Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 8
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 move through May.
Juan Soto - Washington Nationals (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 32.7%
The 2018 season in D.C. has gone off the rails so far -- Adam Eaton, Brian Goodwin, and Howie Kendrick are all injured, and Jayson Werth was not re-signed following his expiring contact. So calling up Soto came out of necessity, to a certain degree.
However, that's not meant to imply that the 19-year-old isn't good. That's clearly untrue as the dude was mashing all levels so far in 2018:
|Level||Plate Appearances||HR||Walk Rate||wOBA||OPS|
Those video game-esque numbers are truly absurd, but it's important to keep in context that Soto is only 19, and he now owns a mere 36 plate appearances above the High-A level.
Ostensibly, Washington wouldn't call him up to have him sit the bench, so he is likely to see a ton of playing time in the Nationals' outfield, especially against right-handed pitchers. If you play in a league with Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB), don't blow the entire thing on Soto, but he's certainly worth a roster spot
Jack Flaherty - St. Louis Cardinals (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 33.0%
We've highlighted Jack Flaherty already this season, and he's been doing the Memphis shuffle between the big league club and the St. Louis Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds. But Flaherty could finally be receiving a long audition for a rotation role, and we want to snap him up immediately.
Adam Wainwright was placed on the 60-day disabled list, and this means Flaherty likely has at least two months to prove his chops. What did he do on Sunday? He dazzled the Philadelphia Phillies over 7 2/3 innings, whiffing 13 on his way to a win.
The strikeout goodness is not an aberration. He has not posted a strikeout rate under 21% in any individual stop in the minors, and over four starts in the majors this year, he has fired 23 1/3 innings with a 30.3% strikeout rate and 11.5% swinging-strike rate.
If your starting rotation needs a shot in the arm, take a long look at Flaherty.
Blake Parker - Los Angeles Angels (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 18.5%
As we take a whirl on the closer carousel, the Los Angeles Angels are one bullpen that is certainly in flux, especially after Keynan Middleton was moved to the 60-day disabled list with an injury. Manager Mike Scioscia doesn't seem overly eager to name a specific closer, either.
Blake Parker has gained two saves in the last week, though, and could be cementing the role as his. Parker has shown a fantastic strikeout rate the last two years, posting clips of 33.9% in 2017 and 27.7% so far this year.
Those who have owned Parker in 2018 may be skeptical this season -- and for good reason. Parker allowed runs in three of his first five outings, but over his last nine innings, he has not allowed a run, and in the 37 total batters faced in that span, he's struck out 15 (40.5% strikeout rate).
It's certainly speculative, but Parker is worth an add.
Jesus Aguilar - Milwaukee Brewers (1B)
ESPN Ownership: 17.3%
With Ryan Braun hitting the disabled list thanks to a back issue, Jesus Aguilar should be a full-time starter for the Milwaukee Brewers, and if he can keep up his current pace, he will be a major fantasy asset.
Over 119 plate appearances this season, Aguilar has been mashing the baseball with a .418 weighted on-base average (wOBA), 1.003 OPS, 7 jacks, and 40.0% hard-hit rate. Apparently, he also loves the state of Minnesota. Over the weekend, Aguilar homered in each game and launched a total of four long balls in the series.
Add in that his home field, Miller Park, ranked 8th in park factor and 12th in home run factor per ESPN's 2017 ratings, and Aguilar could provide some major pop to your lineup for the foreseeable future.