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

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Christian Walker, 1B, ARI (50% to 53%)
    • Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, TEX (46% to 53%)
  • Starters
    • Zach Plesac, SP, CLE (50% to 51%)
  • Relievers
    • 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.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • 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%)
  • Starters
    • Keegan Thompson, SP/RP, CHC (44%: new)
  • Relievers
    • 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.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • 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. 
  • Starters
    • 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.
  • Relievers
    • 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.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • 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)
  • Starters
    • 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.
  • Relievers
    • 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. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • 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)
  • Starters
    • Mitch White, SP/RP, LAD (12% to 20%)
  • Relievers
    • 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.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • 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.
  • Relievers
    • Hunter Strickland, RP, CIN (8% to 6%): He’s the Reds closer, but don’t be surprised if he crushes your ratios.

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