Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of August 22, 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 22

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Franmil Reyes, OF, CHC (39% to 53%)
    • Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, KCR (37% to 52%)
    • Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, CHC (49% to 51%)
  • Relievers
    • Jason Adam, RP, TBR (42% to 51%)

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

50% OR UNDER

Andrew McCutchen, OF, MIL (40% to 44%)

There are slim pickings in the ‘50% or Under’ category this week, but McCutchen has been solid all year, bats 1-4 in the Brewers’ lineup, and is coming off a 3 HR week. On the season, he is the 134th ranked player with 14 HR and 8 SB. There is not a single ‘StatCast Dashboard’ category he is below average in.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Joc Pederson, OF, SFG (45% to 43%): His Avg Exit Velo, Max Exit Velo, HardHit%, xwOBA, xSLG, and Barrel % all rank in the top 12% of the league. Even his xBA is top 14%. After an abysmal July (0.421 OPS), he’s turned it around with a 0.866 OPS in August and hit his first homer since June 25 last week.
  • Starters
    • Jose Quintana, SP/RP, STL (46% to 44%)
    • Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, DET (34% to 43%): ERod threw five scoreless innings in his return from the IL and his first start in the majors since May 18. In three rehab starts in August, he gave up just 2 ER across three starts and 14 IP, striking out 22. However, he gets Texas next who are surprisingly 6th best in the majors against LHP.
    • Mike Soroka, SP, ATL (33% to 41%): Working his way back from an Achilles injury.
  • Relievers
    • Tanner Scott, RP, MIA (47% to 46%)

40% OR UNDER

Ross Stripling, SP/RP, TOR (35% to 38%)

Stripling’s season ERA is down to 2.84 (2.79 FIP) with a 1.04 WHIP. He had a 3.51 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP and a 8.8 K/9 as a Dodger from 2016 to 2019. Then he struggled across 2020 and 2021 (5.14 ERA). Stripling returned from the IL last week and was perfect for six innings against the Orioles before eventually settling for 6.1 scoreless IP with one baserunner. He followed that up today with another quality start allowing one run in six innings.

Stripling has a 4.2% BB rate on the year, 5th among pitchers with 90 IP minimum. His go-to changeup has a 19.7% SwStr% and a 62 wRC+ against. He gets the Angels next, who have just a 92 wRC+ against RHP on the year.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, CLE (43% to 39%)
    • Luis Rengifo, 2B/3B/SS/OF, LAA (31% to 38%)
    • Brett Baty, 3B, NYM (28% to 38%)
    • Harrison Bader, OF, NYY (39% to 38%): Still on the IL.
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (40% to 36%)
    • Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B, STL (36% to 35%)
    • Albert Pujols, 1B, STL (35%: new): What the heck? Pujols has 7 HR in his last 11 games and an 0.880 OPS on the year. He’s at 693 career HR.
  • Starters
    • Alex Cobb, SP, SFG (41% to 39%)
    • Justin Steele, SP/RP, CHC (29% to 34%): 1.47 ERA (2.46 FIP) and 59 K in 49 IP since June 29 (yes, 
    • Aaron Ashby, SP/RP, MIL (26% to 34%)
  • Relievers
    • Alexis Diaz, RP, CIN (25% to 39%)
    • Jhoan Duran, SP/RP, MIN (40% to 39%): Jorge Lopez is the closer.
    • Kyle Finnegan, RP, WAS (26% to 35%)
    • Rowan Wick, RP, CHC (39% to 34%)
    • Dany Jimenez, RP, OAK (34% to 31%)

30% OR UNDER

Harold Ramirez, 1B/OF, TBR (22% to 28%)

Ramirez’s surface numbers are impressive: a 0.333/0.378/0.452 slash line, a 13.3% K rate, and a 144 wRC+. Although he has just 5 HR, his combination of hitting the ball hard (top 8% or better Max EV last two seasons) and not striking out ensure his average should stay high.

