Waiver Wire Targets: Week 11

During drafts, I try to target well-rounded hitters who aren’t one-trick ponies. The reason is that it’s easier to find balanced hitters to replace them when there is an injury. This week’s waiver wire is full of those well-rounded hitter replacements. As for pitchers, it’s another week of potential darts. who will be must starts in a week or two? The key is figuring out who differentiates themselves.

In the article, I cover the players using CBS’s (40% or less initial roster rate) and Yahoo’s ADD/DROP rates. Both hosting sites have the option for daily and weekly waiver wire adds. CBS uses a weekly change while Yahoo looks at the last 24 hours. Yahoo is a great snapshot of right now while CBS ensures hot targets from early in the week aren’t missed. The players are ordered for redraft leagues by my rest-of-season preference grouped by starters, relievers, and hitters.

Hitters

Jake Fraley: It’s full buy-in mode where Fraley is available. He was crushing AAA (.364/.500/.682) and is doing the same in the majors (.250/.492/.450). A .492 OBP (31 BB%) to go along with 2 HR and 4 SB. There is like a 90% chance all of this is won’t last, but managers need to add him now to see if he continues to hit. Add now, evaluate later.

Amed Rosario: He’s coming around to his old self with visions of 2019 when he provided power, speed, and a good batting average. There is a ton to like in his profile. Career-bests in walk (8%) and strikeout (18%) rates. Also, a career-low groundball rate (48%). He’s getting close to being a must-add in all formats.

Taylor Trammell: After going on a short heater right after being called up a second time, he’s now hitting .226/.333/.419 since that callup. The strikeout rate is down (43% to 28% K%) but he is a nice power-speed combo.

Odúbel Herrera: It’s a boring mix of power (4 HR), speed (4 SB), and batting average (.275 AVG). A fine fourth or fifth outfielder.

Patrick Wisdom: He just continues to hit dongs with half of his hits so far being home runs. The batting average is starting to decline (.238 AVG over the past week), but continue to ride the hot streak. If he’s cooled down some, watch his playing time as some players come off the IL.

Jonathan India: A balanced (5 HR, 3 SB, .248 AVG, .356 OBP) profile. He has the potential to have 15 HR and 15 SB. Similar profile to Nick Senzel, Raimel Tapia, and Kolten Wong.

Nick Gordon: He’s so tough to rank. He’s only started once in the last four games. He is hitting .370/.393/.481 with three home runs and a steal in 28 plate appearances. My interest would be higher if he was playing every day, but I still feel he’s a must-add in 15-team or deeper leagues.

Jonathan Schoop: He just continues to perform as he has in his career by hitting 20 to 30 HR with a .260 AVG.

Luis Urías: He has developed a power stroke (14% HR/FB) with a career-high 111.5 MaxEV and career-low 43% GB%. While he continues to struggle with his batting average (.226 AVG), he’s at least providing some steals.

Brandon Belt: Off the IL and will at least be starting against righties. A career-high 31 K% is dragging down his batting average (.230 AVG) to a career-worst mark.

Cesar Hernandez: A low BABIP (.243, .332 for his career) is weighing down his .216 AVG. Otherwise, there is a miny breakout going on with a career-high 14% HR/FB supported by some more career-highs in flyball rate (37%) and Max Exit Velocity (110.2 mph).

Hunter Renfroe: Cold April (.485 OPS), hot May (.938 OPS), and he now leveling out to his career numbers around a .750 OPS.

Miguel Andújar: Ever since I dissed on him a few weeks back, all he’s done is shove (.333/.364/.733, 4 HR). He’s simply pulling the ball more and hitting it harder.

Bobby Bradley: Bradley has historically had strikeout rates at over 30%. Right now in the majors, it’s 7% and he’s hitting .462/.533/1.077 in 15 PA. I expect that number to crater. The league is throwing him 55% fastballs. In 2019, he saw just 39% fastballs and had a 41% K% (49 PA). It’ll take more than four games to convince me he’s a more than a power-only bat.

