Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 17
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 head into the All-Star break.
Vince Velasquez - Philadelphia Phillies (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 41.6%
The mercurial starter for the Philadelphia Phillies has been rocky once again in 2018 -- but is now the time to buy in?
The stuff has never been a question for Vincent Velasquez, who owns a career 26.1% strikeout rate. He has, however, struggled to remain healthy. Since making his debut in 2015 with the Houston Astros, his high-water mark for innings remains at 131.
But he's been really good as of late. Since getting bombed by the Milwaukee Brewers in a June 8th start, Velasquez has been brilliant in his last six turns, posting a 2.38 ERA and 27.0% strikeout rate over 34 innings.
If your staff needs help and you can stomach the gamble, take a look at the Phillies' righty.
Kirby Yates - San Diego Padres (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 32.0%
With lefty Brad Hand shipped off to the American League, Yates now inherits the role, and he has lights-out stuff. Over 37 2/3 innings this year, Yates has posted a 32.4% strikeout rate, 7.4% walk rate, and a strong 29.1% fly-ball percentage.
Everyone can use saves, and Yates should be able to chip in some saves the rest of the way.
Robert Gsellman - New York Mets (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 18.1%
If Yates is off the board but you are in need of relief help, Robert Gsellman may be available, and with incumbent closer Jeurys Familia shipped off to Oakland, the righty could be in line for some saves.
In previous seasons, Gsellman had racked up 33 major league appearances, 29 of which came in a starting capacity. This season, however, the righty has made 44 bullpen appearances, and over 56 1/3 innings pitched, has recorded a 3.88 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 30.6% fly-ball rate.
Gsellman does not provide the strikeout upside that Yates does -- he sits at only a 21.4% strikeout rate -- so he won't be a big boost in that category. He does seem firmly entrenched in the role with Familia out of the picture, so utilize Gsellman as a solid consolation prize.
Cameron Maybin - Miami Marlins (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 5.7%
After suffering a hip injury, the centerpiece of the Christian Yelich trade, Lewis Brinson, was placed on the disabled list. Up stepped Cameron Maybin, and if he continues to perform at the same rate as he's been going lately, they may not miss Brinson too much.
Since July 1st, Maybin has put his early season struggles behind him, blasting his way to a .368 weighted on-base average (wOBA), 15.9% walk rate, and 3 homers. Maybin's most important asset, his speed, has been on display also as he's swiped five bags in his last nine games.
While the Miami Marlins are certain to have a long leash with Brinson, 2018 has been ugly. Among players with at least 250 plate appearances, Brinson ranks fourth-worst with a .245 wOBA. If Maybin can continue his torrid pace, he may force his way into a bigger role.