The Wire Troll: Kyle Farmer Takes Over the Hot Corner for Twins
Kyle Farmer has made a tremendous recovery since getting beaned last month. (USATSI)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. It’s mid-May, and within the next couple of weeks, you’ll have had enough time to determine if you’re a contender or not. So keep mining that waiver wire.
This week, KC hurler Ryan Yarbrough was involved in a terrifying situation as he was nailed in the head by a line drive, but thankfully should be okay; struggling Carlos Correa silenced the jeers from his home crowd with a key hit on Thursday; and Javier Baez has continued his resurgence since being benched last month.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
Kyle Farmer, SS/3B/2B, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 0.7 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): Considering the power potential he flashed as rookie last year and how he was tearing the cover off the ball this spring, what do you think the Fanduel Odds would have been that Jose Miranda would get demoted back to Triple-A just six weeks into the season? But that’s exactly what happened, leaving the hot corner in Minnesota to Farmer — who just returned this week after missing nearly a month because he got drilled in the face as well (see video below). A candidate as a Wire Troll All-Star last year, he wasted no time making an impact, delivering a hit in his return, homering on Thursday (and also getting hit by another pitch) and then producing another hit and a run Friday. He offers next to no speed, and isn’t exactly an on-base machine (although he did pretty well in that regard during his rehab assignment), but should provide decent value in deep AL-only leagues until Miranda figures his shit out… or Royce Lewis gets shifted to third base and becomes the Twins’ new long-term solution. Hey, at the very least Farmer provides some great positional flexibility, so that’s something.
Trevor Rogers, SP, Miami Marlins (ESPN: 5.1 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): Rogers really struggled last year in allowing too many baserunners (not to mention dealing with a back woe), but let’s not forget how solid he was in 2021. This year, he was showing some bounce back potential before landing on the IL with a forearm injury, and while it’s not clear how long he’ll be sidelined (he’s scheduled to begin a throwing program in about a month), he makes for an intriguing stash option if you have space. Okay, there’s always the chance he’ll need Tommy John surgery, rendering this pick pointless, but it wasn’t long ago that Rogers was among the top Marlins’ prospects.
Luis Medina, SP, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): With Mason Miller (elbow) landing on the IL this week, the A’s turned again to Medina on Thursday, who endured a beat down in his MLB debut on April 26. This time, Medina looked much sharper, putting up a quality start against a Texas club that’s been swinging some serious lumber so far this season. A couple of years ago, we were bullish on this dude as a dynasty league option, and while the usual caveat applies here with A’s starting pitchers (don’t expect many, if any, wins), he’s bought himself a bit of rope in the rotation, making him a possible streaming option(with upside) in AL-only formats.
Quinn Priester, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: NA): No. 90 on our Top 100 Prospects list this spring, Priester was someone we suggested could be an in-season waiver wire addition in 2023. While that plan seemed to get scuttled by a slow start at Triple-A, he’s really turned the corner over the last couple of weeks, looking much sharper in his last three outings, specifically the last two (12 IP, eight hits, two runs and one homer allowed, with eight Ks and two walks). Priester dropped on most prospects lists this year, but do not sleep on him as a potential second half asset — especially if his recent run continues.
- Another prospect that bears watching for a big league call is Baltimore 3B Jordan Westburg. He excelled after a promotion to Triple-A last year, but has taken it a step further this season, scoring nearly a run per game and driving in over one per game while compiling a 930 OPS.
- Kodai Senga has been anything but consistent in his first season with the suddenly struggling Mets. On Thursday, he coughed up four runs in the first inning to the Reds and wound up giving up five runs and eight hits over five innings after looking pretty sharp in his two previous starts. We love Senga’s strikeout potential, but the extra-base knocks — especially the dingers — have been an issue.
- Jose Altuve (broken thumb) began his rehab assignment at Triple-A on Friday. His absence has been a major loss for owners given that he’s coming off a tremendous bounce back effort in 2022, his best campaign in four or five years. Altuve is poised to top several milestones this season: 1,000 runs, 2,000 hits, 200 homers, and 700 ribbies.
- Trent Grisham looks like a very nice buy-low candidate. He leads the NL in launch angle while his actual slugging percentage is 50 points below his xSLG. The power Grisham hinted at in 2020, which has regressed since, could very well be for real.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Here’s another track from the wonderful two-LP compilation Somethin’ Else Again, this one the signature tune from American pop band Spiral Staircase with its 1969 hit “More Today Than Yesterday.”