LaMonte Wade Jr: I was worried about Wade’s playing time once Belt returned from the IL, but Wade moved to right field. He should get plenty of play with the Giants facing six righties this week. While he’s not getting a ton of hype, I’m interested in his skills (.822 OPS, 3 HR, 1 SB in 58 PA) since he’s a member of this year’s Voit-Muncy All-Stars.

Voit-Muncy AAA All-Stars
NAME Team PA Age BB% K% GB% ISO wRC+
Daniel Palka Nationals (AAA) 92 29 13.0% 25.0% 40.4% .313 145
Eli White Rangers (AAA) 80 27 15.0% 25.0% 39.1% .194 152
Jason Martin Rangers (AAA) 63 25 15.9% 20.6% 35.0% .453 175
Johan Camargo Braves (AAA) 95 27 16.8% 21.1% 36.2% .190 150
Jose Marmolejos Mariners (AAA) 57 28 17.5% 10.5% 30.0% .383 195
LaMonte Wade Jr. Giants (AAA) 56 27 23.2% 21.4% 25.8% .186 114
Mason Williams Mets (AAA) 59 29 11.9% 15.3% 42.9% .196 179
Ryan Jeffers Twins (AAA) 103 24 15.5% 25.2% 36.7% .229 109
Skye Bolt Athletics (AAA) 80 27 15.0% 18.8% 40.8% .250 179
Taylor Jones Astros (AAA) 56 27 17.9% 19.6% 35.3% .222 162
Vidal Brujan Rays (AAA) 141 23 14.2% 15.6% 40.0% .233 145
Zack Short Tigers (AAA) 77 26 18.2% 23.4% 25.0% .203 132

Luke Williams: The 24-year-old was a non-prospect but is maybe finding a little power. The power is a bonus to help keep him in the lineup since his most valuable fantasy asset is his legs (30 SB in 2019). He was hitting good (.352/.439/.465) in AAA. Right now he has OF eligibility but has already played a game at third in the majors. Maybe an add and see. Probably not. I feel he might have upside, I know the players I ranked after him have none.

J.P. Crawford: Now leading off for the Mariners with an above-average batting average but below-average power and speed (.270 AVG, 3 HR, 2 SB). Feels like a replacement level bat in a 15-team league.

Harold Ramirez: He has almost the exact same season as J.P. Crawford, but in the outfield (.269 AVG, 3 HR, 2 SB).

Steven Duggar: On the strong side of a center field platoon with Austin Slater. Decent option for next week with the Giants expected to face six righties. His .293 AVG is enticing but it could shrink since he has a 37% K% and .451 BABIP. Steamable when playing.

Christian Arroyo: Started seven of the last ten games at second base. He has the exact profile of several players already profiled with a good batting average (.286 AVG) with no power or speed.

Tony Kemp: Crawford, Ramirez, and Kemp are triplets (.269 AVG, 2 HR, 3 SB). Kemp’s value takes a hit compared to the other two since he sits against lefties.

Jake Lamb: He’s only playing against righties and hitting OK (.242/.356/.468). This week the White Sox face three lefties so he may not be startable in a weekly league.

Billy McKinney: Since joining the Mets, he has a .457 BABIP pushing up his batting average to .302. He has started nine of the last 10 games. I believe he’s now a reasonable add, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens to his playing time. Note: He was injured in the game today, monitor.

Adam Engel: Engel is off the IL and has started in four of the last five games. In just 14 PA he has 2 HR and 1 SB. It’s still Engel who has a career .624 OPS. Might be worth rostering for a couple of weeks if a team needs stolen bases.

Bradley Zimmer: A tug-a-war is happening between his .500 BABIP and 43% K%. The combination has his batting average at .250. He’s stolen a few bases (3 SB) but has no extra-base hits. He’s started eight of the last nine games in center field. I’m worried that he’s not a good enough hitter to eventually get to his stolen base potential.

