Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re nearly through the second month of the season, so definitely by now you know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Use the wire to shore up your deficiencies.
This week, the Yankees activated oft-injured first baseman Greg Bird (ankle), who has been out all season; the Mariners made an early move to improve themselves, trading for Denard Span and Alex Colome; and Gleyber Torres has become the youngest player in AL history to homer in four straight games.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations, with several outfield options…
Gorkys Hernandez, OF, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 0.7 per cent: CBS: 1 per cent): Hernandez went yard Friday, part of his second straight two-hit game and third such effort over the last four. The veteran has hit safely in seven straight, batting .381 over the last week, and has four homers with a 956 OPS in May. Hernandez broke through as a full-time big leaguer last year, but really didn’t do a ton with the massive hike in PT. This season, however, we are seeing way more power than ever — his five homers are already a career high. The fact that Hernandez has done this in fewer than 100 at-bats when it took him 525 to record the first five homers of his career speaks volumes about his power growth. Once thought to be the long-term replacement for Andruw Jones in centre field for Atlanta, Hernandez is finally emerging with value. He need to be owned in deeper NL-only leagues now. Just don’t ask Hernandez to keep track of the number of outs in an inning (see video below).
Travis Jankowski, OF, San Diego Padres (ESPN: 32.4 per cent; CBS: 36 per cent): Jankowski was a first round pick (44th overall) in 2012, so we shouldn’t be shocked, but before this season all he’d done is put up a 30-steal season in 2016. There’s no doubt speed is his calling card, but before a slump this week, he was hitting .390. Okay, so that’s down to .325 now and will likely keep dipping, but Jankowski is hitting well, swiping bags and getting on base at a .395 clip. He even drove in a rare run on Friday. Surely, he has use in a mixed format league right now.
Tyler O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN: 40.6 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): This Canadian kid has been called “Little Aaron Judge” because of his prodigious power but slightly less imposing (5’11”, 210) figure. Last week, O’Neill spanked dingers in three straight games and he had hit safely in six straight before striking out as a pinch hitter on Friday. Like most Cardinals, O’Neill can be frustrating to own because of the team’s constantly juggling lineup, and yes, expect plenty of swings and misses. But given his massive home run potential and solid on-base skills, this kid is a dynamite keeper league option, one that very well may help tons this season. This is your last chance to find out.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 23.1 per cent; CBS: 41 per cent): Boston’s second round pick from 2004 was activated off the DL Friday, and received a massive standing ovation in his season debut. In returning from offseason knee surgery, Pedroia was 0-for-1 with a walk and a run. Be patient here as once he’s shaken the rust off he’ll be an asset in Boston’s loaded lineup. Let’s just hope he can remain healthy for the rest of the season, but honestly, when was the last time you could add this dude on waivers?
Joe Musgrove, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 8 per cent; CBS: 30 per cent): Musgrove sure made good in his return from the DL, getting the win in his Pirate debut with seven shutout innings of five-hit ball while fanning seven, walking none and recording his first career hit. Part of the booty Pittsburgh received in the Gerrit Cole trade, Musgrove worked as a swingman for Houston last season, starting a career-high 15 games, however, he was much more effective as a reliever. Musgrove is worth a look as long as he’s in the rotation.
Andrew Moore, RP/SP, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 1 per cent): Part of yet another salary-shedding move by the Rays, Moore was one of the two minor leaguers acquired by Tampa Bay in the Span/Colome trade. A 2015 supplemental pick by Seattle, Moore has returned to Double-A this year after spending most of last season at Triple-A and the majors. The Rays have assigned the righty to Triple-A based on his superb hit rates at Double-A, and given their rotation depth issues, it’s not unreasonable to think he could get his shot in the majors again very soon. Moore has some upside, so he’s worth tracking and is a lot more interesting now that he’s with Tampa Bay.
Others to Consider
Justin Dillon, SP, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): Dillon has put himself in the mix for a call-up to the bigs by limiting opponents to a .130 BA through four appearances (three starts) at Triple-A.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 27.7 per cent; CBS: 49 per cent): With Hanley Ramirez getting DFAed, Moreland will take over first base for the BoSox. Grab Moreland in all formats.
Jose Alvarado, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 9.4 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): Now that Colome has been dealt, it could be Alvarado — armed with a nasty fastball-slider combo — that will earn saves for the Rays.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.