Ceddanne Rafaela is a prospect worth watching. (Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re nearing the end now, so for those of you that are still alive, we’ll continue to provide recommendations for the next couple of weeks.
This week, Spencer Torkelson has been red hot (especially on Thursday); Tampa Bay (+1300 faves to win the World Series according to FanDuel) keeps winning, but not enough to get any closer to AL East leader Baltimore; and the noose continues to tighten around Julio Urias‘ neck.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
Ceddanne Rafaela, OF, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 1.7 per cent; CBS: 19 per cent): Rafaela burst onto the scene with his breakout last year, big enough to land at No. 61 on our Top 100 Prospects heading into the season. He forced his way to the bigs recently after putting up a ridiculous 20 homers and 36 steals between Double-A and Triple-A. Rafaela grew up as a Red Sox fan (see video below), so this must be a dream come true… and he sure is taking advantage, going 7-for-16 in limited PT since his recall. What we love the most is how his numbers got much better after being promoted from Double-A to Triple-A, scoring and driving in nearly a run per game at the higher level. Sure, Rafaela is likely to hit some speed bumps, but as a source of power and speed — one that could qualify at both outfield (where he offers elite glovework) and shortstop — he makes for an intriguing pickup.
Reese Olson, SP, Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 4.6 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): Olson really opened some eyes with his outing on Saturday, hurling seven shutout frames against the Pale Hose and then nearly no-hitting them on Friday. And if that wasn’t enough to secure his rotation job, it’s all but guaranteed now that Matt Manning is done for the season. After a rough spell in mid-August, Olson has actually looked pretty sharp in each of his last three starts, punching out 10 Yankees in 4 1/3 IP in his final August outing. Overall, he hasn’t exactly wowed anyone as a rookie (4.50 ERA), but he’s pitched better than his results suggest (4.03 FIP), so ignore the ugly record and consider him a streaming option at the very least.
Ronny Mauricio, SS, New York Mets (ESPN: 7.1 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): A former Top 100 Prospect (No. 73 on our list in 2022 before dropping off this season), Mauricio arrived in the majors last week with a bang, drilling a 117.3 mph line drive double in his first ever plate appearance, part of a two-hit night. Before Friday’s 0-fer, he had hit safely in all five games, recording multiple knocks in three of them, to give the Mets a spark at the end of a disappointing campaign. Mauricio was an extra-base machine at Triple-A this season, coming on the heels of a very impressive Spring Training showing for the Mets in which he blasted four dingers in 33 at-bats.
Wandy Peralta, RP, New York Yankees (ESPN: 0.9 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): Since he arrived in New York in a 2021 trade, Peralta has been among the more reliable bullpen arms for the Yankees. This year he’s become the team’s top setup option — one that will be leaned on even more now that Keynan Middleton (shoulder) is on the IL. Peralta is on a run of six straight scoreless appearances, really turning things around after a tough start to August. The southpaw has posted just the second winning record of his career with a personal best in holds while working shorter outings this season and continuing to dominate lefties (although righties have been tougher on him in 2023). Consider Peralta a solid asset in deeper AL-only leagues that track holds.
Others to Consider
Jackson Ferris, SP, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: NA; CBS: 2 per cent): The Cubs’ second rounder last year, Ferris was almost unhittable in his pro debut at Class-A. Dynasty league owners need to be all over this young lefty.
Andrew Alvarez, SP, Washington Nationals (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): A 12th round pick in 2021, Alvarez has taken a major step forward in his first season being used almost exclusively as a starter. He’s posted a stellar 2.80 ERA through 25 games (21 starts) while logging a career-high 125 1/3 IP and proving much tougher to hit. Alvarez’s upside is limited, but he’s put himself on the map as a potential prospect worth tracking.
Trey Cabbage, 1B/OF/3B, Los Angeles Angels (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 1 per cent): With Luis Rengifo hurt, Cabbage is getting a chance to play, recording hits in three of the last four games while drawing a couple of walks and swiping a bag.
Travis d’Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 11.6 per cent; CBS: 43 per cent): d’Arnaud is getting long in the tooth and has had injury issues, but can still mash when healthy, pounding two homers in a three game stretch this week, while driving in eight runs over the last five.
Tanner Scott, RP, Miami Marlins (ESPN: 15.6 per cent; CBS: 46 per cent): Scott took over the Marlins’ closer about two weeks ago, and has been racking up the saves with three straight scoreless outings after a rough September debut. He hasn’t given up an earned run since the end of July.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
German composer Carl Orff was most famous for his 1937 cantana Carmina Burana. From this comes “I. Primo Vere Ecce Gratum.”