Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 9
Memorial Day just feels like America and baseball to me.
Every year since I was a kid, this day was everything about celebrating the United States and some of our great traditions, like baseball and backyard BBQs. If I wasn't waiting for first pitch, it was because of yet another baseball tournament at some far-flung place my parents were taking me to. And they never complained.
I look forward to Memorial Day to celebrate the sacrifice many made, allowing us the freedoms do things we want, like write about fantasy baseball players.
It finally feels like we were spared one week where a huge superstar wasn't seriously injured (we're crossing our fingers about Mike Trout and J.D. Martinez, though). That's a welcomed respite, but it doesn't mean we don't need to keep our eyes open on some waiver-wire adds that can help take your fantasy squad to the next level.
Koda Glover - Washington Nationals (RP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 42.2%
It's never been about the stuff -- and as you can see below, Glover went above and beyond the normal call of duty last week with a four-out save. While he only has a 22.0% strikeout rate this season, he showcased a healthy 31.2% whiff rate last season in Double-A, so the swing-and-miss potential is there.
ICYMI: Koda Glover clinched the #CurlyW with his 1st career 4 out save. pic.twitter.com/FvHOsc0yTp
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 21, 2017
If you're in need of saves, Glover is somehow owned in less than half of ESPN leagues -- go out and grab him while you still can.
German Marquez - Colorado Rockies (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 24.6%
It may feel odd to recommend a Colorado Rockies starter as a waiver-wire addition. However, German Marquez has some serious talent in the making, even if he makes the majority of his starts in Coors Field.
Marquez got a cup of coffee last year at the big league level and was mediocre at best. Over 20 2/3 innings pitched, he logged a 3.97 SIERA and a 15.3% strikeout rate, but as you can see in the video below, something has changed (for the better), and he's turning himself into a fantasy asset.
Two of Marquez's starts this season have been rough, but the other five have been brilliant, allowing two runs or less. He shut out last year's World Series champs for eight scoreless innings, striking out eight, and also blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field for six scoreless innings.
Marquez is striking out 19.7% of hitters this season, and while Coors can be dangerous for any player, he makes for a sneaky addition for the back end of your rotation.
Devon Travis - Toronto Blue Jays (2B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 36.4%
The Toronto Blue Jays really struggled out of the gate, and their team wOBA of .306, 24th in the league, would indicate just that.
Over the last 30 days, the Blue Jays have been returning to their bopping ways -- they rank a solid 13th in team wOBA (.326) and 7th in team ISO (.199).
Travis is providing his usual power-speed combo (he has four homers and steals each), and has produced a 1.010 OPS, .279 ISO, and 171 wRC+ in May.
Logan Morrison - Tampa Bay Rays (1B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 34.7%
What the Tampa Bay Rays are doing right now offensively is pretty remarkable. In 2016, they struggled as a club, ranking 19th in team wOBA (.315). This year, though, they've risen all the way up to the fantasy elite, ranking 10th with a .324 mark.
Now this isn't all that unheard of -- teams change drastically in the offseason with acquisitions. However, what's interesting is that Tampa Bay is doing this with basically the same cast of characters -- Corey Dickerson, Evan Longoria, Kevin Kiermaier and Logan Morrison occupy key roles in the top of the order.
Since a tough first month as a Ray, check out how Morrison has produced since.
Logan Morrison's last 125 games
.261/.344/.515 with 27 HR
— Adam Sanford (@Adam_A_Sanford) May 27, 2017
One of the ways you turn an offense around is by having dudes ball out of their mind, and Morrison certainly fits that bill. He may not be the sexiest name, but he's a productive one, and that's all that really matters.
Adam Frazier - Pittsburgh Pirates (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 32.5%
This wasn't how 2017 was supposed to go for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
As we all know, none of that has really turned out how Pittsburgh had hoped so far. It hasn't all been bad, though.
Adam Frazier, who had just 160 plate appearances in the big leagues prior to this season, wasn't supposed to be starting yet. But sometimes, things work out in a weird way, and the outfielder has been raking.
Power hasn't been his calling card over 125 plate appearances -- he's put up a decent .136 ISO -- but he is a hitting machine. With enough at-bats to qualify, his .327 batting average would rank ninth in the National League.
And despite a healthy .379 wOBA, what's perhaps most impressive is Frazier's plate discipline -- he's walked 10.4% of the time, versus whiffing 11.2%. For a 25-year-old, or really any hitter, that's an impressive feat, and will certainly lead to long-term success if he can sustain it.
Max Kepler - Minnesota Twins (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 25.9%
Kepler is only the second German-born major league baseball player, as Donald Lutz of the Cincinnati Reds was the first. However, he is attempting not to just make it, but to crush baseballs into superstardom.
Kepler received an extended look at the big league level last year with 447 plate appearances, rocking 17 homers on his way to a .733 OPS.
Over 180 plate appearances this season, though, Kepler's got 5 bombs on his way to a .783 OPS and a .338 wOBA. It's coming at the expense of righties, too -- he's posted an .874 OPS, a .217 ISO, and a 41.2% hard-hit rate in that situation. While he is still learning to get better against lefties, righties ain't got nothing on him.