Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Get These Young Players Rostered in Every League (Week 4)
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Jazz Chisholm Jr.
Ownership numbers are starting to rise on players who fantasy managers are beginning to deem worthy of their early success. I will touch on a few of them, plus the traditional lower-owned hitters that deserve to be on your waiver radar. The season is a marathon, but there are a few players that you must sprint to add to your roster.
A few of the names below appear to be solid additions as injuries and COVID continue to change the baseball landscape. This piece is also specifically focused on position players — we’ll be back on Sunday with a starting pitcher planner to help you get ready for next week.
Have other questions regarding roster construction? Find me on Twitter at @_jeff_hicks_.
Pick Them Up
Jazz Chisholm Jr. – 2B/SS, Miami Marlins
Yahoo: 77%, ESPN: 65%
Last call for the latest young player to show out as a potential star.
Jazz Chisholm has only been held hitless twice over the past two weeks (0-for-3 combined in those games) and has nearly doubled his hit and walk totals from 2020 in 10 fewer plate appearances. He has also doubled his stolen base total from last season without being caught.
Regression should come (.429 BABIP), but Chisholm is locked in at the top of Miami’s batting lineup.
Ty France – 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners
Yahoo: 64%, ESPN: 58%
This past week on the Fantasy Six Pack Hour, I talked up Chisholm and Ty France as hitters that need to be at or near 100% ownership. France’s 2019 showing appears to be an aberration as he has hit over .300 in similar at-bats in 2020-21 and it translated with his trade to the Mariners from San Diego. France has displayed a rare combination of power and average, something needed at second base in fantasy. Outside of zero stolen base production, there is no need to let him sit on waivers.
Zach McKinstry – 2B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Yahoo: 46%, ESPN: 73%
Gavin Lux who? Zach McKinstry has been the latest “Create A Player” to thrive for the Dodgers and he has a locked in role with Cody Bellinger out and Lux struggling and battling a back ailment. The only long-term concern with McKinstry is his ability to maintain his production hitting towards the bottom of the Dodgers lineup. Sheldon Neuse has started two of the past three at second base, which may be a sign that manager Dave Roberts does not want to overuse McKinstry.
Brian Reynolds – OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yahoo: 42%, ESPN: 63%
I am OK declaring that Bryan Reynolds’ 2020 was a fluke. Every stat for Reynolds — average, hits, home runs, RBI’s, and runs — is on track to be in the same range as his 2019 season. Pittsburgh will not be around league-average on offense all season, but it wasn’t in 2019 either. Trust Reynolds as injuries continue to build across MLB.
Jesús Aguilar – 1B, Miami Marlins
Yahoo: 17%, ESPN: 15%
Jesús Aguilar is the type of player that rarely has spike weeks but shows up at the end of the season with roster-worthy production. It has been a bad start to the season for the position, and Aguilar is a player you slot into your utility role to help keep your roster afloat at average, RBI and OBP if you play in such a league. Aguilar is one of six first base-eligible players with more walks than strikeouts.
Worth A Look
Travis Shaw – 3B/1B, Milwaukee Brewers
Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 29%
Travis Shaw will not blow your doors off but continues to enjoy playing for Milwaukee, the only team which he has had more than one season of success (63 home runs from 2017-18). The Brewers are in first place and Shaw is hitting in the middle of their lineup. He is a quick source for power with little competition for at-bats.
Miguel Rojas – SS, Miami Marlins
Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 28%
Boring? Yes, but production does not have to be flashy to matter. Miguel Rojas is on pace to slash at least .280/.330/.375 for the fourth time in five seasons. That type of production plays at the bottom of fantasy rosters.
Justin Upton – OF, Los Angeles Angels
Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 25%
Nothing sexy about Justin Upton except being tied for third on the Angels with four home runs. He is going to see more pitches to hit as opponents avoid Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. The eventual return of Anthony Rendon will cap Upton’s upside because he will slot down in the batting order, but I am here for the pop and 130 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) to start 2021.
Michael A. Taylor – OF, Kansas City Royals
Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 39%
I listed him in the “skeptical” section last week and I feel he is now worth the upgrade. Michael A. Taylor is seeing the ball better and made a three-game hitless streak palatable with two walks and a stolen base to end last week. He has since followed that up with a three-game hitting streak with two more walks and two runs. The early power was not meant to last, but it is good to see him finding ways to be productive with the change of scenery.
Jordan Luplow – OF, Cleveland Indians
Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 17%
Jordan Luplow is on the wrong side of a platoon but has outplayed left-handed hitting Ben Gamel. He has nearly outproduced early season darling Akil Baddoo in fewer at-bats, but like his 1.117 OPS, this is not going to last. Luplow has never been a successful full-time player (career-high 225 at-bats in 2019).
Phillip Evans – 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yahoo: 21%, ESPN: 26%
Phillip Evans got a chance to play when Ke’Bryan Hayes went down with a wrist injury and has been nails. The former Mets prospect has power, vision, and short-term average upside. Hayes is not far from a return, at which point it is unknown how the Pirates will get Evans’ bat in the lineup. Evans already has more at-bats this season than in any other in his career.
Aledmys Diaz – 1B/2B/3B, Houston Astros
Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 1%
Aledmys Diaz has started in place of Jose Altuve while he is in COVID-19 health and safety protocols. He has a six-game hitting streak and has four RBI and only two strikeouts during that span.
I Am Skeptical
Andrés Giménez – 2B/3B/SS, Cleveland Indians
Yahoo: 58%, ESPN: 43%
Andrés Giménez has a three-game stolen base streak and four-game hitting streak that spans one week. He has also struck out in all but one game played and is hitting .243. Cleveland’s offense is not consistent enough to depend on a light-hitting infielder to produce in fantasy.
David Peralta – OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Yahoo: 26%, ESPN: 47%
The longtime Diamondbacks outfielder drove in nine runs in three games against Cincinnati from Tuesday to Thursday. David Peralta now has 16 RBI on the season. If you can handle the peaks and valleys of Arizona’s offense, then pick up Peralta. He has been able to average one hit per game because of his hot series, although I do not know how often he would crack fantasy lineups.
J.D. Davis – 3B/OF, New York Mets
An injury has not prevented J.D. Davis from starting his 2021 campaign with a five-game hitting and four-game RBI streak. He also has a .700 BABIP and may be the worst defensive third baseman in baseball. The Mets have strung together a few good offensive games together and will have to decide how important Davis’ bat is when he is a liability in the field (three errors in six games).