Continuing with our weekly series, this next group of waiver-wire targets are all rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo Leagues. They are broken down into categories based on how they’re most likely to help you, although many will aid you in multiple ways. There have been some strong additions already mentioned (I try my best not to repeat players), so with a little luck, these next few guys will help keep the good times rolling.
I do have to mention Jake Bauers again even though I wrote about him in last week’s piece. The Yankees’ newest left fielder is still available in just about every league, despite him absolutely crushing the baseball.
Bauers does sit against LH starters (usually) but his average exit velo is off the chart, making him someone worth paying attention to. His average EV, are you ready for this, is nearly 100 miles per hour! His max exit velo this season is 114, and his xBA is .313 while his xSLG is .753. Yes, it’s a small sample size and yes, he’s striking out a lot, but with a 72% hard-hit rate and a silly 36.4% barrel rate, he’s still worth a flier in most leagues. Judging by his past, I’d normally say it’s just a blip on the radar but after tearing up Triple-A this season as well, Bauers is worth the risk.
Without further ado, here are this week’s waiver wire adds based on category.
More Week 7 Advice:
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- Deep Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups
- Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire FAAB Report
- Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups
Here are players to target for different categories.
Fraley’s been out of his mind recently. Knocking in 10 runs over his last four games, the Reds’ outfielder has been blistering hot with runners on base. Hitting with runners on is nothing new for the 27-year-old, as he’s been knocking in guys left and right all season long. Over just 104 at-bats, Fraley has already totaled 28 RBIs. He also has five homers to his credit and four stolen bases. For fantasy purposes, the only problem with Fraley is he sits against lefties, but for those in daily leagues, he is absolutely a must-add.
I don’t see Fletcher as a long-term fantasy asset (at least for this season), but there is no denying what he is currently doing at the plate. Since earning his call-up to replace Jake McCarthy, Fletcher has hit for a .462 average with a 1.231 OPS over 12 games. He’s eight for his last 12 with two homers, a double, and a triple. You don’t get much hotter than that folks. Fletcher is a former second-rounder but he was never thought of as an elite prospect. He did hit well over .300 in the Minor League’s though, so perhaps he does have some staying power. In the interim, he’s worthy of a spot in all leagues.
Bleday was a home run-hitting machine at Vanderbilt which led to him being drafted fourth overall by Miami in 2019. He struggled early on in his Minor League career striking out by the truckload but since moving to the Oakland farm system, he has turned into a much more productive hitter.
Bleday had reduced his K-rate by more than half and has started making much more consistent and hard contact. He registered a .316 average with a .643 SLG to start the year in Triple-A and since his call-up, he’s gone 12 for 37 (.324 BA) with three home runs and three doubles. His K-rate has remained respectable at just over 20% and his hard hit rate is 44% according to Statcast.
With Esteury Ruiz, Ryan Noda, Shea Langeliers, and now JJ Bleday, Oakland has a nice little nucleus to build around. (And let’s not forget Brent Rooker!) Bleday will be ignored in most leagues because he plays for Oakland and in shallow ones he probably should be, but for everything else, he’s worth a pickup if you require home runs.
Pratto’s been a revelation since joining the Big League club a little over two weeks ago. Over his first 57 at-bats, the former prospect has compiled 20 hits and scored 11 times. His OPS is an impressive .975 and he’s knocked in 13 runs. The Royals are still losing but at least now they’re scoring a few more runs.
Pratto didn’t enjoy being sent down last year after his first taste of the Majors and it seems like he’s done all he can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Pratto has the ceiling to be a long-term value piece, so he’s worth a look in all leagues.
This one is more for deeper leagues or for those who are truly desperate for steals. Julks has started the last six games against right-handed pitching and swiped three bags over his last four games. For the season he’s totaled five steals on 107 plate appearances while hitting for a palpable .262 average and 14 runs scored. Julks isn’t for everyone but he may be worth taking a flier on after his 30/20 season last year in Triple-A and Micheal Brantley still being a long way from returning.
If you’re just now looking to add Perez, you may be late to the party. He is still available in nearly half of the leagues though, so check yours immediately and add him if he is. Other than the Guardians’ oft-injured Daniel Espino, Euri Perez is the most dominant starter throwing in the Minor Leagues. His stuff is electric and his pinpoint control is extremely polished for someone who just turned 20 years old.
Standing at 6-8, the Dominican native is an intimidating presence on the mound. He can reach triple digits with ease but his slider is his put away pitch. Perez struck out seven in his debut on Friday over 4.2 innings and will almost certainly be a candidate to register high strikeout totals all season long. Claim him everywhere still available.
After a couple of bad starts, Wacha reminded us why the Padres were so eager to sign him. Over his last three games (17 innings) the tall right-hander has allowed just 14 base runners, good for a .827 WHIP. Wacha led off the year in a similar fashion surrendering just eight hits and four walks over 12 innings of work (1.00 WHIP) including a game in Atlanta. He’s scheduled to take on KC today and will likely face his old mates by the end of the week when the Red Sox come to San Diego. Players love to face their old squads that chose not to resign him, so I’m starting Wacha in that matchup.
Dunning has been terrific filling in Jacob deGrom, collecting three wins over his last five games. Dunning was not so long ago a highly touted prospect who was traded for Lance Lynn. He relies on a ton of off-speed pitches to keep hitters off balance and so far, it’s worked. Over 31.1 innings, Dunning has registered a 1.72 ERA with three wins and no homers given up. The Rangers are in first place at the moment and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them take the division. Dunning is a strong choice for more wins in the future.
I should have mentioned Ober earlier in the year but I thought for sure he had already surpassed the 50% threshold. Ober does have a tough matchup coming up at Dodger Stadium, but the man has been a godsend for the Twins’ rotation after Kenta Maeda went down with an injury. Over four starts, Ober has registered a 1.85 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and a .186 BAA. He has slowly improved each year, and at 6-foot-9, 260 pounds Ober still has a chance to add a few more ticks to his velocity (not that he needs it). Ober is a must-add in all leagues.
The Diamondbacks bullpen is such a mess, nearly any pitcher out of the pen could earn a save on any given night. With Andrew Chafin not looking like his normal self, the D’backs turned to Castro for their latest save opportunity and he closed it out with ease. His ERA isn’t great at 3.24 but his WHIP is down to 1.08 and he’s only allowed one home run over 16.2 innings of work. He’s not the most exciting name out there but for so many desperately searching for saves, Castro could be someone outside of the box who makes a difference.
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Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.