Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of August 2, 2021): Best Players Available Under 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% on Yahoo

by Mickey Bell

*Stats and Roster % as of the morning of August 1

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Joey Votto, 1B, CIN (33% to 76%)
    • Eric Haase, C/OF, DET (47% to 63%)
    • Harrison Bader, OF, STL (9% to 53%)
  • Starters
    • Jameson Taillon, SP, NYY (44% to 59%)
    • Shane McClanahan, SP, TBR (48% to 52%)

50% OR UNDER

Tylor Megill, SP, NYM (23% to 42%)

The 6’7″ Megill has a 2.04 ERA (3.44 FIP) with a 1.10 WHIP through seven starts. He has above average four seamer velocity that pairs with his impressive changeup. He has also gotten excellent results on his slider so far (0.141 wOBA against). His xBA, xSLG, Barrel %, and xERA all rank among the top 5% in the league, according to BaseballSavant. Keep in mind, there is still debate regarding how much influence pitchers have on batted balls so take these numbers with a grain of salt, especially considering the sample size is 35.2 innings. Regardless, Megill gets the Marlins on Monday and should be started with confidence.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Robbie Grossman, OF, DET (45% to 50%)
    • Mike Moustakas, 1B/2B/3B, CIN (49%: new)
    • Max Kepler, OF, MIN (46%: no change)
    • Daulton Varsho, C/OF, ARI (20% to 43%)
  • Starters
    • Patrick Sandoval, SP, LAA (30% to 49%)
    • Casey Mize, SP, DET (48%: returning)
    • Jon Gray, SP, COL (43% to 45%)
  • Relievers
    • Gregory Soto, RP, DET (45% to 49%)
    • Heath Hembree, RP, CIN (45% to 46%)
    • Andrew Kittredge, SP/RP, TBR (36% to 41%): Kittredge ranks 70th overall in Yahoo standard 5×5. He has seven wins, two saves, and a 0.90 WHIP. He might also get more save opportunities moving forward after the trade of Diego Castillo. However, Nick Anderson should come back from the IL soon.
    • Paul Sewald, RP, SEA (26% to 41%)

40% OR UNDER

Kyle Finnegan, RP, WAS (32%: new)

Finnegan gets the nod here because he has the closer role in Washington vacated by Brad Hand. He has not allowed a run in 8.2 straight innings while picking up two saves and a win since Hand’s departure. As the trade deadline has passed, this is the single best time during the season to grab speculative closers. Other guys who seem to have jobs based on trades include: Alex Colome, Tyler Clippard, Spencer Patton, Dylan Floro, and Chris Stratton (?).

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, CWS (36% to 40%)
    • CJ Cron, 1B, COL (36% to 32%): Cron did not get traded and this helps his fantasy value. The Rockies also kept Trevor Story so the lineup is still decent.
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (31% to 33%)
    • Cesar Hernandez, 2B, CLE (23% to 31%)
  • Relievers
    • Chad Green, RP, NYY (39% to 34%)

30% OR UNDER

Kyle Muller, SP, ATL (19% to 26%)

Similar to other 6’7″ rookie starters on this list, Megill and Zach Thompson, Muller has impressed in his first year in the bigs. Muller, who has a 2.43 ERA (2.99 FIP) and 1.15 WHIP through 29.2 innings, has the most prospect pedigree of the three. He came into the year as the Braves’ fifth ranked prospect according to Fangraphs and MLB.com. Speaking of Fangraphs, they graded his fastball as a 70 (out of 80) and the four seamer’s spin rate is in the 87th percentile so far. His slider and curveball have also impressed both in terms of the eye test and results.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Travis d’Arnaud, C/1B, ATL (28%: new)
    • Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B, CHC (27%: returning)
    • Max Stassi, C, LAA (25%: no change)
    • Carson Kelly, C, ARI (23%: returning)
    • Lorenzo Cain, OF, MIL (22%: returning)
  • Starters
    • Zach Thompson, SP/RP, MIA (35% to 29%)
    • Tanner Houck, SP, BOS (22% to 26%)
  • Relievers
    • Alex Colome, RP, MIN (26%: new)
    • Greg Holland, RP, KCR (25%: no change)
    • Scott Barlow, RP, KCR (25%: returning)

20% OR UNDER

Abraham Toro, 3B, SEA (13%: returning)

These articles look at results of course but also try to identify players to pick up before they go nuts (see: Votto, Joey) so you reap the rewards of their peak performances. After being traded from Houston for Kendall Graveman, Toro had a torrid first week with the Mariners with four homers and a steal. (Note: one of those homers actually came against Seattle while he still played for the Astros). However, there are also reasons to believe he will continue to succeed. Toro came into the year as the Astros’ third ranked prospect according to Fangraphs and tore up AAA to the tune of a 171 wRC+. The switch hitter has mostly batted fifth for the Mariners and shown pretty even splits so far, limiting the risk he gets platooned. He has also chipped in four steals so far although that is not his calling card.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B, DET (19%: returning)
    • Brian Anderson, 3B/OF, MIA (11% to 16%)
    • Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, COL (10% to 16%)
    • Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (13%: new)
  • Starters
    • Josiah Gray, SP, WAS (21% to 19%)

10% OR UNDER

Elias Diaz, C, COL (8% to 7%)

Diaz should be targeted in deep leagues and leagues with two catchers. After having two homers in his first 41 games, he has hit nine in his last 22. In fact, before this stretch, he had just 6 HR across his previous 168 games. Is the power here to stay? Heck if I know, but 8 of his 11 home runs have been ‘No Doubters’, a stat tracked by BaseballSavant.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Colin Moran, 1B/2B/3B, PIT (10%: returning)
    • Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT (3% to 6%)
    • Rodolfo Castro, 2B/SS, PIT (4%: new)
    • Luis Garcia, 2B, WAS (1%: new)
    • Brent Rooker, OF, MIN (0% to 1%)
  • Relievers
    • Tyler Clippard, RP, ARI (6%: new)
    • Dylan Floro, RP, MIA (5%: new)
    • Spencer Patton, RP, TEX (1%: new)

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