Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of August 8, 2022): Best Players Available Under 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% on Yahoo

by Mickey Bell

*Stats and Roster % as of the morning of August 10

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, BAL (38% to 64%)
    • MJ Melendez, C/OF, KCR (43% to 57%)
    • Dylan Carlson, OF, STL (50% to 51%)
  • Starters
    • Jesus Luzardo, SP, MIA (44% to 57%)
    • Reid Detmers, SP, LAA (40% to 57%)
  • Relievers
    • Felix Bautista, RP, BAL (41% to 62%)

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

50% OR UNDER

Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, CHC (47%: returning)

The HoernDog hit 0 HR across 92 major league games in 2020 and 2021. But this year, along with a 0.300 BA, Hoerner has added 7 HR and 12 SB. While his Barrel rate is still a miniscule 2.7%, he has raised his launch angle and is pulling the ball more, leading to some homers over the shallow part of left field. While Hoerner will continue to chip in homers and steals (top 9% Sprint Speed), his biggest value boost will continue to be in the batting average category. Hoerner doesn’t strike out (top 3%) and his xBA (Expected Batting Average) ranks among the top 9% in the league. Going forward, He’s Kolten Wong with a better batting average and another position of eligibility.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Christian Walker, 1B, ARI (46% to 49%): Should a guy projected for 38 HR really be on the waiver wire?
    • Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, CLE (49%: returning)
    • Jean Segura, 2B, PHI (45% to 48%)
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (38% to 46%)
    • Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK (46% to 44%): For what it’s worth, 12 HR and 10 SB in 81 games extrapolates to a 24 HR, 20 SB pace in 162 games. 
    • Andrew McCutchen, OF, MIL (45% to 43%)
    • Christopher Morel, 2B/3B/OF, CHC (41%: returning)
  • Starters
    • Braxton Garrett, SP, MIA (41% to 44%): Since the beginning of July, the lefty has a 0.92 WHIP with a 24.4% K-BB rate, 10th in the MLB during that span. Garrett’s slider has a 22.9% SwStr% and a 45.7% O-Swing. Overall, his Chase Rate is in the top 4% in the league according to StatCast. According to Nicklaus Gaut of Fangraphs, all his pitches have seen velo and movement bumps this year and he has honed in his new sinker to get lots of ground balls (57.1%) and make his vertical and horizontal plane of attack more unpredictable. Garrett’s BB rate also ranks among the top 13% in the league.
    • George Kirby, SP, SEA (38% to 41%): I like Kirby a lot long-term with his sparkling 3.3% BB rate on the year, but he is already 40 IP past his career high 67.2 innings last year. They are going with a six man rotation after acquiring Luis Castillo, but I could see Kirby moving to a bullpen role at some point.
  • Relievers
    • Tanner Scott, RP, MIA (47% to 48%): Anthony Bender seemingly hasn’t taken the closer spot from him yet.
    • Jhoan Duran, SP/RP, MIN (48% to 44%): Jorge Lopez is the closer.

40% OR UNDER

Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B, STL (39% to 40%)

This ‘40% or Under’ category doesn’t have a standout player this week, but Gorman’s batted ball numbers are encouraging. Results haven’t been great lately for the 22-year-old lefty, but he’s also bounced back from a rough middle of his rookie season. After a 1.149 OPS in 36 PA in May in his first taste of the bigs, Gorman had a 0.618 OPS in June. Since then, he has a 0.756 OPS with 6 HR in 29 games. While strikeouts might keep his BA down, Gorman’s 9.2% Barrel/PA ranks 24th (min 100 BBE [batted ball events]). His 47.4 Sweet Spot % is first in the MLB (min 100 BBE). As you can see from his radial chart below, his launch angle is consistently in that 0 through 45 degree range, and specifically 8 through 32 (the “Sweet Spot”). One concern is the Cardinals platoon him so he barely sees at bats against lefties (19 PA).