Yonathan Daza: He’s got a home series coming up where he can provide some batting average help and literally nothing else.

Willi Castro: It seems like the demand came from a seven-game heater he was on when he hit .526/.583/.895 over seven games. Since then, it’s just .071/.125/.071. The hot streak did get him more playing time and he has started in eight of the last 10 games.

DJ Stewart: He was hitting decent (6 HR, .728 OPS), but Austin Hays returned from the IL pushing Stweart to the bench.

Chris Gittens: He’s playing some first base and has yet to get a hit. Maybe the 27-year-old rookie will catch fire, but I’d rather take a chance on other hitters.

Catchers

Eric Haase: He’s the catcher version of Patrick Wisdom. Just insane power (.354 ISO) so far and playing nearly every day with Wilson Ramos out. Like with Wisdom, enjoy the hot streak while it lasts.

Jorge Alfaro: With just a 31% K% (34% for his career), he has a usable batting average (.260 AVG) and has even stolen three bases. Close to being a must roster in single catcher leagues.

Ryan Jeffers: He’s been better since being recalled while hitting .241/.241/.552 with two homers. That more than some catchers have done this whole season.

Tyler Stephenson: With Joey Votto off the IL, Stephenson’s playing will take a hit. I’m guessing Barnhart and he will split time at catcher thereby bringing down both their values.

Max Stassi: He’s a decent catcher who currently has an unsustainable .340 AVG supported by a high BABIP (.424 BABIP).

Prospects

Jesús Sánchez: Continues to domnate AAA pitching (.339/.393/.613, 8 HR)

Cal Raleigh: The Mariners catching prospect is hitting .354/.402/.655 in AAA with six homers and two steals.

CBS Hitter Ownership Rates
Name Prev Own% Current Own% Change
Cesar Hernandez 2B CLE 39% 43% 4%
Willi Castro 2B DET 38% 41% 3%
Hunter Renfroe RF BOS 37% 44% 7%
Jonathan Schoop 1B DET 30% 65% 35%
Jonathan India 2B CIN 30% 51% 21%
Brandon Belt 1B SF 27% 29% 2%
Amed Rosario SS CLE 25% 32% 7%
Odubel Herrera CF PHI 25% 30% 5%
Jesus Sanchez RF MIA 24% 26% 2%
Jorge Alfaro C MIA 22% 24% 2%
Taylor Trammell CF SEA 21% 25% 4%
Tyler Stephenson C CIN 18% 20% 2%
Luis Urias SS MIL 17% 22% 5%
Miguel Andujar LF NYY 16% 35% 19%
J.P. Crawford SS SEA 16% 25% 9%
Patrick Wisdom 3B CHC 13% 60% 47%
Max Stassi C LAA 13% 20% 7%
Yonathan Daza CF COL 8% 10% 2%
Ryan Jeffers C MIN 6% 9% 3%
Eric Haase C DET 5% 37% 32%
Bobby Bradley 1B CLE 5% 14% 9%
Harold Ramirez CF CLE 5% 11% 6%
Steven Duggar CF SF 4% 10% 6%
DJ Stewart RF BAL 3% 5% 2%
Cal Raleigh C SEA 3% 5% 2%
Jake Fraley LF SEA 2% 7% 5%
Tony Kemp 2B OAK 2% 6% 4%
Nick Gordon 2B MIN 2% 6% 4%
Christian Arroyo 2B BOS 2% 5% 3%
Billy McKinney RF NYM 2% 5% 3%
Chris Gittens 1B NYY 2% 4% 2%
Jake Lamb LF CHW 2% 4% 2%
Bradley Zimmer CF CLE 2% 4% 2%
Adam Engel CF CHW 1% 3% 2%
Luke Williams SS PHI 0% 4% 4%
LaMonte Wade 1B SF 0% 2% 2%

Starters

Adrian Houser: Acceptable streaming option (3.66 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 59% GB%).

