Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of July 19, 2021): Best Players Available Under 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% on Yahoo

by Mickey Bell

*Stats and Roster % as of the morning of July 18

GRADUATED (LAST WEEK)

  • Eloy Jimenez, OF, CWS (46% to 75%)
  • Omar Narvaez, C, MIL (49% to 65%)
  • Willy Adames, SS, MIL (42% to 63%)

GRADUATED (THIS WEEK)

  • Logan Gilbert, SP, SEA (49% to 62%)
  • AJ Pollock, OF, LAD (39% to 57%)
  • Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA (40% to 55%)
  • Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (26% to 51%)
  • Avisail Garcia, OF, MIL (47% to 51%)

50% OR UNDER

Luis Urias, 2B/3B/SS, MIL (34% to 42%)

Coming off three straight multi-hit games, this might be the last time Urias shows up in these articles. Over the last 30 days, he is the 39th ranked player in 5×5 roto with 5 HR and two steals over that period. As discussed before, Urias has finally developed more power. His average launch angle has risen from 2.3 degrees in 2020 to 13.4 this year. Subsequently, his Barrel % has gone from 1.3 to 8.9%. His Sweet Spot % and HardHit% have also risen this year. MLB.com’s #24 prospect in 2019 is just 24 years old and has made clear strides this year.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Garrett Hampson, 2B/SS, COL (47%: returning)
  • Ty France, 1B/2B/3B, SEA (43% to 41%)
  • Tarik Skubal, SP, DET (46% to 43%): Skubal gets Texas or Kansas City next so he stays on the list. While he strikes batters out at an elite level, his ratios can hurt you. He has a 4.41 ERA (4.59 FIP) with a 1.27 WHIP over his past six starts. Home runs continue to be an issue as he allowed two in his last time out against the Twins.
  • Shane McClanahan, SP, TBR (45% to 43%)
  • Daniel Bard, RP, COL (48% to 50%)
  • Giovanny Gallegos, RP, STL (50%: returning)
  • Ranger Suarez, RP, PHI (25% to 49%)
  • Heath Hembree, RP, CIN (18% to 46%)
  • Chad Green, RP, NYY (45% to 43%) 

40% OR UNDER

Jon Gray, SP, COL (38%: new)

Okay, I have ignored Gray all year in these articles but he just keeps chugging along. On Sunday at home in Colorado, he allowed 2 ER over seven innings. He now holds a 3.68 ERA (3.99 FIP; 3.54 xERA) and a 1.22 WHIP on the year. Over Gray’s career, he has actually performed slightly better at home. This year, his wOBA against at home is 0.261 compared to 0.341 on the road. He will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and, although you cannot trust the Rockies front office to make wise choices, he will likely be traded before the deadline. Getting out of Coors should ultimately benefit him not just because of a home stadium upgrade but also because Rockies pitchers have the added headache of needing to pitch differently home and away based on how their pitches break. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Robbie Grossman, OF, DET (34% to 37%):  I limit myself to five batters per section. I knew I wanted the other four guys, and this last spot came down to Robbie Grossman and Andrew Vaughn. Vaughn has five homers over the past 30 days. Grossman is the weaker true hitter but holds fantasy value as a power/speed option. He has 13 HR and 11 steals on the year though it comes with a 0.227 BA.
  • CJ Cron, 1B, COL (35% to 36%): THE BAT X projects 14 home runs for him from here on out. If he gets traded, the projections drop but roster him until that happens.
  • Justin Upton, OF, LAA (34%: new): Currently on the IL, Upton should be activated somewhat soon. His StatCast page is impressive; an 116.5 MPH Max EV ranks among the top 2% in the MLB. His HardHit%, Barrel %, and BB% are all 79th percentile or better.
  • Akil Baddoo, OF, DET (33% to 34%)
  • Joey Votto, 1B, CIN (36% to 33%)
  • Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, MIN (30% to 33%): Kirilloff, MLB.com’s #26 prospect (2019: #9), has a 0.735 OPS but his StatCast numbers point to future success. His xBA is 0.290, 34 points higher than his actual batting average. His xSLG (0.537) is 106 points above his actual 0.431 SLG. Pick up Kirilloff now before his results catch up to his quality of contact.
  • Zach Thompson, SP/RP, MIA (38%: returning)
  • Andrew Kittredge, SP/RP, TBR (36%: new): Kittredge ranks 82nd overall in Yahoo standard 5×5. He has six wins, two saves, and a 0.86 WHIP.

