Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 15
The waiver wire has plenty of goodies 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 June.
Kyle Tucker - Houston Astros (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 38.7%
Coming in with loads of hype, as many mega-prospects do, Kyle Tucker is up with the Houston Astros, and he could be in line for a bunch of playing time. If your outfield needs some help, now is the time to add Tucker.
Over two stops in 2017, Tucker showed plenty of promise, smacking a combined 25 home runs and swiping 21 bases. While those stops were at Single-A and Double-A, Tucker showcased his ability this year in Triple-A as he racked up 14 home runs and 14 steals across 371 plate appearances. His .384 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .214 isolated power (ISO) at Triple-A should have you excited.
With a big pedigree and a path to playing time, Tucker could be a nice boost to your rosters.
Jordan Zimmermann - Detroit Tigers (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 27.8%
I will be the first to admit that I was on the anti-Jordan Zimmermann train, and it's time to walk that back. In 2017, Zimmerman was dreadful, throwing 160 innings with a 5.22 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), 39.5% hard-hit rate, 42.0% fly-ball rate, and 14.5% strikeout rate.
That's all been turned around in 2018 -- especially as of late. Since returning from an injury June 16th, the right-hander has fired a 1.80 ERA over 25 innings pitched, posting a 26.4% strikeout rate, 1.1% walk rate, and 16.7% hard-hit rate.
Zimmerman is an interesting one to watch, and it's worth noting that over this abbreviated time frame, he's allowed a scary 48.4% fly-ball rate. But he could be a nice shot in the arm for the back end of fantasy rotations.
Zack Wheeler - New York Mets (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 19.9%
While the New York Mets continue to collapse over the summer, posting a 24-50 record over their last 74 games, Zack Wheeler is certainly not a guy we can blame. After struggling to the tune of a 4.64 SIERA, 10.4% walk rate, and 1.56 home runs per nine innings pitched (HR/9) over 86 1/3 innings in a return from injury last season, Wheeler has been a nice staple of the rotation in 2018.
This season, over 95 innings pitched, Wheeler has logged a 4.13 SIERA, reduced the walk rate down to 8.6%, and limited hard contact at a 28.7% rate. In addition, Wheeler's 4.36 ERA could be slightly inflated thanks to a below league-average strand rate of 69.3%.
Just like Zimmerman, Wheeler has been better since the calendar flipped to June, recording a 3.20 ERA over 45 innings with a 24.4% hard-hit rate. If your rotation is in shambles, Wheeler is a solid add.
Mark Reynolds - Washington Nationals (1B)
ESPN Ownership: 8.4%
So, Mark Reynolds was pretty decent over the weekend:
Hit a walk-off HR.
Hit a 2-run HR.
Hit an RBI 2B.
Hit a 2-run 1B.
Hit a 3-run HR.
Hit a 2-run 1B.
Mark Reynolds had a pretty solid 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/Jf9YAcSWEe
— #VoteTrea (@Nationals) July 8, 2018
Reynolds' 10 RBIs in a single game is obviously not something we can count on moving forward, but after eclipsing double-digit home runs (he now has 10 this year) in short order, we need to take notice. Over 125 plate appearances this season, the veteran slugger now owns a .406 wOBA and 10.4% walk rate. He is still striking out plenty (26.4%), but he is earning himself playing time with a 43.0% hard-hit rate.
While Ryan Zimmerman could be heading out on a rehab assignment soon, which could lead to a reduction in playing time for Reynolds, in the short term, Reynolds makes for a great corner infield option. If he keeps hitting this way, it'll be tough for the Washington Nationals to put him on the bench.