The Wire Troll: Josh Smith Now Starting for Texas
Josh Smith is getting a chance to start. (Twitter)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’ve reached the middle of April and there are tons of goodies available on your wire. Go get ’em!
This week, Tampa Bay tied the modern MLB record with a 13-0 start before finally losing; Javier Baez got pulled from the game after a bone-headed play; and Jordan Walker‘s historic hit streak was snapped.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
Josh Smith, 3B/OF, Texas Rangers (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): Heading into the season, Smith sneaked into our top 150 outfielder rankings as we expected him to work the strong side of a platoon. However, with Corey Seager (hamstring) out for four weeks, former LSU standout Smith is getting a chance to start at his natural position of shortstop (and he’ll soon earn qualification there). While Smith hasn’t exactly gotten off to a good start (we’re being generous), he did enjoy a very strong spring (.370 with 11 runs in 18 games), so is definitely worth considering in deep AL-only leagues. Batting second, he should provide help in runs (see video below), and has potential as an above hitter and fielder. Ultimately, Smith likely profiles better as a bench player, but could provide some value while starting.
Taj Bradley, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 10.1 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): Bradley, who just missed the top 20 in our 2023 Top 100 Prospects rankings, had his MLB debut come earlier than expected thanks to injuries — Zach Eflin (back) is out and Jeffrey Springs (arm) will now miss at least two months as well. There were questions about whether Bradley was ready yet, but he held his own in his first start (five hits and three earned runs over five innings with eight Ks and just one walk) against a powerful Red Sox lineup, so we’d suggest you jump on this one right away.
Vaughn Grissom, 2B, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 26.3 per cent; CBS: NA): After taking the Fantasy world by storm last year, Grissom earned a spot on our 2022 Wire Troll All-Star Team. That’s why many were surprised when he was farmed out this spring while the Braves handed the shortstop job to Orlando Arcia. But with Arcia (wrist) now hurt, Atlanta has recalled Grissom, so it’s time to jump back on his train. Grissom’s combination of power and speed will be a major asset for owners, so we can only hope that whatever defensive deficiencies the Braves saw in Spring Training have been addressed so he can keep the job for the rest of the year. We think it’s worth the gamble given the immense upside, and he delivered right away in his season debut with an RBI double.
Franchy Cordero, 1B/OF, New York Yankees (ESPN: 10.1 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): Cordero has always had power potential, but man is it ever coming to the forefront now. He’s just 1-for-7 over the last two games, but had previously gone yard in three of four. Cordero has been piling up the runs and even hitting for a better BA than we’re accustomed to seeing from him. We’re not sure what the former Padre prospect is doing is sustainable (remember, that everything that happens with the Yankees tends to get blown out of proportion), but we do suggest you grab him while he’s pounding the ball.
Joey Wiemer, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN: 4.2 per cent; CBS: 33 per cent): Wiemer hasn’t been piling up the counting cats, but this is a dude you definitely want to get in on now before he really blows up and is unavailable. This is a major buy-low candidate who should get at least eight weeks to show what he can do (while Luis Urias is out).
Edouard Julien, 2B, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 27 per cent): Looking for a sleeper? Julien was recalled when Joey Gallo went on the IL, and realistically, the prospect should hang around at least until Jorge Polanco returns. We love the fact Julien got a chance to hit leadoff earlier this week, giving a great indication of what he can do on Thursday (two hits, including a homer, and two runs), and considering his superb start at Triple-A (934 OPS with a pair of jacks), this is no fluke. He’s a great dynasty asset, and can help you right now, too, at least for the time being.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
American singer Clarence Carter got his start in 1962, yet is still at it today. From his 1968 album, This is Clarence Carter comes “Slip Away,” among his most popular tunes, and his first top 40 hit.