Alex Cobb: The Angels infield must be a complete sh__-show (using all metrics, it grades second-worst behind Detroit). Today, two-thirds of his batted balls were on the ground and he ended up with a .538 BABIP. His game ERA was 15.00 (5 ER in 3 IP) but his ERA estimators were under 3.00. Betting on regression.

Patrick Sandoval: He’s been good as a starter with a 2.70 ERA (estimators near 3.75), 1.30 WHIP, and 8.6 K/9. He’s been attacking hitters with his changeup (33% usage) and it gets a 33% SwStr% and 52% GB%. His slider has been almost as great (24% SwStr%, 80% GB%). While he’ll be limited to one start a week, he might be a must roster at this point.

Martín Pérez: I’ve been streaming Perez this season depending on the matchups. I passed on the two-step this past week (vs HOU, vs TOR) but will gladly start him against the Royals.

Tucker Davidson: In three starts, the rate stats look great (1.53 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) from some batted luck (0.5 HR/9, .188 BABIP). The 3.6 BB/9 is far from ideal. His fastball has been acceptable, but his slider (21% SwStr%) and curve (17% SwStr%) are outstanding.

Ross Stripling: Since late May when he made a correction to quit tipping his pitches, he has a 2.38 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and tolerable 0.8 HR/9. His curveball is still junk (6% SwStr%, 44% GB%), so if he dropped it (19% usage) and threw his change more (19% SwStr%), he could have another gear.

• Caleb Smith: It has been a rocky start to his transition back to being a starter (7 Runs, 6 BB in 14 IP). I can see the upside, but I don’t want him in my rotation while he’s figuring it out.

Bruce Zimmermann: He’s put everything together over the last three starts with an 11.7 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, and a 2.93 ERA. I’m not trusting him against all opponents and his next one is Buffalo at Baltimore.

Keegan Akin: While not a dominant profile (4.13 ERA, 1.33 WHIP), he’s streamable and his start at Cleveland this week is one of those opportunities.

Austin Gomber: He’s got his walk rate under 10% and been usable this season (3.95 ERA, 1.13 WHIP). He has another two-step with games at home against the Brewers and Padres. There is no way I’d recommend a two-start week with both games at home. Bench or hold off on rostering.

Ryan Weathers: In his last two starters, he threw over 80 pitches in back-to-back games for the first time this season. And he got rocked for 7 Runs in 10 IP. He throws his slider and fastball 92% of the time making him just a two-pitch guy. Since hitters catch onto his repertoire, he’s had an ERA under 2.50 the first two times through the order, but it jumps to 7.71 the third time.

Sammy Long: He was good AA (3.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) in four starts, made a couple of appearances in AAA (0.00 ERA, 0.26 WHIP), and shoved in his first MLB appearance (7 K, 0 ER in 4 IP). And he has two starts against the Diamondbacks and the Phillies, but reaching 5 IP might be an issue. As a follower, he threw 69 pitches with his minor league-high being 63 on May 5th. For an owner looking for a boost to their rotation, Long might be it. Or he could completely implode and sink the team even worse. It’s just such an unknown.

Vladimir Gutierrez: He’s suppressing batted balls (.208 BABIP, 0.5 HR/9), but subpar strikeout (6.9 K/9) and walk (4.2 BB/9) rates point to some regression. Digging into his pitches, the slider is his best pitch (16% SwStr%) and his four-seamer is acceptable (7 Swstr%). His curveball is below average (7 SwStr%, 38% GB%), but he throws it 22% of the time. Wait and see.

Jon Lester: A two-step coming at Cleveland and home versus Buffalo. I might be talked into the Cleveland start, but his 4.19 ERA is likely headed up with ERA estimators near 5.00. Also, his 1.50 WHIP (3.7 BB/9) is unusable.

