Waiver Wire Report: Week 10

Welcome to week 10 of the waiver wire report. Each week I will dig through the f/a pool to find the best potential free agents on waivers (under 50% ownership). Some are good for a quick boost, others could be good long-term additions, and there will be a few speculative adds thrown in there as well.

For the most part I will deal with hitting; my colleague Marc Goldstein will run down streamable pitching option each Sunday along with listing some of the best under-owned pitching options available. I will, though, on occasion, step on his toes if there is a pitcher that deserves some much-needed attention.

Kevin Kiermaier (Rays)
Available in 40% of CBS, 81% of Y!, and 70%  of ESPN leagues

At his current pace Kiermaier should match last years at bat total and production by the end of August. Most of us gave up on him after batting .220 in April. Things have been different in May, specifically the past two weeks where he has batted .296 with three home runs and three steals (he has five of each this month), and he even shaved a few percent off his strikeout rate.

Kiermaier is batting .285 against righties (still can’t hit lefties). He is also hitting for average at home (.275) but now power, and on the road he has power but now average (.220). The streakiness can be frustrating, but batting second at least you know the counting stats will be there. Kiermaier could make a decent fourth outfielder or injury replacement while he is hitting.

Jed Lowrie (Athletics)
Available in 62% of CBS, 81% of Y!, and 64%  of ESPN leagues

Each week I see Lowrie’s name and skip over him, mostly due the fact that I hate him. However, since the calendar has turned to June I feel an obligation to point out his solid production to date. Lowrie hit .292 in April, .291 in May, and .309 against righties. He has scored 32 runs (tied for 4th with Daniel Murphy), 13 in April and 19 in May. The home runs (6) and RBI (16) numbers are low, but the overall production is solid.

Lowrie makes a solid middle infield addition – I feel dirty somehow saying that.

Tim Anderson (White Sox)
Available in 86% of ESPN and  62% of Y! and CBS leagues

Those that have been patiently awaiting for Anderson to come around are now being rewarded. Over the past two weeks he is batting .316 with three home runs, seven RBIs, 10 runs scored, and a stolen base. The average against righties (.241) and on the road (.245) still needs work, but we are finally getting a glimpse at his potential.

The Sox have been batting him near the bottom of the order, but a few more weeks like this and that will change. I would take Anderson over Lowrie if available for the potential upside.

Tommy Pham (Cardinals)
Available in 78% of CBS, 91% of Y!, and 87%  of ESPN leagues

I expected Pham to come up, have a hot few weeks, and then collapse into obscurity. That has not happened yet, much to my surprise. Pham is currently batting .320 with five home runs, 14 RBIs, 15 runs scored and is four for six in stolen base attempts. The one red flag is the batting average under .200 at home, but on the road, lefties, righties… all good. The strikeout rate is under 25%, walks are solid, hard contact at 40%, and the contact rate is almost 10 points higher than last season (74.5%).

Either this will all come crashing down soon, or Pham has finally figured things out at the rip old age of 29. Ride him while he’s hot, and keep your fingers crossed he can carry the hot May over through June.

Logan Morrison (Rays)
Available in 44% of CBS, 64% of Y!, and 62%  of ESPN leagues

I can’t believe with all the power hitting first basemen I have mentioned I have somehow managed to skip Morrison. The batting average is what it is (.249); he has never been a batting average guy. What is impressive is the 15 home runs in 177 at bats. He is eight away from tying his best season, 23 homers in 2011 over 462 at bats. The majority of his power comes against righties and on the road, but he does have six home runs at home too.

The ISO (.305), FB% (45.5%), and hard hit rate (43.2%) are all career highs. Combined with a solid contact rate we have all the makings for a career power year. Morrison is available in more leagues than he should be – let’s fix this.

Neil Walker (Mets)
Available in 60% of Y! and 50%  of ESPN leagues

I pegged walker as a late round value/sleeper based upon his track record. So far I’ve been wrong, but Walker could be awakening from his slumber. He was batting .248 on May 21, but on May 30 that average was up to .270. During that time frame he had four multi-hit games, four extra base hits, four RBIs and scored five runs – you can’t let Michael Conforto have all the fun.

