Welcome to week 16 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.
One quick note: While Yoan Moncada will not appear below because of his already high ownership rate, it goes without saying he should be added if available.
Gerardo Parra (Rockies)
Available in 69% of CBS, and 74% of Y! & ESPN leagues
Over the past 10 days Parra has raised his average from .318 to .364 – a rather impressive feat this late in the season. During that span he had multi-hit games in 8 of 10 along with a couple of home runs and 13 runs scored. Parra has already passed last year’s home run and RBI totals in half the at bats.
Even with the return of Ian Desmond I don’t see how Colorado can take his bat out of the lineup. Carlos Gonzalez is in a contract year and this outburst by Parra could convince the team to finally move CarGo. Grab Parra today and ride this streak as long as it lasts.
Nick Castellanos (Tigers)
Available in 41% of CBS, and 57% of Y! & ESPN leagues
A .255 average with 14 home runs doesn’t inspire people to add you. Castellanos hit just four home runs the first two months, and a .175 batting average in May is where most owners lost faith. This allowed him to hit .308 with five home runs in June without anyone noticing. Well, Castellanos is still hitting in July, batting .292 with three home runs, 10 each in the run and RBI categories. He does struggle on the road, but he hits lefties and righties equally and has power against both hands.
Those that are starting slumping players like Eugenio Suarez, Josh Donaldson and Kyle Seager might want to pitch hit with Castellanos for now considering he has been a top-5 third base option over the past 30 days.
Nick Williams (Phillies)
Available in 82% of CBS, and 94% of Y! & ESPN leagues
I balked on Williams when he was first promoted. My main issue was strikeouts, something he has struggled with throughout the minors, and that has caused his batting average to fluctuate. They still are an issue, but a 25.4% rate is at least manageable. Since the All-Star break he has upped his average to .316 thanks to multi-hit games all this week. He also has two home runs over the past 10 days, and the ISO and hard hit rate suggest there should be more.
As long as Williams is hitting for average he is a very useful fourth outfielder, and hitting in the heart of the order should give him some decent counting stats – even on the Phillies.
Matt Davidson (White Sox)
Available in 79% of CBS, 91% of Y!, and 90% of ESPN leagues
The departure of Todd Frazier means Davidson will not see periodic bench time. Unlike most players that appear here, Davidson is not hot; he is the polar opposite right now. He also isn’t much of a batting average guy, batting .240 through May and June. It’s the power you are investing in as he hit 13 home runs over those two months. His 18 home runs ranks 10th among third basemen.
Davidson has just one home run this month which means a mini home run streak is well overdue. Those in need of a third baseman, corner infielder, or second utility player should monitor him very closely.
Jose Reyes (Mets)
Available in 60% of CBS, 75% of Y!, and 73% of ESPN leagues
I dislike recommending Reyes simply for the fact I know he is incapable of sustaining any sort of hot streak for long. That said, since the All-Star break he has two multi-hit games against the Rockies and two against the Cardinals, and he has two home runs over the past 10 days. Love em or hate em, he’s producing right now.
Owners that just lost Carlos Correa should stop here first. Freddy Galvis would be a decent, albeit boring, consolation prize – available in over 90% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Maikel Franco (Phillies)
Available in 40% of CBS, 54% of Y!, and 66% of ESPN leagues
Third base and outfield seem to be a running theme this week so I’ll run with that. Like Castellanos, Franco doesn’t have the most impressive line. Given the fact he hit .217 prior to the All-Star break I thought the ownership rate would be much lower. Apparently the smart owners are about to be potentially rewarded. It’s a small sample, but Franco is 11 for 25 since the break with three multi-hit games, a home run, and just one strikeout.
This could be the start of something or it could fizzle out tomorrow. Considering his hype last year and the sleeper tag that was attached to him this year, it might be worth a bench spot to find out.
Danny Valencia (Mariners)
Available in 71% of CBS, 80% of Y!, and 82% of ESPN leagues
Valencia Like several of the players above, Valencia has an underwhelming bottom line. A .181 average with one home run in April is he primary reason folks are staying away. Even I passed him over several times, which was probably a mistake on my part. Valencia hit .306 in May, .308 in June, and so far this month he is batting .286. Last month he totaled 21 RBI and 17 runs scored and could come close to matching those totals this month. You will only get 3-4 home runs, but you’ll get strong production in the other three categories.
