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Fantasy Baseball Category Pickups: Nolan Jones, Gary Sanchez, Andrew Abbott

Fantasy Baseball Category Pickups: Nolan Jones, Gary Sanchez, Andrew Abbott

Whether your team needs a complete overhaul or you just need a few key replacements, you’ve come to the right place. Here you will find this week’s top waiver wire adds based on category. This next group of athletes are all very good at playing baseball and likely won’t last into next week, so hurry up on those waiver claims!

All players listed are broken down into categories to make it easier for you. For example, if you need, say, RBIs, and you want to skip the rest of my blabbing, then scroll down to RBI and see if the player(s) featured are available in your league.

All players highlighted are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo Leagues and have never been on this list before. There are plenty of options this week, especially on offense, so let’s get right to it.

There are also a few key guys left over from previous weeks that are still widely available. So if you’re not a fan of this group, you can always check back to last week or even the one prior in my archive.

Without further ado, here are this week’s top waiver wire adds based on category.

FantasyPros My Playbook

Stolen Bases

Nolan Jones (1B, OF – COL): 41%

Jones has been a menace since his call-up. The 25-year-old former prospect is already in the top 6 percent of max exit velocity while mashing to the tune of .348/.400/.630. He also raked in Triple-A this season. Surprisingly though, Jones has been flying around the bases of late, gathering four stolen bases over his last five games. Jones has reached base safely in every game he’s played in so far and should be starting in all league types.

Joey Wiemer (OF – MIL): 25%

Wiemer is a top prospect for Milwaukee but has had trouble adjusting to Major League pitching. However, that could all be changing, judging by his hot start to June. The rookie centerfielder is hitting .364 with three home runs and two steals for this month alone. He’s up to 10 swipes on the year and is currently producing in all five categories.

Home Runs

Gary Sanchez (C – SDP): 27%

Gary Sanchez is alive and well. He has settled in nicely to his new home in San Diego and is hitting like it’s 2017 again. The 30-year-old catcher is averaging 92.1 mph exit velo with a whopping 46.4 sweet spot percentage. He’s currently boasting a .646 SLG and already has five taters in just 45 at-bats. Sanchez seems to have taken it personally when no teams wanted him, and now he’s out for revenge. He’s worth an add for those lacking home runs or are weak at catcher.

Kerry Carpenter (OF – DET): 3%

I’m still a fan of Carpenter but his surrounding cast is so bad he doesn’t score runs or knock in many RBIs. He was activated on Thursday and has already gone five for eight with a double but has little else to show for it. He’s also capable of hitting home runs but he’s best kept for those in the deepest leagues for now.

RBI

Joc Pederson (OF – SF): 26%

Pederson has missed a good chunk of the season due to injury, but the former Dodger is now back in full swing. Pederson bats in the middle of the order against right-handed pitching and has proven to be an excellent run producer since moving to SF (he wasn’t too bad in LA, either). His max exit velocity is in the top 2% of the league, and his xwOBA is also up near the leaders. He’s 6 for 18 (.333) since returning and is still widely available in most leagues.

Runs

Mauricio Dubon (2B, SS, OF – HOU): 16%

With Jose Altuve previously hurt and now Yordan Alvarez hitting the IL, Dubon has started seven out of the last eight games. During that span, he’s gone 13 for 34, good for a .382 average. On the season, he’s now up to a .305 average with 35 runs scored and five steals despite playing in only 50 games.

Houston’s utility man doesn’t offer much in the way of power, but he rarely strikes out and has been leading off even after Jose Altuve’s return. While he’s playing regularly atop the Astros order, Dubon deserves consideration for runs scored and batting average.

Luis Rengifo (2B, SS, 3B, OF – LAA): 8%

Rengifro’s been atrocious for most of the year but has been driving the ball with authority lately. Since the calendar flipped to June, the Angels infielder/outfielder has scored eight runs while knocking in four. He also hit two home runs, stole a base, and registered a .391 average. Many had high hopes for Rengifro coming into the season, and now he is rewarding those who continued to believe in him.

Brandon Belt (OF – TOR): 4%

And for those in deeper leagues, if Belt’s hamstring turns out to be nothing serious, he, too, is worthy of a roster spot. The former Giant has been hitting in the middle of the Toronto lineup and has been an on-base machine. Belt is reaching base nearly 45% of the time since the beginning of May and is scoring regularly. He also hit above .300 during that span and clubbed his way to a .550 SLG. Getting on base nearly half the time, even with heavy legs, the 35-year-old vet should have little trouble scoring runs. That is if he can stay on the field.

