Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 20
Why can't we have nice things?
The latest domino in the string of superstars to gone down fell as Bryce Harper hit the shelf, and I highly recommend not watching the video in slow-motion. Thankfully, it sounds like Harper avoided major injury, but he's going to be out for a while.
In season-long leagues, there's seven weeks left to make that final push. While many people are shifting their focus to football, now is the time to keep your eye on the prize.
Here are three bats and one arm to target on the waiver wire. All players listed are owned in less than 50.0% of ESPN leagues.
Trevor Bauer - Cleveland Indians (SP)
ESPN Ownership Percentage: 47.5%
Raise your hand if you've owned Trevor Bauer before. Oh wait, it's unanimous?
It feels like every season we are investing in Bauer shares only to be let down -- and this year is more of the same. For the year, Bauer's fired 120 1/3 innings and recorded a 4.79 ERA.
But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. In his last four starts, Bauer has thrown 27 innings and posted a 2.00 ERA, striking out 25.6% of hitters. He's also walked only 6.3% of batters in that span. That figure may not turn your head, but it's a slight improvement from his season-long mark of 8.5%.
The stuff has never been in question for Bauer, but his ability to pitch deep into games and strike out a hefty number of batters makes him a pretty interesting option for rotations.
Alex Avila - Chicago Cubs (C)
ESPN Ownership Percentage: 46.4%
Avila has been strong in the power department this season, racking up a .214 ISO between the Tigers and the Cubs. Those numbers get even more impressive as the lefty swinger gets the platoon advantage. Against right-handed pitching, over 250 plate appearances in 2017, he's mashed his way to a .928 OPS and 55.0% hard-hit rate.
This certainly isn't how the Cubs wanted to close down the stretch, but Avila has proven he will be more than capable for the rest of 2017, and we can use his output at a depleted catcher position.
Jose Pirela - San Diego Padres (2B/OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 21.9%
Rookie Jose Pirela has come up and is swinging out of his shoes.
Even with playing his home games in Petco, which ranks 24th in park factor over the last three years, Pirela has flashed a solid .236 ISO over 238 plate appearances. He's striking out only 21.4% of the time, fueling a .370 wOBA mark for the year.
Across two levels, Pirela has now ripped 21 jacks and swiped 11 bags over a combined 439 plate appearances. Throw in some multi-positional eligibility, and he makes for a nice add for the stretch run.
Brian Goodwin - Washington Nationals (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 9.1%
The journeyman outfielder is finally getting his first full shot in the majors, and he's performed pretty well. Over 278 plate appearances with Washington this season, Goodwin has put up a .337 wOBA, 13 homers and 6 steals.
Goodwin also owns a respectable 8.3% walk rate, and he's shown a keen batting eye throughout his professional career. If he's slotted at the top of Washington's prolific lineup -- it'll still be a good offense, even sans Harper -- he could be a big-time producer the rest of the way. Because this is the Nats, Goodwin himself was banged up on Sunday, so make sure he's good to go before making any moves.