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The Wire Troll: Simeon Woods Richardson Shining in Minny

June 28, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Simeon Woods Richardson has pitched very well for the Minnesota Twins.
Simeon Woods Richardson has established himself as a key starter. (Jesse Johnson – USA Today Sports)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We passed the unofficial halfway point this week, so it’s time to really dig into the wire if you want to make a move.

This week, Gerrit Cole‘s second start since coming off the IL did not go well as he failed to register a punchout for just the second time ever; Shohei Ohtani feels like he’s growing as a hitter (spoiler alert: he is); and Zack Wheeler enjoyed another solid start on Thursday, but continued a recent trend of surprisingly underwhelming strikeout numbers.

So while you wonder whether Steven Kwan can hit .400 this season (currently, he’s +5500 to do so as per FanDuel), let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks

Simeon Woods Richardson, SP, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 8.3 per cent; CBS: 37 per cent): A former top prospect who fell out of our Top 100 Prospects rankings in 2022 after an injury-prone and ineffective 2021 season, Woods Richardson has established himself in the Twin rotation with a strong rookie effort and he now has added job security with Chris Paddack on the IL. SWR wasn’t quite as good on Wednesday, but was effective enough to bag another W and has now given up more than three earned runs just once over his last eight starts. A nice winning percentage, ERA and WHIP? What’s not to like? Sure, he’s flopped in a couple of starts, but has generally been a very solid option, and at the age of 23, there’s plenty of upside development potential.

Carlos Santana, 1B, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 17.8 per cent; CBS: 46 per cent): Staying in Minnesota, we go from a youngster to a dude that’s been around forever, yet once again has emerged with Fantasy value. Two years ago, Santana was dealt to Seattle to open up room for Vinnie Pasquantino, and he’s on his third team since then, but seems to have clicked with the Twins. On Wednesday, Santana recorded three hits and added two more on Thursday as part of a productive June in which he has rediscovered his power (600 slugging). He’s playing more this season and has improved his OPS — for the third straight year.

Michael Siani, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Siani first grabbed our attention when he was a high schooler, but to our surprise, he lasted until the fourth round in the 1998 MLB Draft and it took him until this season to finally establish himself as a full-time major leaguer. He’s not exactly known for his bat, but has hit safely in four straight, including two multi-hit games, and has improved his work at the plate as the season has progressed. Siani has a bit more short-term value with Tommy Edman (wrist/ankle) enduring a recent setback.

Others to Consider

Joey Estes, SP, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 1.9 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): Estes dropped under .500 with a loss on Wednesday, but he did punch out eight over 5 2/3 IP, and he’s only had one really awful start over his last seven outings.

Joey Loperfido, OF/2B, Houston Astros (ESPN: 2.9 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): Loperfido was recalled again last week, and this time he’s actually getting consistent PT — for now. If Houston sells at the deadline, this kid is going to shine in the second half.

Spencer Horwitz, 1B/2B, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 6.2 per cent; CBS: 22 per cent): Horwitz has already matched his game total from all of 2023, but stands to gain major PT if Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gets dealt as rumoured.

Trent Grisham, OF, New York Yankees (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): It’s been a few years since Grisham had Fantasy value thanks to his speed and run-scoring prowess, but after a horrific start to the season he’s performed well this month (1045 OPS) and will now play nearly every day with Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) out for around four weeks.

Hayden Wesneski, RP/SP, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 0.7 per cent; CBS: 4 per cent): Weskeski got another crack at starting on Wednesday, and pitched effectively over four innings, although both hits he surrendered left the yard. Still, those seven Ks sure pop off the boxscore. He’s using his fastball more than ever this year (and it’s been a more useful pitch in 2024), mostly at the expense of his sinker.

Hayden Birdsong, SP, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: NA; CBS: 6 per cent): Sticking with hurlers named Hayden, Birdson was meh in his MLB debut on Wednesday, but did manage to punch out five batters in 4 2/3 IP. He may need a bit more seasoning given that he only had a pair of middling starts at Triple-A before coming to the Show, but he deserves your attention because of his strikeout potential.

Jhonkensy Noel, OF/1B/3B, Cleveland Guardians (ESPN: 2.6 per cent; CBS: 13 per cent): After seemingly years of being a prospect (he dropped off our Top 100 Prospects list last year), Noel was finally promoted to the bigs and — hours later — he went yard in his first MLB at-bat. At the time of his promotion, he led the IL in RBI, extra-base hits and total bases, so he deserves your attention.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Nirvana had to go through quite a few drummers (including Chad Channing) before finally landing Dave Grohl in 1990. Here’s yet another track from the 1992 compilation album, Incesticide, a previously unreleased alternate version of “(New Wave) Polly.”

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