Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of July 11, 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 11
- Christian Walker, 1B, ARI (50% to 53%)
- Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, TEX (46% to 53%)
- Zach Plesac, SP, CLE (50% to 51%)
- Tanner Scott, RP, MIA (47% to 51%)
Please check out last week’s article here if you missed it.
50% OR UNDER
Alex Wood, SP, SFG (50% to 47%)
Wood’s career numbers are impressive; he has a 3.57 ERA (3.68 SIERA) across 1075.2 IP. That ERA ranks 20th among active pitchers with at least 1000 IP. In 138.2 IP last year, Wood had a 3.83 ERA (3.60 SIERA) with a 1.18 WHIP and a career best 26% K rate. He struggled to begin this year. But has two straight starts of 1 ER or fewer. That includes a seven inning, eight strikeout scoreless gem against the Padres on July 10. His usually elite slider has gotten hit this year but he had a 41% CSW on it in San Diego. Next, he lines up for a start against the Brewers, who have a bottom-third 93 wRC+ against lefties.
- Harrison Bader, OF, STL (47%: returning): The breakout player’s rostership is falling because he is still on the IL. If you can afford to hold him a few more days, he’ll get the All Star Break to recover and hopefully can return soon after.
- Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B, STL (47%:
- MJ Melendez, C/OF, KCR (43% to 46%)
- Dylan Carlson, OF, STL (48% to 45%): Since the beginning of May, Carlson has an 0.841 OPS with 5 HR, 3 SB, and a 0.295 BA
- Garrett Cooper, 1B/OF, MIA (43%: no change)
- Anthony Santander, OF, BAL (40% to 41%)
- Juan Yepez, 1B/3B, STL (47% to 41%)
- Keegan Thompson, SP/RP, CHC (44%: new)
- Tanner Rainey, RP, WAS (49%: no change)
- Seranthony Dominguez, RP, PHI (47%: no change)
40% OR UNDER
Nolan Jones, 3B, CLE (34%: new)
Jones has seven hits through his first 19 career plate appearances. The 6’4” lefty batter is a big time prospect with power upside though he hasn’t had a minors season with more than 19 HR (2018). Jones is a must-add in OBP and points leagues as he’s never had a BB% below 14.5% at any stop in the minors. The two big questions with Jones will be whether he can keep the K rate down and whether the raw power translates to results. This is a future MLB All Star, but will he show that potential right away? The great early results certainly make him worth taking a chance on.
- Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK (29% to 40%): Laureano has hit 7 HR and 8 SB in 57 games this year. For funsies, that’s a 20 HR, 23 SB pace in 162 games. He has gotten better every month since returning from suspension, going from a 102 wRC+ in May to a 121 in June to a scorching 147 through 10 games in July. After scuffling with six hits in his first 48 PA, he has a 135 wRC+ since. If he can get traded out of Oakland’s pitcher park (to the Phillies, maybe?), he would get an even bigger upgrade.
- Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, CHC (38%: no change)
- Joey Votto, 1B, CIN (38%: new)
- Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (43% to 36%): Duran leads off every day, has 6 SB in just 24 games, and, despite just one homer, more power should come. He’s also kept the K rate to an acceptable 24.8%.
- Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, CLE (37% to 35%): According to PitcherList, he ranks 28th or better in SLG, xBA, and xwOBA among all qualifying batters. His HC% (Hard Contact %: Hard Hit/PA) is 36th among all qualifiers. His 15.9% K rate allows him to have a safer batting average floor. This combination of power and batting average upside must be rostered.
- Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (36% to 35%)
- Harold Ramirez, OF, TBR (22% to 34%)
- Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B, NYY (34%: new): I’ve tried to ignore him for as long as I could but his 10 HR in 64 AB are remarkable.
- Jesus Luzardo, SP, MIA (39%: returning): Watch list or IL-stash him if you can. He’s throwing a two-inning live bullpen session this week.
- George Kirby, SP, SEA (49% to 38%)
- Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN (18% to 31%)
- Marco Gonzales, SP, SEA (33% to 30%): The lack of Ks is tough but Marco is a QS (quality start) machine with seven in his last eight starts.
- Lou Trivino, RP, OAK (27% to 31%)
30% OR UNDER
Esteury Ruiz, 2B, SDP (22%: new)
The 23 year old had 13 HR, 60 SB, and a 0.333 BA across 77 games in AA and AAA this year. He walked around 14% while striking out just above 17%. Ruiz’s hit tool should allow him to succeed right away for the Padres, but even if he scuffles, he could provide Jon Berti-esque steals out the gate. As an added bonus and hopefully a confidence booster, Ruiz will make his debut at Coors Field.
- Nick Senzel, 2B/OF, CIN (30%: new)
- Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, SFG (31% to 27%)
- Andrew McCutchen, OF, MIL (31% to 26%)
- Aaron Hicks, OF, NYY (26%: new)
- Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, KCR (32% to 25%)
- Jesus Aguilar, 1B, MIA (24%: no change)
- Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, BAL (24%: no change): 21 SB on the year. Might not be a fit for your team, but he deserves to be rostered by those desperate for steals.
- Eddie Rosario, OF, ATL (21%: no change)
- Brady Singer, SP, KCR (23%: returning)
- Roansy Contreras, SP, PIT (23% to 21%): Was optioned to AAA but could even make another start before the All Star Break, hopefully not in Colorado though.
- John Schreiber, RP, BOS (25% to 30%)
- Diego Castillo, RP, SEA (25% to 23%)
20% OR UNDER
Brett Martin, RP, TEX (19%: new)
There’s not much to say, but he’s the closer of the Rangers. The lefty got three save opportunities last week and converted them all. I don’t think he’s anything too special; on the year, the lefty has a 3.50 SIERA with a 1.18 WHIP. From an outsider’s perspective, Chris Woodward hooked Joe Barlow from the job pretty harshly after consecutive 1 ER blown saves, but it’s firmly Martin’s job for the time being.
- Alek Thomas, OF, ARI (24% to 19%)
- Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B/SS, LAA (13%: returning): Villar signed with the Angels and has led off every game since.
- Luis Garcia, 2B/SS, WAS (17% to 13%)
- Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B/SS, LAA (12%: returning)
- Mitch White, SP/RP, LAD (12% to 20%)
- Colin Poche, RP, TBR (21% to 18%)
10% OR UNDER
Akil Baddoo, OF, DET (8%: returning)
Yes, Baddoo was BADdoo to start the year but he went down to AAA and hit well; 0.905 OPS, 7 SB, 3 HR in 30 games. His 14.5% BB rate and 19.8% K rate were very encouraging. I was very high on Baddoo coming into the year because he has 13 HR and 18 SB in 124 games as a Rule 5 pick who had never played above high-A ball. He’s back up in the bigs and very likely available in your league. He’s worth a flier if you need steals with the upside of more.
- Danny Jansen, C, TOR (10%: returning)
- Luis Gonzalez, OF, SFG (10%: returning)
- Ji-Man Choi, 1B/OF, TBR (10% to 9%)
- Jose Miranda, 1B/3B, MIN (8%: returning)
- Tyler Naquin, OF, CIN (7% to 6%): In 173 games as a Red across 2021 and 2022, he has 25 HR, 95 RBI, 8 SB, and a 0.798 OPS.
- Austin Slater, OF, SFG (2%: new): Slater has 10 HR+SB on the year in just 157 PA and a 118 OPS+ since the beginning of 2020. The issue is he doesn’t start every day and the Giants love to platoon.
- Hunter Strickland, RP, CIN (8% to 6%): He’s the Reds closer, but don’t be surprised if he crushes your ratios.