Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of July 4, 2022): Best Players Available Under 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% on Yahoo

by Mickey Bell

*Stats and Roster % as of the morning of July 5

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Isaac Paredes, 2B/3B, TBR (17% to 68%
    • Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (46% to 61%)
  • Starters
    •  Jon Gray, SP, TEX (46% to 60%)
  • Relievers
    • Paul Sewald, RP, SEA (39% to 57%)
    • Jhoan Duran, SP/RP, MIN (44% to 51%)

Please check out last week’s article here if you missed it.

50% OR UNDER

Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (16% to 43%)

Duran has led off in all 17 games he’s played for the Red Sox this year. He has a 0.319 BA with 4 SB and 1 HR. The speedy Duran is clearly one of the Red Sox best outfielders among Alex Verdugo, Jackie Bradley Jr., Christian Arroyo, and Franchy Cordero. The 25 year old had 22 HR and 27 steals in his last 103 games at AAA and has a 148 wRC+ in the majors this year. His 18.7% K rate will probably jump a little based on his previous minors and majors experiences, but low- to mid-twenties should be doable.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Christian Walker, 1B, ARI (48% to 50%)
    • Dylan Carlson, OF, STL (45% to 48%): Since the beginning of May, Carlson has an 0.867 OPS with  5 HR, 3 SB, and a 0.292 BA. 
    • Austin Meadows, OF, TBR (48%: new)
    • Juan Yepez, 1B/3B, STL (47%: returning)
    • Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, TEX (39% to 46%)
    • MJ Melendez, C/OF, KCR (43%: returning)
    • Garrett Cooper, 1B/OF, MIA (37% to 43%)
  • Starters
    • Alex Wood, SP, SFG (50%: new): Wood has a career 3.60 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP. His ratios are ugly right now, but he’s a good pitcher who will figure things out.
    • Zach Plesac, SP, CLE (50%: new): Seven straight quality starts and gets KC next.
    • George Kirby, SP, SEA (49%: returning): 
  • Relievers
    • Tanner Rainey, RP, WAS (41% to 49%)
    • Seranthony Dominguez, RP, PHI (45% to 47%): 0.43 WHIP over the past 30 days.
    • Tanner Scott, RP, MIA (38% to 47%)

40% OR UNDER

Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, CLE (39% to 37%)

Naylor continues to be under-rostered and underappreciated in fantasy baseball this year. The lefty has 11 HR on the year and three in his last five games. According to PitcherList, he ranks 25th or better in SLG, xBA, and xwOBA among all qualifying batters. His HC% (Hard Contact %: Hard Hit/PA) is 36th among all qualifiers. His 15.7% K rate allows him to have a safer batting average floor. This combination of power and batting average upside must be rostered.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Anthony Santander, OF, BAL (39% to 40%)
    • Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, CHC (38%: new)
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (36%: returning)
    • Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, KCR (32%: returning)
    • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, SFG (34% to 31%)
    • Andrew McCutchen, OF, MIL (15% to 31%)
  • Starters
    • Alex Cobb, SP, SFG (33%: returning)
    • Marco Gonzales, SP, SEA (33% to 30%)

30% OR UNDER

Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK (28% to 29%)

Laureano is doing exactly what you hoped for if you picked him up after his suspension. He has hit 5 HR and stolen eight bases in his 51 games this year. For funsies, that’s a 16 HR, 25 SB pace in 162 games. He has gotten better every month since returning, going from a 102 wRC+ in May to 121 in June. After scuffling with six hits in his first 48 PA, he has a 134 wRC+ since. If he can get traded out of Oakland’s pitcher park (to the Phillies, maybe?), he would get an even bigger upgrade.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, MIA (25% to 24%)
    • Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, BAL (22% to 24%): 19 SB on the year. Might not be a fit for your team, but he deserves to be rostered by those desperate for steals.
    • Harold Ramirez, OF, TBR (22%: new)
    • Eddie Rosario, OF, ATL (19% to 21%): Rosario is back from the IL. He was abysmal to start the year, but has more often than not been a top 100 fantasy contributor since 2017.
  • Starters
    • Bryan Bello, SP, BOS (27%: new)
    • Roansy Contreras, SP, PIT (38% to 23%)
  • Relievers
    • Emilio Pagan, RP, MIN (49% to 30%)
    • Lou Trivino, RP, OAK (15% to 27%)
    • John Schreiber, RP, BOS (25%: new)
    • Diego Castillo, RP, SEA (25%: returning)
    • Colin Poche, RP, TBR (25% to 21%)

20% OR UNDER

Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN (15% to 18%)

The 6’6” lefty made his return from the IL on Tuesday after being out since April 24. He pitched 4.2 scoreless innings with 8 K against the Mets. Lodolo had a 5.52 ERA through 14.2 IP in April, but his 20.3% K-BB rate and 3.23 SIERA suggested there were some positive signs under the hood. His minors career has also been dominant: 2.42 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 13.9 K/9. The 24 year old’s best pitch is his slider, and he can be seen below striking out Pete Alonso with a dirty sweeper: https://twitter.com/PitchingNinja/status/1544480525561339904

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Alek Thomas, OF, ARI (24% to 19%): The rookie has 7 HR and 4 SB through 50 MLB games. That’s a 162 game pace of 23 HR and 13 SB, for what it’s worth. If he keeps up his pace, he would finish this season with around 19 HR and 11 SB. His biggest flaw is currently hitting the ball into the ground too much with a 59.9% GB rate and 2.3 LA (launch angle).
    • Gabriel Moreno, C, TOR (26% to 19%)
    • Jack Suwinski, OF, PIT (14% to 15%): 13 HR in 61 games.
    • Luis Garcia, 2B/SS, WAS (17% to 13%)
    • Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B/SS, LAA (12%: returning)
    • Evan Longoria, 3B, SFG (5% to 11%)

10% OR UNDER

Tyler Naquin, OF, CIN (7%: returning)

He’s solid! In 166 games as a Red across 2021 and 2022, he has 24 HR, 92 RBI, 8 SB, and an 0.801 OPS. For the past four seasons, Naquin has consistently had a Barrel Rate near 10% and a Max EV (Exit Velocity) around the top 10%. According to PitcherList, his IPA% (Ideal Plate Appearance %: Barrel + Solid + Fl&B / Total PAs) ranks 48th in the league.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Ji-Man Choi, 1B/OF, TBR (10%: returning)
    • Kole Calhoun, OF, TEX (9%: returning)
    • Ben Gamel, OF, PIT (5%: returning)
    • LaMonte Wade, 1B/OF, SFG (3%: returning)
  • Starters
    • Mitch White, SP/RP, LAD (8% to 12%): Andrew Heaney is on the IL (again) so White should make at least a few more starts. He might not be the best target in quality start leagues as he is not completely stretched out.
  • Relievers
    • Hunter Strickland, RP, CIN (8%: new): He’s the Reds closer, but don’t be surprised if he crushes your ratios.
    • Brooks Raley, RP, TBR (6% to 8%)
    • Ken Giles, RP, SEA (8% to 7%): Finally back from Tommy John surgery, it’s possible he eventually gets a look at the closer job.

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