30% OR UNDER

Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (30%: returning)

Yet another Brewer on this list! Willy Adames, Avisail Garcia, Omar Narvaez, and Urias have featured in these articles heavily this year. Wong returned from the IL this week and batted leadoff in his first two starts. While his 0.298 BA is due for some regression (0.262 xBA; 0.263 career BA), he should combine for at least 15 HR and steals the rest of the way.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Max Stassi, C, LAA (26% to 27%)
  • Jed Lowrie, 2B, OAK (27%: new)
  • Patrick Sandoval, SP, LAA (27% to 29%)
  • Adbert Alzolay, SP, CHC (29%: returning)
  • Alex Cobb, SP, LAA (28%: returning)
  • Merrill Kelly, SP, ARI (21%: new)
  • Adam Ottavino, RP, BOS (28%: no change)
  • Joakim Soria, RP, ARI (27%: returning)
  • Paul Sewald, RP, SEA (26%: new)
  • Hansel Robles, RP, MIN (23% to 24%)

20% OR UNDER

Brian Anderson, 3B/OF, MIA (11%: new)

Anderson should be activated from the IL in the next few days. He hasn’t ever wowed with his production but provides consistency. While he scuffled to start this year, he had an 0.811 and 0.810 OPS in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Anderson ranked 125th overall last year and should provide double digit homers in the second half.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, COL (16% to 13%)
  • Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, WAS (12%: new)
  • Tylor Megill, SP, NYM (23% to 19%)
  • Tanner Houck, SP, BOS (12%: new): The Red Sox pitching prospect had a 5.14 ERA in six starts at AAA this year. But digging deeper, his FIP and xFIP were 2.93 and 3.36, respectively. Houck has an excellent slider and great strikeout potential. He earned a three inning save with 3 K and 0 ER in his first appearance since being called up. He will start at Toronto on Wednesday. Keep an eye on him.
  • Dane Dunning, SP, TEX (11%: returning): Dunning has had his share of struggles this year (1.44 WHIP), but had an elite 44% CSW against Detroit before the All Star Break. He makes this list because he gets those Tigers again on Tuesday. He will not have a duplicate performance, but you could do worse with streaming options.
  • Scott Barlow, RP, KCR (22% to 19%)
  • Jose Cisnero, RP, DET (16% to 13%)

10% OR UNDER

Josiah Gray, SP, LAD (7%: new)

The Dodgers rotation currently has four healthy members, including David Price and Tony Gonsolin who are still getting stretched out to pitch longer into games. With Kershaw out until August with forearm inflammation, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said calling up Gray is “on the table”. Gray also has to stretch himself out after having shoulder soreness earlier this year, having thrown 68 pitches over 4.2 innings in his most recent start. While the 0.167 BABIP buoying his 0.64 WHIP is unsustainable, the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect has a 38.6% K rate and 3.5% BB rate at AAA. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Ben Gamel, OF, PIT (6%: new)
  • Trevor Larnach, OF, MIN (5% to 4%): The 6’4”, 223 lbs Larnach has a Max EV in the 97th percentile, showing his elite power potential. An 11.4% Barrel rate is very healthy but his 31.7% K rate could put a ceiling on his BA.
  • Harold Ramirez, OF, CLE (4%: no change)
  • Abraham Toro, 3B, HOU (4% to 3%)

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