Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of July 18, 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 17

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B, NYY (8% to 53%)
  • Starters
    • Alex Wood, SP, SFG (45% to 54%)

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

50% OR UNDER

Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK (38% to 45%)

Laureano has 9 HR and 9 SB in 62 games this year. For funsies, that’s a 24 HR, 24 SB pace in 162 games. After scuffling with six hits in his first 48 PA, he has a 128 wRC+ since. If he is traded to a contender at the deadline, it will likely come with a stadium upgrade as well.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Christian Walker, 1B, ARI (49%: returning): Should a guy projected for 39 HR really be on the waiver wire?
    • Isaac Paredes, 1B/2B/3B, TBR (48%: returning)
    • Harrison Bader, OF, STL (47%: no change): The breakout player’s rostership fell 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.
    • Harold Ramirez, OF, TBR (29% to 45%)
    • Esteury Ruiz, 2B, SDP (15% to 44%): 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%. While he still hasn’t walked in the majors through six games, he has stolen two bags.
    • Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B, STL (49% to 43%) 
    • Anthony Santander, OF, BAL (40% to 43%)
  • Starters
    • Johnny Cueto, SP, CHW (45%: new)
    • Jake Odorizzi, SP, HOU (41%: new)
  • Relievers
    • Jhoan Duran, SP/RP, MIN (48%: returning)
    • Seranthony Dominguez, RP, PHI (47% to 43%)

40% OR UNDER

Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, CLE (35% to 36%)

Naylor added two homers this week and now has 13 on the year. According to PitcherList, he ranks 22nd or better in SLG, xAVG, and xwOBA among all qualifying batters. His HC% (Hard Contact %: Hard Hit/PA) is 42nd among qualifiers. His 16.2% 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
    • Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, CHC (38% to 40%)
    • MJ Melendez, C/OF, KCR (47% to 40%)
    • Leody Tavares, OF, TEX (40%: new): I’m definitely skeptical based on his 99 wRC+ in AAA. But he has 3 HR, 5 SB, and a 0.909 OPS in 14 games in July. I think he will slow down a lot but he should offer steals at the very least.
    • Joey Votto, 1B, CIN (41% to 38%)
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (36% to 34%)
    • Andrew McCutchen, OF, MIL (26% to 33%)
    • Nolan Jones, 3B, CLE (6% to 31%): 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 (0.333 BA) certainly make him worth taking a chance on.
  • Starters
    • Jesus Luzardo, SP, MIA (38%: no change): Watch list or IL-stash him if you can. He’s throwing a two-inning live bullpen session this week. 
    • Ross Stripling, SP/RP, TOR (38%: new)
    • George Kirby, SP, SEA (47% to 31%)
  • Relievers
    • Brett Martin, RP, TEX (2% to 38%)
    • John Schreiber, RP, BOS (29% to 31%)

30% OR UNDER

Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, SFG (28% to 29%)

Belt got hot in the last seven games before the All Star Break (1.613 OPS), and this could be the moment he starts to look like the absolute beast we saw in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Belt had 1.015 and 0.975 OPSes, respectively, in those seasons. For the third straight year, Belt’s Barrel% is in the 94th percentile. The problem with Belt, of course, is his health. He only played 97 games last year and 52 so far this year. But in his 148 games combined in 2020 and 2021, he hit 39 HR with 179 R+RBI and a 0.285 BA. Belt has got his OPS up to 0.781 during this hot streak. Ride the Conveyor Belt until it needs repairs.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (41% to 28%): 7 SB, a solid 23.4% K rate, and I’m still hopeful for more power despite one homer through 28 games.
    • Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, BAL (24% to 26%): 22 SB on the year. Might not be a fit for your team, but he deserves to be rostered by those desperate for steals.
    • Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA (22%: returning)
    • Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, KCR (23% to 21%)
    • Eddie Rosario, OF, ATL (21%: no change)
  • Starters
    • Marco Gonzales, SP, SEA (31% to 28%)
    • Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN (26% to 25%)
    • Jakob Junis, SP/RP, SFG (22%: returning)
  • Relievers
    • Lou Trivino, RP, OAK (30%: no change)
    • Dany Jimenez, RP, OAK (30%: returning)
    • Jason Adam, RP, TBR (26%: new)
    • Diego Castillo, RP, SEA (23%: no change)

20% OR UNDER

Ramon Urias, 2B/3B/SS, BAL (14%: new)

Urias came on the fantasy radar this week with 3 HR and a 0.435 BA over six games. But he has been pretty good since the beginning of May. After going homerless in April, Urias has all 9 HR and a 140 wRC+ since. His batted ball numbers also back up his success. Urias’s 35.8% HC% ranks 10th in the MLB, putting him next to elite batters like Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper. His GB% (groundball rate) is a little high at 47.6% so that (plus the new Camden Yard dimensions) might keep his power numbers from exploding, but I think he’s a solid option at 3B, the weakest non-catcher position in fantasy right now.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Jose Miranda, 1B/3B, MIN (5% to 19%)
    • Aaron Hicks, OF, NYY (7% to 17%)
    • Alek Thomas, OF, ARI (16% to 14%)
    • Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B/SS, LAA (14% to 13%)
    • Danny Jansen, C, TOR (9% to 12%)
    • Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA (11%: returning): 2 HR and 3 SB in his last 8 games.
  • Starters
    • Roansy Contreras, SP, PIT (22% to 19%)
    • Brady Singer, SP, KCR (22% to 19%)
    • Reid Detmers, SP, LAA (14%: returning)
  • Relievers
    • Colin Poche, RP, TBR (18% to 20%)
    • Alexis Diaz, RP, CIN (14%: new)
    • Brooks Raley, RP, TBR (11%: returning)

10% OR UNDER

Austin Slater, OF, SFG (1% to 3%)

Slater has 5 HR and 6 SB this year in just 180 PA. He has a 122 OPS+ since the beginning of 2020. His 46.4% Sweet Spot percentage ranks 4th in the MLB among batters with at least 100 BBE (batted ball events). Slater has a 144 OPS+ overall  this year, with no big splits differences (141 vs RHP, 148 vs LHP). He got some starts against tough righties like Zac Gallen and Brandon Woodruff this week so maybe that portends more starts versus righties to come.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Ji-Man Choi, 1B/OF, TBR (9%: no change)
    • Luis Garcia, 2B/SS, WAS (12% to 8%)
    • Akil Baddoo, OF, DET (8%: no change)
    • Luis Gonzalez, OF, SFG (9% to 8%)
    • Tyler Naquin, OF, CIN (7% to 5%)
  • Starters
    • Mitch White, SP/RP, LAD (11% to 7%)
    • Braxton Garrett, SP, MIA (7%: new): Just dominated the Pirates and should get them again after the All Star Break. 
  • Relievers
    • Garrett Richards, SP/RP, TEX (0%: new)

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