Brad Keller: He (5.74 ERA, 1.75 WHIP) has two starts this upcoming week against Detroit and Boston. While Keller has just two pitches and could struggle the third time through the order, he struggles every time through the order (1st TTO: 5.63 ERA, 2nd: 5.70 ERA, 3rd: 6.23 ERA). He can’t have a 4.3 BB/9 and still be effective.

Antonio Senzatela: He’s in the middle of a two-start week. His low walk (2.4 BB/9) and groundball rate (52% GB%) help to set a talent floor. I’m going to avoid him at home where he faces the Brewers next week.

Jackson Kowar: So far Kowar has completed two innings has allowed eight runs helped out by five walks. Ignore until he gains some control.

Jon Duplantier: Every time he pitches in the majors, it’s a hot mess (career 5.77 ERA, 1.61 WHIP). He has to show some signs of being a decent pitcher before he’s worth rostering.

Daniel Castano: On the IL (shoulder) and was unproductive (5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP) while in the majors.

CBS Starter Ownership Rates
Name Prev Own% Current Own% Change
Austin Gomber SP COL 40% 62% 22%
Ryan Weathers SP SD 34% 39% 5%
Brad Keller SP KC 33% 38% 5%
Martin Perez SP BOS 29% 50% 21%
Jon Lester SP WAS 23% 25% 2%
Alex Cobb SP LAA 21% 31% 10%
Adrian Houser SP MIL 18% 25% 7%
Jackson Kowar SP KC 15% 43% 28%
Caleb Smith RP ARI 12% 20% 8%
Vladimir Gutierrez SP CIN 11% 21% 10%
Tucker Davidson SP ATL 10% 40% 30%
Antonio Senzatela SP COL 8% 15% 7%
Ross Stripling SP TOR 7% 13% 6%
Keegan Akin RP BAL 4% 6% 2%
Bruce Zimmermann SP BAL 3% 7% 4%
Jon Duplantier SP ARI 2% 4% 2%
Patrick Sandoval SP LAA 2% 5% 3%
Daniel Castano SP MIA 1% 3% 2%
Sam Long SP SF 0% 10% 10%

Relievers – Saves based rankings

Lucas Sims: Decent reliever who is sharing a closer’s role.

Hansel Robles: OK Reliever who is sharing a closer’s role.

J.P. Feyereisen: Good reliever who is sharing the closer’s role.

José Cisnero: Decent reliever who is sharing the closer’s role.

Scott Barlow: Good reliever who could be the closer or be sharing the closer’s role.

Paul Fry: Good reliever who could be the closer or be sharing the closer’s role.

Josh Sborz: Decent reliever who could temporarily have the closer’s role.

Ryan Tepera: Good reliever who is the backup closer.

Brad Boxberger: A few managers had flashbacks to 2018 and added him for no good reason at all.

• Jean-Carlos Mejia: I don’t understand the demand increase for an opener/long reliever with a 12% BB% and a 4.15 ERA. There are so many better reliever options than him.

CBS Reliever Ownership Rates
Name Prev Own% Current Own% Change
J.P. Feyereisen RP TB 27% 29% 2%
Lucas Sims RP CIN 24% 45% 21%
Hansel Robles RP MIN 21% 23% 2%
Scott Barlow RP KC 11% 16% 5%
Paul Fry RP BAL 7% 12% 5%
Ryan Tepera RP CHC 5% 7% 2%
Jean-Carlos Mejia RP CLE 4% 8% 4%
Jose Cisnero RP DET 1% 6% 5%
Brad Boxberger RP MIL 1% 3% 2%
Josh Sborz RP TEX 1% 3% 2%





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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davem1987
Member
davem1987

When you say you’re betting on Cobb regression, do you mean his ERA should be lower (better) because the Angels’ infield play is poor? Or do you mean regress like his fantasy numbers are going to get worse.

Philip Christy
Member
Member
Philip Christy

Pretty sure he meant the former

PandaKOST
Member
PandaKOST

Good regression, towards the low ERA estimator.