Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of August 9, 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 8

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Mike Moustakas, 1B/2B/3B, CIN (49% to 59%)
  • Starters
    • Patrick Sandoval, SP, LAA (49% to 52%)
  • Relievers
    • Gregory Soto, RP, DET (50% to 52%)

50% OR UNDER

Logan Webb, SP, SFG (46%: new)

Webb has a 3.19 ERA (3.31 FIP) and a 1.16 WHIP with 82 K in 79 IP on the year for the Giants, who have the best record in the MLB. Since returning from a shoulder strain on July 9, Webb has a 2.10 ERA (3.30 FIP) and a 0.97 WHIP in six starts. He promisingly struck out nine Milwaukee batters in six innings in his most recent start. Webb relies on his sinker to get ground outs and his slider to get whiffs (44.6%) and strikeouts. His 59.7% ground ball rate is third in the majors for pitching with at least 70 IP. Webb has a great matchup next as he will host the Rockies.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Robbie Grossman, OF, DET (50%: no change)
    • Myles Straw, OF, HOU (45%: new): Straw has not made my articles because I do not like one category players. But since being traded to Cleveland, he bats leadoff and should provide runs along with steals.
    • Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA (42%: returning)
    • Abraham Toro, 3B, SEA (13% to 41%): 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 or leadoff for the Mariners so far. He has also chipped in four steals so far although that is not his calling card.
    • Rafael Ortega, OF, CHC (41%: new)
  • Starters
    • Casey Mize, SP, DET (48%: no change)
    • Corey Kluber, SP, NYY (44%: returning)
  • Relievers
    • Kyle Finnegan, RP, WAS (29% to 48%)
    • Andrew Kittredge, SP/RP, TBR (40% to 45%): Kittredge ranks 81st overall in Yahoo standard 5×5. He has seven wins, two saves, and a 0.88 WHIP. He might also get more save opportunities moving forward after the trade of Diego Castillo. However, the Rays always use a closer committee and Nick Anderson should come back from the IL soon.

40% OR UNDER

Cesar Hernandez, 2B, CWS (31% to 34%)

Hernandez has grown on me in the past few weeks. He mostly bats second for that excellent White Sox lineup and should be an elite source of runs. He has 20 HR, blowing past his career high 15 so he should continue to provide RBI as well. While his BA is just 0.237 on the year, this is weighed down by a 0.176 average in April. He has batted 0.255 since May 1 and 0.278 since July 1.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Harrison Bader, OF, STL (40%: returning)
    • Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, CWS (41% to 37%)
    • CJ Cron, 1B, COL (32%: no change)
    • Travis d’Arnaud, C/1B, ATL (28% to 31%)
    • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, SFG (31%: returning)
  • Starters
    • Kyle Muller, SP, ATL (26% to 38%)
    • Huascar Ynoa, SP, ATL (35%: returning)
    • Cal Quantrill, SP/RP, CLE (34%: new)
    • Tanner Houck, SP, BOS (27% to 31%)
    • Josiah Gray, SP, WAS (19% to 31%)
  • Relievers
    • Chad Green, RP, NYY (34% to 37%)
    • Jonathan Loaisiga, SP/RP, NYY (35%: returning)
    • Alex Colome, RP, MIN (26% to 32%)

30% OR UNDER

Lorenzo Cain, OF, MIL (21% to 23%)

Since returning from the IL, Cain has a 0.342 BA and three steals in 10 games. He never hit more than 16 HR in a season but still looks to have elite base stealing ability. Also, as a 0.287 career hitter, he should help you in the average category down the stretch. Cain has mostly batted in the bottom half of the lineup but if Christian Yelich continues to struggle, he could move up to batting first or second more often, especially against lefties. Cain’s contact skills and a 9.8% BB rate since 2018 lend themselves to batting at the top of the lineup.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B, CHC (26% to 30%)
    • Amed Rosario, SS/OF, CLE (30%: returning)
    • Max Stassi, C, LAA (25% to 30%)
    • Daulton Varsho, C/OF, ARI (44% to 29%)
    • Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, COL (14% to 25%)
  • Starters
    • Zach Thompson, SP/RP, MIA (30% to 28%)
  • Relievers
    • Scott Barlow, RP, KCR (25% to 26%)
    • Greg Holland, RP, KCR (25%: no change)
    • Dylan Floro, RP, MIA (24%: new)

20% OR UNDER

Evan Longoria, 3B, SFG (19%: returning)

Longoria’s 61.3% Hard Hit rate leads the MLB among batters with at least 100 batted balls. This resulted in 9 HR and a 0.892 OPS over 50 games. He has been on the IL for 2 months with a strained shoulder sustained in a collision. Currently on a rehab assignment, he should return in the next few days. He will slot into a stacked lineup with the fifth highest wOBA in the majors in 2021. The only concern would be some platooning with the deadline addition of Kris Bryant and the IL returns of Brandon Belt and Tommy La Stella. But Bryant should play a lot of outfield after Longo’s return.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (19%: returning)
    • Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (13% to 16%)
    • Brian Anderson, 3B/OF, MIA (16% to 15%)
    • Elias Diaz, C, COL (7% to 13%): Diaz has 11 HR in his last 26 games with a 1.122 OPS. His rolling 100 PA xwOBA has hovered around a dominant 0.400 for about a month. In a tough catcher landscape, ride this wave.
    • LaMonte Wade, Jr., 1B/OF, SFG (12%: new)
  • Relievers
    • Tyler Clippard, RP, ARI (17%: new)
    • Cole Sulser, RP, BAL (14%: new)
    • Mychal Givens, RP, CIN (11%: new)

10% OR UNDER

Lewis Brinson, OF, MIA (3%: new)

In 125 PA this year, Brinson has displayed his raw power and speed by ranking in the 89th percentile in both Max EV (exit velocity) and Sprint Speed. Since being called back up on July 19, Brinson has a 0.944 OPS in 56 PA. While his 0.346 BABIP on the year could regress, Brinson is simply making better (Sweet Spot % [see above]), harder (Hard Hit %), and more contact (Z-contact% [see below]) since his return to the majors. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Colin Moran, 1B/2B/3B, PIT (10%: no change)
    • Yadiel Hernandez, OF, WAS (7%: new)
    • Sam Hilliard, OF, COL (7%: new)
    • Luis Garcia, 2B, WAS (1%: no change)
  • Relievers
    • Spencer Patton, RP, TEX (4%: new)

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