Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of August 23, 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 22

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Jazz Chisholm, Jr., 2B/SS, MIA (48% to 55%)
    • Josh Rojas, 2B/SS/OF, ARI (32% to 51%)
  • Starters
    • Huascar Ynoa, SP, ATL (47% to 64%)
    • Elieser Hernandez, SP, MIA (44% to 53%)

50% OR UNDER

Amed Rosario, SS/OF, CLE (43% to 46%)

Most fantasy players had higher expectations for Andres Gimenez (ADP: 176), another one of the big pieces in the Francisco Lindor trade. However, it has been Rosario who has impressed the most. His HardHit% has gone from 33% in 2020 to 42.9% (63rd percentile) this year. He has a 0.285 BA with 12 steals on the year. In 33 games since the All Star break, Rosario has 18 XBH (3 HR), four steals, a 0.345 BA, and a 0.905 OPS. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Travis d’Arnaud, C/1B, ATL (43% to 47%)
    • Andrew Beninteni, OF, KCR (45%: returning)
    • Rafael Ortega, OF, CHC (44%: returning)
    • Tyler Naquin, OF, CIN (43%: returning)
    • Miguel Sano, 1B/3B, MIN (42% to 43%): He is batting a very acceptable 0.261 with 6 HR over the past month.
  • Starters
    • Touki Toussaint, SP/RP, ATL (48%: new)
    • Corey Kluber, SP, NYY (45% to 47%)
    • Tarik Skubal, SP, DET (36% to 44%)
  • Relievers
    • Chad Green, RP, NYY (39% to 49%)
    • Andrew Kittredge, SP/RP, TBR (47%: no change)
    • Jonathan Loaisiga, SP/RP, NYY (43%: no change)
    • Kyle Finnegan, RP, WAS (44% to 41%)

40% OR UNDER

Josiah Gray, SP, WAS (36%: no change)

Gray has a 3.91 ERA but a 6.71 FIP on the year. His 0.206 BABIP and 100% LOB suggest regression. His 3.30 HR/9 might suggest a susceptibility to being hit hard, but that number will surely come down. A 4.03 SIERA is more bullish on Gray. He has two potentially elite breaking balls, his curveball and slider, with SwStr% of 27.1% and 23.9%, respectively. The CSW on those pitches are 45.8% and 38%. The curveball, with a 43.2% PutAway%, is the pitch he goes to for strikeouts. Even if you are justifiably worried about the HR and FIP, he gets the Marlins in Miami’s pitchers’ park next and should be started with confidence.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Frank Schwindel, 1B/OF, CHC (40%: new)
    • Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, CWS (37% to 38%)
    • Cesar Hernandez, 2B, CWS (39% to 34%)
    • Anthony Santander, OF, BAL (44% to 34%)
    • Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B, DET (27% to 31%)
  • Starters
    • Luis Gil, SP/RP, NYY (35%: new)
  • Relievers
    • Paul Sewald, RP, SEA (39%: returning)
    • Mychal Givens, RP, CIN (21% to 35%)

30% OR UNDER

Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, OAK (26%: returning)

Not unlike Wong and Cain below, Harrison should contribute batting average and steals the rest of the way. He has a 0.292 BA and eight steals on the year. His batting average across the last two years is 0.290. While Wong bats leadoff and is a better option for those who need runs, Harrison often bats fifth for the A’s and can chip in a well-rounded mix of runs and RBI. Harrison’s multi-position eligibility adds extra value as well.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (31% to 30%)
    • Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B, CHC (29% to 25%)
    • Daulton Varsho, C/OF, ARI (21% to 25%)
    • Lorenzo Cain, OF, MIL (25% to 23%): Since returning from the IL, Cain has a 0.279 BA, two homers, and five steals in 19 games. He never hit more than 16 HR in a season but still will contribute steals and a great average (0.287 BA career).
  • Starters
    • Tanner Houck, SP, BOS (32% to 27%): The yo-yo season continues as Houck was sent down again. It is unclear if he will be back for his next start.
    • Eric Lauer, SP, MIL (13% to 26%): He gave up 3 ER in 4.1 IP against the Nats this week but had a 1.53 ERA (2.83 FIP) and a 0.99 WHIP in his previous six starts. He should get the Twins next, who are third worst against lefties (74 wRC+) since the All Star break.
    • Tylor Megill, SP, NYM (25%: returning)
    • Zach Thompson, SP/RP, MIA (27% to 24%)
    • Tyler Anderson, SP, SEA (21%: returning)
  • Relievers
    • Scott Barlow, RP, KCR (24% to 28%)

20% OR UNDER

Connor Joe, 1B/OF, COL (16%: new)

Joe has led off for the Rockies in 11 straight games. He has raised his OPS on the year to 0.849. Joe leads off because of his 11.5 % BB rate and 0.370 OBP, but he also has a little pop. He has 7 HR in 52 games, but his Max EV (Exit Velocity) is in the 90th percentile. While the Rockies’ next nine games are on the road, they do get three lefties this week, benefiting the righty Joe.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, COL (21% to 20%)
    • Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, KCR (17%: new): After having just one stolen base in his first two seasons, Lopez has 17 SB in 2021. He has eight in his last seven games.
    • Tyler Wade, 2B/3B/SS/OF, NYY (10% to 16%)
  • Relievers
    • Dylan Floro, RP, MIA (22% to 20%)
    • Tyler Clippard, RP, ARI (15% to 18%)

10% OR UNDER

Yadiel Hernandez, OF, WAS (6% to 4%)

Why is Hernandez just 4% rostered? Sure, I am not running out to grab him in every league but I do roster him in two deep leagues. Hernandez has 6 HR, three steals, a 0.300 BA, and a 0.818 OPS in 168 PA on the year. Since Washington traded Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and Josh Harrison at the trade deadline, Hernandez has finally been able to show his offensive skills. The Nationals signed the now 33 year old back in 2017 but he had just 28 PA in the majors before this year. Hernandez had a career 0.889 OPS in the minors and a 0.915 OPS across 10 years in foreign leagues (mostly in Cuba).

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (12% to 10%)
    • Jake Meyers, OF, HOU (1% to 7%): Over his last nine games, Meyers, is 13-for-34 (0.382 BA) with three homers.
    • Yonny Hernandez, 3B, TEX (1%: no change)
  • Starters
    • Kris Bubic, SP/RP, KCR (7%: new): Nick Pollack pointed out Bubic’s fastball velo increased by 1.5 MPH in his last start in which he took a no-hitter into the seventh. We should monitor if this uptick continues.
    • Bailey Ober, SP, MIN (3%: new)
  • Relievers
    • Drew Steckenrider, RP, SEA (10%: new)
    • David Bednar, RP, PIT (8%: new)
    • Cole Sulser, RP, BAL (10% to 7%)

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