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7 Under-the-Radar Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 4)

Apr 23, 2021

Between vets reminding you of their glory days, younger guys who are beginning to flourish, and top prospects who may have the opportunity to explode, you may want to nab some of these waiver-wire gems before it’s too late. We’ve got our featured pundits here to shine light on which less-rostered players could be solid additions to your squad.

Q1. What one hitter should fantasy managers look into picking up that is rostered in less than 25% of leagues?

Jon Berti (2B/3B/SS/OF – MIA): 12% Rostered
“The obvious answer is Alex Kirilloff who is replacing Miguel Sano on the roster, but I’ll go with another underrated name, Jon Berti. With Brian Anderson on the IL, Berti should play most days at third base and he has plenty of speed to burn. He stole nine bases in just 39 games last year and 17 in just 73 games the year before. There isn’t much pop in his bat, but with speed at a premium, and with Berti having eligibility all over the diamond, he’s an excellent pickup.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Justin Upton (OF – LAA): 20% Rostered
“J-UP has the potential to easily finish 2021 with 30+ HRs. With Jo Adell staying in the minors, Upton has had the everyday RF spot to himself and he is not disappointing. While the batting average is not great around .235, the four HRs and 11 RBIs have him on the same season pace as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. It is a long season, the Angels are going to be in the playoff race, and Upton will be an every-week starter in your OF.”
– Muntradamus (Beast Dome)

Willi Castro (3B/SS – DET): 15% Rostered
“Castro has the ability to be a four-category player and is getting everyday playing time in Detroit. While his Statcast page features a lot of sad blue ink so far, there’s one data point that stands out, and that’s his max exit velocity. Castro ranks in the 97th percentile, and his max exit velocity is up nearly six miles per hour year-over-year. Combine that with everyday playing time and typically batting in the upper third of the order, Castro can provide great value at a middle infield spot. Yes, he’ll strike out upwards of 30%, but the skills are good enough to take a risk on.”
– Carmen Maiorano (FantasyPros)

Alex Kirilloff (OF – MIN): 11% Rostered
“With Miguel Sano hitting the IL, Kirilloff hits the big leagues once again. He offers advanced pitch recognition skills for someone of his age, but the power may not show up right away. Short term at-bats look available, but he will need to make a good early impression this week to maintain that trend over the long haul. With no Triple-A experience, the upside may be better than the results, making him an add-and-deal candidate in redraft for a good every day player (with a good track record) who may be struggling. Jeff McNeil for instance would be a great return.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Q2. What one starting pitcher should fantasy managers look into picking up that is rostered in less than 25% of leagues?

MacKenzie Gore (SD): 14% Rostered
“With the Dinelson Lamet injury coming to fruition this week, Ryan Weathers will get the short-term bump, but Gore will get his opportunity sooner than later. He posted a 1.69 ERA over High-A and Double-A in 2019 and he should have 100 IPs in the tank for 2021. It’s better to be proactive here because, at the very least, Gore is a valuable trade chip as his debut becomes more anticipated. Perhaps he could be part of a package that could land you Luis Castillo on the buy low.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Mackenzie Gore could be called up in a matter of hours, given Dinelson Lamet’s most recent injury news. Ryan Weathers is clearly ahead of him, but with Adrian Morejon sidelined for the year, Gore is on the verge of becoming fantasy relevant. I can’t give you much quantitative analysis, given that the minor league season has not started yet and we do not have data from the alternate site. However, what we do know is that he’s the top pitching prospect in the minors, and I trust the Padres with his development.”
– Carmen Maiorano (FantasyPros)

Jakob Junis (KC): 16% Rostered
“I’ll still throw my hat in the ring for Junis, despite his dud against the Rays. He is giving up a ton of hard contact, but his FIP is just 2.80 and his xFIP just 3.76. The cutter he introduced this year has been excellent (.100 BAA, .100 SLG against, .137 wOBA against), and his K-BB% is a career-best 17.6%. With a matchup against the Pirates next week and a two-start week thereafter, he’s an ideal under-the-radar pitcher who won’t cost much.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Nick Pivetta (BOS): 12% Rostered
“Pivetta had a lot of issues with the Phillies, mostly throwing too many pitches over the heart of the plate with little movement. All those problems have been fixed in Boston with pitching coach Dana LeVangie. Pivetta has a big-time explosive offense behind him and a whole group of hitters in the American League that have never seen him before as he was hiding in the National League. While he is not a must-start every time he pitches, he is definitely a cheap source of wins and is a sneaky good guy to keep on the back end of your rotation.”
– Muntradamus (Beast Dome)

Thank you to the experts for naming their under-the-radar waiver wire pickups. Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice all season and check out our Leading Off Podcast every single day for quick-hitting takeaways and advice.

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