According to Pitcher List, his HC% is 41st in the MLB. From his groundball rate (53.8%) and his radial below, it’s clear to see he hits the ball into the ground too much. The dream that he could raise his launch angle with the Rays’ help makes him a sneaky dynasty buy as well.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Lars Nootbaar, OF, STL (30%: new)
    • Jose Iglesias, 2B/SS, COL (32% to 29%)
    • Ramon Urias, 2B/3B/SS, BAL (27% to 24%)
  • Starters
    • Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN (28%: returning): Lodolo has been hittable this year, contributing to his high WHIP. In his most recent start, he had a no-hitter through five before getting hit around in the 6th. He makes this list because he gets the Nationals next.
    • Aaron Civale, SP, CLE (26%: new)
    • Tyler Glasnow, SP, TBR (23% to 24%): 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.
  • Relievers
    • John Schreiber, RP, BOS (29%: no change)
    • Peter Fairbanks, RP, TBR (28%: new)
    • Ian Kennedy, RP, ARZ (29% to 25%)
    • Jonathan Hernandez, RP, TEX (17% to 22%)
    • Andres Munoz, RP, SEA (19% to 21%) 

20% OR UNDER

Jake Fraley, OF, CIN (5% to 18%)

It surprised me to see how consistently above average Fraley has been across levels. Other than struggling in the majors across 19 games in 2019 and 2020, his lowest wRC+ is 102 since 2017. Last year, Fraley had a 109 wRC+ in Seattle and now plays his home games at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

Fraley has dropped his K% by eight points and has a 122 wRC+ with 7 HR and 2 SB in 34 games this year. Pitcher List says Fraley has the 7th best xwOBA in the entire league. While that number will regress with a larger sample size, it’s very impressive. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Leody Taveras, OF, TEX (23% to 19%)
    • Eddie Rosario, OF, ATL (19% to 18%)
    • Manuel Margot, OF, TBR (16%: returning)
    • Corbin Carroll, OF, ARZ (14%: new): Still in AAA, but the GM implied many people’s No.1 prospect in baseball will be up this year.
    • Jake McCarthy, OF, ARZ (13%: new)
    • Bryson Stott, 2B/SS, PHI (12%: returning)
  • Starters
    • Drew Smyly, SP/RP, CHC (20%: new): Quietly has a 3.47 ERA and 1.22 WHIP on the year.
    • Jakob Junis, SP/RP, SFG (13% to 15%)
    • JP Sears, SP/RP, OAK (14%: new)
    • Roansy Contreras, SP, PIT (19% to 14%)
    • James Kaprielian, SP, OAK (14% to 11%)
  • Relievers
    • AJ Puk, RP, OAK (20% to 17%)
    • Colin Poche, RP, TBR (16% to 15%)
    • Wil Crowe, RP, PIT (14% to 12%)

10% OR UNDER

Keston Hiura, 1B/2B, MIL (4%: new)

While it’s smart to be hesitant about a guy with a 42.5% K rate on the year, Hiura has been crushing the ball lately. Since July 1, he has a 203 (!) wRC+ and is up to 137 on the year. While his K rate was still 34.5% during that time, he hit 7 HR. That doesn’t include a seven game stretch in AAA in which he had a 0.907 OPS.

Hiura has been especially crushing righties, reducing his risk of being platooned. Indeed, Hiura has started three games in a row for the first time since July 10. Still just 26, Hiura should be a must add for those desperate for power.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Elehuris Montero, 1B/3B, COL (13% to 10%)
    • Daniel Vogelbach, 1B, NYM (9%: returning)
    • Sam Haggerty, OF, SEA (5% to 6%)
    • Emmanuel Rivera, 3B, ARZ (5%: new)
    • Evan Longoria, 3B, SFG (4%: returning)
    • Ezequiel Duran, 2B/3B/SS, TEX (3%: no change)
    • Kerry Carpenter, UTIL, DET (2%: new): Across AA and AA, the lefty batter had a 1.025 OPS, 30 HR, and 3 SB. After being called up, he hit 2 HR last week. If he continues to hit, Victor Reyes (87 wRC+) and Akil Baddoo (38) shouldn’t hold him back from getting consistent starts in the outfield.
  • Starters
    • Kutter Crawford, SP/RP, BOS (13% to 8%): Got crushed by the Orioles but had been doing well before that.
    • Mitch White, SP/RP, TOR (5%: no change)
  • Relievers
    • Ryan Tepera, RP, LAA (10% to 8%)
    • Jose Quijada, RP, LAA (5% to 4%)

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