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Waiver Wire Report: Add Jeff McNeil McNow

Are you someone that likes long walks on the beach and improving your fantasy baseball team? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I know this is a grueling time of year. Fantasy baseball has been a part of your life for at least the last four months and now you have fantasy football trying to wiggle its way in for some quality time. But don’t you dare stop focusing on your fantasy baseball squad. Dig deep and grab some of these top waiver wire adds if you need a boost at a certain position or in a particular statistical category. August and September are what separate the best from the rest. Which one you are is entirely up to you. Choose wisely.

Keep up with all the latest Fantasy Baseball happenings with Van Lee, Jeff Zimmerman and Rob Silver on the Launch Angle Podcast.

Top Waiver Wire Adds

Jeff McNeil (2B/3B – NYM)

Ownership: Fantrax 19%, Yahoo 14%, ESPN 4%

The launch angle revolution isn’t just running rampant in the Majors. Look no further than Jeff McNeil for evidence of that. Coming into the 2018 season, McNeil had slugged just nine home runs in 1,274 at-bats. That’s roughly four per season. Take that four, multiply it by some launch angle goodness, and you get 19 homers in 339 at-bats this season. So, McNeil sacrificed some batting average for the power gain, right? Nope. His .342/.411/.617/1.028 slash line is the best line of his career with the exception of a .413 OBP in rookie ball back in 2013.

The rest of his stat line wasn’t horrible before he added power either. McNeil has never hit below .292 in any full season and showed 15-20 SB upside earlier in his minor league career. He doesn’t run quite as much anymore, but still had six steals this season before his callup. Names like Vlad and Bo allowed McNeil to sneak under the radar all the way to a starting spot with the Mets following the Asdrubal Cabrera trade. He’s currently batting second on a regular basis with a .300 average, two home runs, and excellent plate discipline. The man is a pure hitter and needs to be owned in all standard mixed leagues.

Aledmys Diaz (SS – TOR)

Ownership: Fantrax 30%, Yahoo 19%, ESPN 13%

Good, mediocre, then good again. What am I talking about? Aledmys Diaz’s career. Diaz was a relative unknown when he broke out in 2016 as the Cardinals starting shortstop. Following that was a stretch of mediocrity and a trade north of the border. Well, in case you hadn’t realized, Diaz is on a near 30-home run pace this season. Cut that down to the last month, and he’s hitting .329 with six dingers, 14 RBI, and 15 runs scored. What can we attest this power surge to? A more aggressive approach at the dish, as seen below.

When you compare Diaz’s breakout rookie season of 2016 to 2018 so far, his O-Swing%, Z-Swing%, Swing% have all risen significantly while his contact rates have dropped slightly. Throw that all together and you have more power and a batting average around 40 points lower. The latest reports on Troy Tulowitzki said he “remains optimistic” that he’ll return this season. Come on. We’re talking about the man that basically lives on the Disabled List. Excuse me if I don’t share in his optimism. With Diaz entrenched at short for the foreseeable future and hitting this well, give him a look.

Mallex Smith (OF – TB)

Ownership: Fantrax 63%, Yahoo 50%, ESPN 38%

Right around this time every season in every fantasy league, someone looks at their roster and realizes their squad is slow as dirt. Mallex Smith can help that. The speedster has swiped 10 bags in the last month, eight in the last two weeks, and five in the last week. On top of that, his average sits at a gorgeous .386 over the last month.

There’s no mystery surrounding Smith. No cloud of intrigue. We all know he has zero power, but the speed and batting average have plenty of value, that’s for damn sure. And now that he’s hitting leadoff regularly, the runs have begun to pile up with eight in the last five games since moving to the top of the order. There are literally zero reasons why Smith should still be sitting on any waiver wires. Don’t let one of the hottest waiver wire adds of the last few weeks slip through your fingers.

David Dahl (OF – COL)

Ownership: Fantrax 59%, Yahoo 10%, ESPN 6%

Yes, I have a soft spot for David Dahl. Never going to deny that. Power + speed + Coors Field will always get me at least a little giddy. What doesn’t get me, or any other fantasy owner around the world, giddy is the injury history, which has already reared it’s ugly head this season for Dahl. After a foot injury sidelined him for nearly two months, Dahl was optioned to Triple-A before getting recalled on Sunday.

Fantrax Football CommissionerAt the time of his recall, it was unsure how much Dahl would play. However, he’s started in each of the Rockies last four games. Two of those were in left, one in center, and one in right. While he might not have a set starting spot all to himself, his versatility to play all three outfield positions will keep him in the lineup close to every day as long as he can actually stay on the field. If, and that’s a big if, he can stay on the field, the combination of a solid batting average (.282), power (5 HR), and speed (3 SB), make Dahl an attractive option in deeper mixed leagues.

Hunter Renfroe (OF – SD)

Ownership: Fantrax 42%, Yahoo 4%, ESPN 3%

Renfroe has gone yard in four straight games. Say it with me. Renfroe has gone yard in four straight games. Power has never been a question when discussing Renfroe, but literally, everything else has. The hit tool, playing time, etc. He’s still not a guy that projects to hit anywhere close to .300, but it’s worth noting that Renfroe is now on a seven-game hitting streak and has been hitting third or fourth regularly for the Padres.

Like with Smith above, you know what you’re getting with Renfroe. But if you need a power boost, Renfroe makes for a solid add in deeper leagues while he’s hitting this well. I’ll leave you with a Renfroe bomb below and a stat of note. If Renfroe had enough at-bats to qualify, his 46.3% hard contact rate would be tied for 10th in the Majors with some dude named Paul Goldschmidt. Interested yet?

Ryan Madson (RP – WAS)

Ownership: Fantrax 36%, Yahoo 41%, ESPN 10%

Let me start this off by saying that this recommendation is for saves-needy owners. The desperate souls that have been scavenging the waiver wire for months trying to grab a closer. Yes, Madson is the new closer in D.C. while both Sean Doolittle and Kelvin Herrera are on the DL. Yes, that means he will pick up some saves over the next two weeks. But don’t mistake him for some elite pickup or anything even close to that. In 46 appearances this season, Madson has a 4.32 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and his highest walk rate (3.2) since 2007. Has he been terrible? No. But, this is simply a short-term saves add for the next few weeks until one of Doolittle or Herrera return to action.

Addison Reed (RP – MIN)

Ownership: Fantrax 37%, Yahoo 10%, ESPN 2%

Man, it’s a good week for saves-needy owners. First Madson gets thrust into the closer role in D.C. and now Reed gets a shot in Minnesota following Fernando Rodney being traded to the Oakland Athletics. There’s no need to go too in-depth here. Basically, copy and paste what I said about Madson above. Reed has been far from good this season with a 4.60 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, but is the next man up in the Twins bullpen and is the only one with extensive experience closing out games at the Major League level. If you need saves, voila.

For more from Eric, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04. For all of you dynasty leaguers, check back in on Tuesday for Eric’s weekly Dynasty Dugout column.

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