Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 6
The waiver wire has plenty of gems available for the taking, so let's try to get a leg up on our fellow league members and make some moves where needed.
The four players below are all owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues and could give your squad a shot in the arm as we head into May.
Delino DeShields - Texas Rangers (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 43.0%
But DeShields has come back to the field and been on fire, and he adds a dynamic speed element you cannot get enough of in fantasy baseball. Through 71 plate appearances, DeShields has a .357 on-base percentage (OBP), .308 batting average, and 6 steals. Assuming he stays healthy, a season of 500 plate appearances puts him in the 40-steal range.
The speed is legit. He's stolen 29 bases in each of the past two years, and he broke 100 steals across two minor-league stops in 2012. Grab him now and fly up the stolen base board in your league.
Jorge Soler - Kansas City Royals (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 36.8%
Paul Sporer eloquently outlined the case for Jorge Soler this off-season. A mega-prospect industry-wide, Soler racked up an impressive 24 bombs last season. Unfortunately, they were in Triple-A, where he spent the majority of his campaign. At the crux of Sporer's argument was that Soler has always had a ton of pop. In 2014, making his debut for the Chicago Cubs, he showcased an impressive .281 isolated power (ISO) in a cup of coffee (97 plate appearances).
From that point forward, it's been a pretty big struggle for Soler at the major-league level. In 668 plate appearances across 2015 and 2016, he posted a .238 batting average and 28.3% strikeout rate.
This year, however, could be the rising of the phoenix known as Soler. He's cut that whiff rate down to 25.2%, walking an impressive 15.2% of the time, and he hasn't lost that power as he's got a .202 ISO and .407 wOBA.
It's fair to be skeptical of Soler given his past, but the outfielder, who is in his age-26 season, could finally be on his way to busting out.
Kyle Gibson - Minnesota Twins (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 28.2%
Prior to 2018, Kyle Gibson pitched 730 1/3 innings with a 4.70 ERA, 16.0% strikeout rate, and 1.43 WHIP. He didn't stand out as a must-have fantasy asset.
Yes, it's still early in the year, but Gibson has taken the baseball seven times and fired 38 2/3 innings. What jumps off the page is an impressive 26.8% strikeout rate, which is backed up by a 12.2% swinging-strike rate. Gibson's previous single-season best was only a 10.0% swinging-strike rate, which he recorded in 2017.
The reason for Gibson's success could be a result of a change in pitch mix. Gibson has ditched a changeup-and-slider combo, which he threw 39.3% of the time in 2015, for a slider-and-curveball mix that's up to 49.1%. That curveball was barely part of his pitch arsenal back in 2015 (only 2.8%).
If you are in need of some starting pitching help, Gibson should be atop your list.
Matt Adams - Washington Nationals (1B/OF)
ESPN Ownership: 26.6%
Has Matt Adams finally found a home? Traded last May to the Atlanta Braves, and then signing with the Washington Nationals this offseason for a mere $4 million, it seems like no one has wanted Adams. Well, so far in 2018, he sure is making his case for staying in Washington.
In 85 plate appearances, Adams has bashed 8 home runs on his way to a .380 ISO and .457 wOBA. He has also been pretty disciplined at the plate as he's walked a career-best 14.1% of the time.
In 694 plate appearances spanning 2016 and 2017, Adams socked 36 home runs, so the power is legit. If he can continue to see consistent playing time, Adams can be a great source of power.