Each week I will dig through the f/a pool to find the best potential free agents on waivers (under 50% ownership on ESPN and Yahoo). 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. And just like in years past, I will be tracking previously recommended players and if they are still worthy of a roster spot. Now on to what you came here for.
- Jay Bruce (OF)
Bruce has been on a roll his last 30 games (.296/.325/.992 with 11 home runs). Such a roll, in fact, that I was surprised he’s still only hitting .243 with a .292 OBP on the year. He is in the Phillies lineup almost every day (27 of their last 30 games) and he’s going to give you pop (24 homers so far). Bruce is only a .247 career hitter so this streak can’t last (can it?), but if you get in on it now, you’ll get some home runs and counting stats without taking too much of a hit in the batting average category.
- AJ Pollock (OF)
The Dodgers will activate Pollock for their first series after the All-Star break. He’s only 45% owned at the moment, but a good showing in the Boston series and you might miss your chance to add him. Injury prone? Yeah. When he’s in the lineup will he give some speed and power? It’s possible. But, he’s 31 now, and he didn’t steal a base in the 28 games he played before hitting the IL. Can you tell I’m not 100% enthused about Pollock? Then why am I recommending you add him?
Honestly, I feel like I have to. Sort of a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood waiver wire column writer, “Hey, remember AJ Pollock? He’s coming off the IL next week and people have been known to think he’s pretty good.” I’ve owned him in the past and have been frustrated by the experience. But…there’s a chance he comes back and helps those who pick him up win a championship. If you think he’s got it in him then now is the time to pick him up.
- Dinelson Lamet (SP)
Lamet’s first start back from Tommy John surgery was against the Dodgers in L.A. on Thursday. He hit 99.6 on the gun and struck out seven in five innings. Sure, he gave up three runs (including one home run), but he was solid against a tough lineup in his first start back. Between that and the promise he showed prior to his injury, he’s an add if you need pitching help. In this environment where baseballs seem to have golf ball cores, we all need pitching help.
- Danny Jansen (C)
Another hot catcher? Yup. Whatever you do, don’t look at his year-long numbers. Look at his numbers from his last 15 games, those are much more palatable. In those 15 games Jansen is slashing .340/.377/1.197 with six home runs, 11 runs, and 13 RBI. He seems to finally be living up to the pre-draft buzz that surrounded him. Granted, 15 games is a small sample, and even if he stays hot he’s not going to continue to hit .340, but he’s showing us what we thought we’d see – it’s better late than never. If you’re in a two catcher league he’s easily worth a shot if you are struggling to get production from the position.
This is the last week John Means, Ramon Laureano and Christian Vasquez will appear here. Their ownership rate is over 50% and they should both be owned in all competitive leagues..
Continue to ADD
- Bryan Reynolds disappointed a bit in the batting average category, but he did get on base at a .393 clip and hit a home run. That OBP is for real, but don’t expect a ton of those home runs. He’ll also hit for an average more akin to his last 15 games average (.327), if not his 2019 average (.342). Continue to add if that’s where you need help.
- Keston Hiura had two steals and two home runs last week. He only slashed .222/.300/.744 and he’s not going to continue to hit home runs and steal bags at this pace, but he will continue to contribute in those categories so I’m continuing to add him.
- Alex Verdugo continued to hit last week, albeit with zero power – .286/.300/.757 with no home runs and only three each in runs and RBI. As hot as he has been, I don’t think his playing time will be affected by Pollock’s return from the IL.
HOLD (not good enough to add but maybe too good to drop)
- Willie Calhoun is starting to worry me. His overall numbers look good enough – .286/.326/.850 with five home runs in 84 at bats – but he started a skid two weeks ago and only let it get worse this week (.143/.182/.611 with a home run). If you’re also losing faith, go ahead and let him go.
- Oscar Mercado was benched Sunday in favor of the recently called up Greg Allen. Mercado was 0-18 in the four games prior to his benching and, unfortunately for him, Allen went 4 for 6 with a triple and a home run.
- Corey Dickerson is heading into the All-Star break with a whimper. He slashed .207/.200/.510. He’s going to continue to play, and if you have room for him, keep him. But if you’re jockeying for position in the second half push and need to gamble on upside you might want to look elsewhere.
- Zac Gallen’s immediate future with the Marlins is up in the air due to Caleb Smith’s return from the IL. After the All-Star break he might find himself in the Marlins bullpen, in AAA, or still in the Marlins rotation. It might be wise to start looking for someone to replace him this week.
- Kyle Tucker is still at AAA Round Rock. I’m not going to tell you to drop him. Or maybe I should since when I told you to drop Yordan Alvarez the Astros called HIM up about two days later. You’re on your own with Tucker; I’m holding on to him.
- The Christian Walker merry-go-round continues. If you were on it last week, he slashed .282/.346/1.054 and hit three home runs for you. I’m continuing to hold him even though the coming week might make me regret it.
- Niko Goodrum had a decent week last week – he hit .250 with another steal and another home run. Like I said last week, if you drop him, I get it. But if you need someone with multi positional eligibility (1B, 2B, SS, OF) who will hit you the occasional home run and swipe you the occasional bag, you could do worse.
- I’m done with Griffin Canning. He’s lost three of his last four and given up 14 earned runs in the process. The wave has crashed.