Walker’s power and production comes in bunches. This may be the optimal time to roster him if you need a middle infielder.



Deep League Additions
Ben Revere (Angels)
Available in over 95% of CBS, Y! and ESPN leagues

This has less to do with what Revere has done lately and more to do with playing time opportunity and potential. Revere has played the fourth outfield role since day one, but with Mike Trout on the DL he could sneak himself into the starting role. Don’t forget that from 2012 to 2o15 Revere hit .294 or higher, his stolen base totals during that time frame were 40, 22, 49 and 31, and he scored at least 70 runs in the three seasons he totaled more than 500 at bats.

Injuries derailed his 2016 season, and in 2017 he hasn’t been given an opportunity to show what he can do. Those in deeper leagues may want to make a speculative grab. If Revere starts to hit he could be a source of speed in shallower leagues.

Eric Sogard (Brewers)
Available in over 95% of CBS, Y! and ESPN leagues

The 31-year-old career backup infielder from Oakland is enjoying his new surroundings and making a push for more playing time. He is currently batting .400 with two homers, two steals and 10 runs scored in just 35 at bats. Is this for real? I highly doubt it, but stranger things have happened. He only qualifies for second base now, but has starts at third base, shortstop and left field which could up his value with a few more starts at each position.

This may only turn out to be a quick fix for your middle infield, but it will at least give you a stop-gap measure while you search for a more permanent solution.

Chad Pinder (Athletics)
Available in over 95% of CBS, Y! and ESPN leagues

Who the hell is Chad Pinder? Looking at his minor league numbers I see enough power to hit 15 home runs and chip in a handful of steals with a decent average. This version of Pinder already has seven home runs in just 63 at bats. Like Sogard above he is fighting for more at bats, and he is currently winning that battle.

The ISO (.413), FB% (61%) and hard hit rate (43.9%) are all things you’d expect to see from an elite power hitter, not someone like Pinder. Eventually the poor contact will collapse the batting average, and those power identifiers will revert to normal levels. Until then, enjoy the ride.

Catcher Streams

For those that dropped Russell Martin, you may want to reacquire him. Over the past two weeks he is hitting .343 with a couple of homers. Tyler Flowers is also hot with a .353 two-week average, and he is batting .349 for the season as well. Christian Vazquez also joins the two-week club with a .357 average, albeit with no power. Francisco Cervelli also doesn’t have any power, but a .306 two-week average and .288 in May does give some stability to the position.

Previous Waiver Wire Recommendations

I like to hold myself accountable for past recommendations so I will monitor my hits and misses from the previous weeks and adjust the players accordingly.

Graduated

This is the last week Justin Bour and Justin Smoak will appear here. Their ownership rate is over 50% and they should be owned in all competitive leagues. If they are available in your league – Last Call!

Continue to add

  • Continue to add Domingo Santana, Justin Smoak, Bradley Zimmer, Hunter Renfroe, Ben Gamel, Michael Taylor, Danny Valencia, Tommy Joseph, Tim Beckham, David Peralta and Leury Garcia.
  • Last week I listed Whit Merrifield as a deep league add. He has since gained traction and relevance in 12-team leagues.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera did well in his first week back and makes a worthy middle infielder.
  • Josh Bell, Didi Gregorius, Mike Napoli, Max Kepler and Adam Frazier hit a rough patch, but hang in there for another week before making a rash decision – if possible.
  • Wilmer Flores is still a deeper league add, but he is not receiving enough at bats to be 12-team relevant.
  • Amed Rosario, Rafael Devers, Yoan Moncada (minor league DL), Franklin Barreto and Lewis Brinson should be stashed now prior to their call up.

Hold Do not add them, but do not drop them yet if possible

  • Lucas Duda had a strong week. I’d like to see one more good week before placing him back in the add category, but will not condemn owners for acting now.
  • Kolten Wong is only a hold if you have the DL room, otherwise toss him back.
  • Jose Reyes and Trey Mancini are hitting well enough to own, but not good enough to not be dropped if there are better options on waiver.

Drop ’em

  • T.J. Rivera received just four at bats in the past seven days.

 

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Jim Finch
The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball. You can also find me at FanRagSports.com
Jim Finch

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