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
Mike Soroka – Atlanta Braves
Remember him? While he owns a 4.33 ERA over his eight Triple-A starts, it’s been a tale of extremes thus far:
- 1st three starts – 2 ER over 13.2 IP
- Next three starts – 13 ER over 11.0 IP
- Last two starts – 2 ER over 10.2 IP
The underlying stats have been promising, with an 8.92 K/9, 2.80 BB/9, and 48.0% GB%. It’s easy to forget that he was a strong starting pitcher prior to struggling with all the injuries, with a 2.86 career ERA over 214.0 IP. It’s been a long-time since we’ve seen him, but with Atlanta in need of help in the rotation, it seems only a matter of time before we do (Bryce Elder, Jared Shuster, and Dylan Dodd have potential, but none of them are givens).
He’s still a player to stash, but if you need pitching there are much worse dart throws to take.
FAAB – 1-3% (In a $1,000 FAAB, $20 max makes sense though you may not need to go that high)
Royce Lewis – Minnesota Twins
Lewis has been out since tearing his ACL last year, and that may have caused many to write him off. He’s closing in on his return, so now is the time to make a move if you deem him worthy.
Thus far he’s struggled with making contact during his rehab assignment:
- Double-A – 16.7% SwStr%
- Triple-A – 19.1% SwStr%
It’s a small sample size and coming off a long layoff, so we have to take the numbers with a grain of salt. Still, it’s a warning sign. With the potential to have lost some of his speed, it makes sense to be cautious. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t want to own him, but those in redraft formats may want to take a cautious approach.
FAAB – 5% (if he’s not owned now, there shouldn’t be a need to go any bigger than this before he actually makes his debut)
Infielders – Additional Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Jose Caballero – Seattle Mariners (FAAB – 0.5%) – Caballero is trying to claim full-time AB over Kolten Wong, but he’s not there yet. That should come soon, however. He doesn’t have huge power, but between Triple-A and the Majors, he has 11 SB in 117 PA. He also brings a strong approach, which should allow him to be productive.
- Jeimer Candelario – Washington Nationals (FAAB – 1%) – It feels like Candelario is consistently on fantasy radars, but we continue to wait for him to put it all together. Maybe it’s finally changing? He’s hitting .286 in May (77 AB). While he only has 6 HR, he’s added 14 doubles. How long will it be before some of those doubles ultimately find their way over the fence?
- Owen Miller – Milwaukee Brewers (FAAB – $0 bid) – Miller has appeared in 35 games this season, hitting .333 with 4 HR and 5 SB. Of course, he has benefited from a .368 BABIP while he’s chased pitches outside the strike zone consistently (37.4% O-Swing%). He does have 9 doubles, but with an 84.9% Exit Velocity, there isn’t much here. He’s a short-term play, and nothing more.
Outfielders – Additional Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Seth Brown – Oakland A’s (FAAB – 1%) – Welcome back Mr. Brown. He’s 3-12 with 1 HR in four games since coming off the IL, though keep in mind he routinely sits against left-handed pitching. He’s proven he can produce both power and speed (25 HR & 11 SB last year), but knowing you may have to sit him some weeks is going to drag down the bid.
- Oscar Mercado – St. Louis Cardinals (FAAB – $1 type) – Mercado has been hot since returning to the Majors, hitting .375 over 24 PA. Of course, he’s benefited from a .429 BABIP and has continued to show a poor approach (11.9% SwStr%, 36.4% O-Swing%). There’s speed, but if he can’t get on base he won’t be able to tap into it. He’s the type of player to ride while he’s hot, but be ready to move on from.
- Marcell Ozuna – Atlanta Braves (FAAB – $1) – As much as we want to give up on Ozuna, it’s impossible. He’s up to 10 HR, and while he’s hitting .222 it’s come due to a .220 BABIP. It’s not like he’s taking an extreme flyball approach (43.5% flyball rate) and his 23.8% strikeout rate is acceptable. There’s still value here.
- Jose Siri – Tampa Bay Rays (FAAB – $1-5) – He’s slugged 9 HR over 102 PA, and his 27.6% HR/FB is reminiscent of his 2021 mark (26.7%). Both were much smaller sample sizes than his 2022 stint when he posted a 10.1% HR/FB, but it still makes you wonder. He struggles to make contact (19.2% SwStr%). He also has done most of his damage against “hard” pitches (.600 SLG), making you wonder if pitchers will alter their approach against him. Assuming that happens, it could quickly become time to move on.
Pitchers – Additional Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs (FAAB – $0) – While most know his name, that doesn’t mean he has extreme value. He’s posted ERAs of 4.77 and 4.80 the past two years and has proven to be prone to home runs. Maybe use him as a streaming option, but nothing more.
- Ben Lively – Cincinnati Reds (FAAB – $0) – Lively has looked good in his four appearances (2 starts), with a 2.65 ERA over 17.0 IP. He’s showing all three skills we look for, with a 9.53 K/9, 1.59 BB/9, and 48.9% groundball rate. He doesn’t throw overly hard (91.2 mph average fastball) and only his slider has brought swing and miss stuff (23.53% Whiff%). There’s a ceiling and it’s hard to get excited.
- Bobby Miller – Los Angeles Dodgers (FAAB – 5-10%) – Miller struggled at Triple-A this season (5.56 ERA over 4 starts). He was impressive in his debut (1 ER over 5.0 IP) and there’s no doubting his upside. He only threw 122.1 innings last season, but at 19.1 IP at the end of June, an innings limit should not be an issue. He generally shows all three skills, and with upside and opportunity he becomes a must-own option.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, MLB.com, MILB.com