Week 16 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups + Sleeper Stashes
Here is The Game Day’s Week 16 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 16 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.
Week 16 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups
Vidal Brujan, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays (40% rostered on Yahoo!)
The Tampa Bay Rays called up Vidal Brujan for their doubleheader on Wednesday. He has since been optioned back to Triple-A. However, the plan is to call him back up before Friday’s game.
Brujan wasted no time showcasing his greatest fantasy baseball contribution — stealing bases — on his first day in the majors. He stole 55 bases in the minors in 2018, 48 in 2019, and stole 15 bases in 19 attempts for the Triple-A Durham Bulls this year. He can fly.
He’s not necessarily a one-trick pony, though. The speedster makes contact at a high rate, works walks and tapped into previously unseen power this year, slugging nine homers in 216 plate appearances. To put his power surge into perspective, he hit only 19 homers across his first 1,782 plate appearances.
The power’s not a lock to stick. However, a downturn to a career-low 43.7 GB%, per FanGraphs, indicates he’s made a tangible change to tap into the pop. Brujan’s .259 batting average in Triple-A might seem alarming. However, his .272 BABIP is significantly lower than his .326 BABIP before this year. His speed and high contact rate bode well for his odds of helping fantasy baseball teams’ batting average.
- Vidal Brujan Waiver Wire Tip: Brujan’s speed makes him a threat to rank among MLB’s top base stealers out of the chute. Any of his power surge sticking and a likely uptick in batting average would be gravy. Bid aggressively, and be willing to spend 25-30% of your FAAB.
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Anthony Bender, RP, Miami Marlins (12%)
Anthony Bender has been a revelation for the Miami Marlins. He’s spun a dazzling 0.99 ERA, 2.27 SIERA, 0.73 WHIP, 7.0 BB%, 37.0 K%, and 38.0 CSW% across 27.1 innings pitched. The 26-year-old righty also boasts a silly-good batted-ball profile, inducing grounders on more than half of his batted balls and popups at a 25.0% clip.
The only thing missing had been saves — until he netted one on Monday. He blew his next save chance but limited the damage to a solo shot. Ultimately, he netted a win. Kev Mahserejian recently discussed the closing situation for the Fish and the high probability of the team’s saves leader, Yimi Garcia, being dealt.
- Anthony Bender Waiver Wire Tip: To echo Kev’s sentiments, Bender should be scooped up ASAP. He’s easily the best saves speculative option in this week’s space, and spending 20-25% of your FAAB is reasonable. If your team lacks other needs, a bid upwards of 30-35% FAAB isn’t crazy, either.
Logan Gilbert, SP, Seattle Mariners (41%)
Logan Gilbert continues to exceed even the wildest expectations. Thursday afternoon was his best start to date, holding the New York Yankees scoreless on one hit and eight strikeouts in seven innings.
After a slow buildup, the Seattle Mariners have cut him loose. He’s thrown 100 pitches or more in four of his last seven starts. The loosened pitch restrictions coupled with his efficiency against the Yankees are significant positives for his rest-of-season outlook.
- Logan Gilbert Waiver Wire Tip: Gilbert is pitching up to his lofty high-end prospect billing. Gamers should spend 20-25% FAAB to secure his services.
Week 16 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)
- Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners (39% rostered)
- Akil Baddoo, OF, Detroit Tigers (33%)
- Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox (27%)
- Ranger Suarez, RP, Philadelphia Phillies (24%)
- Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (35%)
- Ross Stripling, SP/RP, Toronto Blue Jays (33%)
- Tylor Megill, SP, New York Mets (8%)
- NEW – Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets (32%)
- Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins (31%)
- Max Stassi, C, Los Angeles Angels (25%)
- Eric Haase, C/OF, Detroit Tigers (38%)
Baseball can be humbling, and Jarred Kelenic’s first taste of The Show was an eye-opener for him. Sent back down to Triple-A to get back into a good mental place; he’s done just that. He’s also raked, slashing .305/.382/.621 with a 10.9 BB%, 14.5 K%, seven homers, and four stolen bases in 110 plate appearances. He’s worth stashing now, as there’s a chance he’s promoted soon and hits the ground running in his second go-around.
Akil Baddoo is a carryover from last week. He’s swiped another bag, bringing his season total to 13 in 15 attempts. He’s hit .319/.392/.407 since June 1, settling in as a speedy leadoff hitter with strong on-base skills.
Jarren Duran’s prospect pedigree doesn’t match Kelenic’s. Further, Kelenic illustrated the potential for struggles initially, hence Duran’s placement below him in this section. Regardless, he’s hit .279/.369/.581 with a tantalizing power and speed combo, smacking 15 homers and stealing 10 bases in 206 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. In addition, Duran was recently left off of Team USA for the Olympics after playing in the qualifying tournament, potentially teasing a call-up soon. Get ahead of the promotion and stash him now.
Ranger Suarez earned the most recent save for the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s also been by far their best reliever this year. Usually, some may harbor concerns about a lefty getting the closing gig. However, Jose Alvarado is another capable lefty for the Phillies to use in a non-save high-leverage situation. This looks like a committee, but Suarez could run away with the job.