A solid hitter that qualifies for first and third base along with the outfield is a useful bench commodity down the stretch, especially with all the injuries we’ve seen to date. I would even use him as a fourth outfielder or utility player, especially at home (.305) and against lefties (.319).
Pitching Stream of the Week
Jhoulys Chacin (Padres)
Available in 50% of CBS, 74% of Y!, and 76% of ESPN leagues
Upcoming Opponents: vs NYM (Tues), vs Pittsburgh (Sun)
I am going to keep beating this dead horse until people listen or tell me to shut the hell up. Chacin put up another quality start at home on the 15th, and last night on the road he had a one hitter going through five innings before giving up two runs in the sixth. That’s 10 straight starts with three or fewer runs allowed, and four of them were on the road.
Next week Chacin is a two-start pitcher with both his games coming in the comphy confines of Petco. In 10 home starts he has a 1.94 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, and he has yet to allow more than three runs in any home start. Given the average offensive numbers the Mets and Pirates have put up this month I don’t see this changing. Chacin is more than a streaming option folks!
Adalberto Mejia (Twins)
Available in 77% of CBS and 95% of Y! & ESPN leagues
Upcoming Opponents: @Oak (Friday)
Next week:@SD (Wed)
If you’re looking for an under the radar stream you might want to give Mejia some consideration. For some odd reason Mejia has struggled in Minnesota. However, on the road he owns a 2.31 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. His last road start was at Boston where he pitched 5.2 shutout innings with just five hits allowed. Oakland ranks 28th in OBP and 29th in batting average and runs scored against lefties. Playing the game at the Coliseum is just an added bonus.
If you hold him for one more week you’ll get a road game against the Padres who rank dead last in OBP, batting average and runs scored against lefties, and they have strikeout issues against lefties as well. Oh, and both teams struggle to hit in their respective homes – bonus points!
For those of you forced to play the waiver wire.
Since the All-Star break Francisco Cervelli has multiple hits in four of six games, all of which were on the road. This is important since Cervelli holds a .194 average at home this year. He also has two home runs over his last seven starts. I don’t expect a power outburst, but the improvements in the batting average puts him on par with Yadier Molina.
Wilson Ramos is hitting .304 with a pair of home runs in July, and he is still available in over half of Yahoo and ESPN leagues. This could be the long-term solution some of you have been searching for. With Stephen Vogt on the DL, Manny Pina will again see full-time at bats. Like Cervelli above you will not get much power, but a strong average and solid counting stats (for a catcher) can go a long way.
Andrew Knapp is pushing for more at bats in Philly, going 8 for 30 in July and 5 for 14 since the break. However, Cameron Rupp is pushing back with a 7 for 21 performance so far in July. With both catchers pushing each other, this gives fantasy owners another potential duo to roster instead of the conventional single catcher way of doing things.
Previous Waiver Wire Recommendations
This is the last week Paul DeJong will appear here. His ownership rate is over 50% everywhere 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 Orlando Arcia, Clint Frazier and Josh Bell.
Anibal Sanchez goes tonight in Minnesota. I still see him as an add, but a bad game tonight could turn by allegiance. Remember his next start is against KC.
Carlos Gomez had an off week, but returns to Texas after this weekend series.
Hold – Do not add them, but do not drop them yet if possible
Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk both landed on the DL. I would drop Grichuk unless you have an open DL slot. The same goes for Piscotty, although I do like him for the stretch run.
Byron Buxton is also a DL casualty after showing signs of life. I am ready to throw in the towel out of frustration so you are not alone if you have similar feelings.
I probably should have just listed Curtis Granderson under drop last week and avoided the wait. How he is still owned in 27% of Yahoo leagues I’ll never know.
Raimel Tapia was sent back to the minors and can be dropped on less your league has a minor league or n/a slot to stash him.
Luke Voit is getting the Matt Adams treatment and was on the bench most of the past week. You can just monitor his progress on waivers in standard 12-team leagues.
Jesus Aguilar continues to fight for and make the most out of every at bat given to him. Just like Voit, drop but monitor his playing time in 12-team leagues.
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