Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 19
Things are getting busy once again here at the end of the fantasy baseball season. Most league trade deadlines have come and gone and, in many leagues, the playoffs have already began.
At the Major League level, we're seeing an influx of new names coming to the big leagues, with teams promoting some of their young stars. Guys like Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia, Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, Phillies pitcher Jake Thompson and Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez could all make an impact on fantasy seasons and would be worthy of stashing on your bench in the hopes they'll catch fire.
The rest of the list are players who have gotten hot, are coming off the disabled list, or have stepped into new roles with their respective teams and are below 50% ownership in ESPN leagues. Here is this week's list.
Mike Zunino - Seattle Mariners (C)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 3.6%
Two years ago, Zunino hit 22 home runs for the Mariners, excellent production from a catcher. He also batted .199, had an on-base percentage of .254 and struck out 33.2% of the time.
Last year, in nearly 100 fewer plate appearances, he slugged 11 dingers, had a worse batting average and on-base percentage, and struck out 34.2% of the time.
So it wasn't surprising Zunino has spent most of this season in AAA. But he was recently called up and, since returning to the Majors, is batting .262/.415/.762 in 53 appearances with 6 home runs. Perhaps most importantly, he is walking in 13.2% of his PAs and striking out 22.6% of the time, a massive improvement.
I don't know how long this will last, but if you're looking for immediate help at catcher, Zunino could be a good power source.
Brandon Moss - St. Louis Cardinals (1B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 29.3%
Since coming off the disabled list at the beginning of the month, Brandon Moss has picked up right where he left off before he got hurt. Since August 2nd, he's batting .320/.333/.600 in 27 plate appearances with a homer and four doubles.
Overall this season, Moss has 18 home runs and has a slash line of .262/.343/.570, with 44 runs and 44 RBIs in 277 appearances.
Moss isn't an All Star or anything, but if you need a second first baseman on your team or play in an NL-only league, he should be on someone's roster.
Cesar Hernandez - Philadelphia Phillies (2B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 9.5%
Cesar Hernandez has always had a good hit tool and lots of speed to burn, but this year has begun to pile up the base hits for the Phillies. He entered Monday batting .290/.349/.374 with 11 stolen bases, albeit with no power whatsoever, just 2 home runs. He also has just 11 doubles but has tallied seven triples because of his speed.
Cesar's problem is that he should be piling up more stolen bases, but is Major League Baseball's worst base runner, and it isn't even close. He's been caught stealing eight times this year and been picked off twice.
Still, if you need batting average, walks, and the occasional successful stolen base, Cesar can help.
Brad Miller - Tampa Bay Rays (SS)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 41.1%
Who is fourth among MLB shortstops in home runs this season? Would you believe Tampa's Brad Miller?
Miller has hit 20 bombs for the Rays this season, terrific and unexpected production from him. He also has a .258/.311/.499 slash line, with 50 runs scored, 46 RBIs and a wRC+ of 118.
He's providing surprising pop from the shortstop position, and is now playing a little outfield as well, with the addition of Matthew Duffy.
Kelvin Herrera - Kansas City Royals (RP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 36.7%
Herrera has been impossibly good this year, with a 1.63 ERA and a WHIP of 0.89, striking out 32.6% of batters faced and walking a scant 4.2%. Opponents are batting .198 against the fireballing reliever, and this has been going on for four years now.
Kansas City has never had a shortage of good relievers, and in Herrera, they have another closer just waiting and ready to go.
Cam Bedrosian - Los Angeles Angels (RP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 21.8%
You may remember Steve Bedrosian, former closer from the 1980s and '90s, the guy who won the 1987 NL Cy Young Award closing for the Phillies that season. Well, Cam is his kid, and he's looking to join the family business.
With Huston Street on the shelf, Bedrosian is the new closer for the Angels, and it's easy to see why they went with Cam. In 40 1/3 innings he has a 1.12 ERA and a WHIP of 1.09, striking out 31.5% of everyone he faces, while walking just 8.6%. In recording his first save of the season last week, he struck out the side to do so.
Opponents are batting just .205 against the new Bedrock this year, making it likely Cam holds onto this job for a little while longer.