Welcome to week 13 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 those of you looking for pitchers, Marc Goldstein will run down streamable pitching option each Sunday along with listing some of the best under-owned pitching options available.
Eduardo Escobar (Twins)
Available in 85% of ESPN, and 87% of CBS and Y! leagues
I’ve ignored Escobar’s accomplishments to date mostly due to bias and ignorance. When you look into his numbers there are some interesting tidbits. Escobar is producing career best numbers in ISO (.193), hard contact (34.4), FB%(39.2) and Strikeout (16%). His BB% is the best we’ve seen since 2012. That all makes his .300 batting average and seven home runs a little more believable. Then again, it could all be luck – things are propped up by a .480 June batting average.
That hot streak is what you are targeting, not his long-term value. If you are dealing with injuries or subpar production at shortstop/middle infield this makes a nice band-aid with (maybe) some longevity.
Shin-Soo Choo (Rangers)
Available in 50% of CBS and 80% of Y! and ESPN leagues
We’ve been down this road before with Choo; he builds us up and then lets us down. For the season his numbers are not bad – a .270 average with 11 homers, six steals, and almost 40 runs scored. Over the past two weeks Choo has been on fire, batting .340 with four home runs and two steals. Let’s be clear here; Choo is not back. He does not play against lefties and has issues on the road. But at home (.310) and against righties (.287, 10 HR, 5 SB) – those are worthy numbers if you can play the matchups.
Lonnie Chisenhall (Indians)
Available in 82% of CBS, 91% of Y!, and 90% of ESPN leagues
Sometimes you just have to ignore the name and play the numbers. Chisenhall doesn’t have the best track record so his name often gets overlooked. For the season he is batting .299 with 10 home runs in 134 at bats. He’s hitting lefties (.348), righties (.288), home (.281), and away (.312). This month he is batting .381 with four homers, and he has multi-hit games in five of his last 10. He missed time in April and May so his overall numbers are deceiving, but he’s healthy now and receiving full-time at bats. You could do worse for a fourth outfielder.
Joc Pederson (Dodgers)
Available in 56% of CBS, 66% of Y!, and 78% of ESPN leagues
This is pure speculation after just one productive week, but could it be the start of something? In the past week Pederson is 7 for 23 with two home runs, eight walks, and nine runs scored. Just as important is he has just six strikeouts in 30 June at bats – a 20% strikeout rate is a miraculous feat, even if it’s only a small sample size. Is this just a good week, or is it maybe the launching pad to an extended hot streak? I don’t know the answer to this, but a preemptive pickup might be in order – just in case.
Howie Kendrick (Phillies)
Available in 82% of CBS, 78% of Y!, and 85% of ESPN leagues
Kendrick has long been known as being a (yawn) stable option at second base. He is providing that stability yet again in Philadelphia at second base and outfield (also qualifying at first and third base in some leagues). He is batting over .300 in each month, both home and away, and against lefties and righties. That steady play has earned him additional at bats this month which means he now has 12-team value. The batting average will keep him in the lineup, and his multi-eligibility makes him a poor mans plug and play bench option.
Deep League Additions
Available in at least 90% of CBS, Y! and ESPN Leagues
Eddie Rosario (Twins)
Increased walks and contact and a reduced strikeout rate has help Rosario be a little more productive this season. The batting average is still the same, but he is hitting for more power and should set career numbers for runs, RBIs and homers. His month to month numbers are just solid – no one month inflation ballooning his bottom line. Rosario is quietly having a solid season, and sometimes that stability can be undervalued in larger leagues. He will not win your league, but he’ll hold down an OF5 position nicely.
Denard Span (Giants)
Span seems to be rediscovering some of his past success in the month of June. He is 26 for 76 in June with 11 runs scored and is three for three in stolen base attempts. He even chipped in a home runs. All of his production comes against righties, but he is also hitting lefties so no platoon issues to worry about. If you have power covered then Span can be a worthy addition to assist in batting average, runs, and steals.
For those of you forced to play the waiver wire.
Mike Zunino has had an ownership spike so if he’s available, that is the name you want right now. Devin Mesoraco has three home runs and a .269 average over the past two weeks. It may be nothing, but it is worth monitoring. Martin Maldonado looks like a boring yet stable catching option for those looking to settle down. He is on pace to hit 15 home runs and hasn’t batted lower than .262 in any month. Chris Iannetta is batting .316 over the past two weeks and should be monitored for additional playing time. Looking ahead, Francisco Mejia could make his debut sometime after the all-star break. A promotion to Triple-A is a virtual lock, but given the catching situation in Cleveland, don’t be surprised to see him jump a level.
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.
This is the last week Logan Morrison and Matt Adams will appear here. Their ownership rate is over 50% and they should be owned in all competitive leagues. If they are still available in your league – Last Call!
Continue to add
Continue to add Bradley Zimmer, Mallex Smith, Mike Zunino, Andrelton Simmons, Ian Happ, Hernan Perez, Carlos Beltran, Ben Gamel, Jed Lowrie, Melky Cabrera, Yuli Gurriel
Jose Pirela graduates from deep league to 12-team relevant.
Wilmer Flores, Danny Valencia and Tommy Joseph had an off week but were solid prior – give them another week to turn things around. I would be a little less patient with Whit Merrifield.
Tim Beckham dealt with Knee issues last week and now has missed games after getting plunked in the hand. He’s still hitting for average, though.
Eric Sogard, Jordy Mercer and Jose Iglesias are still a deep league add.
Amed Rosario, Rafael Devers, Yoan Moncada and Franklin Barreto should be stashed now prior to their call up. Derek Fisher joins this group after Houston demoted him earlier this week.
Hold – Do not add them, but do not drop them yet if possible
Leury Garcia joins Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL stash train. Mike Napoli returned from the DL in a big way. If you held him you’re happy, but I wouldn’t rush out and grab him if he is unowned.
Tommy Pham turned things around with four home run in the past seven days. He might be worth a speculative add again, but his track record and previous slump worry me. Josh Bell also had a good week, but like Pham I’m not rushing to pick him up or desperate to drop him.
Max Kepler and Adam Frazier are doing enough to warrant keeping, but not enough to increase their ownership. Hold or drop depending on waiver options.
Hunter Renfroe is on a two-week slide. He can probably be dropped in 12-team leagues – hold a little longer in larger leagues if possible.
Franchy Cordero was a deep league add, but he has quickly slipped back into obscurity. Lucas Duda went from hot add to worthless in the blink of an eye – the story of his career (paging Dominic Smith). Kevin Kiermaier and Neil Walker can both be dropped in standard size leagues – they are better DL stashes and waiver optins out there.
Need more waiver wire recommendations and free agent pick-ups, check out Fantasy Rundown daily for that and more.