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, CBS Sports, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Savant