Waiver Wire Report: Week 12

Welcome to week 12 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.

Mike Zunino (Mariners)
Available in 66% of CBS, 83% of Y!, and 86% of ESPN leagues

Zunino has slowly gone from streaming option to must own. For the season he comes in at number 16 on the ESPN player rater, but recent events must be taken into account. He is batting .366 in June with five home runs and 19 RBIs – only Gary Sanchez has been better. There is some BABIP luck; his .455 is not far off what he posted in May and we see where his average finished there. He is also still striking out by the boatload (32.6%), but still less than April and May. However, the power is real, so owners need to take advantage now while the average is still usable.

Hernan Perez (Brewers)
Available in 41% of CBS, 53% of Y!, and 75% of ESPN leagues

I was shocked to see him under available in this many leagues. Perez isn’t showing the same speed as last year, but he is showing more power and on his way to a 20/10 season. That has value regardless of the position.

The strikeouts are down (15%), the batting average isn’t BABIP induced and in line with last season, both the hard hit rate and overall contact is up, he is hitting lefties and righties plus home and away equally – all positive signs. Plus he is getting regular at bats. The kicker is, he is eligible at second base and shortstop on some sites as well as third base and outfield. At the very least he belongs on your bench.

Andrelton Simmons (Angels)
Available in 35% of CBS, 67% of Y!, and 49% of ESPN leagues

Who lit the fire under this guys ass? In case you missed it, Simmons has tied his best stolen base total (10), is one home run away from tying his combined home run total from 2015 and 2016 (8), and should easily set career bests in runs and RBIs. He is a top-10 shortstop on the ESPN player rater, just ahead of Corey Seager and Jean Segura – nice company. There is no BABIP luck here, just an increase in hard contact to give those grounders and fly balls some oomph.

If Simmons is still out there (looking at you Yahoo people), go get him. I recently tossed back Addison Russell for Simmons – for what it’s worth.

Ian Happ (Cubs)
Available in 45% of CBS, and 83% of Y! and ESPN leagues

He only has seven hits over the past 14 days, but five of those cleared the wall. The batting average is only .209, and .200 over the past two weeks. However, both Baez and Zobrist are under .250 for the season and well below .200 in June – that is enough to extend the leash some. Happ made solid contact in the minors, struck out less than we’ve seen so far, and has power in his bat. You may want to grab him now before the batting average starts to climb and you miss your opportunity.

Derek Fisher (Astros)
Available in 72% of CBS, 77% of Y!, and 91% of ESPN leagues

Another one of the Astros prized possessions has arrived in the majors. I’ve talked about Fisher a number of times in my minor league report over on FanRag.

“Prior to his promotion he had a .333/.401/.608 slash line. He has 18 doubles, 16 home runs, and is 12 for 22 in stolen base attempts. The stolen base attempts have improved each month and he is four for four in June. He is hitting .300 both home and away and against lefties and righties. Strikes were a slight problem in April, but those have improved with just seven in June in 45 at bats.”

With Josh Reddick on the DL Fisher has a chance to make an immediate impact, even in 10 team leagues that use four or more outfielders.

Mallex Smith (Rays)
Available in 63% of CBS, Y!, and 76% of ESPN leagues

A Kevin Kiermaier DL trip has given Smith an opportunity to showcase his goods. Smith is good for two things, batting average and stolen bases – two things he was excelling at in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up Smith was batting .311 with 16 stolen bases over 132 at bats. In his 23 at bats since being recalled he is hitting .435 with a home run, four steals, and eight runs scored. There is enough speed here to steal 50 bases which ups his value in roto leagues. Hopefully things go much better than his 2016 audition.



Deep League Additions
Available in at least 90% of CBS, Y! and ESPN Leagues

Brian Goodwin (Nationals)

Not the most likely player you’d think of as useful, but that’s exactly what Goodwin has been lately. Over the past two weeks he is batting .306 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 36 at bats. The batting average is a surprise; he holds a .256 AAA batting average. Last year he went 14/15 in 119 games so there is a little power and speed here. As long as Jayson Werth is on the DL Goodwin should be in the lineup regularly. Even when Werth returns he could push Michael Taylor to the side or at least in to a timeshare.