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Seth Brown, 1B/OF, OAK (40%: new)
    • Harrison Bader, OF, NYY (40% to 39%)
    • Leody Taveras, OF, TEX (39%: returning)
    • (UPDATE) Vaughn Grissom, SS, ATL (35%: new): Grissom debuted and had a 412 foot homer on Wednesday. He’s playing 2B for the Braves with Ozzie Albies out until at least late August. Grissom has never had a wRC+ below 120 at any stop in the minors. He had a 145 wRC+ between high-A and AA this year with 14 HR, 27 SB, an excellent BA, and K rate around 12%.
    • Franmil Reyes, OF, CHC (34%: returning)
    • Ramon Urias, 2B/3B/SS, BAL (33%: returning)
  • Starters
    • Alex Cobb, SP, SFG (36% to 38%)
    • Jose Quintana, SP/RP, STL (24% to 38%)
  • Relievers
    • Jason Adam, RP, TBR (32% to 38%)
    • Dany Jimenez, RP, OAK (33% to 37%)
    • Kyle Finnegan, RP, WAS (31% to 34%)

30% OR UNDER

John Schreiber, RP, BOS (29%: no change)

Tanner Houck went to the IL, and the closer job for the Red Sox seems likely to fall to Schreiber or Garrett Whitlock (who is probably rostered in your league). Schreiber has had an excellent year (0.81 WHIP) and the results are backed up by Eno Sarris’s stuff model as Eno has been touting him all year. All four of Schreiber’s pitches have a wRC+ of 76 or below. His slider, four seamer, and sinker all have a SwStr% of 11.7% or better.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, SFG (27% to 26%)
    • Jose Iglesias, 2B/SS, COL (25%: new): Quietly the 55th best player in 5×5 roto over the past 30 days with a 0.356 BA. He gets the next two series at Coors.
  • Starters
    • Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN (30%: no change)
    • Jake Odorizzi, SP, ATL (24% to 26%): Moving to Atlanta, he gets a home park upgrade as homers are 15% more likely in HOU compared to ATL, according to Baseball Monster park factors.
    • James Kaprielian, SP, OAK (13% to 22%)
  • Relievers
    • AJ Puk, RP, OAK (21% to 26%): Even if Jimenez gets the closer job back, Puk has a 0.77 WHIP in 11.2 IP across the last 30 days.

20% OR UNDER

Elehuris Montero, 1B/3B, COL (18%: new)

In 65 games at AAA, Montero had a 130 wRC+ at AAA this year with 15 HR. He had a 0.310 BA as well and his BA is 0.297 in the majors so far. Since getting called back up on August 2, he has an eight game hitting streak including five straight two-hit games. More than anything else, Coors Field inflates BABIP so this type of BA and power combo at 3B is close to a must pick-up.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Eddie Rosario, OF, ATL (18% to 20%)
    • Alek Thomas, OF, ARI (12% to 19%)
    • Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA (22% to 15%)
    • Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, KCR (16% to 13%)
    • Danny Jansen, C, TOR (16% to 12%)
    • Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (14% to 11%)
  • Starters
    • Tyler Glasnow, SP, TBR (18%: new): Add him if you have a free IL spot. He’s ramping up his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He might not end up being fantasy-relevant, but if things go well, you could be getting an ace pitcher for September and beyond.
    • Jakob Junis, SP/RP, SFG (24% to 18%)
    • Rowan Wick, RP, CHC (9% to 15%)
  • Relievers
    • Ian Kennedy, RP, ARZ (20%: new)
    • Zach Jackson, RP, OAK (17% to 20%)
    • Alexis Diaz, RP, CIN (14% to 20%)
    • Wil Crowe, RP, PIT (9% to 19%)
    • Andres Munoz, RP, SEA (17% to 18%) 
    • Colin Poche, RP, TBR (17%: no change)
    • Anthony Bender, RP, MIA (17% to 16%)
    • Jonathan Hernandez, RP, TEX (6% to 14%)
    • Brooks Raley, RP, TBR (12% to 11%)

10% OR UNDER

Darick Hall, UTIL, PHI (6%: new)

Like Nolans Gorman and Jones before him, Hall is a lefty rookie being platooned. Unlike the other two who have multipositional eligibility, Hall only is only UTIL on Yahoo. At 27, he’s a little old for a rookie, but he earned a chance with a 132 wRC+ with 20 HR at AAA. In just 115 PA in the MLB so far, Hall has 8 HR. It’s a small sample size of course and will regress to the mean, but his 13.4% Barrel/PA ranks 4th in the majors for players with at least 75 BBE.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Nolan Jones, 3B/OF, CLE (20% to 10%): Check out this tweet to see how I feel about Jones (SPOILER: I like him).
    • Brandon Marsh, OF, PHI (10%: no change)
    • Luis Garcia, 2B/SS, WAS (5% to 8%)
    • Austin Slater, OF, SFG (8% to 5%)
    • Ezequiel Duran, 2B/3B/SS, TEX (5% to 4%)
    • Nick Pratto, 1B, KCR (3% to 2%)
  • Starters
    • Mitch White, SP/RP, TOR (5% to 7%)
  • Relievers
    • Ryan Tepera, RP, LAA (8% to 9%)

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