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Fantasy Baseball Week 20: Waiver Wire Report

Tired of digging through the waiver wire? Shawn Childs lists the best available players at each position in the Fantasy Baseball world!

Catcher

If you play in a shallow league with pickups only once a week, Gary Sanchez will be glowing on the waiver wire if he wasn’t picked up last week. Over his last six games, Gary has 12 hits in 22 at-bats with five runs, four HRs, seven RBI, and one SBs. The Yankees have moved him up to third in the batting order plus he will get a chance to play every day.

Jett Bandy continues to be the best catching option with the Angels. Jeff has two HRs over his last 15 at-bats with two RBI. Bandy even has six HRs over his last 70 at-bats. He only makes sense in deeper leagues as a C2.

First Base

The best first baseman I see in the free pool in 12 team leagues is Adam Lind. His bat should gain more value with the Mariners sending Dae-Ho Lee to AAA. Adam has seven hits over his last 25 at-bats with four runs, two HRs, and four RBI.

Logan Morrison returned from the DL earlier this week. He’s started the last five games with minimal success (three hits in 17 at-bats with three runs and four RBI). His bat flashed upside earlier in the year, and the Rays seem committed to playing him almost every day.

Second Base

Chase Utley remains at the top of the batting order for the Dodgers, and his power swing showed a spike over the last week. Over his last 29 at-bats, Chase has nine hits with four runs, two HRs, and six RBI. His runs (59) remain in a positive area, but Utley needs to pick up the pace in HRs and RBI.

Home runs continue to come off the bat of Ryan Schimpf. He has nine HRs and 24 RBI over his last 97 at-bats, but Ryan still has job loss risk due to a high strikeout total (33) over this period. Schimpf will only have value to a team that is chasing power.

Shortstop

J.J. Hardy smacked of a pair of HRs on Friday night to put his bat back on Fantasy owner’s map. He’s hitting .303 over his last 99 at-bats with three HRs, and 12 RBI. Hardy doesn’t have a great opportunity due to hitting in an unfavorable part of the batting order for the Orioles, but J.J. does have upside in power when his swing rounds into form.

Fantasy owner are still waiting for the impact steals to come from Tim Anderson. His power (seven HRs over 249 at-bats) continues to be a surprise while offering impact upside in speed (49 steals over 513 at-bats in 2014 at AA). Tim own a speed skill set, so it’s only a matter of time before he starts to run at much higher rate.

Third Base

Ryon Healy found his power stroke over the last week (two HRs and three RBI). He has a seven- game hitting streak (10-for-30) to raise his batting average to .256. Ryon has talent, upside, and opportunity so he should be in the starting lineup in all 12 team leagues or higher.

Following a slow start after a trip to the DL, Trevor Plouffe looks ready to produce some offense. Trevor has seven hits in his last 22 at-bats with five RBI. His bat is well behind pace after delivering 22 HRs and 86 RBI in 2015. Plouffe has a chance to go on a nice power run.

Outfield

Scott Schebler was somewhat of a trap last week on the waiver wire after dealing with a slight calf issue. He bounced back with two HRs and four RBI over his last 24 at-bats while hitting .291. Scott has 100 home runs in the minors over 2514 at-bats plus 62 SBs. His swing continues to some batting average risk in the majors due to 37 Ks in 126 at-bats.

The Orioles continue to bat Hyun Soo Kim second in the batting order on many nights leading to a winning opportunity. Over his last 22 at-bats, Kim hit .409 with three runs and two RBI. His swing path has yet to produce HRs (4 in 224 at-bats), but his resume in Korea suggest Hyun Soo has more upside in power (.326 in 2015 over 512 at-bats with 28 HRs and 121 RBI).

The Diamondbacks called up Mitch Haniger over the last week for outfield depth. He crushed the ball over 228 at-bats at AAA in 2016 (.351 with 19 HRs, 56 RBI, and six SBs). Mitch has seven hits in his first 20 at-bats in the majors with five RBI, but he did strikeout seven times. His window for playing time may only last a week or so as A.J. Pollock is close to returning to the majors.

Nick Markakis is finally living up to his contract in the majors. Over this last month, Nick hit .304 with four HRs and 19 RBI. He’s on pace for 12 HRs and 87 RBI which gives Fantasy owners mixed emotions. His swing path tends to add value in batting average so his overall success may be much better than expected over the six weeks of the season. Markakis could work on a team with some batting average risk while surprising in power.

Starting Pitching

Alex Cobb is getting closer to his return to the majors. He’s made four appearances in the minors with failing results (10 runs and 23 baserunners over 13.2 innings with 14 Ks). His arm looks like it still needs more work, so exercise patience before adding him to your starting lineup.

The Yankees gave Luis Cessa a spot start over the weekend, and he responded with a solid game (one run in six innings with five Ks), which came on the heels of a bad game in relief (five runs and six baserunners in three innings). Over 77.1 innings at AAA in 2016, Luis had a 3.03 ERA with 69 Ks. His average fastball has been 94.7 in the majors while touching 97 in his start against the Angels. His upside with be tied to his ability to throw strikes.

With John Lackey on the DL, Mike Montgomery may have a short window of value in the starting rotation for the Cubs. He threw the ball well in a spot start against the Rockies in Colorado (one run in 4.1 innings with five Ks). His next start will add more length. Over 74.2 innings in 2016, Montgomery has a 2.41 ERA with 71 Ks. His arm looks ready to be a full season starter in the majors, but he’s an opportunity.


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