Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. The trade deadline is upon us, so you must pay extremely close attention to the news right now, because Fantasy value can change in a heartbeat at this time of year. Also, by now, many teams are looking to 2018 and beyond to stay engaged, so we’ll have plenty of picks for you, too!
This week, Kansas City landed Melky Cabrera in an effort to catch the Tribe; Jaime Garcia is on the move again, this time headed to the Yankees; and former slugger Lee May, who authored 354 homers and made three All-Star games in his career, passed away at age 74.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations…
Alen Hanson, OF/2B, Chicago White Sox (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): The Pirates may have given up on Hanson too soon, as he seems to be settling in nicely for the Pale Hose. He’s improved his contact rate, is getting semi-regular playing time and we still love his speed potential (remember that he stole 36 bases at Triple-A last year, adding a couple more during his brief time with the Pirates). With Avisail Garcia (thumb) out, Hanson has started three of the last four games, so give him a look in AL-only formats. Yes, Hanson still looks a little green in the outfield (see video below), but his positional flexibility will give him more chances to play.
Mike Siani, OH/LHP, William Penn Charter HS (Penn.) (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): Siani has emerged as a potential first round pick in 2018 thanks to his excellent speed and superb fielding skills as a centre fielder. There’s some raw power here that could manifest itself in game play in time, so small wonder he was named to the Perfect Game 2017 Underclassmen First Team. The hype machine for Siani will begin in earnest in a few months, so if you have a deep farm system in your league that allows you to grab high schoolers, consider him.
Logan Kohler, 2B, Little Elm HS (Tex.) (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): Hey, why limit ourselves to next year’s draft? Kohler looks like he’s going to make some noise in the 2019 draft after being named MVP of the Connie Mack South Plains Regional. He also plays third base, and earned a 2017 Underclass High Honourable Mention from Perfect Game. An Oklahoma recruit, Kohler can also pitch, but it seems more recently that his bat rather than his arm will dictate his future.
Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN: 11.4 per cent; CBS: 37 per cent): Brinson had a false start to his big league career last month, but he’s back for another chance. Clearly, he didn’t take his demotion poorly and head back to Triple-A to sulk; all he did was go 29-for-70 (.414) with nearly a run per game and nice contact rates. The Brewers have rewarded him for the best stretch of his season, and we’ll now see if this 2012 first rounder can start to pay dividends in the bigs. Brinson is worth grabbing to see how this second act goes.
Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets (ESPN: 5.5 per cent; CBS: 23 per cent): Another young slugger, Smith is expected to get his first taste of the majors very soon now that the Mets have traded Lucas Duda. Smith is absolutely on fire at Triple-A right now, hitting safely in six straight games — four of them being multi-hit efforts — and he’s batting .425 over the last 10. His power has really improved this year, but don’t expect much in the way of speed here, as that small part of his game has gone AWOL. Traditionally a second-half player, Smith is lighting it up at the right time, so the Mets’ second-best prospect is ready to get his first crack at the bigs.
Brad Ziegler, RP, Miami Marlins (ESPN: 4.1 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): Ziegler has come off the DL at just the right time, as he’s set to be the new closer for the Fish with A.J. Ramos getting traded to the Mets. Now, Ziegler hasn’t exactly been money this year, but saves are saves, so if you need a boost in this area, you may as well grab him and see if he can run with the job.
Others to Consider
Parker Bridwell, SP, Los Angeles Angels (ESPN: 24.4 per cent; CBS: 35 per cent): Other than one ugly start against the Mariners, this tall righty has been on a roll for over a month. The Angels, who gave Baltimore a PTBNL or cash for Bridwell in mid-April, got a real steal here as yet another former Oriole minor league pitcher has emerged after being moved.
Josh Tomlin, SP, Cleveland Indians (ESPN: 22.5 per cent; CBS: 39 per cent): Tomlin is rounding into form, winning his last three decisions and he had a no-hitter going through four innings on Sunday. However, he had to leave early with hamstring tightness, so ensure he’s good to go for his next outing before claiming him.
Brad Hand, RP, San Diego Padres (ESPN: 34.9 per cent; CBS: 42 per cent): Hand has successfully converted four saves over the last six days, and he’s been a real find for the Padres since they grabbed him off waivers from the Marlins just before the 2016 season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 16.8 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): Finally healthy again, Ryu has improved his hit rates and is doing a better job of limiting extra-base knocks. Toss in better control, and you’ve got a decent starting option down the stretch.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.