September call-ups! They’re all the rage every year at this time. And while some won’t move the needle much, others could make a major impact.
This week in Waiver Wire Pickups by Category, we’ll be hitting on a few of the exciting new rookies as well as a few forgotten veterans. There’s something for everyone in today’s edition, so follow along and add to your team as needed.
We’ve reached the final stretch. Some of you are in the fantasy playoffs, while others of you are still fighting for a position in roto leagues. Regardless of how you play, there are still a few key free agents out there who can help you reach your ultimate goal. Whether you’re lacking in stolen bases, RBIs, or even strikeouts, we’ve got you covered. All players listed are rostered in 51% or less of Yahoo Leagues and will likely aid you in the category under which they are listed (as well as a few others).
Without further ado, here are this week’s top waiver wire pickups based on category.
I can’t say I’m a huge believer in Stewart, but there’s no denying what he’s done over the last two weeks. Dating back to mid-August, the former Oriole has launched eight home runs in just 14 games. His average exit velocity is well over 95 during that stretch, and he’s also collected 17 hits. Stewart had an impressive run back in 2021 as well but has never been a consistent producer at the Major League level. That said, he regularly bats sixth in the Mets’ lineup these days and is now sporting an impressive .629 SLG. He’s worth rostering while he’s hot, but I’d give him a short leash.
They call Dominguez the Martian, but he looks more like an NFL starting safety to me. Either way, the kid’s been on fire since the All-Star break. His OPS in the minors has been nearly 1.000 since mid-July, and he’s driving the ball consistently with more authority. Dominguez has also shown an advanced approach at the plate, walking over 15% of the time.
The phenom can hit and certainly run, but he is still extremely raw at just 20 years old. His biggest asset may be his legs after he totaled 40 steals this year down on the farm. Similar to Anthony Volpe, expect Dominguez to be let loose on the base baths, as the Yankees have little to lose at this point. And, of course, we can’t leave out the fact that he took Max Scherzer deep in his first Major League at-bat.
With Harrison Bader let go, expect Dominguez to start in center field from here on out. He’s worthy of a pickup based on the ceiling alone.
Mauricio was a popular name among fantasy circles in early May after he got off to such a hot start. Unfortunately, for those who stashed him, the Mets decided to play it slow with their highly prized shortstop. The main reason for the delay was they wanted to give him ample time to develop at other positions. Well, the wait is finally over. After putting together a solid .292/.346/.506 campaign in Triple-A, with 30 doubles, 23 home runs, and 24 stolen bases, Mauricio was finally called up when rosters expanded.
The talented 22-year-old went two for three with a double in his debut and looked awfully comfortable among his Major League peers. He clubbed six homers over his last 18 games in the Minors and is a fantastic five-category addition for anyone looking to improve their MI.
If adding unproven rookies gives you pause, you can always go the veteran route and add LeMahieu. LeMahieu’s best years are behind him, but he’s had a bit of a resurgence of late. In August, the former All-Star hit for a .291 average with five home runs. He also walked 11 times, working his way back into the leadoff spot for Aaron Boone’s lineup. His OPS since mid-July is .884, and he’s worth adding for the final few weeks of the season to boost your BA.
I mentioned Rengifro multiple times a few weeks ago, but he deserves highlighting again. With half the Angels roster sent packing or on the IL, Rengifro has thrived in an everyday role, mashing over .320 since the beginning of July. He’s a must-start in daily leagues against left-handed pitching and should be used regularly in deeper leagues.
Schneider is somewhat of an enigma in that he’s somehow demolishing Major League pitching. We’ve seen hot starts in the Show before, but for a 24-year-old who’s never had much success, it comes as a bit of a surprise. However, a few signs were pointing towards his breakout.
Throughout his Minor League career, Schneider’s batting average was never great, but he did walk a lot and showed glimpses of power. This year, he really started coming into his own, launching 21 homers and 21 doubles in just 87 games. But you’d be lying if you saw this coming. So far, for the Jays, Schneider has registered a .412/.516/.863 triple slash line over 62 plate appearances. His wOBA is .560, and he already has 14 RBIs to his credit.
