Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups
A few options on the waiver wire can help fantasy owners as the season rolls into the second half.
Ownership totals are in ESPN Leagues as of Saturday.
Kendall Graveman – SP/RP – Oakland Athletics – 23.0 percent
An important piece of the blockbuster Josh Donaldson trade, Graveman has proved himself a capable MLB starter and could get even better. Through his first 14 starts in the majors, Graveman has a 3.38 ERA despite struggling to begin the season. Since returning to the rotation in late May, he’s mostly been excellent, allowing two earned runs or fewer in six of nine starts.
Graveman doesn’t jump off the page to fantasy owners due to his lack of strikeouts. Still, by keeping the ball on the ground and not allowing many homers, Graveman posts enough production to warrant a look for owners who need pitching help.
John Jaso – C/DH – Tampa Bay Rays – 15 percent
After missing the first three months of the season with a wrist injury, Jaso has returned and could be a productive bench bat for fantasy owners moving forward.
Jaso has been an underrated hitter over recent years, posting no worse than a 121 wRC+ in any of the past three seasons. While he doesn’t offer much power, Jaso makes great contact and walks a ton, giving him a great OBP and solid counting stats.
Owners will have to be wary of Jaso’s matchups, as he will typically only play against right-handed pitching. But with a career 128 wRC+ against righties and catching help difficult to come by at this point in the season, Jaso can be a useful platoon bat.
Adam Eaton – OF – Chicago White Sox – 21.9 percent
After a very productive fantasy season in 2014, Eaton got off to a rough start this year. While the numbers aren’t quite there yet, Eaton has some fantasy upside in the second half. Eaton put up a miserable April but has shown some signs of life since, including a 124 wRC+ in June. When Eaton’s on, he can get on base, swipe bags, and score runs.
As his OBP improves, Eaton’s counting stats should continue to rise and give him enough fantasy value to warrant a look as a bench outfielder. If the White Sox offense can show any signs of life, Eaton should also start to tally more runs.
One interesting thing about Eaton’s 2015 is that he has hit seven homers, compared to one last season. Clearly he’s not a power hitter, but that does add a bit of fantasy value.
Tommy Milone – SP – Minnesota Twins – 22.5 percent
Like much of Minnesota’s rotation, Milone just continues to post strong starts while providing unexpected fantasy value. Through 11 starts, Milone has a 5-1 record with a 2.84 ERA and strikeout rate of 16.3 percent. Those numbers come even after a poor stretch to begin the season, when Milone posted a 4.76 ERA in three starts and was demoted to Triple-A.
While at Triple-A, Milone begain to pound the zone and struck out batters at a 33 percent rate. Milone has not allowed more than two earned runs in seven consecutive starts. His strikeout-to-walk numbers aren’t impressive, but Milone has been excellent at avoiding the long ball recently. While it may not last, Milone’s current production can’t be ignored and he still has some upside left.