Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 15
The midsummer classic has descended upon us with a chance to take a breather from the grind that is fantasy baseball, which is probably the biggest grind in all of fantasy sports.
If you play in a league with daily transactions, it can be a challenge to keep up with all of the moving parts.
The All-Star break can also be a chance to look at our teams with a critical lens and expose the holes that we have. And to fill some of those holes, we have trades and the waiver wire to use.
The below four players are currently owned in less than 50% of ESPN and are worth taking a long look at, depending on your specific league's settings.
Whit Merrifield - Kansas City Royals (2B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 40.5%
A 7-16 April, which ended with nine straight losses, had things looking pretty grim for KC. They've been red hot ever since, though, which includes a 17-9 record during the month of June. They can thank their young second baseman for some heroics.
Merrifield debuted in the bigs in 2016 with 323 plate appearances and a pedestrian .309 wOBA, but his biggest asset -- his speed -- was rather obvious. He swiped 8 bags in the majors and nabbed 20 during his half-season in Triple-A last year.
He's kept that pace up through 289 plate appearances in 2017, too. He's stolen 14 bases while adding a .325 wOBA and 7 bombs to his ledger. while a .169 ISO isn't earth-shattering, it's been a nice added bonus, as well.
As long as Merrifield continues to man the leadoff spot, he's going to have nice value for an offense that's been far better lately (.330 team wOBA in June was 14th-best in baseball), despite ranking 26th in team wOBA on the year (.304).
Wilson Ramos - Tampa Bay Rays (C)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 33.3%
The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of this year's fun stories, as their offense has just absolutely mashed their way to the eighth-best team wOBA mark (.329).
Unfortunately for their AL East friends, as good as this offense was, it just got another major upgrade to make their lineup even deeper.
Wilson Ramos suffered a knee injury last season, leading to his departure from the Washington Nationals and his subsequent signing by the Rays, which could turn into an absolute steal. It's also a big reason why he only has logged 38 plate appearances so far.
Quickly, though, he's reminded everyone of his potential. Before the injury, Ramos was in the midst of a breakout campaign, ripping 22 home runs to go along with a career-best .361 wOBA in 2016. This year, he's got three big flies to his name and a healthy .345 wOBA in limited playing time.
Catcher can be a bit of a tricky lineup spot, so if it's a position you're looking to upgrade, go check out and see if Ramos is available.
Tommy Pham - St. Louis Cardinals (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 26.1%
The Cardinals are plagued by a variety of things, including a mediocre offense that ranks 19th in the league with 402 runs scored.
Over 236 plate appearances, Pham has posted a .386 OBP and .381 wOBA with 11 homers and 11 steals, all while scoring 42 runs. Extrapolation can be a dangerous game to play, but over a 600-plate-appearance season, that'd be a 30-30 season with 100-plus runs scored. Nice.
His .211 ISO isn't a fluke, either -- he posted a .209 mark last year in the big leagues through 172 plate appearances.
Andrew Moore - Seattle Mariners (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 13.2%
Top college draft picks have proven to accelerate themselves to the major leagues very quickly. While high school prospects take a bit more seasoning, we've seen some college players reach The Show very fast, including Dansby Swanson, Andrew Benintendi, and Carson Fulmer.
The Oregon State Beavers product was an early second-round draft selection in 2015 and has dominated every minor league stop along the way. His highest ERA was at Double-A last season, where he posted a very successful 3.16 ERA to go along with a 9-3 record.
Perhaps more impressive is Moore's impeccable control -- it's carried over into the big leagues through his first three starts (2.4% walk rate). While his strikeout rate has been down (only 12.2%), he's pounded the zone with a 73.2% first-pitch strike rate, and his 8.6% swinging-strike rate isn't too shabby.