With multiple infielders nursing injuries, the former 28th-rounder has been batting either second or fourth in the lineup and has shown zero signs of slowing down. He’s mashed four homers and four doubles over his last seven games and only struck out twice over his last 26 plate appearances. The man is on fire, and if he’s still available in your league, you need to add him ASAP.
Young prospects getting called up are exciting, but let’s not forget about impact players returning from injury. Fraley came off the IL on Friday and will play out the rest of the season with a hurt toe. While that sounds a bit daunting, the 28-year-old showed no rust in his return, going three for four with two doubles and a run scored.
The Reds’ outfielder has been out since the beginning of August, but with Cincinnati in the thick of a Wild Card battle, there’s no way David Bell would have Fraley batting leadoff if he couldn’t handle it. The former second-rounder has been an excellent run producer this year knocking in 63 runs over just 294 at-bats. He’s also contributed handily in the power and speed departments, adding in 16 homers and 20 stolen bases.
Fraley won’t start against left-handed pitching, but he’s already had multiple outings where he comes off the bench to go two for three with a home run and two RBIs. Hitting leadoff for the Reds (if that’s where they decide to keep him) slightly diminishes his RBI chances but should increase his run total. Considering his .349 OBP, Fraley should have plenty of chances to score over the final stretch. He’s only available in about 50% of leagues, but if he’s still unclaimed in yours, add him now.
I wanted to see how Harrison performed in his second Major League start before I suggested him. Well, he went above and beyond expectations, striking out 11 batters over 6.1 innings of work. He threw nearly 2/3’s of his pitches for strikes, which is noteworthy because he struggled with command in the Minors. He did improve in that area over his last few starts, however, so that could explain his late August promotion.
The Giants’ top prospect has been inconsistent to begin, but his strikeouts have been steady. He averaged 14.3 K/9 in Triple-A this season and is averaging 12.33 in MLB. Harrison’s worthy of an add in most leagues.
The Braves, like the Dodgers and Rays, have a knack for developing young pitchers – and it looks like they’ve done it again. Atlanta allowed Vines plenty of time to develop in the Minors, but after producing a 2.70 ERA and better than a K per inning, he was finally called up. His reward? How about a Major League debut at Coors Field? Not exactly an ideal place to start your career, but Vines handled it like a pro. The righty lasted six innings and allowed just two runs on five baserunners. He also struck out five.
Vines was able to last six innings despite throwing just 82 pitches. Pitching deep while having to throw so few pitches means he could easily go deeper his next time out. Playing for the best team in baseball with the highest-scoring offense and lowest bullpen ERA always helps to earn a win as well. With the Pirates and maybe the Cardinals on tap for possibly a two-start week, Vines is worth an add in deeper leagues.
Jordan Wicks (also now in the Cubs starting rotation) was Chicago’s first-round pick back in 2021, and while I like his chances at success, I like his teammate Javier Assad better (in terms of ERA). Assad is a bit of a throwback, mixing in a plethora of pitches, trying to miss barrels and induce weak contact. He only strikes out a modest 6.84 per 9, but he does produce plenty of ground balls (47%) and weak popups (13%).
Since moving into the rotation, Assad’s ERA is 2.49 over five starts (he also started a game back in April), and is currently throwing a shutout against the Reds as I write this. He won’t start again until Thursday but keeping the ball in the park (1.03 HR/9) and runs off the board is Assad’s game. If you need help lowering your ERA, he’s a solid option.
Canning’s found his control, walking just three batters over his last five games. His WHIP during that span is 0.96, and he’s been especially sharp of late, allowing just 10 base runners over 13 innings. He also struck out 16 hitters over his last two starts. Canning’s had an up-and-down beginning to his career, but he was once thought of as the Angels top pitching prospect. Injuries are strongly to blame, and now, with a bit of lasting health, Canning could be on the rise. He’ll face Cleveland next time out.
Tanner Scott (RP – MIA) (RP – MIA): 47%
Scott has been great all year, but now he’s getting the opportunity to showcase his abilities in the ninth. The veteran southpaw has been on quite a run, having not allowed an earned run since July. He also posted a 14:2 K:BB for the month and racked up an impressive 2.80 GB/FB rate. The Marlins are still somewhat in the playoff race, and with Scott now being handed the ball with the game on the line, he is your top add if you’re searching for saves.
Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.