Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re nearly into late-May now, which means the 2018 MLB Draft is just over two weeks away. Time to start planning ahead by checking out those mock drafts and doing some scouting.
This week, Pirates’ minor league shortstop Ji-hwan Bae has headed back to his native South Korea to be questioned by police in a domestic violence investigation; Dansby Swanson (wrist) has been activated from the DL; and Jason Heyward (concussion) has also returned from the DL, saying his first concussion really opened his eyes to the dangers of this ailment.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations, as we offer up a couple of youngsters — one of whom just got the call, and another who may get a promotion soon as well.
Frankie Montas, RP/SP, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 1 per cent): With both Andrew Triggs and Brett Anderson going down, Oakland will need rotation reinforcements. This could be the perfect opportunity for Montas, who is already on the 40-man roster, as he’s been rolling of late. Over his last three starts at Triple-A, he’s earned one win while giving up 17 hits, four earned runs and four walks in 20 IP. Montas has 15 Ks over that stretch. It’s a stark contrast to his April struggles (0-3, 6.19 ERA), and he’s managed to trim his overall ERA to a much more serviceable 3.75 mark over 36 IP. This hard-throwing Dominican worked a career-high eight innings in his latest outing, and even if the strikeouts weren’t there, maybe that’s not a bad thing given how effective he was. He’s certainly shown strikeout potential before (see video below). Let’s see if the A’s give him a look in the rotation; Montas could surprise.
Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 10.3 per cent; CBS: 31 per cent): With Starlin Marte (oblique) landing on the DL, Meadows was recalled to make his long-awaited MLB debut on Friday. The rookie wasted little time making an impact, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base while playing flawlessly in centre field. Pittsburgh’s first rounder in 2013 (ninth overall), Meadows had been enjoying a solid season at Triple-A, scoring plenty of runs while racking up a decent amount of total bases. If you want him, you better move quickly.
- Cole Hamels, who has finally started looking more like himself over his last four starts, is now dealing with a neck woe. His Thursday start got pushed back to Saturday, and now he’s been scratched from that as well. Hamels apparently won’t go on the DL, so may take the bump on Sunday. With Texas doing awful this season, he may very well be on the trading block, and given his 2.54 ERA on the road, his value could soar with a trade. Once we’ve established his prognosis, consider making an offer for Hamels.
- A back injury landed Ryan Braun on the DL on Thursday, retroactive to May 14. He’s been slumping lately (0-for-8, as part of a horrible May in which he’s just 4-for-33). Braun’s extra-base pop has slid for the second straight year, and as things stand, he’s heading for his worst year ever. Time to cut bait in shallow formats.
- CC Sabathia had seemingly reached into the Fountain of Youth early on this season, but over the last two starts, it’s been more like Father Time is having his say. Sabathia was a bit wild on Friday in suffering his first loss of the season, and over his last two outing has now given up 13 hits, eight runs (six earned), two homers and four walks in nine innings. He still ranks eighth in the AL in ERA, but it’s rising fast. Sabathia may be a sell high candidate.
- Josh Reddick (leg) will miss a second straight game on Saturday, giving recently-recalled Tony Kemp another chance to gain some traction. Reddick had scored a run in four straight games, but is striking out a bit more than usual lately. His extra-base power has kind of disappeared so far in May, so we don’t blame you for cutting him in shallow leagues.
- Kyle Gibson has been enjoying a nice bounce-back season, but on Friday he came undone by his old bugaboos — walks and homers. He’s now fourth in the AL in walks allowed, so if he starts yielding more homers again, look out. Time to sell Gibson and hope an owner enamoured with his Ks takes a chance.
- Whit Merrifield went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and three steals on Friday, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. After a so-so April, he’s batting .361 in May to jack his season BA up to .300 through 170 at-bats. Merrifield’s power is down this year, but he’s fourth in the majors in steals.
- There’s talk the Mets could shop Jacob deGrom if things don’t turn around (they’ve now dropped to fourth in the NL East). Can you imagine the ransom he’d command? The ace proved he was healthy Friday, earning his fourth win with seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball, while fanning 13 and walking none. After seeing his ERA rise in each of the last two seasons, deGrom is heading for a career year with a 1.75 mark (third in the NL) through nine starts and 51 1/3 IP.
- Jose Martinez provided the slumping Cardinal offense with a nice jolt on Friday with four hits, including a homer, for five RBI. He’s on fire right now, going 9-for-13 over the last three games, with four runs, two doubles, a homer, six RBI and a pair of walks. Martinez is now batting .345 with 10 RBI this month, and is proving last year was no fluke as he’s spanked five homers while batting .320 through 40 games.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.