The Wire Troll: Hyun-Jin Ryu Hurling Again
Hyun-Jin Ryu is rolling since his return from TJS. (The Canadian Press)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. August is nearly done, so we’re almost into that desperate time when you need to scour the wire for any available help, so we’re going deep in this installment.
This week, Merrill Kelly made his owners very happy on Thursday; the Texas Rangers may be +1000 faves to win the World Series as per FanDuel, but are currently in a serious tailspin; and Shohei Ohtani is done pitching for the season thanks to a UCL tear.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 19.4 per cent; CBS: 49 per cent): Ryu got hurt last year, ultimately requiring TJS, but he’s back and looking very sharp. He’s no spring chicken, but has been a game changer for Toronto since his return, limiting baserunners more than you’d expect considering the rust. Ryu is not getting hitters to swing at his chase pitches at even league average, so there is room for growth here, but given how excellent his stuff is, he’s going to be a great asset down the stretch so grab him now. Regardless of the language you speak, he sounds like a solid pickup (see video below).
Nick Senzel, OF/3B, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 1.0 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): After he saw his most action ever last year, we slotted Senzel 119th in our preseason Outfield Rankings, and while he’s taken a step forward power-wise, this season has been a struggle as he dealt with toe surgery, a knee injury and a demotion to Triple-A. However, he’s getting another shot with Joey Votto (shoulder) hitting the IL and Senzel delivered immediately with a dinger on Thursday. A former first rounder and top prospect, Senzel still has nice power-speed potential, but has never hit for much of an average in the bigs. Even so, he could be worth a flier in NL-only leagues if he can carve out enough PT down the stretch. Post, post, post, post hype sleeper?
Kyle Harrison, SP, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 4.5 per cent; CBS: 37 per cent): When we slotted Harrison No. 28 in our Top 100 Prospects, we called him one of the top up and coming lefties in the game. Okay, sure, his MLB debut on Tuesday wasn’t ideal, but the strikeout potential he flashed is enticing. Harrison has gained some valuable experience at Triple-A this year, so we’re bullish on his chances of providing some Fantasy value down the stretch.
Chase Anderson, SP, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Anderson earned consideration as a Wire Troll All-Star in 2019, but has really gone downhill since, capped by a shoulder woe and zero wins through a dozen starts this year. However, he’s on the comeback trail now, throwing a rehab outing at Triple-A on Thursday and given that he looked strong in his last two starts before getting hurt, he could be worth considering in NL-only leagues as a desperation play if your pitching options are limited (which is not uncommon this time of year).
Tyler Anderson, SP, Los Angeles Angels (ESPN: 26.2 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): When he first arrived in Seattle in a 2021 deadline deal, Anderson looked good, but things regressed down the stretch. He put together a career year for the Dodgers last season, but has backslid significantly for the Halos in 2023 as evidenced by his meh record and lousy ERA. However, if nothing else, thanks to Ohtani’s injury, Anderson’s job security looks stronger for the rest of the season. Anderson has been inconsistent lately, but was a top 70 starter heading into the season, so if you’re trolling for any kind of pitching help, give him a look.
Others to Consider
Parker Meadows, OF, Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 0.6 per cent; CBS: 7 per cent): Detroit is going to take an extended look at recently recalled prospect Meadows, who is already crafting his legacy in Motown after this memorable shot. Austin‘s younger brother is often compared to Dexter Fowler, which is not bad considering Fowler made an All-Star Game and managed 19.4 WAR over a 14-year career.
Let’s wrap up this week’s recommendations with some dynasty options, specifically the top two Rockies’ prospects. Both of these hitters were featured in our Top 100 Prospects rankings heading into 2023.
Zac Veen, OF, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 0.5 per cent; CBS: 14 per cent): Veen’s results the last couple of years have been really hampered by wrist woes, so now is the perfect time to kick the tires to see if his dynasty league owner has soured on him. If so, pounce, because this kid is still just 21 and remains a top 30 prospect with speed to burn and more power upside.
Adael Amador, SS, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): Even with a broken hamate bone interrupting his season, Amador has shot up the prospect rankings thanks to an unbelievable batting eye, great speed and emerging power. With Coors Field as his future home park, could this kid be a future batting champion?
RotoRob Tune of the Day
English pop singer Samantha Fox has been active since 1983. Her hit “Let Me Be Free” — originally the lead single on her 1997 album 21st Century Fox, showed up on the 1997 US compilation Dance Hits Supermix 2.