Waiver Wire Report: Week 7

Welcome to week seven 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.

Keon Broxton (Brewers)
Available in 40% of CBS, 69% of Y! and 52% of ESPN leagues

Broxton is a little higher owned than I normally recommend. However, his availability combined with his hot streak makes him worthy of a mention. Over the past two weeks Broxton is batting .421 with two home runs, three steals, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored.

He is still a nightmare against lefties and has six multi-strikeout games during that time frame so the average could revert at any time.  For now, though, if he is available, I would ride him and maybe flip him if possible.

Domingo Santana (Brewers)
Available in 76% of Y! and 87% of ESPN leagues

Sticking with the Brew Crew, teammate Santana is also swinging a hot bat. Over the past two weeks he has raised his average 66 points batting .361 with three home runs and eight each in runs and RBIs. He is striking out less than Broxton, but still has a number of multi-strikeout games to dash hopes. His deflated season average is masking this current streak which means you will not have long to act before others notice.

Ben Gamel (Mariners)
Available in 44% of CBS, 89% of Y! and 90% of ESPN leagues

Should fantasy owners be buying into Gamel? A quick look at his minor league numbers show no power and minimal speed – 27 home runs and 95 steals over 2,676 at bats. He isa solid hitter, though, with a .303 average in just over 1,000 at bats with a 20% strikeout rate and 10% walk rate.

Over the past two weeks he is batting .404 with two home runs, 10 RBIs, and 14 runs scored. There is nothing to suggest any long-term appeal, but for those looking for a quick boost – you may want to give him a dart throw.

T.J. Rivera (Mets)
Available in 94% of CBS, 96% of Y! and 95% of ESPN leagues

Much like Gamel above, Rivera didn’t show a lot of power or speed in the minors – 36 homers and 27 steals over 2,436 at bats. Outside of his .290 average in rookie ball Rivera hit over .300 at every stop so the bat is ready. Over the past two weeks he has made a case to stick with the big club when Lucas Duda returns, batting .347 with a home runs, stolen base, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored.

While Rivera has primarily played first base, he does qualify for second and third base on some sites and played all over the infield in the minors. He makes a nice plug and play option with his eligibility, and his bat will make it hard for even Terry Collins to ignore.



Logan Morrison (Rays)
Available in 72% of CBS, 86% of Y! and 83% of ESPN leagues

Don’t look now, but Yorder Alonso isn’t the only “out of nowhere” power hitter this year. Morrison now has nine home runs in 108 at bats, five of them coming over the past two weeks. What’s behind the curtain? A career high .278 BABIP and 39.5% hard hit rate have set the tone here. Throw in a 39.5% fly ball rate and you’ve got the makings of a 25 home run infielder.

The average isn’t going to be great, in the .255 range, but that power combined with an eventual move up in the batting order should afford him more run and RBI opportunities and make that average more palatable. You may not believe this will last, and quite frankly neither do I. However, those that doubted Alonso already missed their chance – this is like a potential consolation prize.

Tommy Joseph (Phillies)
Available in 35% of CBS, 82% of Y! and 89% of ESPN leagues

His stock has been falling, but is now the time to buy-low? Over the past week Joseph is 9 for 20 at the pate with three multi-hit games, two home runs, and just as important, just four strikeouts. Was it a hot week, is Joseph figuring things out, or is it just a product of his line drive rate evening out? Your guess is as good as mine. Keep in mind he did hit 21 home runs last year over 315 at bats, and he is hitting the ball harder this year.

You may not want to roster him, but you should put him on your radar and monitor the situation closely.

Cameron Rupp (Phillies) & Francisco Cervelli (Pirates)
Available in over 80% of Y! and ESPN leagues

For those playing the hot hand at catcher, the waiver wire is your best friend. Rupp and Cervelli are not much to look at overall (number wise), but they are hot right now. Over the past two weeks Rupp is 12 for 29 with three double, two home runs and five runs scored. During that same time Cervelli is 11 for 30 with three doubles, a homer, eight RBIs and six runs scored.

The Phillies are on the road at Texas and Pittsburgh next week followed by a home series against the Rockies and Reds. Pittsburgh is at home against the Nationals and Phillies, take a trip to Atlanta, and then come home to face the Mets. Maybe mix and match based on the matchup.

A.J. Griffin (Rangers)
Available in 50% of Y! and 62% of ESPN leagues

It’s time, well, maybe past time, that we acknowledge the accomplishments of Griffin this year. He owns a 2.45 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over five starts (four wins). He also has 27 strikeouts over 29 innings with 9.3 swinging strike rate and 72.6% F-Strike percentage (best in the majors).

Yes, he is an extreme fly ball pitcher and does allow a higher average of hard hit balls. However, his IFFB% is over 20, the soft contact is over 20%, and his walk rate (1.84 BB/9) limits a portion of the home run damage.

I can’t deny there has been some BABIP luck (.200) but with games coming up against Oakland, Detroit, Toronto, Tampa and New York (Mets), I’d gamble on that luck holding out a little longer. Play him now before the summer air arrives and the balls start flying.

Franklin Barreto (Athletics)
Available in 80% of CBS, 97% of Y! and 98% of ESPN leagues

As I have for the past two weeks; it’s time to start stashing those highly touted prospects before the super-two deadline. Barreto is on fire in the minors, slashing .347/.402/.529. This isn’t a hot streak; he has been hitting like this since spring training. He has four doubles and four homers with three triples and three steals.

Given his dominance at every level, quick ascension through the ranks, and the guarantee from Billy Beane that Barreto will be up this summer and it seems silly not to stash him. Imagine the runs he can score hitting in front of Yonder Alonso.

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 Marwin Gonzalez and Aaron Hicks will appear here. Their ownership rates are high enough that they should be owned in all competitive leagues. If they are available in your league – Last Call!

Continue to add

  • Continue to add Aaron Altheer, Tim Beckham and Leury Garcia. Jose Reyes and Kolten Wong are also still adds, but have slowed a bit.
  • Yonder Alonso is still available in almost half of Yahoo and ESPN leagues. WHY?!?!
  • Michael Taylor hit a home run Wednesday and has seven hit over the past seven days.
  • The flu put is responsible for the decline of David Peralta – don’t lose faith here (yet).
  • Hernan Perez continues to make the most of every at bat given to him. He also added shortstop eligibility to his resume on Yahoo.
  • Bradley Zimmer, Rafael Devers, Yoan Moncada and Jose Berrios should be stashed now in advance of the super-two deadline.

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

  • Steven Souza continues to struggle and is now dealing with a bad thumb. I can’t blame you for dropping him.
  • That’s two bad weeks in a row for Brandon Phillips. I still have hope, but you may want to explore other options.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera has been limited to pitch-hit duties this past week. He was 3 for 6 if you’re looking for something positive.
  • Trea Mancini put on a hitting display this past week so maybe he is worth holding after all. Keep a close eye on him.
  • Mitch Moreland continues to double his way to relevance, but his counting stats do not do much for us in fantasy.
  • Jayson Werth is on a nice little hot streak; that means he’ll be cold next week. That’s the price yo u pay for owning him.
  • Lucas Duda could be back any day – we’ll see where things go once he returns.

Drop ’em

  • Chase Headley and his 3 for 24 performance over the past seven days officially move him from hold to drop.
  • Yuli Gurriel had one more hit than Headley over the same number of at bats. His average gives him a little value in larger leagues, but not in 10 or 12 team formats.
  • C.J. Cron had his rehab pushed back after being hit by a pitch. Drip him if you need the DL room (most teams do with the new 10-day DL)

 

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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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