June 22, 2024

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Top hitters, pickups and cuts

A group of hitters now residing in premium, standard lineup spots headline the listing of this week’s pickups. More than 70 % of ESPN teams have three of these players available:

Nolan Gorman, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals ( 28. 3 % rostered ): A player often perceived to be just a platoon- mate, Gorman is anything but– and the Cardinals are giving him some well- deserved everyday treatment as of late. He has made 15 sequential starts, including each of the player’s previous seven against correct- handed starters out of the recovery spot, back of Nolan Arenado. He also began the No. 5 tunnel, behind Arenado, against left starters on both Friday and Saturday.

To remove any squad say, since the 2023 All- Star break, Gorman is a. 225/. 319/. 494 striker with a 6. 8 % HR charge against proper- handed cups, and a. 255/. 345/. 480 hitter with a 5. 2 % HR rate against folks.

Since Gorman’s power potential has never been in doubt throughout his major league career, it is encouraging to see him settle in as a more reserved, non-platoon hitter. Since his May 20, 2022, debut, his 16. 1 % Statcast barrel rate is eighth- best in baseball, ahead of power stalwarts Oneil Cruz ( 16. 0 % ), Marcell Ozuna ( 16. 0 % ) and Matt Olson ( 14. 9 % ). Given the difficulty in locating second base production this year, the location has a social . 245/. 309/. 366 rates, with that striking number being a industry- placement worst– Gorman needs to be uniformly rostered.

Before you say” WHO” to the San Francisco Giants, understand that Ramos is a late-blooming prospect whose dramatically improved disk approach this time appears to finally get allowing him to reach his full potential. Ƭhe No. 17 general pick in the 2017 amateur draft ( when he was a mere 17- year- old drafted out of Puerto Rico ), Ramos graced many a top- 100 prospect list up until his 2022 big league debut, including a high- water mark No. 62 total place on Kiley McDaniel’s 2021 list.

Ramos struggled hard in short stints with the Giants in 2022- 23, batting a combined . 158/. 220/. 250 with 26 strikes in 82 journeys to the dish, but he has been a very unique player between spring education, the minors and majors so far this year.

Ramos has cut down his chase rate ( swings at non- strikes ) from 31. 2 % in 2022- 23 to 25. 7 % this year, including all the way to 23. 9 % in just the past three weeks. Since his 15. 9 % Chamber level since his May 8 understand, which helped him unlock his authority possible, rates 22nd among batsmen with at least 500 balls in play. Along with his customary No. , it helped him to position him as the group’s leadoff man against right-handers on Friday anḑ Sunday. 2 position against folks. Due to his adjustments and fresh, significant role, this hot ability is worth snatching up, regardless of whether it cools down over time.

Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, Baltimore Orioles ( 50. 9 % ): A player who is nearly universally rostered offsite, Mountcastle is one who needs to approach ( if not reach ) those thresholds in ESPN formats. He’s exhibiting personal bests in terms of chase ( 37. 3 % ), whiff ( 22. 6 % ) and hard- hit ( 48. 1 % ) rates, and he’s locked into the No. 3 opening for one of the show’s best younger teams. Mountcastle has started eight straight games in that starting lineup spot, including seven against righties, moving ahead of Ryan O’Hearn ( currently the cleanup man against righties ) this month.

Narrower- group adds

Drew Thorpe, SP, Chicago White Sox ( 3. 5 % ): A 2022 second- round draftee whose stock has since soared to the point that he was Kiley McDaniel’s No. Thorpe, a 64th-round idea in his first season, was a important participant in the San Diego Padres/New York Yankees trade involving Juan Soto in December, followed by the Padres- White Sox industry involving Dylan Cease only three months later.

Thorpȩ wįll then create his MLB comeback agaiȵst the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Tuesday after having an outside chance to makȩ the Padres movement out of spring training but not enough time to do so with the White Sox.

Thorpe has been remarkable for Chicago’s Double- A advertising in Birmingham, posting seven wins, seven quality starts, a 1. 35 ERA ( third- best in all of minor league baseball among pitchers with 50- plus innings ) and an 0. 87 WHIP in 11 turns, with only one negative start all year. Most importantly, he has been similarly outstanding against left- handed hitters ( . 155/. 216/. 198 rates ) as he has right- handers ( . 189/. 255/. This outstanding changeup should ease his transition to the majors, which is a testament to his outstanding changeup.

While there’s always guesswork involved with any rookie pitcher, Thorpe probably has another 90- 100 innings and 16- 18 starts left in the tank, with good odds of maintaining a mid- threes ERA and 7. 5 % walk rate or better. That might even be enough to put him on the radar in professional leagues.

Hurston Waldrep, SP, Atlanta Braves ( 7. 8 % ): The fourth member of the 2023 draft class to reach the majors, Waldrep’s MLB debut of Sunday was more encouraging than his final line ( 3⅔ IP, 7 ER ) suggested. He faced the least number of hitters through three innings before disintegrating in the fourth, which was a nearly spotlȩss first trip through tⱨe order. Additionally, he demonstrated a strong splitter that produced α 42. 9 % whiff rate and was largely responsible for reducing hard contact throughout the performance.

There is every reason to think Waldrep should quickly improve if he stays at this level. Between this year and last, he had a 2. 55 ERA and a 27. 7 % strikeout rate in his 18 minor league starts, 12 of which were in Double-A and two more in Triple-A. Without a doubt, a pitcher with his untapped talent is worth a stash in every league greater than ESPN’s standard.

Noelvi Marte, Cincinnati Reds ( 3. 4 % ): He’s a player to stash if you’re in a league with deeper benches and a spot to burn. Marte, currently serving an 80- gaɱe suspension for a PED violation, is scheduled to begin a mįnor league rehab assignment on Tuesday. On June 27, he will be eligible for activation. He ɾecorded strσng stats for the Reds over the final six weeks of the previous season, and he might provide a defensive upgrade over Jeimer Candelario at third base.

A two- start gem with potential

Bryan Woo, Seattle Mariners ( 58. 2 % rostered ): Like Mountcastle above, Woo is a player who should be near- universally rostered. The right-hander has had a sensation over his past four ȿtarts, recording a 1. 13 ERA, no walks, and only 10 of the 84 total starts where he has even recorded a three-ball count ( second-best among ERA qualifiers ).

Woo’s emergence should n’t come as a complete surprise, as he finished 2023 with a 3. 31 ERA over his final seven starts after making some adjustments to his sinker, with the elbow injury that cost him the season’s first six weeks perhaps the thing most responsible for his modest rostership. For his two turns this week, he’ll face the White Sox and Texas Rangers at home, where he has a career 2. 47 ERA in 10 starts. He undoubtedly has more long-term potential than the majority of the available two-start pitchers this week.

Feel free to cut

Anthony Rizzo ( 24. 6 % ), Taylor Ward ( 72. 8 % ), Abraham Toro ( 27. 5 % ), Cedric Mullins ( 54. 6 % ), Jordan Montgomery ( 52. 5 % )


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