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 (Hitters):
- Tommy Pham – Arizona Diamondbacks (FAAB – 2.5-5%) – Always known as a platoon player, Pham has been showing off both power and speed all year long. Since the trade to Arizona (163 PA) he’s added 6 HR and 9 SB, and with 11 doubles there’s even more power there. With an average Exit Velocity of 91.1 mph and ample opportunity, Pham could prove to be a difference-maker over the final few weeks of the season.
Must Target Options (Pitchers):
- Michael King – New York Yankees (FAAB – 4-7.5%) – Over 9.2 IP (two starts) King has 17 K vs. 2 BB. That really is all you need to know. Transitioning back to the rotation has certainly agreed with him and it makes sense for the Yankees to see if he’s an answer for 2024 and beyond. Having just transitioned back to the rotation he may not be able to go deep into games, which does limit his value somewhat. Still, he’s shown enough to make him a worthwhile gamble down the stretch.
- Keaton Winn – San Francisco Giants (FAAB – 5-10%) – Not a name you are familiar with? That’s not a surprise, having been a fifth-round pick back in 2018. Overall his ceiling my not be high, but he’s clearly figured something out. Over a few weeks? Why couldn’t he be a difference-maker? He struck out 9 over 6.0 IP in his last start. Obviously pitching this weekend in Coors will be difficult. However, he’s generally shown very good control. It’s interesting that he pitches off his split-finger fastball (57.50% in that last start), but that’s a pitch that’s tough to hit (39.13% Whiff% in that start). He’s showing groundballs (60.2% in the Majors) with those other skills. That makes him an intriguing asset to own over the final few weeks.
Use Them While They Are Hot:
- Cal Quantril – Cleveland Guardians (FAAB – 0%) – He’s allowed 2 ER or less in three straight starts. That has caused some to jump back on the bandwagon, but he only has 10 K over those 18.0 IP. Overall he owns a 5.08 K/9 this season and could be prone to home runs (40.8% groundball rate). With your season on the line, is that really someone you want to trust? You can use him, if you want to take a risk, but don’t get comfortable.
Young Players Who May Struggle:
- Pete Crow-Armstrong – Chicago Cubs – Long-term there is no doubting his upside. However, he struggled to make consistent contact in both Double-A (14.7% SwStr%) and Triple-A (15.9%) prior to his recall. Seeing that number jump again, all the way to 22.2%, in his small first taste of the Majors isn’t a surprise. In a short time period, would it be surprising if he failed to make an adjustment? There’s a lot of risk, especially with only a few weeks left, to trust him this year.
- Heston Kjerstad – Baltimore Orioles – Not quite a mirror image of Crow-Armstrong, as he actually improved going from Double-A (14.0% SwStr%) to Triple-A (12.7%). There’s plenty of power, You would think that there would be an opportunity, with players like Aaron Hicks getting time in the outfield. There will likely be a transition period, however, and the strikeouts could balloon. While we’d be more apt to gamble on him, it’s something to consider and monitor.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, CBS Sports, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Savant