Matt Chapman (Athletics)

Anyone that knows me is well aware that I hate high strikeout, swing for the fences players like Chapman – a hatred generated from the days of watching Adam Dunn hit 40 home runs with a .210 batting average. That’s Matt Chapman. He hit 23 home runs in 2015 in 304 at bats, another 36 last year over 514 at bats, and this year he has 16 in 174 at bats in Triple-A. His .259 batting average this year represents a best case scenario – reason being a strikeout rate over 30% since 2016.

Trevor went Plouffe as the A’s DFA’d him so the opportunity is there for Chapman. I don’t want him, but I now some of you out there crave power hitters.

Jose Iglesias (Tigers)

Someone is putting on a hitting display this month. Iglesias is 16 for 37 (.432). He has just a handful of runs and RBIs and just one stolen base so no real help with the counting stats – very similar to Jordy Mercer. However, with all the injuries and slumps around the league, a shortstop that is hitting for a high average could be a welcome sight for those in larger leagues. I recently traded for him in my 30-team league and was damn happy to get him.

Catcher Streams
For those of you forced to play the waiver wire.

Mike Zunino (recommended above) is the guy you want now. Tyler Flower is still hitting well and would probably be my fallback option should Zunino be unavailable – mostly for the safety and not for any particular upside. Austin Hedges is hiding 11 home runs under that .225 batting average, and is batting .303 this month. Everyone gushed over his potential last year – maybe this is the start of something? Finally, Chris Iannetta (.278) and Jason Castro (.294) are both enjoy the month of June; each with two home runs and eight RBIs.

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 Didi Gregorius will appear here. His ownership rate is over 50% and he should be owned in all competitive leagues. If he is still available in your league – Last Call!

Continue to add

Continue to add Logan Morrison, Ben Gamel, Wilmer Flores, Danny Valencia, Jed Lowrie, Tommy Joseph, Melky Cabrera, Yuli Gurriel and Whit Merrifield. I was uncertain about Matt Adams last week, but he is starting to grow on me.

Tim Beckham (knee) and Leury Garcia (hand) have each missed games this week. While nothing has been mentioned about a DL trip – you just never know. Play both by ear.

Hunter Renfroe and Bradley Zimmer saw the batting average dip, but is still flashing power and speed. Give him time. Max Kepler is also in a funk, but the fantasy leash for him is much shorter. Lucas Duda and Carlos Beltran also hit a wall. I have faith they can hurdle this problem, but like Kepler above the leash is short.

Eric Sogard and Jordy Mercer are still a deep league add. So are Jose Pirela and Franchy Cordero, and either one could have shallow league relevance soon if the hitting continues.

Amed Rosario, Rafael Devers, Yoan Moncada and Franklin Barreto should be stashed now prior to their call up.

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

Kevin Kiermaier, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera drop down to hold with his DL trip. You can probably drop Kiermaier and Walker in 12-team leagues if your DL is full – I would hold Cabrera if possible.

Tommy Pham is on a two-week slide. I would move on in 12-team leagues, maybe hold another week in deeper leagues.

Adam Frazier and David Peralta are turning things around, but their sluggish two weeks prior have me hesitant. The same goes for Josh Bell who has way more upside, but just can’t seem to string two good weeks together.

Mike Napoli will begin a minor league rehab start today. I wasn’t too high on him before the DL trip.

Drop ’em

I recommended dropping Lewis Brinson prior to his promotion, and I believe I’ll stick with that. I don’t see him getting enough at bats to matter, plus his production had stalled prior to his call-up. Add Kolten Wong to the drop list; that DL trip made the decision easy for many of you fence sitters. That speculative add I mentioned a few weeks ago with Ben Revere… oops, sorry about that. Chad Pinder has also worn out his welcome in deep leagues. Finally we have Tim Anderson. I love the upside and potential, but I’m tired of waiting.

 

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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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