Joey Votto’s been locked-in since being reinstated from the injured list on June 8. He’s hit .293/.381/.525 with six homers, 16 runs, 22 RBIs, and one stolen base with his trademark elite plate discipline and batted-ball data.
The percentage of rosters Ross Stripling is on has dropped two percent since last week, despite spinning another gem. With that in mind, you can probably spend a little less to pick him up this week.
Tylor Megill upped his prospect stock by pitching well through five Double-A and three Triple-A starts. He’s brought his stellar play up with him to the bigs, recording a 3.77 ERA, 3.49 SIERA, 1.12 WHIP, 51.5 GB%, 10.2 BB%, 32.2 K%, and 28.6 CSW% across three starts. The rookie’s called strikes plus whiffs percentage is more good than great. However, optimists would suggest he can continue to strike out batters at a high clip thanks to a 17.9 SwStr% on his slider and jaw-dropping 29.8 SwStr% on his changeup.
NEW – The New York Mets could heat up offensively as they return to good health. That’s good news for Brandon Nimmo’s potential to score runs in bunches atop the order. He raked before hitting the injured list, and he hasn’t skipped a beat in his return. Since being reinstated from the injured list on July 3, he’s slashed .385/.429/.500 with seven runs and five RBIs.
Alex Kirilloff went hitless through his first five games (14 plate appearances). Undeterred, his bat has come alive. In his last 188 plate appearances, he’s hit .286/.330/.480 with seven homers, 20 runs, 30 RBIs, and one stolen base. He’s also earned a promotion to the cleanup spot of late, even slotting there against a southpaw. The Minnesota Twins are buried in the American League Central, so they could ship out Nelson Cruz and/or Josh Donaldson, leaving Kirilloff to retain a prominent lineup spot even when Byron Buxton returns.
It’s difficult to say whether Max Stassi or Eric Haase, two widely-available catchers, is the better claim. However, both are worthy of scooping up. Stassi’s offensive outburst began last year, and he’s a better source of batting average than Haase. Conversely, Haase offers more power. Additionally, Haase has played 11 games in the outfield, and less time behind the dish could bode well for him avoiding fatigue from consistently donning the tools of ignorance.
Week 16 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)
- Chad Green, SP/RP, New York Yankees (39% rostered)
- Jonathan Loaisiga, SP/RP, New York Yankees (36%)
- Kyle Muller, SP, Atlanta Braves (17%)
- JT Brubaker, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (30%)
- J.D. Davis, 3B/OF, New York Mets (37%)
- Jake Fraley, OF, Seattle Mariners (18%)
- Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Kansas City Royals (18%)
- NEW – Alejandro Kirk, C, Toronto Blue Jays (4%)
- NEW – Franchy Cordero, OF, Boston Red Sox (0%)
Aroldis Chapman has been a disaster lately, and his fastball — while still cooking at an elite velocity — isn’t humming at its normal velocity. Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga have both recorded saves this year. They’ve also both pitched quite well. Kev recently tabbed this a committee situation, which is a smart call. It’s not advisable to suggest spending more, especially since Chapman could easily reclaim the gig for himself with a handful of clean appearances.
Kyle Muller has out-pitched his work in the upper-minors through four appearances (three starts) for the Atlanta Braves, calling back memories of a rookie righty, Ian Anderson, who made similar strides in the organization last year. Muller’s strikeout rate is appealing, and the organization’s recent example of a prospect making control gains in the Bigs lends credence to the rookie lefty’s improvement sticking.
JT Brubaker’s 4.76 ERA since June 1 is ugly. However, his 4.00 SIERA is more palatable and accompanied by a great 1.02 WHIP.
J.D. Davis mashed in 48 plate appearances earlier in the year before his injured list stint. He has a fantastic 2019 season on his resume, too. Davis should be reinstated from the injured list after the All-Star break, making him worth stashing now.
Jake Fraley endured a poor stretch at the dish since last week. He’ll need to turn it around to stick in the lineup. Still, his combination of elite patience, power, and speed are intriguing enough to roster in the hopes he gets it back together in short order.
Bobby Witt Jr. is one of the top prospects in baseball. He’s hit .298/.375/.563 with 13 homers, 39 runs, 40 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases in 240 plate appearances at the Double-A level. Unfortunately, the Kansas City Royals aren’t in the postseason hunt. So could they call him up this year? Yes. Could they also promote him to Triple-A and leave him there the remainder of the year? Also, yes. Entering the All-Star break, it doesn’t hurt to scoop him up and monitor the news for rumors of Kansas City’s second-half plans for their stud prospect.
NEW –Alejandro Kirk is an appealing target if your FAAB is limited and you can’t afford to pay for Stassi or Haase. He’s healthy and should be activated from the injured list to start the second half. He’s tearing the cover off of the ball on his rehab assignment and owns a .281/.352/.516 slash with four homers through his first 71 plate appearances in The Show.
NEW –Here’s a deep dive for gamers in extremely deep leagues. Franchy Cordero is annihilating Triple-A offerings since his demotion, hitting .359/.444/.603 with six homers, four stolen bases, a 13.2 BB%, and 29.8 K%. But, perhaps most importantly for his outlook with the Boston Red Sox, he’s getting a look at first base. According to FanGraphs, Boston’s first basemen have recorded an unsightly 65 wRC+ this year.