Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of May 2, 2022): Best Players Available Under 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% on Yahoo

  1. by Mickey Bell

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

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Taylor Ward, OF, LAA (13% to 80%)
    • Joc Pederson, OF, SF (35% to 71%)
    • Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA (30% to 54%)
    • Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI (40% to 53%)
  • Starters
    • Eric Lauer, SP, MIL (21% to 68%)
    • Josiah Gray, SP, WAS (47% to 53%)
    • Cristian Javier, SP/RP, HOU (39% to 53%)
  • Relievers
    • Jorge Lopez, SP/RP, BAL (30% to 65%)
    • Dany Jimenez, RP, OAK (25% to 53%)

50% OR UNDER

Joe Barlow, RP, TEX (41%: new)

If you read these articles, you’ll know any clear-cut closer rostered under 50% will get a lot of love from me. While Anthony Bender (45% rostered) is likely to be rostered in most active leagues, Barlow might slip under the radar a bit more. Barlow finally got his first save on Saturday, but Rangers manager Chris Woodward “confirmed” he was the closer way back on April 23. Now in his second season, Barlow has a 0.85 WHIP in 35.1 IP. This year, his Ks are way up with a 20.4% SwStr% and a 34.6% K rate. He has also dropped his BB rate from 10.8% in 2021 to 3.8% so far. He’s throwing his slider about twice as much as his fastball and early on, batters are whiffing on it a lot (26.2% SwStr%).

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Robbie Grossman, OF, DET (46% to 47%): 117th overall player in 2021
    • Mark Canha, OF, NYM (49% to 44%)
  • Starters
    • Tony Gonsolin, SP, LAD (44% to 50%)
    • Corey Kluber, SP, TBR (50%: returning)
    • Paul Blackburn, SP, OAK (48%: new)
  • Relievers
    • Matt Barnes, RP, BOS (50%: new)
    • Anthony Bender, RP, MIA (45%: new)

40% OR UNDER

Chris Paddack, SP, MIN (32%: new)

Yes, this one is a bit scary, but Paddack, who pitches tomorrow (Monday) at Baltimore, has made changes since his trade to the Twins. As mentioned by Nick Pollack in his daily ‘SP Roundup’ (https://www.pitcherlist.com/paddack-in-the-saddle-again/) article, Paddack has elevated his fastball effectively in two straight starts, and it has allowed him to change vertical planes, keep hitters guessing, and make his trademark changeup less predictable. Surprisingly, he has thrown his curveball the same number of times as the changeup. While the curveball might not be the best pitch, it again gives hitters more to think about as he is not just a two-pitch pitcher. As an added bonus for you weekly lineup players, Paddack will likely get two starts this week with his second probably coming against Oakland.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (44% to 39%)
    • Kike Hernandez, 2B/OF, BOS (38% to 35%)
    • Brandon Nimmo, OF, NYM (30% to 32%): Nimmo is obviously a must-roster in points leagues and he should be strongly considered in OBP leagues, but he is not a perfect 5×5 player. While his average and runs will be above average, he probably will not get you many home runs while chipping in a steal here and there.
    • Jonathan Schoop, 1B/2B, DET (39% to 30%): 97th overall player in 2021
  • Starters
    • Jameson Taillon, SP, NYY (37%: no change)
  • Relievers
    • Michael King, RP, NYY (14% to 38%)
    • Josh Staumont, RP, KC (43% to 33%)

30% OR UNDER

Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK (26% to 29%)

Laureano has started a AAA rehab assignment and will be eligible to return from his PED suspension on May 8. He has struggled at AAA and has missed a few games due to soreness related to supposedly sleeping wrong. However, Laureano has a career 0.800 OPS and could be a four or five category contributor if things go right and he bats toward the top of the lineup. Laureano’s best season so far was his 2019 campaign in which he had 24 HR, 13 SB, and a 0.288 BA. In his four year career, his per 162 games averages come out to 25 HR, 18 SB, and a 0.263 BA. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Tommy Pham, OF, CIN (29% to 30%)
    • Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, BAL (19% to 27%)
    • Sheldon Neuse, 2B/3B, OAK (24%: new)
    • Santiago Espinal, 2B/3B, TOR (7% to 22%)
    • Harrison Bader, OF, STL (20% to 21%)
  • Starters
    • Michael Lorenzen, SP/RP, LAA (29%: new)
    • Brad Keller, SP, KCR (27%: new): A potentially decent streamer at home against the Cardinals.
    • Drew Rasmussen, SP/RP, TBR (26%: new): Rasmussen is coming off his first career quality start after he pitched six scoreless innings with 9 K against the Mariners. He’ll travel to Oakland tomorrow and could have a two-start week. Stream him, then assess whether you want to hold on afterwards.
    • Zach Eflin, SP, PHI (26%: new)
    • Tyler Anderson, SP, LAD (22%:new)
  • Relievers
    • Lucas Sims, RP, CIN (24%: no change)
    • Emilio Pagan, RP, MIN (17% to 23%)
    • Diego Castillo, RP, SEA (25% to 22%)

20% OR UNDER

Dakota Hudson, SP, STL (17%: new)

Hudson has a 3.11 ERA in 269.1 career IP. He has a 1.00 WHIP over his last 67.1 IP dating back to 2019. His strikeouts are below average, but the career sample size is getting big enough to confidently say he induces bad contact and will continue to do so. He gets a solid matchup versus Kansas City next. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Andrew McCutchen, OF, MIL (21% to 19%)
    • Ha-Seong Kim, 2B/3B/SS, SD (19%: returning)
    • Daniel Vogelback, 1B, PIT (9% to 12%)
    • Seth Beer, Util, ARI (17% to 11%)
  • Starters
    • Grayson Rodriguez, SP, BAL (18% to 19%): The MLB’s number one pitching prospect didn’t get called up yet, but it shouldn’t be long now. In 14.1 IP in AAA, he has a 42.8% K-BB rate and a 0.49 WHIP. Even if the Orioles keep Rodriguez down a little longer to manipulate his service time, that deadline will pass soon. John Means is done for the season, opening up another spot.
  • Relievers
    • Jhoan Duran, SP/RP, MIN (20%: returning)
    • Andres Munoz, RP, SEA (10% to 14%)

10% OR UNDER

Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, CLE (3% to 8%)

The 24-year-old fractured his ankle last season which delayed his debut this season until April 15. Since returning, he has a 0.313 BA and a 144 wRC+ in a small sample of 50 PA. The former 50 grade prospect also walked for just the second time, bringing his BB rate to a still-too-low 4%. However, while Naylor has a reputation of having great raw power, he’s not the type to strike out much (14% in 2022). Naylor’s aptitude for putting the ball in play should allow him to have an above average BA. He puts the ball on the ground a bit too much (50%), but his power should result in above average HR (whatever that means in 2022) the rest of the way.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Andres Gimenez, 2B/SS, CLE (9%: new)
    • Diego Castillo, 2B/3B/SS, PIT (16% to 9%)
    • Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (8% to 7%)
    • Aaron Hicks, OF, NYY (6%: new)
    • Travis Demeritte, 2B/SS/OF, ATL (3%: new)
  • Starters
    • Nick Martinez, SP, SDP (5%: no change)
  • Relievers
    • Hansel Robles, RP, BOS (8% to 9%)
    • Chris Stratton, RP, PIT (6% to 8%)
    • Ryan Helsley, RP, STL (8%: new)
    • Spencer Strider, RP, ATL (14% to 7%)
    • Rafael Montero, RP, HOU (4%: new)

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