Batting Average

Will Brennan (OF – CLE): 5%

Most scouts believed Will Brennan would put up similar numbers to Steven Kwan as they both profiled similarly in the Minor Leagues. Unfortunately, Brennan, as most of the Guardians did, got off to a slow start to begin the year. After an ice-cold April and a forgettable May, Brennan has turned the corner in June, batting .417 with two homers, four doubles, and eight RBI.

Cleveland’s newest regular has only struck out four times this month and looks completely locked in at the plate. He can help you in almost every category, but his batting average is easily his strength.

Ramon Laureano (OF – OAK): 22%

Laureano’s currently riding an 11-game hitting streak while batting cleanup for the A’s. He is reaching base regularly (.432 OBP since May 27) and has only struck out six times, and it’s not like he’s doing it against weak opponents. His .342 average over the past two weeks has come against Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee. He’s no longer trying to kill the ball at the plate, and it’s paying off. Laureano’s worth a flyer in deeper leagues.

WHIP

Hayden Wesneski (SP – CHC): 14%

I wasn’t as high on Wesneski coming into the season as a few of my colleagues were, but there was no arguing with the quality of his stuff. After a handful of bad starts, the young righty turned his season around, allowing just 29 base runners to reach over his last six outings (30.1 innings). His 0.956 WHIP is in the top 10% of the league during that span, although it is worth mentioning Wesneski was briefly sent down after an ugly outing in early May. He’s set to take on the Giants today, and even though he does surrender the occasional long ball, he can still provide you with a good WHIP and decent strikeout numbers. The slider specialist is worth a look in deeper leagues.

Saves

Justin Lawrence (RP – COL): 10%

Lawrence is likely the new closer in Colorado after recording the team’s past two saves. Pierce Johnson has been exceptionally bad of late, and Daniel Bard still walks nearly a batter per inning. Lawrence isn’t exactly the closer you’re hoping for in fantasy leagues, but he does keep the ball in the yard (0.26 HR/9), strikeouts out hitters (9.70 K/9), and induces ground balls (53%). He was also a strikeout machine in the Minor Leagues and has missed his fair share of bats in The Show with a 34.1% CSW. If his slider/sinker combination can hold up at the Major League level, he could earn you a decent amount of saves without hurting your other numbers.

Strikeouts

Andrew Abbott (SP – CIN): 47%

I can’t believe I whiffed on Andrew Abbot. I didn’t put in a high enough bid, and unfortunately, he went to my strongest opponent (in my top league). Abbott is a stud, and the young Reds are exciting. The slender lefty struck out a laughable 64.3% of batters in Double-A this season before earning his promotion to Triple-A, where he still sent 34.8% of batters packing. His curveball is as filthy as they come, and he has yet to give up a run over 11.2 MLB innings.

His next start is scheduled to take place in Houston, but without Yordan Alvarez, the Astros are hardly a team to avoid. Add Abbott now in all leagues and decide later if you want to start him on Friday against the Astros.

Wins

Julio Teheran (SP – MIL): 35%

Leave it to the Brewers to pull someone off the scrap heap and turn them once again into a quality Major League starter. Teheran hasn’t been relevant in fantasy leagues since millennials were graduating high school, but somehow he’s back to putting up zeros. There has definitely been a bit of luck involved, but after adding a cutter and eliminating the curve ball, Teheran has found success over four straight games.

The 32-year-old veteran has been unbelievable, allowing just four earned runs over 24.1 innings. The Brewers haven’t given him much run support, so he’s only obtained one win so far. However, as long as he’s pitching into the seventh inning while allowing just one run, the wins should start to come. Add Teheran if you’re lacking quality starters in deeper leagues.

ERA

AJ Smith-Shawver (SP – ATL): 50%

Atlanta does it again! These guys seem to come out of nowhere, but it should come as no surprise with the Braves’ track record. A former top quarterback recruit, Smith-Shawver was taken in the seventh round by the Braves just two years ago. After struggling in his first year in pro ball, the 20-year-old righty has looked awfully impressive, making quick work of his opponents while shooting up the ranks this season.

Not only has Smith-Shawver tossed 7.2 shutout MLB innings already, but he didn’t allow a run in his first five starts in the Minors as well. His final two outings in Triple-A were a huge disappointment where he allowed a full four runs over 12 innings, ruining his perfect ERA. Those disastrous starts brought his ERA up to an unsightly 1.09 in the Minors and 0.89, including in the Major Leagues. Obviously, he won’t stay perfect forever, but the Braves top prospect deserves to be rostered in all leagues while his confidence is sky-high.

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Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.

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