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Top 9 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 3)

Top 9 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 3)

We fired this bad boy of an article up last week and it went… well, it went well. Parker Meadows hasn’t quite lived up to the hype I predicted him to live up to, but outside of that, it’s gone well enough that I feel confident in my choices for this week.

What I made sure to preface for you guys last week was the fact that I don’t do these articles to name every single player you can think of, cram 25 players in here, and try and give you a positive spin on why each one of them might be ok to add in your league. I’d be doing a major disservice if that was the case. This article is meant to highlight my favorite waiver wire additions of the week. The ones I firmly believe can be added in your leagues and give you a positive return on that roster transaction. Some may be more popular names but I do my best to also throw in a few deeper league names.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Assistant Analyze Moves Who To Pick Up

Last week I caught myself running into the issue of liking way too many outfielders. To not write you an article with nothing but outfielders, I made sure to mix it up with some other positions as well. This week, I break down my favorite waiver wire options by position grouping. Catcher, pitcher, corner infield, middle infield, outfield. This way I make sure there is at least one name in here for everyone depending on your position of need.

With that in mind, let’s do the thing where we get into it and I start writing.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets (Week 3)

Catcher

Ivan Herrera (C – STL)

CBS: 4%, Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 1%

If there’s one person at the top of my personal waiver wire priority list this week, it’s Ivan Herrera. There were rumblings of him getting more playing time at the big league level this season back in spring training. That came to fruition. The injury to Willson Contreras has only boosted his current playing time outlook. Currently on a three-game multi-hit streak, the Cardinals have slotted him into the heart of their already great lineup. He has big power in his bat (106.6 MPH 90th EV last season) and enough speed to keep it interesting on the basepaths (11 steals in 2023). It would be nice to see him walk here and there, but outside of that, there’s a ton of upside for Herrera in the near future.

Travis d’Arnaud (C – ATL)

CBS: 41%, Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 8%

Last season, Travus d’Arnaud put together a pretty surprising season when you take the circumstances into account. Atlanta traded for All-Star Sean Murphy and d’Arnaud still found a way to make himself fantasy relevant. Murphy was set to take on a heavier role this season but has since gone down with an oblique injury. Those tend to linger for quite some time, so guess who’s since taken over that starting spot? Yep, d’Arnaud. The .211 batting average isn’t great but that can be chalked mainly up to a small sample size. He’s coming off a two-hit game Friday and should see plenty of at-bats in a potent Braves lineup moving forward. Leagues of 12 teams or more and two-catcher leagues should be jumping at the chance to add d’Arnaud.

Corner Infield

Alex Kirilloff (1B, OF, DH – MIN) 

CBS: 34%, Yahoo: 11%, ESPN: 5%

Year after year it feels like Alex Kirilloff has become that “man, if he can just stay healthy he could have a really big season” guy and then he just… doesn’t. It’s not that he doesn’t produce, it’s that he’s never active for enough games to make much of a full-season impact. Because of this, you have to learn to ride the Kirilloff hype train while it’s here. He’s worth an add right now and always will be as long as he’s active and in the lineup. This season he’s flashed a great hit tool, batting .385 with a low 10% strikeout rate. He has yet to go yard but two doubles and three triples have done plenty to make this a great season at the plate already. Expect more of the same going forward.

Michael Busch (1B, 3B – CHC)

CBS: 41%, Yahoo: 13%, ESPN: 3%

If you’re into the world of prospects, you’ve likely been waiting a long time to see Michael Busch get a legitimate chance in the bigs. After getting phased out of the Dodgers lineup, he has since found a way to be productive in Chicago. His first few games weren’t great but he’s in the midst of a three-game hit streak, which includes both a double and a dinger. His quality of contact has been great and shows this can continue. He’s managed a 50% hard-hit rate and .299 xBA, along with a much improved 88% zone contact rate and 8.7% swinging strike rate. If this continues, we may be witnessing the beginning of a Michael Busch breakout season.

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Middle Infield

Orlando Arcia (SS – ATL) 

CBS: 30%, Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 16%

I know shortstop is one of the deepest positions in fantasy. Between this season and the start of last season, it feels like we aren’t putting enough respect on Orlando Arcia’s name. He’s tied with Mookie Betts for the league lead in doubles with five through six games. He’s also hitting an impressive .393 and has the shortstop position locked down in maybe the most potent offense in baseball. His .254 xwOBA suggests some regression. This is about riding his hot streak, though. His average exit velocity, barrel rate and hard-hit rate are all in line with last season, while his 84% contact rate is a career-high. There’s a lot to like here, even in shallow leagues.

Blaze Alexander (2B, SS – ARI) 

CBS: 6%, Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 1%

If you read my weekly planner article, you know I love Blaze Alexander. He’s more than just a cool name; he’s been a very productive fill-in for Arizona this season. He’s typically a platoon against lefties but that’s going to be to his benefit this coming week. Arizona goes on the road to Colorado to face two disastrous lefties and then ends the week against the Cardinals, where they once again face another lefty in Steven Matz. He’s hitless in his last two games but he’s already got two multi-hit games to his name, and a stolen base. He makes a good short-term fill-in, with the potential to be more if he continues to get playing time.

Outfield

Charlie Blackmon (OF, DH – COL)

CBS: 26%, Yahoo: 13%, ESPN: 10%

I wrote this article last season and Charlie Blackmon made my very early list of favorite waiver wire candidates. It’s nice to see some things don’t change. Yes, I am aware he has yet to hit a home run this season. There are more important things to focus on. Twelve of the Rockies’ next 19 games this month will be played at home in hitter-friendly Coors Field. He’s played two games at home thus far and has hit .309 with a .905 OPS. He’s seeing the ball well this season having only struck out once in 34 trips to the plate. He also has an average exit velocity and barrel rate, both at career-high levels. He makes a great third outfielder in 12-team leagues and is a must-add in all five-outfield leagues.

Jake Fraley (OF – CIN)

CBS: 47%, Yahoo: 25%, ESPN: 3%

Jake Fraley was someone I drafted quite a bit, so to see him available enough to qualify for a waiver wire article is surprising. He’s a sneaky power/speed combo threat who’s shown essentially nothing in either category yet. Maybe that’s why. Seventeen of the Reds’ next 29 games will be at home in Great American Ball Park. The logjam that once haunted this lineup is no more, so Fraley will be in line for extended playing time for quite some time. He’s keeping himself relevant with the .350 batting average despite no home runs and one steal. Consider this a last chance to add him before he takes off.

Starting Pitcher

Alec Marsh (SP, RP – KC) 

I debated putting Alex Marsh or Michael Wacha here as both can be good choices. Once I got a look at Marsh’s pitch breakdown from his first start this ended up being a no-brainer. Marsh did the thing I like to see — he recognized that his arsenal needed a tweak, so he tweaked it. He ditched the curveball, cut his fastball usage by 15% and became a changeup/sweeper guy. He also added a lot more movement. He showed flashes last season, striking out 9+ batters in three of his eight starts. If you include his lone start this season he has a 24.6% strikeout rate, which is great. His double-digit walk rate isn’t great but he walked just 4.2% of batters in the first start.

He lines up against the White Sox today (Sunday), so you may need to hurry before he gets picked up by someone else. There’s season-long upside with him if this new pitch mix stays dominant.

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